This is no big secret and is part of the territory. As a veteran and a military spouse for the last 12 years, I’ve gone on and lived through my fair share of deployments, remote tours, and TDYs.
As a spouse you can’t go on deployment with your spouse, it’s impossible and dangerous don’t do it.
However, you can travel in conjunction with your spouse when they go on remote tours and most especially on a TDY. This temporary duty assignment can sometimes be to some pretty amazing places like Hawai’i, Japan or Orlando! With this in mind, there are some things to consider when visiting your spouse while they are on TDY or a remote tour.
I can’t stress enough that you need to plan well in advance for going about this. Please don’t try to show up with no plans whatsoever. TDY’s can be as short as just a couple of days and as long as a couple of months. Make sure you have can afford to be away from home if it is a long TDY.
TDYs can be really draining on the wallet.
You’ll have to determine if it is feasible to eat out every night for the long term too. Many TDY locations don’t include kitchens or kitchenettes. As such, even though your spouse’s meals will be covered by the military yours will not. Treat this as a vacation for you and not for your spouse. Additionally, remember the military will not pay for your travel to your spouse or in some cases you are unable to stay in quarters or lodging with your spouse. Finally, you may have to add in a rental car as well especially if your spouse isn’t authorized a rental car during their TDY. So, you’ll have to add to your costs to travel, lodging and transportation. This can become a very costly vacation if you don’t plan well in advance.
Do some research before you go on TDY with your spouse. Again, remember this is a vacation for you and not your spouse. As such, your spouse is and will be working during the entire TDY, I say this from experience. Typically, I will poll spouses at my current base to see if any of them have been to the TDY location. If not, then I’ll dig a little more by doing a google search and working with my network of fellow milspo and veteran travel agents. This way you have something to do and you aren’t stuck in your hotel room the entire time.
Be brave and adventurous and explore this new city!
If you go to Orlando why not try a solo trip to Walt Disney World? It’s worth it on so many levels! If you have kids you can brave it and I have so many tips and advice to help you out with that if you are lucky to experience a TDY there!
As military spouses, we have very unique opportunities to travel around the world. Take these moments and treasure them. It can be a little tricky to travel with your spouse to their TDY location but it is completely possible as long as you plan properly and embrace doing some of your vacationing alone or alone with your kids.
Have you traveled to your spouses TDY location? What tips do you have to make it easier? Reach out and let me know!
Dina is a Coffee-loving milspo, boy mom, travel advisor, and family travel journalist. She loves to travel and helps families plan dream vacations around the world. Let Dina help you book your next family adventure by visiting her at www.lilyandmagnoliatravel.com/