How to travel as a couple

So, you’ve decided to travel with your lover. What now?

How to travel as a couple

So, you’ve decided to travel together. There’s no doubt that sharing travel moments with your partner is a special experience, but spending all day, every day together can also make your time fraught with problems. Life at home is often challenging enough, so surely travel will amplify all these problems?

Perhaps you want to explore Barcelona and see the Gaudi apartments, but your partner is content to while away the afternoon at a tapas bar. Maybe your lover wants to take a romantic gondola ride down a Venetian canal, but for that price, you’d prefer to take a day trip to another island or buy souvenirs.

So here are some ideas for smooth travels with your other half.

Decide early on your vision for the trip

You might agree on the same destination but end up having very different expectations when you get there. Establish early during the planning process what you each want from the trip. One of you might be after a relaxing resort-style break, sipping cocktails on the beach, while the other wants to become immersed in a new culture, visit the attractions and connect with the locals. Can one of you compromise on this trip and make the next one about the other’s wishes? Can you somehow manage to incorporate both peoples’ expectations? Make sure to discuss your preferences and write a list of experiences and activities you both want to do before starting your adventure together.

Over the course of your trip, try to schedule alone time to ensure you both get to see what you want – and so youdon’t get on each other’s nerves too much. There are bound to be times when you don’t see eye-to-eye, so allowing each other that space to do what you prefer is a good idea.  Consider spending time separately as insurance against getting tired of each other later.

Don’t just rely on each other

You love this person; they are your partner and your chosen travel buddy, but that doesn’t mean you should spend time with just them. Why not take a cruise, schedule a day tour or stay at guest houses and B&Bs to ensure you connect with outsiders too. When visiting tourist sites keep an eye open for other couples or individuals with whom you can have a chat. The beauty of travel is you can find friends in unusual places, so don’t be shy about inviting them to dinner with your partner. It will take the pressure off having to constantly entertain each other, and you’ll both be grateful for the new company.

Having said this, ensure you don’t spend more time with new friends than with your partner. Nothing causes more friction than one person feeling excluded – and this can create more problems when you’re alone together.

Kiss and make up

Whether you’ve lived together for 30 years or you’re seasoned travellers together, spending all day, every day with your partner isn’t part of normal life. It’s natural that you’ll run into conflict with one another. He’s been taking you in circles for hours around an ancient city and now you’re lost. She has to stop and browse in every single shop you walk past. When you do fight, the rules that apply at home apply here, except now you’re in a foreign place where all you have is each other. What does this mean? It means that making up is easier. You’re away from the habits and routines of normal life, so you can react and make up differently than at home. Try to make the most of this novelty. Find new ways to be compassionate and forgiving – buy her some gelato to take her mind off her aching feet, be patient when you walk out of a shop and find he’s disappeared down the street without you. Perhaps, along with a tan and some souvenirs, you’ll bring home some better relationship habits too.

Do you have any trips for travelling with your partner?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    23rd Nov 2015
    When we travel we do try and get some 'alone' time. Whether that be me doing some shopping on my own, or him sitting in a bar watching the world go by. It certainly makes the 'together' times easier. We usually travel to Europe every year for 7-8 weeks so this 'alone' time is essential really. We also make sure that I see what I want to and he sees what he wants to. It's all really about balance and a bit of give and take.
    23rd Nov 2015
    Oh dear
    have I had a wow of a time, with an old curmudgeon, he wouldn't talk to anyone and found fault with most things, in time he agreed he should not have come along. if you do go together, the golden rule is " you both are different, and like different things," it would be a sad and boring trip if you were both twins in everything and everywhere, just absorb what you can and allow the other to just chill out any way they can. A tablet with access to our radio station and our local paper made all the difference, I just embraced the ambience, and walked a lot, including places I knew as a child and are still there just as I remembered them.... I walked along woods, old streets, old suburbs and country lanes. he often had a siesta... we are back and next time, I'll go alone thanks... but I still love him... he can stay home and look after the garden.
    Polly Esther
    23rd Nov 2015
    The 'song' goes something like "You take the high road and I'll take the low road" and so on, and yes, then you will get along famously, or I know I would.
    Oh, and if you are driving along the highway and come to a fork in the road, take it.
    fish head
    23rd Nov 2015
    you are not joined at the hip. Discuss this BEFORE you leave home so you both have a clear idea of the other's expectations and give absolution IN ADVANCE for solo activities. No one needs a 'reluctant dragon' en train.
    23rd Nov 2015
    One of the best birthday presents my husband gave me (ever) was to come shoe shopping with me in Seville, which is the ultimate in absolute shoe heaven. He was the bag carrier and I got 10 pairs of shoes! The next day was his choice.

    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles