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10 Tips for Traveling With Your Significant Other

Spending long stretches of time with anyone is hard. Spending time traveling is even harder. When you travel with someone, or your significant other, you have a lot to balance: where to go, what to do, eat, stay, budget, and so much more. Traveling is always give and take when you're with others. As a person that craves “me” time and solitude, it can be difficult to find out what works best when I travel with my husband Michael. But after 12 years of dating and many many trips, here's how we make it work. I've found that these tips not only help ease any travel tension, they make our relationship stronger.

I remember when we went to London a few months ago, I had a lot of work, and I told Michael he could just figure out the lodging. He checked with me first, and I said, “yeah, yeah, all sounds great.” We arrived in our next destination, Birmingham, England and the location he chose reeked of weed and less than ideal characters were hanging around. Oh. And we were sharing the place with another guest. AND there were no locks on the bedroom doors.

I was furious. I carried all my stuff to dinner. And let me tell you, nothing brings out the anger in my like 24/7 traveling to end up in an unfamiliar place where I feel nervous. It ended up being fine, but it reminded me that we needed to iron some things before we make the journey.

Here are 10 Tips for Traveling with Your Significant Other, so you don't kill each other.

1. Voice Your Opinion… beforehand

Like my example above, all things could have been fine, if I spoke up. But I didn't and so we were at odds. If you really want to do something, make sure you say it before the trip starts. Also, make sure you and your significant other are on the same page. If they want to stay at a 5-star hotel and you're okay with a hostel that can cause hostility. Or hostel-ity. Sorry. That was a hostel joke.

I think it's a good idea if both people have an idea of what they want to do. This keeps the peace and our marriage is more harmonious because of it.

You might also like: How to Book Super Cheap Flights

2. Go over the plan

I like to have a rough idea of what we'll be doing while traveling, so I always have a plan in mind. You can still have spontaneous travel time, but having a rough idea of what we'll do is always very important. Flights, lodging, and number of days in each location is the minimum.

3. Make sure they are getting to do what they want too

I remember Michael, my mom, and I were in Innsbruck, Austria recently. Michael really really wanted to take the dogs on a hike. It was later in the day and I was tired and it was getting dark outside. BUT he had done so much driving and so much of what my mom and I wanted, I knew I needed to make it work. And we did and he had the best time. We always ask what our favorite thing was during a trip and he said the hike made his trip. So even though it wasn't top of my list I'm glad we made it work.

4. Avoid situations you know will suck

I love Michael. He loves me. I love shopping. He loves mountain biking. We have no desire to bring each other to either activity. Both could end up in broken arms. Truthfully, we know not everything is going to be our partner's cup of tea and we respect that. You probably know, or will find out which situations you should do separately. Embrace it. Then embrace each other after you do these activities apart. This also helps with my “me” time.

5. Try something new

I know my above story might sound counter-intuitive, but don't forget to take a chance on something new you might really love. Indulge in something different: a cuisine, an excursion, or an idea. I'm afraid of heights, but it was a super clear day recently in Munich and Michael suggested we go to the top of the New Town Hall. So, we did it. And it was scary and slick with ice. But we got this view!

To date, this is one of the coolest pictures I've taken. And I'm so glad we did this.

6. Develop a travel style

You know those people running through the airport? That is myself and my husband. It's bad, I know. Sometimes we get to the airport on time. Never really early. We just hate sitting there waiting. We also hate lines. So, we don't wait in lines even if the restaurant is the BEST EVER. There's no way the food is that good.

It's very important for me that we travel the same way. If one of us wanted to get to the airport 3 hours early it would be a drag for the other. Whatever your travel style is, try to mesh it together.

7. Be present

As a blogger I tend to be on my phone too much. But I really make a conscious effort to put it down. Especially when traveling. I want to savor the moment, not just Instagram it, so I make an effort to be present and explore what's happening now. Do try to unplug as much as possible. It's just healthy to do that anyway.

I want to savor the moment, not just Instagram it, so be present when you travel together. Click To Tweet

8. Leave no wo/man behind

One time, when we were in Prague, Michael got very ill. It could have been the absinthe the night before in the cave bar. We'll never know. (It was the absinthe in the cave bar.) He really really wanted to see Prague, but he was really nauseated (hung over.) So, he hopped off the tram at one point to get some fresh air (throw up.) I wasn't quick enough to jump off, so I had to hop off at the next stop, then catch another tram to go back. He was just going to go home, but I made him drink some water and come along. He didn't feel great but to this day he says thank you for me making him come.

If someone is truly sick, of course, they can't come to everything. But sometimes we just need a little encouragement if we're exceptionally exhausted.

9. Don't be jealous

I think the wonderful part of travel is to meet and interact with people you'd never meet unless you went to that part of the world. Some of my best memories are talking to people with different backgrounds. I think it's normal and healthy to talk to members of the opposite sex, especially while traveling.

You might also like: We have an Open Relationship

10. Go with the flow

My number one travel rule is: go with the flow. When it comes to food, plans, clothing, sleep – you just gotta get over it. I'll never forget the one travel experience I had where someone was just negative Nancy about everything. No! When you travel circumstances arise that will undoubtedly be out of your control. Move on. And chill out.

I think traveling brings you closer and helps you learn so much more about someone. Hopefully these tips will help you for smooth sailing (or flying) for your next trip together.

Comments

Totally agree with this list, especially #2. I can’t tell you how many times fights occurred because I didn’t keep him in the loop. These days, I make sure to show him the Google Map as we walk or transit somewhere. We also make a Google Doc beforehand so all the information is there and shared 🙂

http://freshcoffeestains.com

Number 7 is legit why I have so many travel photos on my phone that never got posted on Instagram. I’m like, hmmm how much longer until throwback thursday and I can post this!! LOLS! This might sound mushy but Drew and I are the best travel buddies because of so many things on this list!! I think you nailed it!

i am not good with going with the flow at all. i don’t know if i am a negative nancy so much anymore, but i am a stickler for planning so the things that do go wrong are out of my control anyway, and i can normally kind of but not really handle it. KC never gives any input when we are planning, and he hates when i bug him about stuff he really wants to do, but if i didn’t ask him, he’d be cranky that we are skydiving instead of white water rafting when we go to NZ. on second thought, i shouldn’t have asked him because i really wanted to skydive, but now we are white water rafting. haha. compromise, right?

I love this post! I know it’s a must to voice expectations before the trip because when you don’t, you end up disappointed. We went on our first roadtrip last month and I voiced my opinion, but wish we would’ve talked about it beforehand.

Definitely great tips! We don’t travel much but when we do, I have to be mindful of what John wants to do too, since I plan everything. He’s a sit by the pool and chill kind of guy but still wants to see the sights if it’s a new place. I’m zero percent sit and chill, ever, so I have to really factor that time in! I use that time to shop or sleep in, he’s a morning person 🙂

Such great tips, it really is so true that sometimes we have to do things just because the other wants to. I remember our first trip together, it was 5 weeks backpacking around Europe and we planned it over Skype while I was in the US and he was in Iceland. It was a trip full of lessons but I wouldn’t have any other travel partner, I really think it is the best thing for a relationship!

Love it! I spent a couple summers backpacking around Europe with three semi-friends/semi-strangers and learning how to coexist was one of the most important lessons I’ve ever learn! So to this list I would add “take time to pause & be grateful that you get to share these experiences with your significant other” because that’s such a treat that many people never get to have. 🙂

Ha, I started writing a similar post earlier this week! Love your tips! The whole leave no wo/man behind is so critical!!

I fell in love with my fiance on a trip to Germany, so I love these tips! Traveling is our very favorite thing to do together. We believe in a travel mindset, which means even if it’s a new neighborhood in Boston where we live, we like to wander around, stop into any and every museum and store, and talk with people! I can’t wait for our next adventure, and I have to say that this reminded me we should book it!
xx
Ashley

Love this post! I am really trying to get out of my comfort zone and travel more, and I feel like your posts are getting me more mentally prepared! Happy Valentine’s day xxx

Melina / http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com

This is awesome! I’m going to Hawaii with my BF this year with my family, and a trip just the two of us next year, and these tips are so helpful. I think remembering to make sure we both get to do what we want is going to be so important. Luckily both of s are quite chilled, so hopefully it will go well 🙂
Steph x. Hello, Steph Blog

These are so helpful. Me and my partner are the total opposite of you guys with airports – we’re both the people who want to get there three hours early. I’ve never thought about how frustrating it would be to want to do that differently, and now I’m so glad that we don’t

Steph – http://www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

I was SUPER hungover before we were supposed to take a train ride from Nice to Monte Carlo. A soda and deep breaths on the train ride helped me prepare to be a decent travel companion when we arrived.

These are some really great points and at the end of the day, communication & compromise are key when it comes to traveling together. I’m a “planner” and Charles is a “go with the flow-er” so our compromise is that I get to plan out most of what we see (as long as I keep him informed during the planning process) but I always leave one day empty with no plans so we can do whatever Charles wants to do.

YES to voicing your opinion beforehand. Almost every single fight we’ve had while traveling could have been avoided if we would have laid out our expectations before we left.

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