Traveling as a couple is a lot different than traveling solo. You may share a house, finances, and day to day life, but when it comes to escaping your daily routines for a vacation, that doesn’t mean it’s going to always be a smooth and romantic ride.
In fact, “it can be a notoriously treacherous experience, fraught with stress, arguments, and differing opinions on hygiene, packing, and how much it’s reasonable to pay for cuddling an orangutan.” – JR Thorpe.
But there is so much magic in traveling as a couple if you can get through the trip without getting on each others nerves. And after having traveled RTW with Star Alliance this month, we’ve put together tips and advice to increase your chances of a successful trip.
Tips for Traveling as a Couple Without Killing Each Other
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Financing the Trip
Before getting on the plane make damn sure you and your partner are on the same page about finances. Nothing causes more quarrels than the issue of money.
Make sure you have discussed some kind of a budget which includes the costs for transportation, food, lodging, activities, and souvenirs. Stick to a set amount and allocate funds for each part of your trip to avoid surprise purchases that may cause a fight.
Picking a Destination
When it comes to picking a destination, one of the biggest tips for couples traveling is that coming to a compromise on a place where you both can find enjoyment is key.
That said, our advice is to also remember how you acted at the beginning of your relationship. Did it really matter where you went on a date, or was it simply spending time together which was the mission?
Any destination you chose can be made extraordinary if you try and remember the main fact that you are experiencing that destination with your best friend, or the one you fell in love with.
Although being stuck in close proximity to your other half for long periods of time may be required, don’t waste this opportunity. You’ve got the time, so spend it talking to each other.
You would be surprised the things you can learn about each other even after years of having been together. Take this time to talk as though you are just beginning to date, speaking of your past and things you may have not yet shared with each other.
Do NOT bring up anything work related or anything dealing with daily life. This trip is a break from reality. Traveling as a couple also has the perks of shared driving if you are on a road trip, or having someone’s shoulder to lay on during a flight … a situation much more awkward if you were to try it with a stranger.
Pro Tip: When choosing seats on a plane, choose seats in the very back of the flight. These seats usually fill up last, and that aisle of three may be all yours to share between the two of you.
The biggest thing that can ruin a trip is fighting, and many fights are simply caused by the stresses of traveling itself.
Go into every trip with an open mind and realize that most of your best laid plans will probably not go perfectly. Be ready for that plan B. Again, try to remember back to when you were first dating and were on your best behavior. There is no excuse for not continuing that good behavior.
Make a pact to ditch the blame game. And if you are getting angry, ask yourself if it’s because you’re tired, hungry, or both. It’s inevitable that one of you will screw up at some point along the way, but it’s bound to happen, so focus on dealing with the issue instead of making each other feel bad.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to cram too much into your daily itinerary as things always take longer than expected and trying to make it in time for numerous reservations will only add stress.
Although technology has made traveling so much easier these days, remember that your trip together should be an escape from reality and not a time to conduct business or talk with family. They can talk to you when you get back.
Use of laptops and smart phones can be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to finding nearby attractions while traveling, but limit their use so you can actually enjoy the present moment.
Fight the urge to share your daily happenings while traveling via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs (guilty!). Remember, the more time you spend typing away, the less time you are living your travels, and you’re only limiting the stories you will have to share when you get back.
You Don’t Have to be Joined at the Hip
As much as you may love someone, being around them 24/7 is bound to put a strain on your relationship at some stage. But you don’t need to do everything together, and you don’t have to be joined at the hip.
It’s absolutely ok, healthy even, to give each other some space and alone time while away. Whether that means heading out on an an activity or tour the other person doesn’t want to do, or taking a walk on your own, it’s important to give each other space.
Do you travel as a couple? What have your experiences been?
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