Taking time to travel together is probably our favorite activity to do as a couple (besides the obvious). We know very well how vacations can be relaxing, romantic, and adventurous, but they can also be a serious test of your relationship. We have traveled the world together and are going to share a few tips and personal stories that have helped us get through some extremely stressful situations and become a better couple.
Managing Your Money
Money is an uncomfortable subject, even for the veteran couples. It’s a sensitive issue and can often lead to conflict if not properly discussed. Ugly situations arise when assumptions are made about who is paying for what, leading to tension throughout the rest of the trip.
- Plan a budget for your vacation. We like to break it down into a per day cost, for example we will spend $100/day, over the 10 days, which gives us a $1000 budget for the two of us. It’s ok to have a couple’s budget and a personal budget. We might want to buy some local alcohol or souvenirs for our friends, but the snorkelling excursion is going to come out of our daily couple’s budget.
- Be aware of your current roles involving money (has one person always paid for everything, do you split 50/50) and try to maintain these roles throughout the vacation. If your current money roles aren’t practical then discuss it before you leave for vacation otherwise it will just lead to nasty fights. Make sure your money roles are VERY clear before you leave.
- Our money roles constantly evolve with our relationship and we never stop discussing them. It’s always clear what our budget is, and who is paying for what.
- You can check out our post on managing money in your relationship for more advice on how to handle this sensitive issue.
Picking the Ideal Destination
Just because you are a perfect couple does not mean you have the same idea of a perfect vacation. One of you might want to relax on the beach, while the other wants to go skiing in the Rockies. How are you going to ever agree on a destination?
- First agree on a budget. The amount of money you can spend is going to be a major factor in your decision.
- Think about what you want to get out of your vacation and the destination becomes secondary. Do you need to relax and have a quiet week? Do you want an adrenaline rush? Are you looking to explore and learn about history? Create a list of what’s important to each of you and common ground will start to appear.
- Someone is going to have to compromise a little. Appreciate your partner’s situation. Maybe they are really stressed out from work and life, and just need a nice quiet week. Be sure to acknowledge when your partner is compromising for you and try to plan an activity to satisfy their needs.
- Remember there will always be another vacation!
Finding the perfect excursion
You’ve arrived at your beautiful destination, unpacked, had sex already, and are now ready to go out and have some fun! The problem is you have too many options. How do you choose an activity that’ll make you both happy?
- Sometimes someone just has to suck it up and compromise. Your partner loves you so much that they are willing to go to the History of Crocheting Museum with you so be sure to show your appreciation for their compromise and make it up to them later. You can get them tickets to the monster truck rally, take them out for a nice meal, or sex, everyone likes sex!
- Most importantly remember you’re there to have fun and make some memories. You will likely remember time spent together more than the actual excursion.
The Foodie vs. The Picky Eater
Not everyone likes the same types of foods or are adventurous when it comes to their taste buds. Deciding when and what to eat on your vacation sounds simple, but it can lead to many arguments and be a major point of contention. Here are some common problems couples run into, and some easy ways you can avoid them and ensure you enjoy a delicious meal.
- Discuss what food you both like before picking a restaurant and don’t criticize someone for not liking certain foods.
- As always discuss budget before going out to a restaurant unless this is a gift that you are comfortable paying for independently.
- As the picky eater in the relationship I have come to realize that even the most exotic restaurants have a few simple menu choices or are happy to accommodate my tastes. It may not have always been my first choice but I was willing to compromise to make Chris happy. On days where I was feeling bold I even tried something off his plate. I didn’t always enjoy it but he appreciated the effort. I can honestly say that my tastes have expanded because of my willingness to compromise.
- As the more adventurous eater I try to remember that not everyone has such a daring palette. I try to find restaurants that have a few “normal” items on the menu. Or if Katie would brave a real adventure I’d always be sure to acknowledge her courage and treat her to a nice dessert of her choice, usually (always) being ice cream.
- An easy way to compromise is for someone to pick one restaurant for dinner each day. This way everyone gets a fair say in the dining experience throughout the vacation.
Travel Together on a Road Trip
A road trip is a great way to explore a new place and spend some quality time with your partner. Driving in a strange place can present many unexpected twists causing high stress and anger towards each other so be prepared with these tips.
- Mistakes happen. Maybe someone input the wrong address into the GPS, or construction caused you to miss your exit. The only way you’re going to get through this is by keeping a level head. Stay calm!
- Once you finally reach your destination you’ll probably be tired and cranky. Tempers can get short, so it’s best to just relax and keep the conversation light hearted. Have a drink, take a nap, and enjoy each other’s company.
Dealing With Health Issues
Sometimes the unexpected happens and someone gets sick or hurt. This is going to be a big test for your relationship. Here is how to get through it together.
- It’s best to plan ahead and discuss with your partner any possible health issues you may have. Tell them about any allergies, medications, or existing conditions. This can be embarrassing, but it’s better to get it out of the way early than to find out the hard way.
- Don’t resent or blame your partner if they get sick or hurt. Okay so maybe they shouldn’t have eaten that weird looking burrito or tried to jump off a monument, but they’re already feeling like crap, don’t make it harder on them. It’s usually out of their control, and this is the time they need you the most. It can be a great growing experience for you as a couple.
Understanding Personal Space
Whether your vacation is a weeklong or 6 months, everyone needs their personal space. Just because you’re on vacation together doesn’t mean you have to be together 24hours a day.
- Everyone needs their alone time so be understanding of your partners need for personal space and don’t take it personally.
- Spending a little time apart makes your time together more meaningful.
- If you are starting to feel neglected because your partner is taking a lot of personal time then it’s time to talk and see if you can find a happy place where both your needs are being met.
Surviving unforeseen circumstances
Sometimes when you travel together it doesn’t always go as planned. When we were driving through Genoa, Italy we stopped to have a nice romantic picnic on a mountain top. We enjoyed a beautiful view and delicious prosciutto sandwiches. Unfortunately we discovered the keys were locked in the van. We were on a deserted road, with no cell phones, and we were both recovering from the flu. Here is how we got through it.
- Keep cool. Panicking is only going to make the situation worse and lead to bad judgement.
- Try to find the absurdity in the situation, and enjoy the adventure. At the time it seemed like a dire situation, but now we laugh and think of it as one of the highlights of our trip.
- Don’t focus on why it happened or whose fault it was. It’s not going to fix the problem. Concentrate on finding a solution.
- Getting through a situation like this is a lot easier when you are working together. We MacGyver’d a fishing line by tying our Swiss Army knife to some headphones and using them to fish the keys through a small opening in the sun roof. We got the keys out, danced for joy, and headed out on the road again to our next adventure.
- Every situation is a lesson. We were very careful with our keys after that moment. Appreciate what you learn from each incident you get through together. It will make you feel stronger as a couple.
Keeping the Romance Alive
Just because you’re on vacation as a couple doesn’t automatically mean romance. It’s easy to get caught up in the sights, sounds, and food of your vacation; leaving very little time to be intimate. This can result in returning home feeling disconnected.
- Be spontaneous! Take advantage of that deserted beach at midnight or the empty hill top. You are more likely to remember an amazingly unique moment together compared to a historical monument.
- On the opposite end of the spectrum… pace yourselves! Young couples have the sexual energy of rabbits, and they should! But you’ll both end up with “rug burn” very quickly. Take a night off and let the equipment rest for an evening. You’ll appreciate the built up tension later.
Love tripping with your partner should be relaxing and fun, with a good amount of sexy sprinkled in! We want you to use these tips to get the most out of your vacation and to get the most out of each other. For more great tips to travel together check out how to Backpack as a Couple and our post on Romantic Camping.