“Isn’t it hard traveling with the same person for that long?”
“Don’t you want to kill each other?”
Well yes actually, sometimes. Traveling with your significant other can be a challenge but it also can make for some of the most memorable times of your life. Read on for my top 5 tips for traveling together!
Traveling brings out everybody’s true colors. Emotions will run high, things will get stressful, and sometimes it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. However, if your significant other hasn’t already seen this side of you, or has and is not a fan, planning a trip abroad together is not your answer. Your answer is heading over to google and typing “nearest marriage and family therapist to me” in the search bar. Sorry folks, I won’t beat around the bush with this one. Traveling with other people is NOT easy, and it is not going to fix any problems or disagreements you and your loved one have. If you do not get along in general, you are not going to get along with foreign languages, transit lines, delayed flights, lost baggage, or unfamiliar places in the mix. Let’s just get that out of the way.
I’ve traveled with friends, family, and even random women from all over the world. Truth is, if you don’t learn how to agree to disagree, you are going to have a miserable time. Not everybody is going to have the same agenda as you & making compromises is what traveling together is all about. Make the best of your own experience abroad by making adjustments in your plans, and taking that extra ounce of effort to get along. So just how do you take that extra ounce of effort? Keep reading to find out my 5 tips to use when traveling with not just your significant other, but anyone for that matter!
1. Plan things out in advance –
I know some people are big fans of figuring things out as they go, but I firmly believe in planning certain parts of your trip out way ahead of time. If you fly into one airport and need to take a bus to another airport and only have so much time before your next departing flight, you need to know which shuttle to look for and which terminal to use, right? Do yourself a favor and buy the tickets ahead of time so you don’t need to worry about whether or not they take cards, if it’s the right one, etc. Or if you are transferring flights and checking baggage, double-check if you need to head to baggage claim, or if your bags are automatically transferred to the next fight. Whatever your plan is, make sure to have one! This will eliminate any unnecessary stress from the beginning and reduce the chances of any unwanted arguments.
2. Take responsibility for certain jobs –
When James and I travel together we designate specific jobs for each other. From the seriousness of planning how we are getting to the airport tomorrow, to the casualness of accepting the task to find an affordable, close, and good place to eat for dinner. If you are the one planning how to get from the airport to the hotel and where is close by to eat from there, not to mention you have to plan all of tomorrows activities plus the best place for afternoon tea… you are going to get exhausted and fed up with all the responsibility. Trust me. Give jobs to other people, even if they are simple jobs. Do not take on everything!
3. Agree to Disagree –
If you haven’t figured it out by now, not everyone wants to do the same exact thing as each other every single day. I suppose that is why some say every individual is different. Like I said before, learn to make compromises. So you may not be into art or the history of the Berlin Wall, if the person you are traveling with wants to see it, chances are you are going to have to make a stop there. This is almost a good thing because if there is something you know you REALLY want to do, you can say “ok, ill go to the Berlin Wall with you, and then after can we visit that beer garden I’ve been dying to see?” Compromises will make things work. If you are the captain of this trip and are doing all of the planning make sure to ask the person you are traveling with what THEY want to see and plan that into your itinerary as well! Unless you are traveling solo, this trip is not just about you. 😉
4. Take Space –
I honestly think that this is so important when traveling together. You are spending every second together from the moment you head to the airport to the time you get back home. Make sure to decompress and take time to yourself during the trip as well. This could mean anything ranging from taking a second to write down some memories from your day to splurge on a spa day at the local salon. Whatever it is, take a second to take some space from each other. If things are getting heated and you are not enjoying each other, go for a walk. Do not go to unknown areas or some suspicious alley, but catch some fresh air from outside wherever you are staying and then head back inside. I believe that when you are traveling together you must STICK together. This means no abandoning each other at a bar or running to get in line for your favorite monument without telling the other. You must communicate always, but knowing when you need space from the other person may or may not save your trip!
5. ENJOY each other –
When all the stress of missed flights, lost baggage, or delayed trains pops up, remember why you booked this vacation, to begin with! To enjoy each other! I know it is hard in this situation because obviously you both are stressed but try to be kind to your significant other (or friend) when this happens. Try to understand if they are more stressed-out than you and reassure them that you two will figure it out together. Most of the time there is a solution to your problem. James and I have had multiple of these moments. There have been times where I look at him and can tell he is thinking “oh sh*t what do we do now,” and I’m sitting there thinking “no idea.” Sometimes you just must laugh it off and work together to find a solution. Missed flights, lost baggage, delayed trains, nonresponsive hosts, etc. None of this is anybody’s fault, and no one should be blamed for it (except maybe the airline, host, or company that screwed you).
6. BONUS TIP** Plan to do something together –
You ended up in Greece because he is a history fanatic and you are a total foodie. You both have planned out every monument you want to see, where you want to eat, and each of you knows how to make each other happy. Now that we’ve settled that, PLAN A FUN OR ROMANTIC EVENT FOR THE TWO OF YOU! This isn’t just for the romantics either, this can go for those who are traveling with friends too! Plan to do something fun together that you both can agree upon! For those traveling with friends that could mean agreeing to rent ATVs for the day and cruise around the island, or maybe you both are dying to scuba dive. For the romantics, try to plan a nice dinner out or a sunset walk somewhere. Maybe a picnic or a cooking class is just what the two of you need. Something that you both enjoy doing and will remind you why you planned a trip together in the first place!
These are a few of the ways James and I manage to travel for multiple weeks on end together without killing each other. Other than that, he is my best friend and so we enjoy each other and it works out nicely. What is your number one tip for traveling with your significant other or friends and family? Let me know in the comments below!