Traveling as a couple is a great way to spend time with your significant other, but it comes with it’s challenges. And if you’re in a new relationship, traveling together can really test your bond. It’s a great way to strengthen your relationship if done right. The worst case scenario is a stressful trip that leaves you questioning if your partner is a good match for you after all.
Traveling together should be fun, and our tips will help ensure your trip is smooth sailing. Unless you’re going on a cruise. In that case, you’ll need to consult with Mother Nature.
When should we travel together for the first time?
If your relationship is newer, you might be wondering when is a good time to bring up the big V. Uh… not that V. We mean the vacation V. Get your head out of the gutter!
The short answer is, only you can really know when you’re ready to travel together. Everyone’s different, and you might be comfortable traveling with a new boo before your BFF would. That’s totally okay. There’s no right answer here.
But, according to most people, your first trip as a couple should come within the first six months of dating. Traveling together for the first time feels like a big step, and to many, it’s an indication that your relationship is getting serious.
How do I know if we’re ready to travel together?
You definitely shouldn’t travel with someone who you’re not comfortable with. Ask yourself these questions if you’re trying to figure out if you’re ready to take the next step with your partner. If your answer to all of these is yes, then book those tickets! Any no’s should give you pause.
- Have you defined the relationship?
- Do you truly enjoy spending 1-on-1 time with this person?
- Can you see yourself with them long-term (i.e. a year from now)?
- Have you spent extended periods of time together successfully (i.e. a whole weekend holed up in your apartment)?
- Most importantly… Do you feel comfortable pooping in front of them?
Okay, the last one is kind of a joke, but also kind of serious. After all, the acknowledgement that you do in fact poop is a big step in a relationship.
If you answered all our Q’s with a resounding, ‘yes!’, keep reading for our tips on how to make your first vacation as a couple a success.
7 Tips for Traveling as a Couple
1. Discuss a budget.
Before you even book anything, you should have a very not-fun conversation with bae about how much you’re both willing to spend on this trip. This will help you both manage your expectations and neither one of you will end up disappointed.
Maybe one of you is a saver and the other a big spender. Or perhaps one of you makes way more money than the other and has more disposable income. No matter the circumstances, this convo is essential.
2. Communicate your expectations beforehand.
Another thing to add to your pre-trip checklist is to come up with a list of things you want to do while traveling together. It’s another great way to manage expectations and make sure everyone is getting what they want out of the trip.
For example, maybe your partner is really into sports and wants to surf, and you are more interested in art and want to hit the local museum. Discussing this in advance is so important so that both of you get to do some of the things you want, and can avoid arguing about the itinerary while you’re there.
You don’t want to get too strict about the plan, though, because that sucks the fun out of traveling and doesn’t leave room for some spontaneity. It’s a good idea to have a rough itinerary with the main attractions, and a go-with-the-flow attitude for the rest. Hopefully, your bowels won’t follow suit. (Okay, enough potty humor.)
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Vacations should be fun, not stressful. But, stressors do come up while traveling. Lost luggage, overpriced dinners that don’t meet your expectations, hotels that looked way better on TripAdvisor. Travel can bring out the worst in people.
Try to remember that the worst day on vacation is better than the best day working. Let things roll off your back, and avoid placing blame on each other. (Even though it was totally their job to check the reviews of the hotel before booking.) Be patient and lead with compassion.
4. Don’t dwell on stupid arguments.
Oftentimes, we go into a trip with super high expectations that every second will be magical and perfect. That is rarely the case. And those expectations of perfection can lead to feeling really bummed out if any little thing goes wrong.
So many arguments between couples on vacation escalate for the sole reason that you are arguing on vacation. Picture this: a stupid little argument ensues, and now you’re upset at the fact that the trip is ruined because you argued… but you’re not upset about the argument itself.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in feeling down about the fact that you argued. Fighting while on vacation is actually more common than you might think. Instead of ruminating on the argument and letting it ruin more of your trip, accept that it happened and move on. You’ll thank us later. Even though you were totally right.
5. Take lots of pictures – but post them later.
You’ve been planning this trip for months, and you want to remember it! Take lots of pictures together and of each other, but try to stay present in the moment. Instead of posting on your Instagram stories during the day, wait until you get back to the hotel.
We live in a social media-obsessed world, but traveling is a rare opportunity to disconnect and be with your partner, uninterrupted. Take advantage of that by agreeing to stay off your phones until you have some down-time.
6. Allow yourselves alone time.
Just because you’re traveling as a pair does not mean you need to spend every waking minute together! You can do activities separately, especially if one of you wants to do something the other isn’t interested in. At the very least, you can give each other a few hours’ break in between the day’s activities and dinner to unwind and relax.
Especially if you or your partner is an introvert, this time is critical to maintaining a good vibe on vacay. For us extroverts, alone time can be tough to wrap our heads around, but it’s ultimately a good thing for everyone.
7. Have fun together!
Traveling as a couple is a fun way to get to know each other better while exploring a brand new place! Don’t take it too seriously, let loose, and have fun. Days on vacation are fleeting, so make sure you soak it all in.
- Listen to our Adultescence podcast episode about traveling as a couple for the first time.