No matter how long you’ve been together, travelling with your partner is always a test of your relationship, especially if it is for the first time. I am sure we’ve all heard stories like, “Jake and Samantha were going out for such a long time, then they went traveling together and broke up within a few weeks”. To avoid relationship disaster, especially on extended travel, here are a few guidelines to help keep you happy and in love:
- Clear objectives – before you spend any money, decide on what it is you want out of the trip. If one person is looking forward to getting some rest and relaxation on the beach, while the other is thinking a trip means hitting up all the museums and art galleries in town, you are bound to hit a few snags. Don’t be shy to voice your opinions, it’s better to be certain you are on the same page before you get on a plane for 10 hours.
- Compromise – following closely behind clear objectives is compromise. There are bound to be elements of the trip you feel differently about, but hear your partner out. List your most important goals or places you want to see, and come up with a plan to make sure you both accomplish the top items on your list – even if it means sacrificing a few lesser important items.
- Budget – money is always a hot topic in relationships, and even more so if you have joint finances for the trip. Set an amount that you both feel comfortable with for the trip overall, as well as the amount you wish to spend on categories such as flights, accommodation, food, entertainment etc. This will help you to get a clearer picture of how you agree to spend your money while abroad.
- Space – if you are planning to travel for more than a few weeks, taking some time away from each other to be alone with your thoughts becomes very important. When you are spending every waking moment with your partner, you are bound to become frustrated at times. Taking a long walk alone, or doing some solo shopping, can give you the space you need to recollect your thoughts and indulge in some of the activities that you really enjoy that your partner may not.
- Benefit of the doubt – you’ve just spent 12 hours on a plane, 2 hours collecting your luggage and getting through immigration, and another 45 minutes getting a train to your hotel. Your jet-lagged, tired, hungry and probably feeling pretty crappy. And who’s the one person there you want to take it out on? Your partner. More than ever during travel, it’s essential to let things go, and forgive easily. There are bound to be times you are both feeling on edge after long days on the road, and it’s easy to start an argument when you are both tired and irritable. Take some deep breaths, put on some good music, and remember why you decided to take this journey together in the first place. There are always going to be good days and bad in any relationship, just don’t let the few bad ones spoil the whole trip.