Is couple travel easy? It should: after all, that’s the person you want to spend the most time with.
But nothing is less certain. Being tired and strung out can lead to bickering. And that could lead to much bigger problems.
Read our guide to traveling with your loved one and maybe the journey will be less challenging.
Couple Travel: “I thought you wanted me to take care of it!”
Do you have a democratic relationship or is it a hierarchy? The dynamics in which different couples relate to each other are as varied as the sands of the sea, but one common factor is the structure of the relationship. Of course, relationships change and grow, so they rarely fit just one style, but couples tend to fall into one or the other category i.e. democratic or hierarchy as the relationship develops.
So, when couples travel, democratic couples tend to make collaborative decisions and work together to decide what they want to do and where they would like to go. Conflicts can crop up when major decisions are trying to be worked out like redecorating the home, buying a car, or even seemingly trivial decisions, like where to eat tonight.
However, hierarchical couples usually have a division of labor where tasks and duties are assigned to one or the other partner and each person, hopefully, will do the task that they are best suited for. For example, one person handles arranging transportation and another might arrange for seeing venues and attractions.
Couple Travel: “I didn’t know you were so emotional… Calm down!”
Going on a trip with your partner will really teach you quite a bit about yourself and about your significant other. It’s easy to say that you know the person that you have been dating or living with for a long time, but surprisingly many couples actually know very little about the very person that they are in a relationship with. Take a trip with him or her and you will soon see the full gamut of emotions, opinions, and moods. Just hold on for the ride!
Try to plan your trip according to the dynamics of your couple!
Couple Travel: “Are you really going to pay that much for that?”
Are you super-rich, covered in diamonds, and have a couple hundred pounds of gold in the bank? No? Then discuss the available funds for the trip and really get the budget nailed down in advance. Will you go with a more expensive option like renting a car or will you use public transportation? You should determine if you prefer grandiose accommodations or if you’ll be roughing it. Will you stay at a bed and breakfast, at discount hotels, at mid-priced inns, or will you rent a suite with kitchenette? Oh, and: remember to be flexible and spontaneous because plans are made to be broken!
Couple Travel: “I can’t believe how much stuff you have. Hurry up!”
Pack light if you can. Remember that you will doubtlessly find so many wonderful souvenirs and you will purchase things that you want to bring back, so be sure that you have room for them and don’t over pack from the outset of the trip. Take only what is essential unless you are going somewhere remote.
Couple Travel: “What do you mean, you don’t know where we’re going?”
Every activity is worth studying in advance so that you can maximize the experience. If you have a general idea of what is in store for both of you, then the likelihood of it ending up as a disappointing disaster is much less. And we all know what happens when one blames the other for a snafu: bickering. Planning ahead will make for a much happier trip indeed.
Couple Travel: “Oh yeah, I forgot you’re allergic to oysters… I can’t kiss you anymore, right?”
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What are your partner’s preferences, needs, and most importantly, turn-offs? For example, if your partner likes to collect knick-knacks, loves to play or watch sports, is a cultural event fanatic, likes or dislikes a particular type of food, prefers to walk, drive, or take the taxi, then these are all worthy considerations that you should take into account as you plan your part or if you are democratic, are things that should be discussed beforehand. Remember that a happy trip for your partner is also a happy trip for you!
Couple Travel: “Don’t you remember that sunset? You’re never paying attention.”
Bring your camera and take lots of great candid and posed pictures. Some people – bless their poor heart – might be enticed to buy a selfie stick. You will record so many memories that you can continue to enjoy each time that you view your photo albums for decades to come. Nostalgia is valuable!
Couple Travel: “Why are you so stressed? It’s a vacation!”
Don’t forget one of the most important aspects of a vacation, having fun and relaxing! It should be more fun than being at home or at work! Live a little, enjoy the little things that you cannot appreciate in your normal, fast-paced life.
Couple Travel: “You’re tired and dehydrated. Stop screaming at me.”
If you are going somewhere warm and sunny, don’t forget the sunscreen. Nothing is worse than being somewhere wonderful and romantic and you can’t even touch your partner because of your excruciating sunburn. Drink plenty of water and do not push yourself too hard physically, after all it is a vacation, not an expedition. Enjoy the natural wonders, the beauty of nature, and take time to smell the roses.
Couple Travel: “Sure, let’s go to the theater. (Even though it’s boring.)”
Above all, don’t squabble over petty things. Be cool and go with the flow. Indulge your mate and let them have their way a bit! Don’t bring up old disagreements and let bygones be bygones.