How to survive travelling with your partner
Travelling with your significant other definitely has its perks, and it will no doubt make for some amazing memories (and Instagram opportunities). However without careful consideration, your dream couple vacay can quickly descend into a nightmare, so read up on these tips before you book that double room.
Know your partner
You may think you know your boyfriend/girlfriend – but do you really? Are you familiar enough with (and accepting of) their odd quirks? Have you been through enough arguments with them to know the best way to successfully resolve them? And just how long can they go between meals before becoming aggressively hangry? These are the sorts of questions you need to ask yourself before signing up to be with your partner 24/7 for the next few days/weeks/months. You don’t want any nasty surprises.
Test the waters with a mini vacay
Before committing to a lengthy holiday with your SO, give it a practice run. Pack up the car and get away for a couple of nights, just the two of you. If you’ve never travelled together before, a mini trip will help you to decide if you’re ready to book those flights. To really challenge yourselves, consider a camping trip – If you can conquer the freezing cold wilderness together, your relationship can withstand anything.
Don’t be constantly joined at the hip
Travelling with your partner is all about experiencing new things together, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take some alone time or hang out with other travellers. You might not want to do the exact same thing as each other all the time, and that’s totally fine. Just because you’re a couple doesn’t mean you have identical interests. For instance, if you’re keen on going to an art gallery and your partner definitely isn’t, agree to spend a few hours apart doing separate activities before meeting up again to continue doing things you both enjoy. Your relationship can only benefit.
Harness your respective strengths
When travelling with a partner, your weaknesses can be offset by their strengths and vice versa. For example, I am absolutely terrible at finding my way around a city, so when travelling, I leave anything direction-related to my boyfriend, whose spatial awareness amazes me. In the same vein, he leaves all accommodation and restaurant hunting to me, and this arrangement seems to work quite nicely. Identify your travelling strengths (and those of your partner) and make the most of them.
Communicate openly and honesty
Unless your relationship is all sunshine and roses (which most aren’t), there are bound to be a few small conflicts throughout your travels. When this happens, don’t panic – it’s all part of being in a relationship. The key is to be open and honest and voice what’s bothering you ASAP in order to tackle it head on and continue having fun. Ignoring problems will create tension and only make them bigger.
Aobh studies journalism at UNSW, eats too much ice cream and is half Irish in case you couldn’t tell. She tweets at @Aobh_OBM.