Traveling as a couple is one of the best ways to travel. Whether it’s with your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other, you’ll find that traveling together is not only fun, but rewarding. It’s also more convenient, as you have another person looking out for you and helping you plan the different stages of your trip. And of course, the reality of traveling as a couple can also test your relationship. You’ll learn a lot about each other in ways that you may not at home in your daily routine.
Here are some of the best tips for traveling as a couple, which have served me well over the years. Hopefully, you can apply some of these strategies, tips, and tricks for your own relationship!
1. Ask your significant other what they want to do
This is probably the most important tip for traveling as a couple. Expectations should be established up front to minimize arguments and resentment down the road. Make sure the plans sound good to both of you, and compromise whenever necessary.
Lots of couples have a designated planner, who books everything and handles the logistics of the trip. Don’t fall into the trap of not keeping your significant other in the loop!
Making your opinions known from the beginning— and voicing them with your partner— will go a long way in ensuring a smooth trip!
2. Plan some surprises, too!
Obviously, it’s important to have a solid game plan going into your trip, but don’t be afraid to veer off the plan by making room for some surprises. Do something nice or special for your partner that makes them feel loved. For example, surprise your partner with a bottle of wine in the hotel room, or plan a date night at a unique restaurant with a view. Even small gestures can go a long way in making the trip romantic and memorable.
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3. Bring some snacks
Have you ever seen your partner hangry before? This isn’t always a pretty sight, and can be the ultimate test of a relationship.
When you’re traveling as a couple, there’s a good chance you won’t be eating meals at the same time everyday like you do at home. Avoid the bad mood that comes with being hungry by bringing granola bars, Clif Bars, or trail mix. You’ll thank me for this later!
4. Be patient with each other
As you’re traveling as a couple, you will undoubtedly run into some roadblocks and challenges. Whenever conflicts arise, try not to blame your partner for them. This is the worst idea ever, please don’t do it. Instead, do your best to be patient, and recognize that instant gratification and smooth sailing aren’t always a thing when you’re traveling. So, do your best to let go and not be frustrated whenever issues arise. Remember that you’re a team, and you can get through anything together!
5. Comprising is key when traveling as a couple
Travel as a couple, and you’ll quickly encounter a scenario where you and your partner have a totally different definition of ‘fun’.
You won’t always love your partner’s ideas for things to do in a destination, but sometimes you just need to go with the flow. It’s perfectly normal in a relationship to not be aligned with your partner’s ideas 100% of the time, and traveling is no different. Comprising is key, which can mean different things to different people. Seek a healthy balance between finding middle ground or switching off between what you and your partner want to do.
Another couple’s tip: If your partner suggests an idea that you aren’t crazy about, instead of suggesting something else all the time—which can lead to resentment—try to roll with it. Of course, if it’s an idea you really detest, that can be a different story. In those instances, talk it out and remember, sometimes it’s perfectly okay to split up for a while, too. Having ample alone time can also be healthy for relationships on the road.
6. Alone time is important
When you’re traveling as a couple, it’s easy to forget about the importance of alone time. This has no bearing on how much you love one another, it’s just a normal human tendency to want a little bit of space from time to time.
Even just a few minutes of alone time here and there—whether at the hotel room, or quiet time at the beach or pool—can go a long way. This is especially important if you’re an introvert!
7. Be prepared and pack all the essentials
Double and triple check what you’re packing. Do you have all the chargers you need for your devices? Proper attire for the weather forecast? Asking these types of questions ahead of time can lead to much less stress—and consequently, potential arguments— down the road.
There’s no worse feeling than having a dead cell phone when you’re trying to get from point A to B. Or being unprepared for the elements without the right gear/clothing. Being too hot or too cold can often lead to a squabble, so do your best to avoid it. In other words, be prepared!
8. Take lots of couple photos!
This is one of my favorite travel quotes: “We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.” – Katie Thurmes
Practice a little bit with your travel photography, that way you can capture some amazing moments on the road with your partner.
Make sure you take lots of cute couple photos so you can relive those memories later on! Your kids and grandchildren will also thank you for it (maybe)!
