Unfortunately it’s the one thing that most LDR couples will have to experience – Airport goodbyes. You spent days, or even months planning your trip to reunite again. You embrace every moment with your S/O after such a long time apart. Hooray! You get to do all the fun things you talk about, you live for every moment your spending together.
Then before you know it, bam!!! Time has passed by at a fast rate, the final days together are approaching. You have to deal with the dreaded airport goodbye. It is at this point were every LDR couple should be prepared well in advance. Saying farewell to your partner is one of the hardest things to do.
Rather than dreading the goodbye day, prepare as much as possible and try out some of our tried and tested techniques below.
Plan your transport
As simple as this sounds, always plan your flight, car trip, taxi, Uber or train journey home in advance. It’s no fun planning the small details on your final days of the trip.
If you are departing from an airport, there are plenty of ways to make your goodbyes less sad. Try and use your journey together as a time to talk through what you will both remember from the trip. All the highlights and laughs you shared together, the friends and family you got introduced to, the nights full of cuddles and snuggling. Talk about the times that made the trip what it was.
Why this is a good idea: This strengthens your bond and locks tight your good memories. It’s natural to be nervous saying goodbye, but this help avoids any awkward silences.
Our tried and tested method: We had the tradition of buying coffee and a snack to make “one last date”. Enjoying a Starbucks and a treat together will break the notion that the airport is a sad place.
Parting at the security gates is hard, but Adam always had a cute habit of turning back to wave at me every 20 feet or so. We were saying goodbye in steps and it made the departure more gradual and less blunt.
Top tip: Make your partner a snack for the plane. Airplane cuisine has improved, but nothing beats home made food cooked by the one you love. Sneak in a few of their favourite treats and they will appreciate the effort even more.
Driving home alone after your visit
If you’re the one driving home in an empty car back to an empty bed, the goodbye can be paralyzing if you allow it to be.
Tried and tested method: Plan ahead of the goodbye day to meet friends or family on your return. This helps ease your mind from missing your partner. You can instead get straight back into conversation with someone familiar, with no time to overthink.
“I used to schedule babysitting jobs or dinner with a friend after Adam would fly home. No matter what I was doing, I couldn’t allow myself to be sad because I was enjoying the busy moment”
- Make a driving playlist – The sound of familiar music will help. A good podcast can do the same trick.
- If you have long drive home from the airport, plan a few breaks and take along a few treats along for yourself. You deserve it!
The night before you say goodbye
There’s a whole bunch of fun you can enjoy the night before (not just the hot stuff!). I was totally guilty of hiding presents and little cheesy items around Adam’s room the night before I would fly home.
A simple activity you can do without creating suspicion is drawing out a quick grid on a piece of paper (see pic below).
Fill in each rectangle with a thought starting with “I love how you…”, or “You’re are the best at…”, or “Remember when….”, or “I’ll never forget…”, and start filling out the sweet memories and traits that you love about your partner.
When they are out of the room, cut along the chart lines and you will have a pile of small love notes to hide around their room.
Why this works: I did this for Adam once, while he was making dinner I hid about 40 notes around his room. Under his shoes, in his shirt pockets, beneath his keyboard, and under his pillow. He was finding them for weeks, and would send me a picture of each note he found. The notes were a reminder that I was never too far away. Your partner will love the thought and time that it took to make each note!
Leaving something creative behind
Give each other a shirt or a pillowcase with your perfume or cologne on it. I used to spray my favourite perfume on a sleep shirt of mine and put it inside a zip-lock bag. That meant on a day when Adam felt lonely or down after the visit, he could open the bag and smell a scent that would take him back in time to when I was right next to him. He would do the same when he would visit me and it became our favourite tradition.
Other ideas: If you own a smartphone, one idea is to make the trip pictures into a simple slideshow. Send this to your partner before they depart and tell them to open this when they need the happy memories. A standard hand written letter works well also.
“Each ‘see you soon’ will bring you one more step towards your long term goals”
Airport Goodbyes are never easy – Whenever possible, plan your next visit before the current one ends. Your long term plans and goals are your best friend here.
- Try saying ‘see you soon’’ and not goodbye
- Plan your next visit, before the current one ends (even a rough plan is good)
- Talk of all the good memories you enjoyed on the trip
- Plan surprises for each other. Leave gifts, notes, letters, clothing
- Turn an airport trip into a date. Make it entertaining
- Prepare homemade food for the plane
- Make a music playlist/download podcast for the car
- Keep extra busy. Plan to visit friends/family straight after you return
- Allow time to recover at home, then skype call
- Slowly return to the communication methods you used before – (now you have even more to talk about)
- It takes time to adjust back into life back home – Give yourself all the care you need
- Think of all the wonderful possibilities to come
You may also like our article: Essential LDR travel items
We would love to share your own Long Distance goodbye stories; how do you say farewell at the airport? Leave a message or comment below.