Could you go on a vacation with your partner, facilitated by a dating app, and still be madly in love with one another when it ends? Travel is a great litmus test for the strength of your relationship.
It challenges your ability to collaborate, manage conflicts, set boundaries, and know when to let someone else take the lead all at once. If you and your partner travel well, you can look forward to future adventures. If not, that may not bode well for the future of your relationship.
Fortunately, travel incompatibility doesn't have to spell the end of true love. These tips will help you travel with your loved one without crash-landing your relationship.
Build in some solo time.
You invest much time and money planning the ideal trip with your partner. It's easy to become so wrapped up in the perfect vision of a romantic vacation that you can't imagine spending any time apart. Then, your lover informs you they want to spend a few hours solo.
That can feel like an absolute rejection, but it's a good thing. Those little bits of alone time won't ruin your romantic trip. Instead, they can save it. It's such a good idea to plan for time to yourselves that both you and your partner should schedule that into your itinerary.
The time you spend alone can help stave off the irritability that often crops up when you spend too much time in close quarters. It also gives both of you space to see and do things that don't particularly interest the other. If nothing else, you can enjoy a bit of television and a nap while your significant other does their thing. Then, you will be energized and refreshed for the next activity.
Talk about how each of you approaches travel.
Everybody approaches travel a bit differently. That's fine until your preferences clash with your partner's. Think about how you handle the significant aspects of the trip, and talk to your partner about any compromises you may need to make.
Planner vs impulsive
A planner will:
- Pack every necessity using a list
- Make reservations ahead of time for every meal and experience
- Schedule an Uber to get them to the airport four hours before their flight
- I break into a cold sweat at the thought of leaving home without a clear plan
An Impulsive traveler will:
- Throw things in a bag and buy the rest when they arrive
- See travel as an opportunity to do things spontaneously
- Arrive at the airport just in time to make it through security
- Feel constrained by overplanning and inflexibility
As you can imagine, the two types can drive each other crazy on a vacation. Fortunately, you can prevent too much strife by respecting your partner's needs and stating yours clearly. When both of you realize you do things entirely differently, don't panic. Discuss things and determine who is the most emotionally invested in that issue. Then, find a compromise.
For example, getting to the airport early may not matter to you. Now, imagine your partner is an anxious flier. Getting to the airport a couple of hours before the flight gives them time to check their bags, go through security, and then sit and decompress before boarding.
Action vs relaxation
Picture your ideal vacation. Are you relaxed on the beach and enjoying a spa day? Maybe you spend the day mountain biking or exploring an exciting city. For some travelers, the idea is to rest and relax while enjoying every luxury. For others, it's all about the adventure and opportunity to experience a new culture.
Minimalist or maximalist
Pack lightly. Take home pictures and memories. If that's your travel philosophy, that's great. Can you travel happily with a partner who brings two full suitcases and purchases a third for souvenirs and new clothing? This is just one more point of discussion and compromise.
As you talk about this, please take the opportunity to discuss your values as they apply to waste and sustainability. This is a great time to commit together to environmentally friendly travel practices.
Plan around each other's comforts.
One of the most romantic things one can do for another is anticipate and meet their needs. By doing this, they show they care about the other person and have been paying close attention to what they love and need.
You know your partner loves to end the night with a great cocktail and a sweet snack. So, arrange to have a bottle delivered to your hotel room with a fancy dessert from a nearby pastry shop. They'll be so happy that you thought of them. Even better, these little indulgences serve as a touchstone when both of you are unfamiliar.
Capture your memories
Even if a trip is incredibly memorable, this does not mean you should not try to capture the moment whenever possible. Take pictures of your partner, and ask others to take photos of you together. You would be surprised by how many are willing to do this.
By capturing the memories of your trip, you and your partner will have physical memories to look back on and have some of the best souvenirs you can get.
Set a travel budget.
It's so important to talk about money with your partner. That applies to your travel budget as well. Agree on a baseline budget, including what each of you will contribute. Discuss what you see as must-see or must-do activities, and ensure those can be covered.
As you discuss this, make sure both of you cover all bases. It would be best to discuss who pays for airfare, rental cars, and hotel rooms. But how will you handle splitting meals, drinks, and incidental expenses?
It can be challenging to get into these discussions when you're both trying to have a good time. Nobody wants to be the person who awkwardly mentions that they can't afford to keep treating meals. So, make those plans and set those boundaries before you leave.
Manage your romantic expectations.
Even when you believe that you have planned your trip perfectly, things can still happen that can damper your romantic plans. Of course, losing a reservation at a nice restaurant is not something you can quickly recover from.
However, if you planned to walk in the park on day one and lay on the beach on day two, is it a deal breaker to do the beach on day one and the park on day two? Remember that plans and expectations are great. However, it is good for you and your partner to be flexible sometimes.
Try something new together.
One of the many reasons a couple may take a trip is to escape from the normalcy of their everyday life. The plan is usually to get away from what they are used to and gain new experiences. However, when you go to a new place, only eat your usual stuff, and go about your life usually, it doesn't feel like much of a vacation.
Make a point to do something new together during your trip. This could be anything from eating a new type of food to doing something you never thought you would do, like skydiving. A unique experience will connect you both and make the trip more memorable.
Team up to plan your travel logistics
Planning a trip can be incredibly stressful, especially when it is on one person's shoulders to plan the itinerary for two people. While you both want to take the trip together, you may have different wants and needs for the journey and other ideas for a plan.
