Anyone who has travelled, whether long-term or just a short vacation knows that travelling isn’t easy all the time. It comes with its fair share of challenges. Now throw a partner into the mix and you’re up for even more of a challenge! Sure, you love your partner, you spend a lot of time together and you think you guys are on the same page but how well do you really know each other? How well can you survive together under pressure and in stressful situations?
Not many of us actually spend 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with our other half. Some couples don’t even live together before they jet set off on a vacation. Any annoying little habit that your partner has is definitely going to surface when you are basically living in each others pockets. How many of us know of a happy couple that went off on a vacation only to return no longer in a relationship? I was once one of those people and I vowed to never have that problem again.
Tom and I have now successfully travelled together on several different trips with the longest span being 9 months and I can proudly say we are still happily together and didn’t kill each other whilst we were away. How did we survive? These 5 simple steps are the key to relationship-traveling success.
1.Ensure you are on the same page before leaving home
Do you want to visit the same places? Do you want to see the same things? Are you both into sightseeing? or would you prefer to chill out? Do you want to party? What’s your budget? What kind of transport and accommodation are you looking for? Being on the same page to your partner is KEY to success. There’s nothing worse than going away with someone who doesn’t want to participate in anything you are interested in or someone who doesn’t have the same budget expectations as you do etc.
You don’t HAVE to want to do all the same things as your partner but you DO have to be willing to compromise. He wanted to watch the UFC at a seedy bar tonight (yep! that actually happened on more than one occasion) so tomorrow you get to go salsa dancing together. If one person isn’t very keen to do something one time then they get to pick another activity for the next time. This way everyone gets to do what they like and you never know you might even end up enjoying the very thing you weren’t so keen to do before.
We all have strengths and weaknesses and like I said before these are really going to show themselves on your trip. Use these to your advantage though. For example; Tom is excellent at bargaining, bartering, asking for directions, handling foreign currencies, reading maps and speaking Spanish. I am terrible at these things so they are his responsibilities. I am good at researching places to visit, things to do there, how to get there and accomodation so I am in charge of all of that. When Tom has been reading maps, bartering with locals and speaking Spanish all day, the last thing he feels like doing at the end of the day is booking our next mode of transport and researching accomodation for our next destination. This way we both get to utilise our stregnths and work seamlessly together as a team and lessen the ‘workload’ for ourselves.
4. Don’t pass the blame
Lets be honest, you are going to get into stressful situations and things are potentially not going to go to plan when you are away from home. The worst thing you can do in a situation like this is blame your partner. You are both traveling together as a team so you are both equally responisble for your actions. Blaming eachother is not going to change anything or is not going to get the problem solved. Instead, focus on the positives and collaboate together find a solution.
5. Spend time apart when needed.
You don’t HAVE to live in eachothers pockets just because you are on a vacation together. It is perfectly ok to spend some time apart and enjoy a massage or a swim in the pool by yourself, especially if you are feeling like you need some time alone. Tom and I actually did live in eachothers pockets for our entire 9 month trip and didn’t spend any time on our own simply because that’s what worked for us. Listen to yourself, listen to your partner and do what’s best at that time.
Traveling with a partner is really like nothing else. You get to see, do and experience so many amazing things with no one better than your favourite, most loved person by your side.
Communicate, stay positive and follow these simple steps and you will be having the trip of your life in no time!
Share this post with a couple who is about to travel/ is travelling together. Let’s keep the love alive.