So many couples assume travelling with each other is a brilliant idea, but it can actually be the true test of your relationship. It may be less romantic and more challenging that you were expecting, and can cause some real stress in your relationship. Sure, your trip will have some romantic high points, like candlelit dinners, sun soaked beach days, and picturesque scenery. But be prepared to experience the real challenges that go hand-in-hand with travelling to foreign places. Especially if you are planning a long term backpacking trip with your significant other, expect to experience annoyances like flight delays, getting extremely lost, navigating through overcrowded cities, and less than ideal weather for days at a time. You might also find that spending every waking moment together is the most challenging task of all. So if you’re considering travelling with your significant other, follow these tips to conquer the challenges you are bound to face on the road.
Make a packing list together. There’s nothing worse than realizing you forgot an essential item, especially if you’re travelling in a remote area with limited resources. So pack your bags together, and help each other remember those essentials. Also help each other to accomplish tasks ahead of time, like organizing travel insurance or writing out an outline for the dog and house sitter.
While planning the trip, discuss goals of what you’re hoping to accomplish. This might sound silly, but it is actually extremely important to discuss goals and plans for your trip ahead of time. Are you hoping to take in all the touristy sites, and hit up every museum and national landmark imaginable? Or are you just hoping to eat some good food and drink some local craft beer? If you’re headed to the beach, do you plan on beach bumming it every day or would you rather spend your time SCUBA diving, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and kayaking? This will help to set expectations ahead of time and leave no room for unpleasant surprises. It’s also a good idea to discuss budget and figure out spending limits, as money can be a huge cause of stress while travelling.
Plan for some much-needed downtime. With all the excitement of visiting a new place, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the go-go-go lifestyle. Especially if you are backpacking and visiting each location for just a couple of days, it’s typical to try to fit every tourist hotspot into your agenda. But this can be physically wearing and leave you feeling exhausted and cranky, and there’s a good chance you’ll project this crankiness onto each other. So be sure to squeeze in some downtime throughout your trip as well.
Realize it’s okay to spend time apart. Some couples don’t realize it’s okay to spend time apart. Not only is it okay, but it’s completely necessary. No matter how much you might love someone, spending every moment together is not healthy, and you’re bound to get at each other’s throats eventually. Venture out alone and meet fellow travelers.
Do your best not to compare yourselves to other couples you meet on the road. Every couple’s dynamic is different, so do your best not to compare yours to that of other couples. In other words, don’t try to be something you’re not as a couple. For example, some couples find PDA completely normal, but don’t judge yourselves if you and your significant other aren’t feeling holding hands in public.