Travelling with your spouse or significant other can be stressful at times. It’s no coincidence that some couples actually breakup after a vacation. After spending so much time together, some couples realize just how different they are from each other. I mean think about it, if you’re at an all-inclusive resort you’ll be together All. The. Time.
My hubs and I have travelled much of western Europe and we’re slowly venturing into the US for some mini-vacations/getaways. I can say with a smile that each one of our vacations brought us closer together. Sure there were disagreements, but overall our vacations were always exciting and fun and full of wonderful memories. We’ve been together for a total of 11 years and at this point we even have a vacation theme song: Trooper’s “We’re Here for a Good Time (Not a Long Time).” We break out into the chorus in our hotel room as we unpack to remind us “to have a good time. The sun can’t shine everyday.”
Here are some tips to travelling with your spouse/partner/significant other:
- Understand each others travel style. I am a planner, like to the minute. My Type A personality really comes out when I’m planning vacations. For our NYC weekend, I was googling how long it would take us to walk from each location on our “must see” list so that I could make sure we saw everything we wanted to. My hubs on the other hand is more of a “go with the flow” traveller, there’s no real plan and there’s definitely no itinerary. He always has one or two “must see” places, but other than that he’s good to just wander around. So for our vacations, I plan out our days and when I ask if he wants to see the itinerary his response is always, “just tell me where to go.” At this point he knows that I’m going to plan EVERYTHING but he also knows that I love it… so I plan and he follows 🙂
- Budget, Budget, Budget! It’s so important to budget for your vacations, especially if it’s a longer 2 week stay or you’re heading somewhere that’s generally more expensive. My hubs and I tend to be a little more free with our money on vacations, we’re there for memories and new experiences after all, but we still have a general idea of what meals will cost and any attractions that we plan to do or see. Trip Advisor is great for asking questions about daily cost of food, etc. Make sure to also budget enough for shopping and souvenirs; the last thing you want is to come home to an eye-popping credit card bill.
- Go with the flow: somethings may not go 100% according to plan. That’s OK! Learn to laugh stuff off and think of it as a great story to tell your friends and family when you get back. When my hubs were in NYC in 2008, we booked a restaurant for dinner one night. The cab driver took us about 25 mins in the wrong direction. We ended up missing our dinner reservation, had to walk 45 mins in the rain up to Times Square and ate at the Olive Garden. Not ideal, but something we laugh about (and the reason I now travel with an umbrella).
- Compromise: the key to any successful partnership. Start compromising at the planning stage and be OK with it. You likely each have individual “must see/do” lists but you might not be able to fit everything in based on the time you have or your budget.
- Remember, you’re on vacation! I shake my head at people who spend all day at the front desk/concierge complaining about something trivial. Vacations are meant to be relaxing and fun. You’ve taken time off work and saved up for this. Don’t let the little things bother you… and that means little things about the hotel or resort you’re staying at / the restaurant you dined at last night for dinner / or even all the times your hubs leaves his wet towel on your side of the bed…. let all those things go and be grateful for where you are and who you’re with.