Everyone has their own traveling style. If you’re traveling solo, then no problemo! But if you’re like me who has a lot of anxieties, then solo traveling is a challenge. Good thing though, I found a travel partner almost 10 years ago and married him!
During our first couple of years, we started out by taking weekend (or weekday) road trips (Palm Springs, Las Vegas). Our first international travel was to Toronto to visit family. Since then, we made it a point to visit some place new every year. Almost everyone we know asks us where our next destination will be and that gets us excited.
Here’s a few tips for couples planning to travel whether you just started dating or married for umteenth years:
- Consult and Compromise. Like I mentioned earlier, everyone has their own style of traveling. So, it is of utmost importance that the participants has their say in the activity. Ask your partner what they would like to do when you get there. Traveling is not one size fits all. There’s multiple sizes! Your partner will feel like they are being dragged along if their opinions or suggestions are not heard.
- Do something new. After all, you’re in a place you’ve never been before!
- Make an itinerary. But be flexible! And do not get disappointed if not everything goes to plan. I am a major proponent in making itineraries. I believe that things actually get done when you attack with a plan. But there are other factors when you travel. The traffic might be bad, the weather might not cooperate, the hours of the day might not be enough (lol), etc. It is very important to involve your partner in the planning stages of your trip.
- Give each other some alone time. As much as we love each other, we need to give each other some space. When we were river cruising, I would go to the lounge area to read a book or write a blog post while he takes a nap or play on his phone. Most of our outside activities we do together. Except maybe that one time he got so drunk on our first Disney cruise that I went to Costa Maya, Mexico by myself.
- Help each other in packing and unpacking. This is one of the things I do not like about traveling. It is very stressful. It helps a lot if you have someone to do it with. Make a packing list and tackle it together. When you get to a destination and you are looking for something specific, at least you have somebody to tell you, “I think it’s in this suitcase”. My husband takes care of packing our gear (cameras, laptop and chargers). I mostly do the clothes. But we do collaborate and share information.
- Divide the responsibilities. One person doesn’t have to be the superman/superwoman of traveling. There are plenty of things to be responsible for. When we go on road trips, he drives 100% of the time because he’s a reliable driver. He looks to me for directions (when I’m not sleeping). Thank God for Waze and Google Maps! I am also in charge of pre-booking everything! From cruise fares, flights, hotels, activities and everything in between. He uploads all pictures and videos to the laptop and hard drive so that we have enough space in our memory cards for next day’s activity.
- Talk about money and expenses. Set a budget and educate each other about money matters. One of our cards charge 3% foreign transaction fee while the other has none. We divided the cash we were carrying between us and kept in multiple places. We talk about all kinds of things related to our money before embarking on a trip down to our budget for souvenirs and meals!
- Surprise your partner. I talked about making an itinerary. But it’s also good to come up with something that will surprise your travel buddy. He will associate that happy feeling he felt during the surprise when he remembers your trip. My husband is a Running Man fan and absolutely loves Korean noodles. So on our last day in Seoul, I surprised him by taking him to Munbaedong Yukkal, a spicy beef noodle restaurant featured in Running Man. The look he gave those noodles…
- Be aware of each others’ comfort levels. If you are traveling with someone who gets sea sick, don’t go whale watching with them. It will ruin your trip! If he/she gets dizzy from riding the first roller coaster, don’t make them feel bad for not going with you on the second one. Talk about it and be acceptable of how they truly feel. Because like the happy feeling they felt in #8, they may associate the nauseating feeling (or worse) of the roller coaster with you!
- Take lots of pictures together! If you have to ask a stranger, then so be it! You’ll end up regretting the fact that you didn’t take a lot of pictures together. Don’t be shy and just ask. Or you can also get a tripod.
These tips will apply to anybody, not just couples! And I hope our experiences may help you in planning your next vacation. Happy trip!