Big dreams of traveling as a couple are great. Not murdering each other in the process is even better. Traveling together is a relationship goal few compare to. But are you ready to travel as a couple? Is your relationship in a place where it can handle all the stress and obstacles traveling together can encompass? If you’re reading this I’m sure you have thought about it a thousand times already, if you haven’t perhaps you should. Traveling as a couple is as serious of a commitment you could ever make. It’s right up there with buying a car, or house, or having a kid. I know it probably doesn’t seem that serious. after all you’re planning that dream vacation, and I’m really not trying to scare you away. You just have to understand that this is something that could potentially harm your relationship and that your storybook dream of going on grand adventures around the world might not be exactly how you imagine it.You still with me? Good, you’re committed to traveling as a couple, and that commitment is going to be one of the things that makes your relationship stronger while traveling. The first step before you pick your destination and book your flight should be the decision making process. You have to make sure you weigh your options and be sure that traveling together is not going to be some toxic experience for the two of you. You’re not always going to have alone time when you travel, you could be together 24hrs a day, you’re going to learn things you never knew before, find things you can’t stand about one another, your going to argue about money and of course the classic where do you want to eat question might get you murdered while traveling. Unless you are a sickeningly, adorable perfect couple you’re going to run into some kind of problems at some point in your travels together, much like when your not traveling how you handle these will shape your relationship.There’s an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and a woman he is dating go to a B&B in Vermont for the weekend and get stuck inside with nothing to do but talk to each other. This is kind of a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Go watch it, it’s episode 5 “The Stock Tip”. Everything is great until the two of them get stuck in the lodge and quickly realize that they have nothing new to talk about, that they have very little in common, they can’t stand being around each other all day, they end up arguing about the dumbest things and ultimately dooming the relationship. This may be what some forms of traveling will be like for the two of you at some point, be it a family vacation in the future, a honeymoon cruise, backpacking through Europe, or just a weekend trip, you have to be prepared for the reality that things will not always go your way and obstacles will arise. You have to be sure before traveling, that as a couple you are strong enough to overcome any of those obstacles, but most importantly still love each other at the end of the trip.That being said, the quickest way to find out if it’s true love or not is traveling together. Hell, you might not even make it all the way to the trip, planning for it can be just as stressful if not more. If you make it pass the planning stage that’s a great sign. We considered a lot of factors before planning our first trip, though I’m going to be honest with you, how traveling would affect our relationship was not really one of them. Luckily for us we’re one of those sickeningly adorable couples that I was talking about, so travel is usually pretty smooth for us. But like every relationship we have our problems as well and through overcoming our issues we have grown closer together with every trip. So, here are a few things to consider before you hop on that plane..
The first rule of Fight Club:Are you already having issues such as the ones I mentioned above? Do you constantly fight already? If so you may want to plan a short trip first to test out the waters. If you are already having problems in your relationship a long trip together could very easily be the worst thing for you. Then again, it could also be the best thing ever if you need an injection of adventure and romance to bring back the spark. Just make sure you consider any problems you’re having currently and how they could affect your trip. If you are really committed to long term travel and are having issues beforehand, it might be a good idea to see a relationship counselor before going.
There’s no I in team – Compromise and communication:This can be the key to any relationship. When your deciding where to go and what to do for a trip you are going to need to take each others wants and needs into mind. Sometimes you might not be on the same page and will have to compromise. Make sure you are okay with this and already practice good communication and compromising with your partner, no one wants to travel with someone that only wants to do what he/she wants. If you have a problem with something your spouse does or wants to do you have to communicate this. I can’t stress this enough, compromise and communication is the key to any healthy relationship.
Money, Money, Money – Money management:A lot of money goes into taking a dream vacation. It’s best to have an understanding of money management in your relationship before your trip. Make sure you are both okay with the amount of money you spend and how you spend it. You should both have a say and should always communicate to avoid any arguments that may arise over money. This is really a stupid thing to get in a fight about while traveling, but it does happen. If you have money management problems at home before your trip, it is best to get those under control and stick to a budget before and during your vacation, you don’t want to run out of money in another country because you didn’t communicate with each other about who spent what.
Me Time – Spending 24/7 together:You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your partner, days on end sometimes. Make sure you are both going to still be alive by the end of it. Consider how you and your spouse are with each other after long periods of time together. I would suggest taking a short weekend trip to make sure you guys know how being together 24hrs will affect you. Most times you’ll be able to get away from each other at some point in the trip, and this is really okay everyone one needs me time, especially on a long trip. But, you still will end up being together for long periods of time, after all this is why you chose to travel together. Right?
What’s yours is hers – Boundaries, space, and sharing:When your traveling together you share a lot. You use each others backpacks, purses, water bottles, and a number of other random things become theirs as much as it was yours before. It’s always great helping each other out, but if you are going to need boundaries and space with some things, you need to set this preferably before the trip. Make sure you respect each others space, if your partner needs his/hers me time at home they are most likely going to need it at some point on the trip as well.
Feel free to leave a comment and share your experiences traveling together as a couple and how you survive.