In a survey of real couples traveling together, we found out what their top travel tip is. Many of these traveling couples are also travel bloggers writing about their travels on their blogs. Check out this list of over 100 travel couples on Twitter if you are interested in discovering more.
Disappointment and arguments that arise from unmet expectations are some of the biggest problems couples face. Locations are supposed to be like this; your partner is supposed to act like that. Paris should be romantic, not filled with dog poop. If you want to avoid being that couple screaming at each other in the hotel lobby, take the time before you leave to imagine all the places you’d like to visit and how you might handle everyday issues when you’re on the road. When you start your trip with similar expectations, you’ll both be able to respond better to both the good and bad of a place.
Set yourself up for success. Before you embark on your journey, it is vital to have a healthy, solid relationship with your partner. If you already have problems, fight a lot, or can’t be honest with each other, then it would be a good idea to resolve those issues before you travel. Getting on the road will only magnify any issues or resentments between you.
During a long trip, take turns making decisions and being the boss. Switch off the responsibility for booking hotels, finding transportation, deciding on activities and restaurants, paying for things, and communicating in a foreign language. The person who has to do it all the time will resent having to do all the work to have a good trip, and the person who doesn’t do it might resent not being able to control the journey. The idea of alternating means everyone does a little bit of work for the fun, and everyone gets a chance to make decisions. This can be extremely useful on a long trip.
Relaxation should be a priority. On short trips, it’s easy to rush from one place to another to see as much as possible, and you won’t have time to enjoy anything. Your partner might argue with you more easily due to being tired, which could ruin your vacation. Have your partner pack light. Eventually, you will have to carry your bag and her bag simultaneously, and you will wish the extra load was as light as possible.
Plan a mealtime. Whenever my boyfriend and I start snapping at each other, it’s often because our blood sugar is low, and we’re both hungry. In any case, it is always best to fight with a full stomach!
Be careful not to step on each other’s toes! Each member of the team needs to know what their role is and be trusted to do it. Micromanagement doesn’t work in the office or while you’re on the road!
Delegate with confidence. My boyfriend often plans our next trip. He reads Lonely Planet and figures out directions. If he asks me, where would you like to stay among these three places? What flight would you prefer? He chooses the path we should go, but we both talk about it. The photos and blog updates are usually my responsibility. Too many cooks crowd the kitchen when we all try to perform the same task!
When you’re traveling, you often have to stick to a strict budget, but you can still treat your partner now and then. The price of a dozen roses may not be within your means, but even a small gesture can make a huge difference. When I am out and about with my girlfriend, I grab her a piece of chocolate.
Want to save money on food? In some countries, meals may be huge, and you may not even eat much. If there are two of you, you might be able to split one more expensive/bigger meal to have enough food, and it may also be cheaper than buying two separate meals.
In general, we advise couples traveling to OVERcommunicate. When we left on our trip, we thought we were pretty good at communicating how we were feeling with each other. However, long-term travel has made it imperative that you are almost entirely transparent about how you are feeling. Although your emotions and feelings may not be rational, you still need to ensure that your partner knows what is happening, so they can help you move forward.
Invest in two good headphones, one with a speaker and one without, so you can tune out the other person if you’re both working or one of you is on a conference call. You may need a little space from your significant other once in a while, and if you’re stuck on a crowded bus, headphones provide that bit of mental space even though you’re physically together.
Can a couple fight on a trip? Certainly! But only if they fight fairly. Usually, an argument is caused by two intelligent people with opposing opinions. If you want to enjoy your trip, you need to work together. Have fun!
Be careful not to over plan. There is nothing worse than trying to do too much on a trip. Plane delays, bad weather, or bad food can quickly change (one of) your plans. Things will get stressful if there isn’t enough fluff time. Travel is about doing things, but it’s also about focusing on each other and living in the moment.
Take part in teamwork, encouragement, and support activities. In addition to giving you a fun memory to remember, adventurous activities help you bond as a couple. During this course, you will learn how to rely on each other’s strengths and how to lift each other up.
Take advantage of each other’s strengths. Individuals don’t perform as well as teams (or couples). Know your strengths and define your roles. Regarding online research, She is much better at discovering online discounts, booking flights, and finding cheap accommodations. He reads maps and negotiates better in exploring new cities and booking tours, so he is in charge. We limit disagreements and miscommunication (for the most part) by knowing our roles.
Make sure you give each other personal time to pursue what you like. When we are out in the evening, I want to take candid pictures of our place. Her favorite activity is to curl up with a book. When he asks, “Have you taken any backups of your data on your laptop?” she replies, “Yes.” Make sure you have your ID with you in case you get robbed.
For the first few years of our travels, we mainly booked private rooms in hostels. To immerse ourselves in the culture and community of our destination, we do not always stay in a hostel or hotel with other travelers. House sitting, couch surfing, WWOOFing, and home staying are ways to meet new people and get to know how they live their lives.
Don’t panic. It doesn’t help either of you to get mad or impatient if your travel partner loses his/her hostel key or important document. Consider that you may have made the same mistake. Be understanding and supportive. After all, mishaps make for great travel stories!
If you’re traveling together long-term, make sure you spend some time apart each day. The time together will be sweeter when you have stories to share!
Your relationship can be strained by travel planning and logistics. Spend some time together without worrying about travel details. Spend the entire day unplugged from technology by having a picnic, going on a date, going for a walk, or going big and doing all of the above. Spending quality time with your family helps to reduce tension and arguments, and exploring a new place together is more valuable than any information you can gain from a website or guidebook.
Compromise is the key to surviving traveling as a couple. We don’t always love doing the same thing, but every time we travel, we discuss what we would like to do and then take a chance and do it together. If we had traveled alone or refused to try something new, we never would have been able to take full advantage of the opportunities that came our way. If you are stubborn and unwilling to consider your partners’ ideas, you will not only miss out on great ideas, but your relationship will suffer, as you will become resentful of one another.
Communicate with others. As a couple on the road, it’s essential to make new friends. We tend to isolate ourselves and only talk to each other. Do activities with other couples in the hostel’s common area and hang out with other couples. Invite others to join you in activities or to travel with you to the next destination.