Traveling as a Couple: Preparing for Your First Trip
You might be nervous if you are traveling for the first time with a new romantic partner. Maybe you’ve never shared a small space, or spent more than 24 uninterrupted hours together. What if she eats chips loudly and gets crumbs all over the car? What if he takes up way too much leg room on the plane? A lot can go wrong. We get it.
But the joys and benefits of traveling with your person make it worth the risk. Whether it’s a first anniversary trip or you’re just looking for a way to grow your relationship, planning your first trip together can strengthen your bond. Co-traveling is an opportunity to learn more about your significant other and grow as a team.
So to avoid the bumps in the road and keep your relationship cruising along, you need a plan. Here’s what we recommend to make that first adventure one you’ll want to remember!
Compromise on the destination.
Choosing a destination you can both be excited about is the first step to a fun and relaxing trip together. This might take some compromise, but if you focus your list down to destinations you will both enjoy, the rest of the trip should go smoothly.
Maybe you’re a beach lover and your partner can’t stand laying back in the sand and the heat. Maybe they love exploring the mountains, hiking, and staying on-the-go and that’s way too much activity for you. If you book a beach trip or a mountain getaway, one of you will inevitably be unhappy.
A compromise might be to book a lakeside cabin or mountain resort. This way you can both get a little of what you want – days of relaxation as well as opportunities to hike and explore nature!
Give them (and yourself!) some space.
While it’s tempting to go straight for the cozy, romantic hotel room or AirBnB, it can be beneficial to give you both some space when traveling as a couple for the first time.
Choosing a hotel suite or a full condo or apartment-style rental gives you and your partner room to breathe. You’ll really appreciate the extra space if you or your partner just needs a little time to decompress by yourselves.
Plan for some alone time.
Even when you’re in love, some alone time can be good for you (and your relationship)! Planning self-care is especially important when traveling as a couple.
Maybe this looks like one of you going on a hike while the other goes shopping. Or one of you hits the spa while the other enjoys a morning reading session at a local coffee shop.
This time to yourself will help you to reflect on your travels, your relationship, and your life. It lowers the chance of having one of the petty arguments that can come up when you spend too much time together. Once you have some time to recharge, you will feel refreshed and even more excited for the rest of your trip with your sweetheart.
Plan a budget in advance (and stick to it!)
It’s a well-known fact that money is the most common topic for couples to argue about. Feeling this sort of stress on an anniversary trip will make an argument almost unavoidable.
Plan your budget in advance, and stick to it to avoid any unnecessary money drama. Be sure to discuss the budget in detail and set aside money for airfare/gas, lodging, food, and entertainment. Include money set aside for each of you to spend separately however you please. Have this discussion well in advance of your trip!
If one of you goes over budget, it will be easy to feel resentment at first. Just remember, money will come back to you – these special memories of your first time traveling as a couple will only last a short while.
Check in with how the other is feeling often.
Communication is a key to any healthy and long-lasting relationship. This doesn’t just mean to have a quick conversation. Real communication requires you to acknowledge and share your feelings, and be receptive of your partner’s emotions too.
During your trip, particularly if it’s a longer one, check in with your partner periodically to see how they are feeling. Whether one of you is an introvert being pushed to the limit or something you’re doing is mildly annoying your partner, it’s healthy and healing to get these feelings out in the open.
While traveling with your partner for the first time can be a high-pressure situation, planning and clear communication are the keys to making your trip a romantic and memorable.