We have been traveling the world together for over 1,600 days (and counting) straight. Luckily, we travel pretty well together – but travel can be a big test of a relationship. A few things about traveling with your significant other can present challenges that you just don’t find in everyday life. Here are a few common challenges and how to handle them on the road – our survival guide to couple travel.
1. Set a travel budget
The biggest point of friction for any couple while traveling is usually money. Traveling can be expensive and without planning, spending can get out of control quickly. Book the big stuff online like the plane tickets and hotel rooms in advance online, then set aside money for taking day trips, meals, drinks, and activities.
We like to use cash while traveling to help better control spending. Putting everything on a credit card generally leads to overspending while traveling. It’s good practice to write out how much your hotel, meals, transportation and a daily allowance for activities before the trip to help estimate costs. Always add in extra money for things you might have forgotten. There is a saying to the effect of ‘pack half the amount of clothes and twice the amount of money you think you need for a trip’. Rather than twice the amount we add 25% to our budget for the unexpected things of traveling.
If you’re not married yet or keep your money separate, be upfront with who is paying for what costs. Having the talk before getting on the plane will make things a lot smoother once you hit the ground.
2. Don’t get Hangry
When traveling it’s easy to get off schedule with eating, and most people get cranky when they are hungry. So don’t let missing a meal spark a fight, instead always make time to try lots of the local food. Stopping to sample the food is a great way to experience the culture and also to avoid a fight.
If you find yourselves getting hungry make a beeline to the closest gelato shop or tasty looking street vendor. While traveling there is no excuses to get hangry!
3. Don’t Fight Over the Map
Don’t let a little piece of paper get between you and your partner while traveling. Maps are known to cause all sorts of ‘I-told-you-so’ fights, but don’t let them. If your partner goofs up reading the map, bite your tongue and instead help them figure out while being positive – next time it might be you who goes down the wrong road.
Map Tip: If you’re traveling in a foreign country without cell phone data service don’t sweat it, you can still use google maps offline. Our favorite map related tip is to load your google map while on wifi at your hotel and keep your GPS or ‘location data’ on and your map will still work when you lose wifi. One thing to watch out for is if you get too far off the route you’ll have to find your way back to the main route because the map only loads directly around your programmed route.
Even better yet, lose the map and just explore a city by foot, have fun getting lost on purpose. Wander down small streets and get deeper into the place you are visiting.
4. Insure your Wedding Rings
While you may not think about your rings or jewelry at home, but there are a lot of pitfalls for jewelry when it comes to traveling. Between swimming pools, sneaky maids, and one too many tequila shots, a vacation is a dangerous place for jewelry – especially expensive engagement rings. Whether you’re recently engaged or already married, Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group makes getting a personalized online quote quick and easy.
Some couples even avoid bringing their engagement rings on a trip, which is too bad especially on a trip like a honeymoon. With a little care and good insurance, you can ring your ring without being paranoid about losing it.
5. Pack a small tripod for couple photos
Have you ever hiked up to an epic viewpoint only to have no one there to take your picture together at the top, or ever handed your camera to a stranger and have them take the worst photo in the history of the world? On your next trip pack a small travel tripod and you’ll never have to rely on the camera skills of a stranger again. Most cameras have a self-timer function or new cameras have apps to connect directly to your phone to set up that epic shot.
6. Spend a little time apart while traveling
While on a trip you spend much more time together than you would on a normal day, so make sure you have a little bit of ‘me’ time. Book an appointment at the spa or take that fishing trip solo. Part of a day on vacation spent apart can be a good thing. Try not to drag your partner along on a day trip that they really don’t want to go on, find them something to do they will enjoy. You’ll both be happier when you meet up together for dinner.
7. Go with the flow
Things are going to go wrong while you are traveling together, but instead of getting upset about it always keep an eye out for the positive. Some of our favorite travel memories as a couple come from times when things didn’t go to plan. As long as you can roll with the punches while traveling as a couple you’ll have a great partner in life.
8. Plan a surprise
Let your partner know who special they are to you by planning a little something special. It could be as simple as a nice dinner out to a room filled with flowers. Taking time to appreciate each other will help your next vacation as a couple be one to remember.
Take it to the next level: Destination Proposal
Travel is a great test of a relationship, if you survived traveling together, you may have found the one! If you’re not married but are planning on proposing soon, a destination proposal would be an epic way to pop the question!
Our top picks for a proposal destination would be:
- In an over the water bungalow in the Maldives
- In a hot air balloon over Bagan Myanmar
- On the white sand beaches of Jamaica of beach lovers
- High in the Swiss Alps for nature lovers
- On a safari in the Serengeti for wildlife enthusiasts
Once you have the destination picked out, all you need is the ring! Get started with the best resource for learning about engagement rings. After that, it’s time to plan the honeymoon (at least that’s how our minds work)!