Valentine’s Day may have come and gone but the month of love is still with us. And with it, so many romantic plans. From exchange of presents, to intimate dinner plans, even a romantic getaway. While an out of town might sound like the perfect present, travelling together for the first time can be straining for a new couple. Even for one that has been together for a while, don’t be fooled by the cute Instagram photos.
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” — Mark Twain
Here are some tips on how to survive that first trip without breaking up.
1. Put all your cards on the table
When dating, people tend to only put their best foot forward so they can be likable. But all things come to light when travelling with your partner, because all those ‘weird’ things you tend to hide will eventually come out. Travelling with your partner means you will be spending a good amount of time together, making it hard for you to hide your true self. To avoid any surprises, come clean to your partner beforehand. Let them know that you can only sleep when the tv is on, or maybe you sleep with your socks on
2. Plan a Short Local Trip
Maybe it won’t work out. But maybe seeing if it does will be the best adventure ever.
Get a feel of the water first before fully diving in by taking a short trip. You can plan for an overnight stay at a hotel not far from your area, or even for a weekend and test how the two of you are while travelling. You don’t want to take week-long trip miles away, only to figure out that the two of you are not compatible.
3. Have the Money Talk
This is a very sensitive topic for most couple but one better discussed before it’s too late. You should discuss if you are going to split the expenses and if you are, be clear who takes care of what bill. If one person is taking care of all the expenses, it should be clear from the beginning. It is also important to come up with a travel budget so as to track your expenditure while you travel.
4. Division of Labor
Decide beforehand the roles each one of you is going to be responsible for, and split the roles to your strengths. If you are very specific on where you would like to sleep, take the role of planning for your accommodation. If your partner is keen on how you spend your time, they can be in charge of the schedule. Other than on special circumstances, like a surprise, you do not want one person taking care of all the logistics of a trip. This can be overwhelming and could lead to an argument, especially if one party is not satisfied.
5. Accept That You Don’t Have To Be Together All The Time
Some time apart even on a trip can be healthy. You can each take this time and plan for those things that are not of common interest. Say you are interested in visiting the local museum, but your partner would like to spend the afternoon reading a magazine of the hammock next to your room. You can use this time apart for each do their own activity. You’ll end missing each other and will have plenty to talk about when you meet up.
6. Have realistic expectations
Our journey isn’t perfect but it’s ours…and I’ll stick with you till the end – Anonymus
First of all, it’s a mistake to expect everything will go perfectly. Always be prepared to hit a few bumps along the road and when those challenges come, try and solve them together as a couple. Learn to understand that which you can control and that which you can’t. Get past a not-so-perfect moment faster so as not to ruin your whole trip. Overcoming obstacles together will not only ensure that you have a great trip, but it will also strengthen your relationship.
7. Learn to comprise and go with the flow
Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else – Lawrence Block
So you’ve landed on your dream destination but then its rains all day, are you going to sulk or will make due and plan for alternative activities? Things may not go as planned, but don’t let that stop you from having a memorable time. When travelling, it is important to have a free and adventurous spirit. This way, nothing can bring you down and you will end up having the time of your life
8. Don’t compare with other couples
What works for other couple might not necessarily work for you, so stop comparing yourself with every couple you meet. They might have a bigger budget than you or are only travelling for a short while. Find what works for you as a couple and stick to it. If you are staying at hostels so you can save and afford to travel more, don’t compare yourself with couples staying at nice hotels. Be clear with your partner on your travel goals and make sure to have an open and honest communication channel.
9. Go offline
Travel doesn’t become adventure until you leave yourself behind – Marty Rubin.
It might be tempting to always want to post cute photos on Instagram or chat with your friends back home but that might be one of the worst ideas to do when on a trip. Instead, focus on being present. Take that time to enjoy the destination you are in, the time you have with your partner. Try out new cuisines, visit the local markets, interacts with the locals. All these will ensure you and your partner have a special and memorable time. Then again, you can always update to your Social Media Platforms later
10. Have Fun
Remember that this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so make the best of every moment be sure to enjoy every single bit of it.