Mike and I love to travel. Actually, one of the first things that attracted me to him (other than his adorable dimples) was that he had a places he wanted to travel to and experience. Immediately, I knew that he was the kind of person that I could spend my life traveling with. Who would have guessed that 2 years later, we would already have visited a major country on our bucketlist, and still have many more that are in the works.
But every couple is different. So the same things won’t work for everyone. BUT there is always a general rule of thumb with how you should treat your significant other and how they should treat you. And that only gets amplified when you start traveling together. Why is that? Well, because traveling isn’t always happy-go-lucky, everything-is-perfect all the time. Sometimes traveling can be stressful. And depending on where you are going, you will probably only have each other to rely on.
But not to worry. I’ve put together a list of what I consider the best tactics to have so it’s smooth sailing (and so that you come back from your trip even more in love).
Let’s start with the negative and get that out of the way.
1. DON’T expect them to handle it all
If they are in charge of everything, that puts too much pressure on them to make sure it all goes according to plan. Also, by the end of the trip, if you had zero say in anything, you will feel like it’s not even really your trip, it was their’s.
2. DON’T expect them to happy all the time
This kind of covers all of dating in general, but remember you are dating another person who has feelings, gets upset, gets exhausted, might have jet-lag, or a serious case of being hangry. They might not be 100% cheerful the whole trip, and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying the trip or you. Take this as a good opportunity to learn what they need and want.
3. DON’T make them pay for everything
Again, a rule I try and follow just in everyday dating. But it doesn’t matter if you make 5 times less than they do, at least offer to pay for dinner. It’s one of those ‘it’s the thought that counts’ moments. It shows that you are equals and that you are in this together.
4. DON’T expect to always have your way
You might not want drive out of the city to visit some scenic area, but they really do. So make sure they get to do what they want to do, because after all, this trip isn’t just about you. It’s all about give and take.
Now for the more positive items
1. DO share the burden and try to split things equally
I’m not talking about the snickers bar at the airport, because that goes without saying. I’m talking about the nitty-gritty: the expenses, calling a cab, handling the hotels, maybe even a literal burden like if you are going backpacking and you try to carry equal amounts. Whatever it is, you are a team, so tackle it like a team.
2. DO help plan
Again, this is a vacation for BOTH of you, so you both need a say in it. If you both help research and plan, you’ll get so much more out of your trip. Last year we went to Scotland, and I had already been there before but Mike had not. He had places he wanted to visit that I actually hadn’t heard of, and I had places I remembered that I wanted to take him to. We both brought something to the table and it made the trip so much more fun.
3. DO take photos of them
Even if they pretend to hate it at the time, they will appreciate it when you are back home and they get to show off to their friends. Plus, new profile picture, obviously! And years from now, when you’ve forgotten the crazy stories, you’ll still have the photos to remind you.
4. DO be up for anything
And I do mean anything. Mike and I had some unexpected and crazy things happen to us in Scotland (I’ll save that for another time and place) but we both just had to be ready for whatever came our way. Like I said in the intro, traveling is not always perfect, but that’s life. You just have to roll with it.
5. DO expect to learn from each other
I can’t tell you what an eye opening experience it was to travel with Mike the first time. I felt like we became so much closer just having to rely on each other so much. I learned things about his personality that I didn’t know (and vice versa) but it made me love him so much more, because I knew he was someone I could absolutely count on. We also found that we balanced each other extremely well, and I’d say that’s very important.
But above all else HAVE FUN! Who knows when you’ll be able to travel again, so enjoy the experience and the person you’re with and everything else will fall into place. They say if you can travel together, then the rest will be okay.
Are you planning a trip with your significant other anytime soon? What was the last place you traveled to together?