Lessons From Traveling as a Couple
I remember the first trip Mike and I ever took together like it was yesterday. It was actually in August, 2014, and we had only been dating for four months at the time. We made the fourteen hour drive to New Orleans and spent three amazing days there. We had stormy afternoons, drunken nights, ran out of money, dealt with some car issues and endured what turned out to be an eighteen hour drive home. In short, we really tested our fairly new relationship. And I’m so glad we did. That trip meant a lot to both of us and we still talk about it frequently; comparing all other vacations to that first perfect trip to NOLA (even despite the bumps in the road). Traveling as a couple can make or break a relationship, but when it’s done right, it can really bring you closer together. Each trip Mike and I take together teaches us something new, whether about each other or how we travel as a couple. We’ve finally gotten a good rhythm. For example, I know not to drag him around to different attractions when he is hungry, and he knows to be patient with me when I am trying to take pictures, and so on. Though I do enjoy traveling solo, Mike will always be my favorite travel buddy. Here are our best tips for couple’s travel so far:
- Always discuss the activities and attractions you want to visit beforehand: You would be hard-pressed to find a significant other that enjoys all the exact same things you do. That’s a good thing though, right? Opposites attract! When talking about what you want to do while you’re on vacation, make a list together and make sure both of your interests are equally represented. You will both be much happier to do these things together when you know it was a joint decision.
- Stay hydrated and fed to avoid nonsense fights: This might be the most important tip I could give. I cannot tell you how many times Mike and I have bickered over nothing, just because one or both of us was hungry. It seems like such a small thing, but it will save you a lot of grief along the way, I swear.
- Plan the financial aspects ahead of time: There is nothing that will sour your vacation together faster than arguing over who will pay for what. If you are splitting the costs, decide who is paying for what before you even leave. Make a list of potential costs and split it up however you want: pay for alternate meals, split the hotel bill at checkout, however you want to divide it up. Just stick with the plan to avoid awkwardness on the road.
- Split the responsibilities: Whether it’s dividing the driving hours for a road trip, carrying the backpack, or being in charge of the map, don’t make one person take all of the responsibility. Splitting it equally means that you both have equal amounts of fun. I do not really enjoy driving, but I will take my turn so Mike can rest and enjoy the scenery too.
- Always have a Plan B: No matter how much you plan or how evenly you split your costs, there’s bound to be something that doesn’t go exactly as planned. Always have a Plan B to get you through. For example, when Mike and I had planned to go to Toronto earlier this year, we ran into some unforeseen circumstances and had to cancel the trip. Fortunately, we bounced back and went to Grand Rapids instead. Things fall through, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be for the better.
What are your best tips for traveling as a couple? Where was your favorite trip together?