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For further reading: Top Travel Photography Tips to Enhance Your Photos
9. Bring a tripod
If you want to get amazing couple photos while you’re on the road, consider investing in a tripod. Sure, you can ask other people to take your photo, but there’s no guarantee that the quality will come out that great.
I have way too many photos of my wife and I tilted at a 45-degree angle, often with our eyes closed. So, I’ve learned from firsthand experience not to rely on strangers to take memorable travel photos. Tripods are fairly inexpensive and they work great. It’s a much cheaper alternative to hiring a photographer, too! Below is the tripod that I use.
Read next: Helpful Photography Tips for Beginners
10. Have an emergency backup plan: One of the most underrated tips for traveling as a couple
Emergencies happen, and it’s always a good idea to be prepared for them. Talk with your partner and make sure you have a plan in place in case something bad and unexpected happens.
Begin by jotting down important phone numbers in case of an emergency. If you’re traveling abroad as a couple, figure out where the closest embassy or consulate is, and write down their contact information. Write down the contact info of your hotels, tour provider, etc., but also don’t forget about your friends/family at home. How can they be contacted if anything happens to you?
In addition, remember to bring enough cash and credit cards with you on your trip. I’ve heard horror stories of travelers bringing one credit card, and no cash, and for whatever reason the card gets declined. To reduce the likelihood of a sticky situation, bring a few credit cards with you, and carry some backup cash in a separate compartment in your luggage/baggage. That way, if you get pickpocketed or your card isn’t working, you’ll have backups.
Lastly, consider buying travel insurance when you’re traveling as a couple. If something goes wrong, for example, one of you ends up in a hospital, this will provide you with some peace of mind.
Extreme weather, crime, and terrorism are all things you should keep in the back of your mind, but of course, anything can happen when you’re on the road. By planning for these types of scenarios in advance, you’ll be much more prepared if/when disaster strikes.
Read next: Why You Should Consider Getting Travel Insurance
11. Learn from each other’s mistakes
Couple travel isn’t always free from conflicts and obstacles. When moments of conflict arise, strive to learn from them. Mistakes will be made along the way, so make a mental note of them so you can learn and do better the next time.
Whether it’s what we pack, what we say, or what we do, we’re all guilty of making mistakes from time to time. Turn a frustrating experience into a learning opportunity!
12. Spend your hard-earned money on the important things
Avoid the tourist traps and spend your money in ways that will give you an authentic experience. By focusing on the off-the-beaten-path experiences, you’ll also save money, too!
When you’re traveling as a couple, the last thing you want to deal with are crowds of people. This certainly isn’t my idea of a romantic getaway. Instead of eating out every night in a touristy restaurant, perhaps have a picnic somewhere with a view and bring your own wine! You won’t have to contend with hordes of obnoxious tourists, and you can focus on the things that matter…each other!
Read next: Unique Tips to Saving Money on Travel
13. Be honest and be nice: The recipe for a healthy relationship
This is one of the most important tips in couple travel.
Being honest about your feelings, particularly when you’re on the road, can save you headaches and frustration later. Of course, you should also be kind and careful with the words you use with your partner. Sometimes being too much of a straight-shooter can get you into trouble. Try to find a balance between honesty and kindness, and you’ll be on your way to having a fun and drama-free vacation with your other half!
14. Fall in love all over again – one of the joys of traveling as a couple
As someone who has traveled extensively by myself and in groups, I can say that nothing beats the joy of experiencing new places as a couple. Sure, there are benefits to solo travel that can’t be overlooked, but I’m someone who prefers sharing my experiences with others.
By traveling as a couple, you’ll get to see the world through an entirely different lens. Enjoy a glass of wine with a view, stay in a cozy and romantic Airbnb somewhere in the woods, and enjoy being left to your own devices. Traveling as a couple will have you falling in love again and again.
Read next: Most Romantic Airbnb Stays in Vermont
Best travel tips and tricks when traveling as a couple
Hope you enjoyed reading about these tips on traveling as a couple! Are there any other tips and tricks you think would be helpful to add to this list? Let me know! 🙂
For more unique tips and best places to visit around the world, be sure to follow my adventures on Instagram!
Happy Travels! -Jon
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