How To Successfully Travel With Your Partner
I always get apprehensive before traveling. I think everyone does in their own way. I especially feel the nerves when I'm revisiting a place I’ve been to before. Will it feel the same? Am I the same as when I first traveled there? Will I discover something new and no longer enjoy it?
On a whim, my significant other and I decided to take a trip to London. A place that I called home less than a year prior to this proposed vacation. With just days to go, thinking about what to pack, who will watch my dog, and the worry of meeting old and new friends, the apprehension set in: traveling with a partner.
I’ve never traveled a great distance with a romantic partner before, and rarely traveled with family or friends. I have always loved, and long advocated the benefits of solo travel. The thought of sharing that part of your life, and so closely with someone you love is both exciting and scary. Will I like traveling just as much with someone else? Will we get on each others' nerves? Will it be fun, or just stressful? Do they travel like me?
If you're like me and have had a hard time traveling with others in the past, I'll be frank: yes, it is stressful and difficult to travel with someone else. There are ways to survive and thrive through it though, and I am living proof. Here are my best tips for traveling with your significant other for the first time.
Establish which kind of traveler you are
Everyone has a different notion of bliss when traveling. Some people have urgency and want to get up early to see everything on their list. Some people want to be lazy -- it's a vacation afterall! -- and stroll to a coffee shop for some late breakfast and then finally get to their list after lunch. Establishing who is who will help you avoid pesky fights because someone is tired, or another is missing their desired locations.
Set aside some solo time
I like to wander the streets of the place I am traveling alone, listening to music, and just generally taking in the sights. My boyfriend loves his sleep. We set aside a morning where we could have that separate time and it reinvigorated us for the rest of our trip.
Don't make an itinerary, make lists
An itinerary is going to be the force that makes your trip turn sour. Don't plan out every minute of your trip. Instead, sit down and make a list of things you really must see, and some things you would just be happy to see or do. This method allows you to prioritize your time, and to not feel bound to a specific hit list. Having separate lists can also help fill in that solo time as well.
Talk to each other
This seems rather obvious, but it is easy to forget when traveling that you are still in a relationship. It's important to gauge each other's happiness level the entire time you're traveling. You're both on vacation and if one of you is not having a good time, then that is going to carry over when you get home. Traveling together was scary, stressful, and difficult. We understood the stresses and talked it out, and we came out stronger on the other side for it.