Rick and I have been traveling together for many years now and have found our rhythm as a traveling couple, we understand what each other needs when it comes to traveling, and we know our roles when we’re planning travel.
But it’s taken many trips and many years to find our groove. While travel is great, it can come with some stress and when there’s a person traveling with you, it can often be easy to take it out on that person.
Just what you want when traveling with your partner.
Here are 10 things we’ve learned over the years to help us travel better as a couple and make sure our getaways together leave us with happy memories!
1. Accommodate preferences
Rick’s an early riser, I like to sleep in when I have no concrete plans. But, we make sure to accommodate each other’s preferences during our vacation so we both get what we want out of the trip.
We’ve learned to communicate expectations of the trip, such as how active we want to be, how planned out we want the trip to be or how impulsive we want to be, what compromises we’re willing to make, and what we’d prefer to do on vacation.
It also depends on the stye of vacation we’re taking. When we travel to cities we know we’re going to be more out and about and have long days, but when we go to an all-inclusive resort, we lower our expectations and are both willing to relax our standards and preferences.
2. Teamwork makes the dream work
Split up planning the trip and going on your getaway! Rick and I each have adopted our own roles when it comes to booking travel. I typically handle putting our mail on hold, organizing our hotel, and researching nearby restaurants and activities. Rick handles transportation to and from the airport, flights, and organizing pet care for our dog.
Divide and conquer the tasks that need to be done before the trip so one person isn’t exhausted before you even board the plane!
3. Add to the itinerary together
Similar to point number one on this list, both of you should be adding to your agenda or travel itinerary, including attractions you want to see, activities you want to do, and restaurants you want to dine at.
You could each add a few things you want to do during the trip and then sit down together and map out the best plan of attack so you both are happy. Maybe one person’s restaurant of choice is nearby the other’s preferred activity! Great!
4. Distance makes the heart grow fonder
Rick and I have learned that we don’t need to spend every single minute together. I’m much more of a “leave me by the pool with a book” person and Rick doesn’t love spending all day in the sun. It’s fine. He’ll join me in the morning or evening when it’s less sunny, otherwise he goes off to play pool, read inside, or do another indoor activity while I roast in the sun. We’re both doing things that we love.
It’s okay to have alone time even when you travel as a couple. You do not have to spend every single minute together.
5. Make time for romance
On the flip side, you should also make time for romance and plan a date night. Do have that special time together where you can talk about what you did on your own or just reconnect as a couple. When we’re out and about in a city we’ll find a cute wine bar or fancy restaurant for our date night or when we’re at a resort, we’ll get some champagne and sit on our balcony and simply enjoy each other’s company.
6. Be prepared
It doesn’t take meticulous planning to go on vacation but you should be prepared for the unpleasant side of travel: long lines, delayed flights, getting lost, getting hangry, being super thirsty, and so on.
Know your triggers or what can set you off. Your partner should do the same.
I always make sure to chug at least 32 ounces of water before we get to the airport so I won’t be dehydrated, tired, and cranky when we board our flight, and I know to keep a snack or two in my purse just in case one of us gets hungry. I also make sure to get a workout in before we leave on vacation so I’m in a good mood and am okay with sitting for the next five hours. Rick has also learned to let me stand when waiting for our boarding group to be called as it helps my anxiety.
7. Be open
One of the joys of traveling is trying new things so be open to your partner’s ideas, even if they’re spontaneous and not on the itinerary, and be flexible. You’re here for an adventure and an unexpected experience so embrace the unexpected.
8. Stay positive
Traveling can be chaotic. It often brings out negativity or invokes bad moods. Embrace the chaos (or at least each other) and try to stay positive.
It’s not your partner’s fault the flight’s delayed, or TSA was super slow, or a bag got lost. It will all be okay. Stay calm, stay positive, and remember that you have a partner to lean on if things get stressful.
Just think about how you’ll be laughing when you tell your friends and family about your mishaps later.
9. Take notes
Rick and I started doing this a while ago, both with travel and with the parties we throw. We make lists of things that went well, things that we need to watch out for next time, how much things cost us, and so on. These lists help us remember and plan our next getaway better, such as knowing we should book our own flights when booking all-inclusive resort travel, or that we should bring extra tipping money for Las Vegas for cocktail servers and luggage handlers.
10. Prepare for the worst
While I hope your trips with your partner all go well, it is wise to plan for the worst or understand what your plan of action would be in case of an emergency.
Who would you call? Can you call internationally? Do you have health insurance coverage? Did you pack extra medication in case you got stranded at a destination or airport? Do you have copies of passports or travel documents? Do you have a printed copy of your travel insurance policy to start filing a claim or getting assistance?
Sometimes just knowing you’d know what to do can make you more relaxed and more in the moment with your partner, instead of freaking out should the worst happen.
What other tips do you have for traveling with your partner? Share your couples’ travel tips in the comments below!