In lieu of Hallmark’s favorite holiday, I decided to dedicate my next post on traveling as a couple. Solo tripping is great because it pushes you out of your comfort zone and you’ll end up with more international friends than you ever imagined, but sharing the experience with your loved one can take your relationship to new highs [and sometimes lows].
Here are my best tips to avoid the latter.
Tip #1: Plan Must-Sees/Dos for Both Parties
Regardless if it’s a weekend getaway, a few weeks, or a sabbatical, sit down together and make a list of what you want out of the trip. Prefer more days relaxing on a beach? Or desire an adrenaline junkie experience? Maybe a mix of each? If you both write down expectations of what you want from the trip, there will be no surprises abroad.
Tip #2: Sort Out Financials Before Boarding the Plane
How much are you planning to spend on the trip. Work out a rough idea of how much you want to fork out on a day-to-day basis and set a budget. Arguing over money is no way to enjoy your holiday. My partner and I recently opened a joint-savings account where we deposit ‘x amount’ each week for future planned trips. That way, when we hit the road we use this money to pay for meals, beds, drinks, etc.
Tip #3: Find Your Strengths
Do you enjoy haggling? Planning? Cooking? Seeking out local spots? This can help in huge ways. My partner hates planning. He’d rather do just about anything than search flight deals, hostel options, and set dates in the calendar. I love it. I prefer to plan, maybe it’s a control issue, but I thrive on finding the best deals. I enjoy scouring the internet for cool, funky guest houses and I have an obsession with saving time. Yes, I might be on a five month backpacking trip, but I hate wasting time where it isn’t necessary. While I organize, Ryan cooks. His Italian background takes over, and he enjoys feeding me mouth-watering meals. I don’t have the patience for cooking and I would rather be spending my time on other things. Works out perfect. He cooks, while I plan and it’s easy to chat and confirm plans while he’s at the stove.
Tip #4: Find Time for Dates!
Yes, you’re spending just about every waking minute together, sharing meals and exploring places, but scheduling date nights can be a fun way to keep the spark alive. If possible, get ready at different times or places, pick your date up at the door, dress up, meet at a restaurant, or one of you surprise the other of where you are heading. That tiny bit of not knowing what the other will wear or what the plans are, make it a bit extra special. If you’re on a multi-month trip, there’s a good chance there are no hidden secrets between you two. Those long days in between showers, 24hr bus journeys, getting sick, hangovers, and bathroom behavior can leave little for romance. Make date nights and get all googly-eyed at each other over a nice bottle (or two) of wine.
Tip #5: Find Time for Intimacy
It sounds weird to even mention it, but sometimes sex is put on the back burner during massive trips. You spend all day exploring new places, or carrying your 60L pack on your back and all you want to do is sleep, but finding time for intimacy will keep you both happy. Do tip #4 and mix in tip #5.
It can be difficult to find time if your saving money by choosing dorm rooms over private rooms. My partner and I stayed in mostly dorms in South America because it was that much cheaper. It not only allowed us to travel longer and stretch our money wider, but it’s an easy way to make friends. Although we’d share a twin bed and use the other for storage, we’d never be that couple to disturb our bunkmates. That made sex a fun challenge. I don’t need to go into details (for my family’s sake), but finding spots where it was possible to get caught in the act made it that much more exciting.
Tip #6: Take Alone Time
Now a tip completely opposite of the last two, taking time for yourself will help keep you both sane. Too much togetherness can lead to little pointless arguments quite often. It’s easy to take out your anger on your loved one as they’re the only person around. When I’d get frustrated with Ryan, I put on my running shoes. It’s one of my favorite ways to see cities and find new spots, and when I return I’m excited to share with him. Take a personal day. Maybe you want to check out an art gallery and your partner would rather drink at a bar. Set a time to meet back up and you’ll enjoy talking about your day with each other. And even though it’s only for a short time, I guarantee you’ll miss one another.
Tip #7: Relax You’re on Holiday
Traveling is full of decision-making. Because Ryan is crazy nice and I’m quite laid-back we’ll often get into “well I don’t care, you pick, no you choose” tiffs that go nowhere. Sometimes you’re both sick of planning and end up getting easily frustrated with each other. Which brings me to my last tip. Take a deep breath. Realize you’re on a trip of a life-time together, and let it soak in. Sometimes when I’m annoyed, I remind myself to step back and look around and then I can laugh about how silly we’re acting and go on with the day. So relax. You are on holiday/vacation/world adventure sharing it with the person you love. What could possibly be wrong 🙂
Cheers for reading! If you have more advice on traveling as a couple, send them my way! I love hearing about partners on trips abroad.
All my love,
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