During the civil war, it was common for spouses to travel with their troops. Whether they were cooking, sewing, or acting as nurses it was fairly common to see them in camp. These days traveling with a military service member on deployment isn’t an option, but traveling with a service member isn’t entirely off the table. A TDY, or temporary duty assignment, can throw a wrench in your life. It’s not permanent but its long enough to be an inconvenience, especially in the summertime when you’re trying to visit family or go on vacation. But have you ever thought about looking at the TDY from a different perspective and traveling with them?
It’s An Adventure
Sometimes you get really lucky and your spouse gets the chance to take a temporary assignment somewhere like Hawaii, San Diego, or San Francisco. These places are exciting, tourist destinations with lots to do and experience. Getting to travel to one of these locations and only paying for the travel of the civilian spouse can be a money saver. Overseas TDYs are also a great travel opportunity. If the TDY is an extended one, you may even be able to travel by Space-A. Check out this post about Space-A Travel on Military Families Magazine to learn some of the nitty-gritty about that method of travel.
It’s An Opportunity
A TDY can be like a vacation to a place you normally wouldn’t pick. You may find yourself in the middle of Oklahoma or Kansas and see a part of the United States you haven’t seen before. Military Crashpads can make this experience feel more like home when you might be in a smaller town, or the middle of nowhere. You can find a crashpad in Montgomery, Alabama or Altus, Oklahoma. If you find yourself in these smaller towns, you’re in luck because Military Crashpad can also help you out with some things to do. If you’re visiting Altus learn to live like a local. Or, find out where the best weekend trips are. You never know what you might discover!
Other Things to Consider
The length of the TDY does not have to equal the length of your trip. You can go for the whole time or just a portion. Sometimes they are a short few days or a week, and sometimes they are months long. Plan ahead for what will work best for you.
Remember that the military is only paying for your spouse to travel and eat. Factor that into your budget! The benefit to traveling with your spouse on a TDY though is that your hotel, or your awesome Military Crashpad, will be paid for! If it isn’t far away and you’d like to drive, have your spouse check with their travel and finance liaison. The military may reimburse for the cost of gas up to the cost of what an airline ticket would be if your service member drives instead of flying.
Your service member is there to work and will probably be busy during the daytime hours. Plan ahead to keep yourself preoccupied. Check out some of our articles about things to do in different locations. They will be a good start for activities to explore during your spouse’s working hours. But take this opportunity to do something out of your comfort zone and explore on your own.
Written by: Rheanna Bernard