Travel is one of the most enriching parts of life. See new places, try new cuisines, make memories together that will last a lifetime.
You know what doesn’t make it into the scrapbook? The hour you spent lost, going in circles while lugging your bags behind you, hot, hungry, and pissed at each other because neither of you could decipher the directions from your Airbnb host. The night you wanted to go out with the locals you met when your partner just wanted to chill, and then you spent 3 hours pouting. The stress of navigating a new city (with exactly zero fluency in the language) and bickering at each other on every single mode of transportation possible.
Ahhh, yes. The joys of travel.
But that doesn’t mean you write it off and become lifetime homebodies! No way. Studies show that couples who travel together are significantly more satisfied with their relationship than couples who don’t, with 63% of wanderers citing travel as the reason they've grown closer, shared more, and stayed together longer.
So, even though the end result is worth all the trivial agonies, it doesn’t mean travelling together is a piece of cake. In fact, it can be challenging AF. These are the expert suggestions for making it out of your vacation a better, happier, stronger couple (hopefully with a wicked tan):
Tip #1. Know Each Other’s Triggers.
Some people casually saunter to the airport 45 minutes before boarding, whereas others drown in anxiety if they aren’t there 3 hours early. It’s important (read: essential) to know what will set the other off, and to have a plan in place to navigate those minefields. (An appropriate compromise? Arriving 2 hours early and having a drink at the airport bar.)
Tip #2. Take Turns With Logistics.
Travel can really magnify our personalities. If we’re organized in real life, we become our truest most Type-A selves on vacation. If we’re already pretty laid back, laziness and apathy might be dangerously close. SO, what do you do? Challenge the roles! Even if your partner is wayyyyy more comfortable just “doing it themselves” - don’t let them bear the logistical load on their own. Take one stretch of time (an afternoon, a day) and plan any transportation, reservations, and conformations necessary so they can kick back and relax.
Tip #3. Make Time For Alone Time.
One of the reasons we can become on edge when we travel is because we’re spending approx. 1000% more time together than we usually do any other week. So carve out some time for each of you to be alone!
- Let your partner sleep in and go get coffee solo (bring them back one, of course)
- Take a long shower or nap to give them time to decompress
- Find a space to spend some time (the balcony, for example) to read or journal and let your partner find you when they're ready to reunite
If you adhere to these tips AND keep a positive attitude no matter what your trips throw at you, you’ll be smooth sailing.
As Bill Murray famously told a bachelor party:
“If you have someone that you think is the one, don’t just think, “Okay, let’s make a date, and make a party and get married.” Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to get to and hard to get out of. And if when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”