Sit down with each other and make a plan for the best trip you both possibly can manage. You may have to give up a couple of things, and so will your partner; however, the trip is for both of you, making the journey much more enjoyable.
Understanding Each Other's Travel Styles
Everyone has a unique travel style; understanding this can make a difference. Some people are early risers, eager to catch the sunrise, while others prefer to explore the nightlife and sleep in. Some love trying local street food, while others stick to familiar dishes. Discussing these preferences before the trip can prevent misunderstandings and ensure both partners enjoy the journey.
Respecting Cultural Differences
When traveling to a new country, being aware of and respecting local customs and traditions is essential. This shows respect to the locals and enriches the travel experience. Couples should research and discuss the do's and don'ts of the destination. This can prevent unintentional offenses and ensure a harmonious trip.
Dealing with Travel Mishaps
No matter how well you plan, travel mishaps can happen. Lost luggage, missed flights, or unexpected weather changes can test a relationship. It's essential to stay calm and work together to find a solution. Remember, it's not about placing blame but about navigating challenges as a team.
Creating a Shared Travel Journal
Documenting the journey can be a fun and bonding activity. Consider maintaining a shared travel journal where both partners can jot down their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. This serves as a beautiful keepsake and allows couples to reflect on their journey and understand each other's perspectives better.
Travel can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. It's essential to prioritize self-care. This could mean booking a spa day, taking a leisurely walk, meditating, or getting enough sleep. When both partners feel their best, they are more likely to enjoy the trip and each other's company.
Traveling with a partner can be a beautiful experience, offering opportunities to bond, create memories, and understand each other better. From understanding each other's travel styles to respecting cultural differences, dealing with mishaps, and prioritizing self-care, there are many aspects to consider. Couples can ensure a harmonious journey filled with love and adventure by following these tips and the ones shared earlier.
FAQ on vacationing as a couple
How can travel cause relationship issues?
Taking a trip can be an excellent opportunity for a couple to connect. However, it can also be a root cause of many issues. After all, they say you should never live with someone you have not traveled with.
New environments can cause people to change in many ways, including their personalities. Travelers sometimes notice that their partners become lazier or more argumentative on a trip, which can cause the relationship to unravel.
Also, travel may reveal some unsavory things about a person's views on culture and socioeconomic issues. Combine this with stress and unwillingness to compromise; you and your partner may not be together anymore at the end of the trip.
What should couples do when they can't agree on travel plans?
Couples who can't agree on travel plans should communicate instead of avoiding conflict. Tell each other your points, but be willing to hear each other out. You may want to do what your partner wants more, and vice versa.
This is also where you can brainstorm alternative solutions, like doing separate activities for a day. Sometimes, one of you may have to give something up for a future concession.
Why should couples travel together?
Couples should travel together because a vacation destination is ideal for bonding and forming core memories. People who travel together also get to know one another on a deeper level. This can strengthen a good relationship, sometimes revealing that a couple isn't ready for a long-term commitment.
How can couples handle disagreements while traveling?
Open communication is critical. Discuss the issue calmly, listen to each other's perspectives, and find a compromise that works for both.
Is it okay for couples to spend time apart during a trip?
Absolutely. Spending some solo time can be refreshing and help prevent feeling overwhelmed.
How can couples ensure they respect local customs while traveling?
Researching and understanding the cultural norms of the destination is essential. When in doubt, observe and follow the locals.
What are some activities couples can do to bond during a trip?
Trying out local cuisines, attending cultural events, or taking a class together, like cooking or dancing, can be great bonding activities.
How can couples handle financial disagreements while traveling?
Set a travel budget beforehand and discuss how expenses will be split. This can prevent misunderstandings later on.
What if one partner wants to relax while the other wants adventure?
Compromise is key. Allocate days for relaxation and adventure so both partners get what they want.
How can couples handle language barriers while traveling?
Learning basic phrases, using translation apps, or carrying a phrasebook can be helpful.
How important is it for couples to try new experiences together?
Trying new experiences can strengthen the bond and create lasting memories.
What if one partner is a minimalist traveler and the other isn't?
Discuss packing strategies beforehand and find a middle ground that works for both.
How can couples capture memories without being too engrossed in their devices?
Set specific times for photos and then focus on experiencing the moment.
How can couples handle homesickness while traveling?
Stay connected with loved ones through calls or messages and carry a few familiar items from home.
Is it essential for couples to have shared interests while traveling?
While shared interests help, respecting and trying out each other's interests can also be rewarding.
How can couples handle health issues or emergencies while traveling?
Always carry essential medicines, know the location of nearby hospitals, and have travel insurance.
What if one partner is more outgoing and the other is introverted?
Respect each other's boundaries and find activities that cater to both personalities.
How can couples handle dietary restrictions while traveling?
Research restaurants beforehand and communicate dietary needs.
Is it a good idea for couples to take a break from technology while traveling?
A digital detox can help couples focus on each other and the experience.
How can couples handle unexpected changes in travel plans?
Stay flexible, communicate, and find alternative solutions together.
What are some ways couples can immerse themselves in local culture?
Attend local events, try local foods, and interact with the locals.
How can couples ensure safety while traveling?
Stay informed about the destination, avoid risky areas, and always inform someone about your whereabouts.