How To Travel With a Partner Without Breaking Up
Traveling with the love of your life seems like a total dream, but the reality of spending 24/7 with your partner can hit a little differently. I like to say you never really know someone until you go on holiday with them, as it can test even the strongest of relationships with all their weird and wonderful habits you never knew of now there’s nowhere to hide.
Going around the globe is one of the best ways to discover compatibility and whether you have a shot at a future together. It brings personality traits both good and bad to the surface, which is why many couples decide to solo travel halfway through, but we’ve spoken to the experts so you can be one of the couples that cancel your flights home and travel longer, not cut it short.
Following these recommended tips will leave lasting memories instead of giving you a reason to call it quits – happy holidays!
Discuss Your Budget
This is an obvious but crucial first step to a successful vacation as a couple. “Setting a realistic budget speaks to how you will travel, says Amber Kelleher Andrews, Celebrity Matchmaker, and CEO of Kelleher International. “For example, will you be driving to your destination or flying? Private jet vs. commercial and so on. With so many wonderful five-star resorts back open, countless casual Airbnbs to choose from, and glamping now on the rise, ‘the world is your oyster’ when it comes to traveling.” You need to decide whether you’ll be living out of a backpack or getting the full star experience.
She explains that budgets help to frame the overall “theme” of your vacation as well as the duration of your trip, but most importantly, having a budget in mind will carve out the accommodations that you’ll be checking into as a couple when you arrive. There’s nothing worse than unwanted surprises when traveling and having different expectations (and two different budgets in mind), as this makes for an awkward and stressful start. So, choose wisely, be on the same page with your budget and remember, every destination can be special if you plan it properly.
Be Vocal and Communicate Your Intentions
“Okay, you have a budget in mind, well done! Now the fun can begin,” says Kelleher Andrews. “Communication is king when it comes to planning a trip together. How do you decide where to go? Start by communicating your desires, your dreams, and preferences of travel with your partner.”
Next, she recommends finding the purpose behind your choices. For example, are you going to this destination for the adventure of it all? To explore the sights and take a deep dive into the culture? Are you the work hard, play hard type? Is your partner? Maybe they actually need a vacation and are really looking forward to relaxing and reading a book. Maybe you’ll discover that their idea of “adventure” is dipping a toe in the crystal blue ocean while sitting on a white sandy beach with their cell phone in hand. Make sure you communicate these preferences before you book your trip.
But don’t forget to continue to communicate as you travel, and not just about the things you’d like to do but about your relationship needs and wants, which will most likely change whilst you’re on the move. Going from seeing each other a couple of times a week to all day every day will dramatically change the relationship dynamic and it’s important to be vocal about your new requirements to make sure they’re met.
Make an Itinerary
Traveling can be fun, but it can also exhausting and stressful. “As a professional matchmaker I can’t emphasize enough to my Kelleher clients that having a plan is vital to success,” says Kelleher Andrews. “If you want a positive and fun outcome to a vacation with a romantic partner, you need to have a plan, period.” Traveling without one can be done, but it’s confusing, leaves too much room for misunderstandings, mixed emotions, and all of this can all lead to arguing. Whomp, whomp.
Even if your plan is to not have a plan (looking at you spontaneity seekers), at least this has been established and agreed upon with your partner beforehand. For example, did you select 20 sights with only 7 days to see them? How many days will you realistically need to see all that you have carved out together? Setting up your itinerary and mapping it out beforehand prevents arguing when you get there and keeps the focus on moving forward with your adventure. Don’t forget to include important “me time” for both of you so that you each can hit the refresh button and stay happy and engaged.
We all know that as much as we plan, wish, and hope for a perfect vacation, not all are treated equally. Planes are late, trains break down, restaurants are booked, and Mother Nature can change everything. “Having flexibility as a couple and flexibility within your itinerary keeps the power with you and can bring calm to the storm no matter what’s tossed your way. All marriages and long-term relationships come with plenty of compromise and flexibility along the way,” says Kelleher Andrews.
She explains that the more malleable you are as a couple, in the wake of unexpected turbulence, the more successful you’ll be in a marriage down the road. Set your expectations high and expect to have a great time together but leave room for flexibility and plenty of compromise along the way. For example, they may have expressed interest in going to a certain venue beforehand but now that they have arrived, they have a change of heart. “My advice is to go with the flow when necessary to keep calm when traveling together and simply agree to have their back and vice versa.”
Amber Lee, Relationship Expert, Certified Matchmaker, and CEO at Select Date Society, insists you shouldn’t play finger-pointing and avoid blame at all costs when things go wrong. Don’t forget to take responsibility for your own actions while on vacay. “Don’t place blame on each other when things go awry. The things that seem upsetting in the moment will be the things that you remember when you look back on your trip.”
See more about – 50 Amazing Date Ideas To Keep The Romance Alive
Let Go of Judgement
Now, this can be a little tricky, but in order for both of you to remain comfortable throughout your trip, let go of all judgment. “When you are spending every day together and sharing a small space, such as a hotel room, it’s like placing a huge spotlight on all your habits and quirky routines,” says Lee.
You may be appalled that your partner doesn’t rinse the sink after brushing their teeth or that they put their dirty clothes back in their suitcase next to the clean ones. “Whatever your partner does that you find off-putting, let it go. When you are traveling, it’s not the time to be hard on each other.” Have a cocktail, take a breather, and ask yourself “is it really that big of a deal?”
Take Turns Choosing Daily Activities
It’s only fair, right? One of the biggest challenges of traveling together is that you may have different interests or ideas about how you want to spend your time. This is when the art of compromise becomes important. “Take turns sharing in planning how you’ll spend the day. Make sure that your trip isn’t geared 100% towards one person’s interest, but that it involves activities that each of you will enjoy,” recommends Lee.
You may spend one day laying in the sun sipping margaritas and the next day hiking through the mountains, but whatever you’re doing, remember to have a good time. Even if it’s not what you’d normally choose to be doing. It’s important that you don’t turn into a complete killjoy and roll your eyes during the activities they choose as engaging in new adventures together will bring you closer.
Learn to laugh when things get stressful. “How do you handle it when you are waiting for over an hour in 90-degree heat to catch a taxi after a long day?” asks Lee. If you allow stress to take over, you won’t make a good travel companion. Instead, learn to laugh and inject humor into the situation.
She explains that when you take a light-hearted approach and allow yourself to enjoy the moment (despite the circumstances) your partner will be able to picture sharing life with you, including all the highs and lows. Dealing with stressful situations with humor and ease may solidify your relationship for the long haul.
Control Your Emotions
Everything can seem heightened and more intense when you’re in each other’s company all the time, especially your emotions, the way they dress socks first in the morning probably wouldn’t bother you if you didn’t have to watch it every day.
“If you are someone who likes to control the situation, you’ll need to get comfortable with the fact that there is a lot that will be outside of your control,” says Lee. “You will have no control over flight delays or canceled tours, but you can control how you react to these situations. When you take responsibility for the areas that you can control and let go of the things you can’t control, you’ll make a much better travel companion.”