Occasionally my husband must travel for work. He works with international customers, so when he does travel he is typically gone for two to three weeks, though he can sometimes make a really quick trip, such as recently when he flew to Italy and back within 4 days!
During those days or weeks when he is out of the country, it is easy to become distant from one another if we do not intentionally implement strategies to ensure that we stay connected. Time zones are completely different for each of us; I am busy with the children and he with customers; meal times are usually way off for him; and he is often just getting up when I am heading to bed at night.
Here are a few ways that we have found to stay connected when my husband is away.
Six Ways to Stay Connected with Your Husband When He Travels for Work
1. Send texts throughout the day Many times my husband is able to talk on the phone during his work day, but when he is traveling it is typically more difficult. So we keep in touch via text. One or the other of us will send a “Good morning” message upon waking. When there is time the the receiving party will respond with something like “Hi. I miss you. How has your day been?” These are not new or profound ways to communicate, but it does help us to feel as if we’re connecting first thing in the morning, throughout the day, and before we go to bed. Our written messages are a great way to get through to the next day and feel like we have had a few moments together even when we are separated by many miles.
2. Make nightly phone calls We try our best to talk on the phone once every day when my husband is traveling. Texts are nice, but hearing the voice of your loved one is even better. For us this usually means a call to me from him just as I’m going to bed, as it is simply easier to talk with out interruptions, though he does call during the day when he can so he can give a quick hello to the kids, too. He can hear any tension in my voice or I can identify how tired he is, and this allows us to offer encouragement and even a sweet prayer that God will continue to strengthen us as we continue our duties while spending time away from one another.
3. Set up a Skype or Facetime session We do not do this often, but on occasion I will gather the kids for a Facetime session with their dad. It can be loud, chaotic, and funny! Have you ever tried to fit 6 family members within the screen of your iPhone? Yeah, then you know what I mean. However, it can be worth it because these few minutes help to create a fun memory for your whole family to recall on the days when they miss Daddy, or even later when you’re back together and someone says, “Hey, remember that time when Dad was in Italy and we did Facetime with him?” Brings smiles to all our faces every time!
4. Send an email Email is less personal, but if there is something important or more detailed to say, this may be the way to go. You can send it at your convenience and your spouse can read and respond at his own convenience. Only rarely will I use this mode of communication, simply because when my husband is traveling he is typically not checking his emails often, so it is not the best way to get in touch with him. However, if your husband does check his email frequently, then this may work well for you!
5. Share Photos I take a lot of photos throughout the day. Especially of my youngest two since they need more supervision and are around me almost all day. My husband tends to take quite a few pictures, as well, when he travels. He loves to see new places, so even if he is only passing by in the taxi on his way to a meeting, he will snap a pic of a famous place, such as the Pantheon or St. Peter’s Bisilica that he just got to visit on his recent trip to Italy. We share some of these photos with one another throughout the days that he is gone. I tend to do this even when he is here, but working, simply because he misses out on some things with our children since he is not at home throughout the day. Continuing this habit as he travels is just another way to stay connected to him, and to be sure he is ‘in the know’ about what has been going on here, too.
6. Communicate about itinerary and departure/arrival times Knowing when my husband has left the round, when and where he spends his layovers, and what time he lands helps me to feel more comfortable. Plus, I just like having the information. It enables me to imagine him in the airport (especially if it is one to which I have also been) and consider which restaurant he may stop into for a quick meal. This information also helps me to organize my time better so that I can check in on him with a text once he is supposed to have landed, or even a quick phone call if the timing is right.
Are there ways other than these that you and your husband put into practice to stay connected during travel? Please share them here for me. I would love to add to my list of connection-creating activities!
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