Ever since my husband and I traveled to New Zealand together, we have been dreaming about the day we will return. The gorgeous natural scenery and laid back lifestyle really drew us in. We have only traveled internationally together a couple of times, as prior to this I traveled on my own. I’m happy to have a travel companion now of course, and I’ve already learned a lot about traveling with a significant other. Here are my top 12 suggestions of things to avoid when traveling as a couple:
1. Avoid compromise
Compromising is in the number one spot because I believe so many aspects of travel need to be compromised: where to stay, where to eat, where to go, what to do, etc. Trade offs are essential – the only way to effectively ensure both of you are equally engaged and fulfilled with the whole experience! Fortunately, my husband and I are similar in our tastes, but I do know that if the opportunity to go skydiving and/or bungee jumping presents itself again, he will be all in while I will be waiting on the ground. One skydive and bungee jump was enough for me!
2. Argue about money
Arguing about money at any given opportunity can suck the fun out of anything in an instant. It’s best to have a serious discussion before you depart about what you are planning to spend and where you might be able to splurge. In my opinion, traveling is not the time to penny pinch at all times. It’s great to be financially responsible along the way of course, but it is very likely you’ve saved a good portion of money to travel in the first place . . . and now is the time to enjoy.
3. Forget your sense of humour
Putting your sense of humour to use is arguably the most effective way of ensuring an enjoyable and satisfactory trip. This humour will come at either your own expense or the expense of others . . . as people are frequently idiotic. When someone is being a jerk, it’s always a good idea to laugh about it!
4. Not plan together
I am notorious for taking care of the planning myself, because a) my husband trusts me to do it and b) I have loads of experience. Be that as it may, it is still important for both to partake in the decision making to ensure we’re both getting what we want to out of the trip. For instance, I was so busy planning our Californian honeymoon that I forgot to include the one thing my husband requested – a visit to Alcatraz! Oops.
5. Hold things in without saying anything
You will explode. Now is the time to communicate. That is all.
6. Isolate yourselves
Don’t limit yourselves to the expectations and experiences of others. Find your own way of doing things and places you want to explore. So many times you will hear people say, “(Insert country here) – why would you want to go there?” In this case it’s obvious they haven’t done the research and used the opinion of a friend of a friend’s uncle’s cousin to base their views. Before I visited Croatia, so many people asked me why I would want to visit there. The fact someone would ask me that instantly shows they have simply never taken the time to research the country and what it has to offer. The answer – absolute beauty, that’s what!
7. Not be flexible
It is essential to be able to roll with the punches if plans don’t go as planned. When we visited Yosemite National Park, the weather was unseasonably and uncharacteristically cold, rainy, and snowy. We cut our losses and got out of there early, making our way to Carmel-by-the-sea a couple days earlier than planned. The weather was glorious back on the West coast! More time was spent soaking up sunshine on the beach versus trying to keep warm in a sleeping bag in the freezing rain and snow.
8. Act like friends
Whenever the opportunity presents itself, make some time for romance, even if it’s the littlest gesture. Traveling together is a special experience, so make it so!
9. Be overly sensitive
Jet lag has the ability to make you feel like a sack of crap, and as a result, your reaction to events around you may be needlessly dramatic, (or so “extra” if I use use trending terminology at the moment). Simply being conscious of this sensitivity and doing simple things like drinking enough water or taking a few moments to ground yourself helps bring you back to the present moment.
10. Spend every second together
It’s nice to give each other a bit of space from time to time. Head out solo for a little adventure to ensure you top up a little beneficial alone time for yourself.
Remember what it is you would normally complain about and make an effort to refrain. I’m always cold and hungry. My husband is always hot and hungry. Travel days can make it difficult to get enough sleep, be comfortable, eat regularly, etc. This discomfort is only temporary, and it paves the way to the end goal of reaching your destination! That’s what I try to focus on whenever I find myself in one of these uncomfortable phases of travel.
12. Expect it to be perfect
Social media false advertises that travel is picture perfect. It’s great to capture a beautiful photograph, but there may be many incidences in between that are not so pretty, whether it’s getting lost, losing luggage, getting sick, etc. Speaking of not so pretty incidences, when my husband and I were hiking Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand, there came a frantic period of time when I thought at any moment I was going to lose control over my bowels and . . . have an accident. A not so picturesque moment, but definitely when tip #3 comes in handy! It sure did at the time.
Did I miss anything? What are some of your best tips for when traveling as a couple?