Traveling with your Significant Other can be an adventurous, bonding experience. Whether you are visiting San Francisco, Paris, or Bangkok, what could be better than a romantic getaway with the person you love most in this world? On the other hand, when you consider the long flight, expenses, and misunderstandings, it can also be stressful. This is why if you don’t work together and plan the trip properly, it can lead to serious conflict. If you and your partner are considering a trip, here are 9 tips that can guarantee success.
1. Discuss accommodations/major activities together
As you are planning your trip, you might have a certain idea about how you would like it to go. Perhaps you would like it to involve a bunch of water sports activities. Or booking a room at a small, quaint Bed & Breakfast. On the other hand, imagine that your Significant Other is not the water sports type or expects to stay at high-rise resort hotels with full service and a variety of entertainment options. Make sure these extremely important elements of your vacation are hammered out and that compromise has been reached before you start booking your accommodations and tickets to events.
2. Plan the budget together
Vacations can get expensive, especially if you are filling up your daily schedule with trips to museums, full-day guided tours, theater shows, and meals at fancy restaurants. This is why it is essential that you come to an agreement on how much you are willing to spend. As a tip, go online and search for activities that are free or light on your wallet. If your dream has always been to have authentic Italian pizza in Sicily or a 5-star French meal in Paris, go for it! But also be willing to settle for the occasional sandwich or some cheap-but-delicious street vendor food. Also keep in mind that lot of cities (especially in Europe) offer free museum admissions on Sundays.
3. Keep your social network usage to a minimum
There’s nothing wrong with posting vacation photos or writing a quick message in the morning to friends and family to let them know you’re having a nice time. But don’t forget that the point of traveling with your Significant Other is to spend time together and soak in the sights. In other words, don’t waste time scrolling through FB posts or tweets when you should be taking advantage of the once-in-a-great-while opportunity to explore the destinations of your dreams.
4. Anticipate disruptions to your schedule and think up some backup ideas
So you had really wanted to sunbath by the beach, but the overcast skies make this impossible. Or you had planned to visit the Louvre only to discover that it is closed due to renovations. Make a list of alternative “emergency” activities that you can do together. They might be low-priority things such as visiting a history museum, but at least you won’t be stuck in the hotel room all day.
5. Consider doing a few separate activities
Traveling can be stressful and even grueling. This is especially true when you are on vacation with your significant other. There’s the jet lag, the little irritations, and all that walking. Sometimes it isn’t a bad thing to take a break from each other, especially if a certain amount of tension builds up. This could be anything from getting a cup of coffee by yourself or even spending a couple of hours at an event that might not interest your Significant Other.
6. Don’t be afraid to change your itinerary
Let’s suppose you intend to make your way through several cities and discover that one of them is so lovely and full of amazing things to do that you can’t accomplish everything within the allotted time. If you’re both up for staying an extra day or two, nothing that says you can’t ditch a couple of other destinations on your itinerary. Just keep in mind that some bookings and transport tickets are non-refundable, so it is best to plan things in a way that takes these things into consideration.
7. Remember that not every activity has to be “touristy”
While you and your Significant Other might imagine filling up your days with all sorts of tourist attractions, be aware that there is plenty to do that doesn’t have to involve long cues, expensive tickets, or other inconveniences. Why not enjoy a walk together at an out-of-the-way park? Or enjoy dinner at a place favored by the locals rather than shelling out all that money for a meal at Hard Rock Cafe? Be imaginative and think outside the box as you are planning your vacation.
8. Show patience with each other
When you go on vacation with your Significant Other, you are basically stuck together for the duration of the trip (with the exception of the time in which you plan separate activities, of course). You are likely to get annoyed with each other from time to time, but don’t let this get in the way of a lovely time. Avoid snapping at each other when the meal disappoints you or the line is too long. If you feel exhausted or frustrated, communicate rather than retreat and allow your feelings to boil over.
9. Recognize that not everything will go smoothly
Nothing in life goes perfectly. This is especially true as it relates to vacations. Flight delayed for a couple of hours? It happens. Perhaps your hotel room isn’t ready when you arrive. So what? Go somewhere and enjoy a dessert together. If you have these high expectations that everything will go exactly as planned, you are guaranteed to be disappointed. Your best strategy is to have a sense of humor, take things in stride, and offer and receive support from your Significant Other. You’re both on the same boat, so just made the most out of every situation!