Travel SOS: How to travel with a new partner

No one disputes that it's hard to travel with family, but what about a new partner?

Travel SOS: How to travel with a new partner

Martina is considering a holiday with her girlfriend but is concerned that it may put a strain on their burgeoning relationship. In Travel SOS, SJ offers some sage advice on keeping things nice while travelling with a new buddy.


Q. Martina
I have recently entered a relationship and would like to go on holiday with her. We have only been together officially for a couple of months, but we’ve known each other casually for a year. I know that it may seem very soon, and I don’t necessarily want it to be a ‘big step’, so how do I ensure that we’re still friends when we return?

A. Travelling with others is challenging at the best of times, let alone when you put the word ‘significant’ in front of that ‘other’.

While there’s lots of talk about how hard it can be when it comes to travelling with family, at least they are likely to already know all your flaws (and are still somewhat required to love you regardless). But what about when you’re going away with a new partner? Here’s how to navigate the tricky waters of your first couples’ trip to ensure you still come back in a relationship.

Scope their travel style
Broadly speaking, there are two main types when it comes to travelling; those who want to hit the ground running and see as much as possible and those who are more interested in returning rejuvenated and treating the trip as a proper break or holiday. Try to start on the same page by finding out which camp your new beau falls into. Similarly, everyone has different budgets and things they want to spend money on. While you may be happy with an Airbnb, your partner may insist on a four-star hotel. It’s better to find these things out before you book anything, so you can ascertain whether or not you can make the trip work and how you’re going to compromise to keep you both happy.

Pick your battles
It’s not easy to spend time with someone else 24/7, particularly if you don’t necessarily know them inside out. And, while there’s a high chance your new partner may drive you round the bend on your first trip away, if you jump down their throat every time they do it’s likely to be your last! Take a deep breathe, keep calm and remember a relationship is about two people and constant compromise. That doesn’t mean that you can’t stand your ground, just make sure that when you do it’s over the things that really matter to you … like the gallery you’re dying to see, not the fact your new partner left wet towels on the bathroom floor.

Share the costs
Unless your partner has explicitly stated they are covering the whole trip make sure you share the costs, so no one ends up feeling as though they have been taken for a ride. That said, it’s much nicer to approach costs on a ‘I’ll get this one, you get the next’ basis – nothing screams tight like splitting every bill down the middle. Even if your partner is happy to cover all the costs, it’s nice to at least pick up one lunch or dinner to show your appreciation.

Make a plan
There’s nothing worse than wandering around with no sense of direction – even more so if you’re hungry. Make sure you’ve done some research on your destination and what you’d like to do there. Have a chat each morning and make a rough plan for the day that includes things that both of you want to do. It’s better to have one open discussion in the morning to agree on a plan than argue each step of the way! This sets everyone’s expectations for the day and, as they say, failing to plan is planning to fail …

Choose who’s going to do the navigating
While I’m not sure there’s been a definitive answer on which sex is superior when it comes to map reading, Google has ensured that anyone with two eyes can find their way around a city. Decide who is better equipped to take on this task and try not to kill them when they inevitably get you lost and you have to navigate both of you back on course … it’s not their fault they’re stupid (see point two).

At the end of the day, remember that it’s exciting to have a new relationship and someone to travel with. While you may have a few more tiffs than usual, that’s part and parcel of getting to know someone better. Focus on the bigger picture and the positives, and don’t forget to go with the flow and have fun.

Follow these tips and you should be able to avoid the seat change fee for your flight home!



    To make a comment, please register or login
    3rd Mar 2018
    This article really made me laugh. First of all because two women are the partners there is a discussion about who will pay where as if a male is involved it would be assumed he would pay for everything. I also lol when there is mention of getting lost , of course theyre going to get lost women couldn't find there way out of a bathroom without a flashlight and a half hour head start. But as you say they can't help being stupid. When you imagine two women on a trip both expecting to make all the plans to suit themselves and fighting about it,now that's hilarious. But if it's a heterosexual couple keep in mind if you don't like having a holiday with her it's not time to walk away from her but to run.
    3rd Mar 2018
    In fairness the article called the person unable to read the map stupid, I've never thought of it as that even though I've had my fun in my comment. I've alway just seen it as a point of difference between men and women for the same reason men very often can't see the shirt they are looking for when it's right in front of them.
    3rd Mar 2018
    It was 1975....we had saved ..working long & hard hours. Then we ventured out into the world in our VW Combi Van. 12 long, very hard, arguing, scary but truly wonderful weeks
    together. We decided... if we can get through this ,we can get through life together.
    43 amazing ( not always easy ) years later....& still together.

    You can't always get everything perfect, but even with all the imperfect, it can be a great & memorable experience. Just do it.... don't plan every minute.
    3rd Mar 2018
    Tib u obviously haven't got a partner. Get rid of the arrogance and anger and you might be able to see the world differently
    3rd Mar 2018
    I agree Pamiea my comment was a little angry , what can I say , it was early and I'm not a morning person. :) I thought you were going to say if I wasn't so angry and arrogant I would get a partner :) trust me when I tell you I'm not looking for one.
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