Nothing tests a relationship more than travelling together. You spend 24 hours a day with someone, maybe you’re jet-lagged, maybe you get sick. A lot can happen on a long trip and if it all goes well, then you’ve probably found a partner that’s worth keeping around! Here are a few tips on how to travel in a couple… and not get tired of each other by the end of the trip.
1. Do most, if not all, of your booking in advance.
Avoid little, unnecessary arguments by getting all the “big stuff” booked and sorted before you go. That means your flight tickets, hotels/hostels, and a rough itinerary of what you plan to see and where you plan to go. Of course it’s nice to leave some stuff up to chance and spontaneity but it’s a good idea to know where you’re going to sleep every night.
2. Get a handle on your luggage.
When it comes to packing your suitcases, it’s best that each do their own. Each carries their own luggage and you’ll avoid situations like, “This bag weighs a ton, was it really necessary to pack 4 pairs of shoes for a weekend away?” And it may be totally necessary in his mind to pack a tablet, mobile phone, Nintendo DS and iPod for a 1.5 hour flight. You pack it, you carry it. End of discussion.
3. Test the waters before you book a RTW.
So you both want to travel around the world. It only makes sense to do it together, right? Well. It’s a good idea to “test the waters” before heading out on a year-long journey. Try travelling together for 2-3 weeks around Europe, and see what happens. If you jive together at the same pace, then you’re probably a pair made in heaven.
4. Don’t bring a third wheel.
No one likes to be the third wheel on a date, so it’s also a good idea not to invite a good friend along for the ride on a trip. Being the odd one out is a very lonely place to be. The easy solution, invite a few more friends to join the trip and go as a group, then you won’t feel bad when you two want to escape for a romantic evening.
5. Money matters.
Before you go, get your budget sorted in advance. Know exactly how much each of you can contribute to the trip for spending money, food and accommodation. If it’s clear from the beginning, you’ll avoid a lot of arguments about money, which never seem to end well.
6. Embrace your different interests.
Not surprisingly, everyone has different interests. Just because you’re travelling together, doesn’t mean you have to spend every afternoon together going to all the same sights and museums. You may book flights to Rome with the intention of visiting every church and museum in the city… only to discover your partner is only keen on parties and pizza. Lay all the cards on the table before and while you’re on the road, it’s actually good to do things apart every once in a while. So don’t be offended if he wants to sit the next museum out.
7. Sleep habits may vary… and that’s okay.
Are you dating a night owl but you’re a morning lark? When it comes to this topic, each of you will have to make a little bit of a compromise. Or else, the lark should get used to enjoying breakfast on their own and the owl should get buy a nightlight to use in the hotel room while the lark is trying to get some sleep.
8. Men are not always the best at reading maps.
Sure, everyone says that men are better with directions but it has to be said that this is not always the case. Whoever has the best sense of direction should carry the map, period. If you do get lost, don’t sweat it. This is usually when you’ll discover something new and exciting about a place or city.
9. Get travel insurance… in case of break up.
This is a big one that has to be included because it’s happened to just about everyone: you plan a trip together with your partner and you end up splitting before the big day of departure. Now what? You could do what Jordan Axani did and put a viral call out for another girl named Elizabeth Gallagher to take his ex-girlfriends place on his round-the-world trip, but it’s probably easier to just make sure you have either tickets that are refundable or travel insurance that covers “cancellation for any reason.”
10. Don’t forget the romance.
It’s easy to pack a lot into a short 2-week jaunt. Any trip, restaurant and hotel is as romantic as you make it, so don’t forget to take time to slow down and appreciate the time together. Pack a picnic with a view, order room service and enjoy breakfast in bed, splurge on a night out or enjoy a midnight stroll under the city lights.