Traveling with anyone for the first time is going to need some kinks ironed out. However, it’s an excellent way to gauge how you two complement each other in fun and stressful situations, because traveling most definitely comes with both.
Ideally, a vacation between you and your partner would bring you two closer together and foster your relationship further. That is why it is important to be mindful and purposeful in how you respond to situations, along with having set plans for expectations in terms of finances , activities, accommodations, and the like. This is why pre-planning is key. But we’ve got you covered. Dive in for our tips for traveling with your partner.
Choose a place you’re both excited for
This seems like a given, however it comes with a few more layers. Picking a spot that both you and your partner are excited about as well as both being involved in the planning is pretty crucial.
This will avoid confrontation so one person will not feel that they have taken on all of the responsibilities of planning and coordinating. If both partners are equally invested, the trip is much more likely to run smoothly.
Have a run-down of the whole trip before takeoff
Some of us like to fly by the seat of our pants while traveling, while others like to diligently map out their trip and know exactly what their trip will look like each day. It is important to know what kind of traveler you are, and what kind your partner is.
Have a pre-trip chat and have a run-down of where each of you would like to go, how much planning you’d like to put in beforehand, how you want to travel (i.e. car, public transportation), where you would like to stay, and how much money you are willing to spend on food, drinks, etc.
Be prepared to pivot
When it comes to traveling, there are an innumerable amount of things that can go wrong at any moment. A stolen wallet, a lost passport, a missed train, a delayed flight, food poisoning, overbooked hotels, or forgetting to pack underwear. This is a crucial element towards whether or not you and your partner can problem solve and still enjoy yourselves.
Stressful situations are hard enough as is. Can you and your partner figure out how to pivot in the difficulty and continue to build upon your trip? Or will you both melt down in the stress and end up having a bad time together. It is important to be mindful of this.
Have backups and emergency plans
To minimize stress in an emergency, as we discussed knowing how to pivot, it also helps decompress the situation if you have set yourself up for success. Things like having important personal information in case of a medical emergency. Or having people you may need to reach if your phone gets lost.
Bringing 2-3 different credit cards in different places, and travel insurance will help you work through tough moments with a lot of ease that you will appreciate in times of trouble.
Be willing to compromise
This one is especially true for the type A types out there, who like to plan everything as they see fit. No one travel partner can make all of the decisions. This will not bode well and lead to feeling like one person is being dragged around instead of two people enjoying each other and a new place.
For some, this may feel obvious. But while in a new place our bodies and minds are in a totally new environment and are going to desire different things. It is important to meet each other halfway.
Go to events where you’ll meet new people
Going on a vacation is definitely about spending time with you and your partner, no doubt, however it can add to the fun to make new friends along the way to do cool things. Not only that, but new people can tell you their tips or cool places to check out that you had not thought of!
To do this, join local tours and activities. Ideas are bar crawls, treasure hunts, dance parties, or local hubs. Hostels are a great way to find things to do, the front desks will be more than happy to lead you towards where the fun is.
Thoughtfulness becomes crucial
Living in close quarters with your partner may push the bounds of comfortability for you two. Understanding that sharing your resources and space is a big deal for the trip to run smoothly. Not only that, but respecting your partner’s space and privacy–we all need some time to ourselves.
Lastly, don’t forget to clean up after yourself. Don’t let the place you are staying turn into a slum, keep it nice and tidy as a show of respect to your partner (and hey, even yourself and the place you’re staying!).
Establish a budget
Talking about money can feel weird at times and definitely takes practice. This is an excellent time for you and your partner to learn how to flex the muscle of talking about finances–a major source of conflict in a lot of relationships.
Knowing what each person can afford will set the parameters of what activities are doable, what accommodations are within the bounds of each person, and how you’ll travel overall. Talking about this before will eliminate unfortunate moments where one person feels spread thin.
Make time for alone time
Just because you’re on a trip with your partner does not mean you need to be spending every moment together. In fact, moments to yourself are absolutely crucial to maintaining a healthy enjoyment of each other, just like in real life back home.
Go take a book to the pool, go on a walk, get a cup of coffee. Something simple and nice to simply each be by yourselves will offer a fresh burst of energy when you two are reunited.
Express concerns in advance
Just like you’ll want to plan your budgets, accommodations, and travel style, you’ll also want to express to your partner any concerns you may have ahead of time to get ahead of the curve for when it arises. This way, you’re giving yourself and your partner the tools to handle the situation before the emotions occur and it becomes harder.
Examples of this would be: fear of flying, anxiety about going somewhere new, or anything else that may be making you feel negative feelings that your partner should know about.
Have daily check-ins
Having check-ins is good anyways as a couple to keep yourselves on the same page and know where each of you stand and how you’re feeling. This is a very healthy practice! But when you’re traveling it is especially beneficial.
Pick a time to check in with each other and talk about what you most enjoyed from the day and anything you’d want differently the next day. Communication and honesty is going to make this trip go the distance.
Infuse empathy in the conversations
While doing the daily check-ins or even in your day to day conversations, infuse empathy into your discussions and try to really practice patience. You and your partner are going to be exhausted and having empathy towards each other will help ease any tension that comes from being generally exhausted.
When anger or frustration arises, take a breath and try to imagine what is going on inside the body and mind of your partner. Or better yet–ask!
Forgive and forget truly and quickly
Practicing empathy sounds easy and good, but in practice it takes an enormous amount of patience to do so. Naturally, bickering or arguments may break out between you and your beloved.
Traveling can really bring out some negative behavior and we cannot always side-step disagreements. If something does occur between you two, try to both forgive and forget as quickly as possible. And mean it. Your trip is passing you by and you should not be spending it at each other’s throats.
Beyond getting by and keeping each other emotionally balanced, a surprise on a vacation is especially romantic and special. If you have the spoons for it–we suggest it. It will completely knock the socks off of them!
Keeping the “love tank” full between the two of you will make the trip go by with much more fulfillment and romance. Plus, doesn’t it feel good to do something nice for your partner?