You hear this one often: couples who travel together, stay together.
But is it true?
And if so, how do they manage?
Traveling as a couple is a dream for a lot of people.
However, unfortunately, for some it might turn, or has turned, into a nightmare.
Luc and I have been traveling and living together for the last 10 years.
And yes, quite few times people have asked us: how in the world do you do that?!
That is why I thought that sharing these 10 important tips for traveling as a couple might be helpful.
10 Important tips for traveling as a couple
1. Full time together
Consider the fact that you will be side by side for most of the day while traveling as a couple.
If you are used to your job routines on weekdays at home and being together during the weekend drives both of you up the wall, traveling as a couple might not be for you.
Or on the contrary, for some magical reason it might just be exactly what you as a couple really need after all.
Think about it before you decide. You will spend most of your time together the minute you close your front door behind you and head for the airport or start your road trip.
2. Me time and personal space
If you still think you need a little me time or your partner does during your trip, that is perfectly fine.
Me time doesn’t mean that you want to book a separate room for a night, or spend 2 days on your own visiting another city while the other one stays behind.
A little me time could be a spa treatment, go for a swim early in the morning while the other one is still in bed, work out at the hotel fitness centre for an hour, or even a simple nap in your hotel room while your partner reads a book and enjoys a drink at the swimming pool.
If you feel like you need some time for yourself, talk about it.
3. Expect problems
Traveling as a couple is fun.
However it is likely that you will find problems and unforeseen situations along your way.
Think of a delayed or canceled flight, extremely bad weather or a double booked hotel room. Even personal setbacks such as losing a wallet or phone.
The best rule is to keep calm, and be patient with each other.
Don’t let stress immediately take over and start pointing fingers.
4. Agree on a travel budget and itinerary
Decide how much you want to spend and on what.
That includes flights and transportation, accommodation, food and activities.
What do you both prefer: stay in a cheap hostel, rental apartment, luxury hotel or bed and breakfast?
Do you want to fly directly to your destination or don’t you mind a layover to cut costs? Will you rent a car or a motorbike for your trip?
How much do you want to spend on food and drinks? What about activities, museum visits or tours you are interested in?
Make a balanced estimate of these separate costs within your budget.
Book your accommodation ahead, it will save you a lot of time and stress if you have to find a place for the night when you just arrive. That might seem like a very romantic idea but it really isn’t.
Stick to your budget to avoid arguing over money while traveling as a couple.
Also agree on an emergency budget in case you need medical attention, a new suitcase or a new phone.
When you are traveling as a couple or on the move in an unfamiliar country, your only lifeline is your partner.
Keep in mind that you are a team. You leave together and you go back home together. If you are not happy, talk to each other. Say something, talk about it and be open to listen to what your partner has to say even if you are having a blast.
Try to find a solution or a more balanced way to make your trip fun for the both of you.
6. Give and take
You might not have the same exact interests.
And that doesn’t have to be a problem.
Some are just looking forward to visiting museums all day. While the other is more interested in photography or trying out as much local street food as possible.
Traveling as a couple also means doing things together. Again, talk about the activities you are both interested in before you leave and meet each other in the middle if necessary.
Going to a history museum you are not really interested in will be easier to do when you know that after that you will enjoy lunch in a restaurant you have been looking forward to go to.
Avoid the ‘that was your job!’ argument.
Before you leave on your trip, clearly divide travel duties and responsibilities. Just so you don’t need to start off your trip in a foul mood when you unpack and realise that you both left half of the stuff you need at home because you thought the other one would take care of it.
Also come to an agreement what stays in the room and who takes care of what when you go out exploring and visiting a city. Think of money, passports, documents, medication, wallets, home keys, chargers, (downloaded) tourist guides, water bottles and sunscreen.
8. Create memories
Pictures are a great way to capture the memories you make while traveling as a couple.
Don’t feel like your trip isn’t perfect without hundreds of instagrammable selfies. Capture your moments to look back at and enjoy as a couple, even with your kids later.
Make them for you, not just to impress your family and friends at home.
9. Do something new, special, naughty or cool
Plan something together that you have never done before or can’t do back home.
Things like a helicopter ride, signing up for Asian cooking classes, paragliding, a couples massage, getting matching tattoos, go rafting, skinny dipping, go to a concert, climb up a mountain or volcano to see the sunrise, go to an Amsterdam coffee shop.
Just something you will always remember.
10. Keep the fire burning
Plan a date night during your trip.
You might wonder why since you will already be eating 3 meals a day together during your entire trip.
However booking a table at nice hotel or restaurant and dressing up just a little more is another great moment together to look forward to if you are traveling as a couple.
Going on a trip doesn’t mean that you have to leave the love for each other at home.
Do you have more tips for traveling as a couple?
What are your experiences?
Leave a comment in the comment box below…
We’d love to hear from you!