haha! Travel is definitely all fun and games until it’s not. Anyone else know what I’m talking about? Isaiah and I are best friends so traveling is *mostly* so enjoyable, but when stress and jetlag start taking effect it can make a romantic getaway seem like the last place on earth you want to be. We’ve done our fair share of long haul and short haul trips to know the friction can show up at any unexpected moment, so here are our top 5 tips to NOT kill each other while traveling. (PS These are tips we employ in everyday life as well).
Tip 1 | Agree to Have Personal Time
Okay so when you’re travelling it quickly becomes apparent that you are joined at the hip with your travel partner… sometimes almost literally. I mean you book seats next to each other for that 5 hour flight, then you share a ride to your joint accommodation. Besides that’s what you wanted right!? To share these memories with that special person. But honestly, setting aside personal time and openly communicating about it is SO important! Whether it’s early in the morning so one of you can sleep in while the other goes for a solo walk around the area – or even just spending time in separate rooms (I’ll often commandeer the bed to read while Isaiah will take a couch to play games on his phone). Whatever the activity is it’s super important to be doing things to refresh yourselves so that when you come back together you’re both excited and ready to go.
Tip 2 | Openly Communicate About Finances
Okay so all of these tips include communication (we’ve found over the years that all our fights could have been avoided or deescalated quicker with clear communication). One other thing we’ve realised is that often finances can be a source of contention amongst couples. So open communication about your personal finances while traveling is important. We like starting this early with the budget, this leaves plenty of room to come to agreement about how much you’re going to be spending on things like food and activities and even accommodation!
Tip 3 | Talk Through Expectations of your Holiday
Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! I can’t say it enough… this one is more personal though and sometimes harder to articulate what you’re actually expecting out of your holiday – if one of you was hoping for a lay-by-the-pool, get room service and massages type of break while the other was expecting a activity loaded, local cuisine, full to the brim type holiday it can definitely be cause for contention. Made even worse if you’ve just assumed that your partner is on the same page as you. Talk about it! We do this multiple times during the planning stages of the holiday and also each morning we’ll talk about our goal for the day (is it catch up on rest or getting to the next location or going exploring?). This way there is plenty of room for negotiation and you both know the other persons expectations.
Tip 4 | Continue Planned Dates
This one is more for longer trips we’ve found even when you are constantly together there’s something about having a specific date and time set to spend time just reconnecting with the other person. we find that when we’re travelling we are so focused on family or friends we are visiting, or seeing the next thing or getting to the next location that we don’t actually spend quality time together. So this is why we, even after 4 years of marriage will go on date nights. Typically this is one night set aside in the week where we plan on a nice evening (out or in). This is connected to the “talking about finances” as this evening will often be a night at a nice restaurant where we order some extras (drinks and dessert), we know to put these dates in the budget. This time spent specifically to reconnect is so beneficial in keeping a healthy relationship and is also a great night to (you guessed it!) communicate!
Tip 5 | Leave Room for Spontaneity/the Unexpected
We have found it best for the both of us when there is room for a change of plans during our trip. Rather than plan a full week we will usually plan half of it, leaving the other half open to what we feel like doing on the day. This helps so much! There have definitely been days where Isaiah or myself will wake up and just feel like staying where we are and resting, this is hard when you’ve got something on that you’ve paid for. You might not enjoy it as much if you’re tired. On the flip side, there have been days where I will discover a new place that I really want to explore and have the time to do so because we planned time in our trip for spontaneity.
This also leaves room for any unexpected occurrences such as a delayed flight or lost handbag or a change in weather. Just having a slightly more relaxed plan for your trip helps reduce the stress of being at different places at specific times, which improves your relationship.
Don’t forget to have fun! This is an exciting time for you! Just remember; communication is key to maintaining a great relationship while traveling.