Travelling can be a stressful thing on its own, but when you add in a romantic partner, perhaps someone you are trying to impress or someone you’ve grown comfortable with, it can get a little trickier. So how do you satisfy your mutual wanderlust urges without being at each other’s throats the whole trip?
I have personally travelled with my partner of six years quite a bit. That being said, we have never travelled together outside of the country and the furthest we have gone together is Ottawa, Ont. So, while I have a substantial amount of experience in domestic travel, my tips for international travel are going to be limited.
The first piece of advice I have is to really consider your budget. What kind of trip can each of you afford? How will you split the costs? This can vary a lot by couple, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that each person in the relationship has to be content with the results.
Don’t make any assumptions about what the other person is paying for and be realistic about what you can afford. Otherwise, you won’t be on the same page, and your trip and your relationship will suffer because of it.
This also ties into choosing a location that each of you is interested in travelling to. While your opinion also matters, be flexible and make compromises for your partner when you can. Communication and respecting each other’s viewpoints is paramount at this point in planning.
If this is your first time travelling together and you have not lived together yet, I would suggest avoiding trips where you will be forced to be in close vicinity for long periods of time and in uncomfortable situations — such as camping — unless you feel that you can handle it.
The first time I went on a trip with my partner, we went to a music festival together and stayed in the same tent. We were literally on the verge of breaking up the entire time. This was not because we were unhappy with our relationship, but we realized that we weren’t used to having so little personal space.
We made it through to the other side, despite several arguments. Now that we live together and sleep in the same bed every night, things are a lot different and we are fully comfortable with the inseparability that sometimes comes with camping.
That being said, definitely do not be afraid to say that you need a bit of space from your partner. Getting a bit of fresh air and some reflective alone time can be really beneficial for avoiding arguments and not feeling claustrophobic.
Something that definitely can exacerbate vacation arguments and inflate them into something bigger than they need to be is alcohol. Now, I’m not going to tell you not to drink on your vacation. This is something that a large majority of adults partake in when they go on vacation, especially to more tropical venues. Just try not to go overboard.
Not only can this create tension between you and your partner, but it can cause you to be too hungover to participate in the activities that you and your partner had planned on, which can create even more tension. Don’t let alcohol dictate what happens in your vacation.
My last words of travel wisdom come from a place of retrospection. On all of the trips that I have taken with my partner, we’ve realized that there were probably a few things that we could have done differently in order to make our vacation more comfortable for the both of us, so we could have fun without worrying about much of anything.
So when we got home, we made a list of all of the successes and things to improve on. That way when we went to plan our next vacation, we could see what went wrong and what went right. It is very important to learn from your past travel experiences to make your vacations the best that they can possibly be in the future.
Travelling can be a great way to get to know your partner better and see what the world has to offer you. It can also be a great test of the strength of a relationship. I hope that your life takes you on many adventures with the love of your life and that you realize that home is not where you are, it is who you are with.
Graphic: Paige Sutherland