Last Updated on September 11, 2016
We have always believed that you should try traveling with someone before you marry them. Being put in different (sometimes stressful) situations and being with someone constantly is a great test for a relationship and can show you a lot about somebody. If you’re an avid traveler and think you’re a good match for someone, we urge you to travel with them first. Even if you already live together before getting married. You’ll be surprised how much you learn about them from traveling with them.
Don’t misunderstand us here; vacations when you travel with your spouse or significant other can be fabulous, be a great, meaningful adventure and can help bring you closer together through having so many shared experiences. But, it can also just as easily put a strain on the relationship. Even though these are the people we completely love to death, our partners know how to push our buttons the best. And, it is unrealistic to just assume that because you’re in love, it won’t happen to you.
Here are some tips that we found really help us as we travel together:
We find it is easier when we take turns choosing what activities to do. Beforehand, we like to take a look and see what is available and prioritize what we would like to try to experience. We compare this to the budget and it helps us to be realistic when it comes to choosing activities.
Agree to kick a few bad habits
Darcy cracks his knuckles and I cannot stand it. It drives me absolutely nuts. When we are traveling and together 24/7, it drives me even crazier. So, when we travel I ask him to make a conscious effort to not crack his knuckles around me. I tend to go overboard and get excited about the million experiences we can have when I see new ideas after we get to the location and Darcy always has to make me promise I won’t try to completely re-compromise our activity list; unless it really is warranted.
Get enough fuel and sleep
Make sure you’re eating enough and getting enough sleep so you don’t find yourselves being super irritable with each other. Pack snacks to take with you and make sure you get enough shut eye at the end of the day.
Leave extra time
When we’re moving from location to location or even just small experience to small experience, make sure you leave enough time that you aren’t rushed. I absolutely hate being late. I have a conscious obsession with being at least ten minutes early to all appointments, regardless of what it is. It cuts down on a lot of stress!
Be honest and communicate with each other
If you’re not “feeling it” and are exhausted, say so. If something is bothering you, say so. Keeping everything inside and not mentioning how you are feeling will only lead to a potentially huge argument and could ruin part of your trip.
Understand your different travel styles
We both used to love backpacking and didn’t mind hosteling, but now that we have kids, that has changed a bit. Even when we go away without the kids, Darcy likes to stay in places that are a little nicer. I’m totally okay being cheap on accommodations, as long as there aren’t bed bugs and the place isn’t dirty, but Darcy has higher expectations now, so we have to find a middle ground when we book accommodations. I’m also the wild one, Darcy is much more tame, and I love that he is okay coming along to watch while I do something crazy like bungee jump from a hot air balloon.
Determine a budget and find ways to stick to it. Allocate reasonable amounts to each aspect of your trip: food, activities, transportation, accommodation.
Be very clear on how much you can spend of the family finances; you don’t want to go broke. Be smart, save in advance and don’t be afraid to spend frugally.
Choosing A Destination
Always remember that any destination you choose can be absolutely incredible. Keep reminding yourselves that the most important thing about your destination is really being able to have so many amazing experiences together, and being able to spend some time together outside of the hectic everyday life.
Take a step back
Remember that your trip is supposed to enable you to take a step back from reality. Turn off your phone and other technology and allow yourself to disconnect with your world at home. Don’t waste time staying “so connected” when you’re able to take some time away and enjoy the new destination.
Take advantage of any perks you can. If you’re traveling for your honeymoon or anniversary, don’t forget to speak up! You never know what additional perks you could be rewarded with for your celebration.
Also, don’t forget that…
It is okay to travel separately
With our busy careers and family, sometimes we will do trips separately. For example, Darcy has gone with the guys to Vegas a couple times, and you’ll notice that I will often take the our adorable, sweet girls and do some traveling with my sister, Diana, when Darcy can’t take time off work. I’m lucky in the way that most of the time, I can work from wherever I desire. It is okay, and almost necessary to take some trips separately. After all, distance does make the heart grow fonder and some time away from each other really can help the relationship. It is also okay to go off and do your own thing for a bit when you travel together if some of your ideas and desires don’t quite mesh.
Now that you know how to make your trip with your partner more enjoyable or successful, where are you going to go?