With 39% of Millennial and Generation Z workers stating that they wouldn’t accept a job that doesn’t let them travel, it’s clear that exploring the globe is more important to people than ever before. And whether it’s hiking in Nevada or surfing in New Zealand, choosing to travel with your romantic partner can be a truly amazing experience.
But the truth is, going off on a paired adventure can also have its challenges. For no matter how well you get along on a day-to-day basis, spending 24/7 together in close quarters can magnify any differences between you. After all, there are bound to be times when you’re both feeling jet-lagged, sun-stroked or even culture-shocked, leading to disagreements and bickering.
For this reason, it’s best to anticipate any issues in advance so that you can enjoy an amazing trip together. Here are six steps to stress-free travel as a couple:
1. Plan ahead and get the best deals
If you will be flight or hotel-hopping on your trip, then get things off to a strong start by booking everything in advance. This way, you can snap up the best offers and not have to deal with any last-minute strains, such as steep flight prices or accommodation rip-offs. For instance, knowing that you will both be heading straight a luxurious, pre-booked hotel after an 18-hour flight (rather than scrambling to find a random place the minute you land in a foreign country) can make all the difference to your shared adventure.
2. Decide on your budget in advance
Don’t let arguments over money ruin a good trip. For instance, if you enjoy deluxe accommodation perks (like, say, luxury lodges with hot tubs) while your partner prefers to opt for basic budget crash pads, then you need to talk about this in advance. One good compromise would be to alternate between cheap and higher-end places. The same goes for restaurants too — will it be shoestring snacks or three-course gourmet feasts? In short, decide on a budget that works for you both and stick to it.
3. Acknowledge your personal body clocks
When it comes to peak daytime energy levels, there are basically three types of people — morning larks, night owls and hummingbirds (the latter get their energy surge in the afternoon). If you and your amour aren’t exactly a match that way, then aim to accommodate each other. For instance, maybe the morning lark could stay up late to party with the night owl every once in a while. And maybe the night owl could be willing to go on the odd crack of dawn hike. Just mix things up a little — it’ll be fun.
4. Give each other space
Sure, your trip is all about bonding with each other, but does that mean you have to spend every single moment together? It’s totally fine if one of you heads off rambling in the woods alone while the other relaxes on the beach sipping a beer. That way, you’ll have so much more to talk about when you finally catch up again — and you will have experienced that all-important feeling of missing each other.
5. Love your extrovert (or your introvert)
Extrovert or introvert? If you and your partner are at different ends of the spectrum, then this needs to be acknowledged before heading off on your trip. For instance, an extrovert is going to love hanging out with groups of new people while travelling. And sure, an introvert can enjoy this too, but they are also going to need a lot more downtime. So make sure your that your trip has a balance of, say, meditating quietly on the beach by day, then heading to a BBQ with friendly fellow travellers by night.
6. Accept that arguments are totally natural
Disagreements aren’t always bad — they can offer a valuable chance to clear the air when co-travelling, bringing any niggling frustrations to light. What’s important is that you agree to manage any conflicts positively, by listening first, then resolving things lovingly. Make sure arguments are constructive, not destructive.
No relationship is perfect, but by being willing to compromise you can enjoy an incredible adventure together. So embrace your differences, then get ready to plan that trip of a lifetime with confidence.