How to travel as a couple & 5 tips for planning your trip without going crazy while making amazing memories that will last you a lifetime.
Roger & I have been together for 10 years. For the first four years of our relationship we traveled together with our families, but we didn’t start traveling together just the two of us until we were married 6+ years ago.
We quickly realized that we both had preconceived notions about traveling as a couple & how that should look & play out in real life. (Which reminds me of this book that we read together before getting married, turns out the author was right!!)
Honestly, after the first hour in another country on our honeymoon I didn’t believe we would be doing any more overseas travelling.
We probably should have picked something a little easier for our first trip just the two of us, but you know, hindsight.
Now after 6 years of traveling just the two of us, we’ve learned the in’s & out’s of traveling as a couple. We’ve learned about communitation, partnership, & how to stay friends while traveling halfway around the world.
And since we love traveling so much I wanted to share with you a series of tips to help your travels as a couple be better than your wildest dreams!
Before Your Trip
First, take time to do some research on your upcoming trip.
My favorite places to look for real travel inspiration is of course Pinterest. I love learning what other travel bloggers recommend you see & what they recommend you skip.
If you and your travel buddy can talk about where to go and what to do ahead of time from the comfort of your living room, it may make it easier than being put on the spot in another country and arguing about what to do or where to go right before you do it!
2. Make a List
Separately make a list of everything you want to see, do, & taste while traveling.
You can do this verbally, make a note on your phone, or even write it down in your travel journal.
Also, remember to ignore the little FOMO voice in your head. There are a million things to see, do, & photograph on every trip you take.
I know the temptation is real for needing “that” Instagram picture, but try to make your list based around the memory & experience. You’ll be so glad you did!!
Also try to realize that you will not see or do everything everywhere you travel.
Pick out some highlights you would really like to see or do, but remember that by being easy going you will both add alot to the trip experience.
We have found that enjoying a few things & being happy together while traveling creates better memories & a much better experience than checking off a million things & places on a rushed & tension filled trip.
3. Rank Your List
Once you both have created a list of your top experiences take some time to think about which items are a must see & which ones that you are ok to miss.
Rank your items from your number one most important experience to the one that is least important to you.
4. Compare & Combine Lists
Next, compare your lists with your significant other.
Depending on the amount of time, finances, etc. you have for your upcoming trip create a new list based off of the top items on your lists.
Be sure your new list includes at least 1-3 items from the top of each of your lists.
5. Make a Plan
I know making a plan may sound crazy to those who love to go with the flow & travel off the beaten path, but when you are traveling as a couple you’ve got to remember it’s not all about you.
Making a plan is a great way to ensure ahead of time that you both have an adventure you’ll never forget. And remember a plan is just that a plan, not a requirement, having a structured plan for a vacation can be fun, but adjusting your plan on the go will happen & allows for spontanaiety as well.
I recommend you make a plan that fits your personality.
For those who prefer less structure just making a general outline of where you will be each day (what city/island/country/state) & 1-2 things you want to do/see each day may be right up your alley.
And for those who thrive in structure (like me), you can make a more detailed plan with restaurants reservations or tour bookings.
By having a plan (whether it be a short list of things you plan to do each day while winging the rest or a detailed itinerary for your trip) you will ensure you both get to have your dream experiences & even mark some things off of your bucket list.
We know these steps aren’t for everyone, but by doing the above steps prior to our trip Roger & I both know what to expect, we know what we both want to get out of the trip, & we can do this without either of us secretly getting our hopes up or feeling disappointed about a trip, especially if it’s one that costs a whole lot of $$$.
One huge tip that we have learned over the years is that a lot of enjoyment comes down to expectations.
If you have very high expectations for an experience or a trip, or even a resturant on a trip, many times your expectations cannot & will not be met.
However, if you approach each travel expereince as an adventure with your significant other & moderate your expectations, then the trip will most likely exceed what you imagined.
It is always better to be impressed & for the trip to exceed your expectations, than to be disappointed by having too high expectations.
How to Travel as a Couple Part 2
Our style of travel planning may not be yours, but if you use the above 5 tips to help you plan your trip, even just to create a tentative plan, your expectations will be more realistic & you will better understand your spouse’s ideas for a dream vacation.
But before you leave you should know that this is just part one of this mini-series of How to Travel as a Couple. Since this post is already over 1000 words I thought I should break it up so that it wouldn’t be too overwhelming.
Be sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss out on next weeks post on How to Travel as a Couple: Getting Lost
What is your favorite travel tip/hack for traveling as a couple?
I’d love to hear from you!
Feel free to comment below, email me, or tweet me on Twitter.
With love, G
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NIV