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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Travel Tips for Couples

It was a match made in heaven for my husband and me when we discovered that we were both blissfully afflicted with wanderlust. Our case is so severe that we need a fix at least once a week, even to travel to a new destination for our weekly Sunday afternoon coffee date.
Canoodling aside, travel is a big part of our lives, and we're hoping to travel full time as soon as possible. For some like us, the idea of traveling around the world with a partner 24/7 is bliss, but for others, cramped quarters and too much togetherness bring anxiety that could derail even a week's vacation. 

Here's how we do it. 

1. Obviously, shared interests are fabulous, but celebrate your differences. You're a beach girl. He's a mountain man. Or vice versa. No worries. Do some research and find locales that allow you to do both. Compromise.

2. Plan together. This is how you can be sure that both of you have the opportunity to have your needs and wants met. Discuss expectations about budget, activities and accommodations. Both of you will be emotionally invested and excited for all that awaits you. 

3. Travel light. No one wants to feel like a pack mule. Organize your stuff and then take out at least 10%. Don't pack for What if?. If you need it enough to carry it on your back for x hours or days, then keep it; otherwise keep pruning until you are happy and won't lament carrying your load...on your own...for the duration of the trip.

4. Don't sweat the small stuff. When you're together all the time, or at least when you're traveling together, your partner's habits may start to creep up on you when you're tired, frustrated, or hangry. Recognize that your frustration is really about you and your reaction; you control it. Is it worth it to alienate your partner? Doubtful. Don't take him or her into your world of crazy, because then, you'll have two problems. There's little that a snack, a nap, or a good belly laugh can't fix. And then kiss and make-up. 

5. Share the load. Are you driving? Offer to drive and give him or her a break to snooze, catch up on email or social media or to just look out the window. He or she will appreciate the break and your willingness to share the load.

6. Don't feel like you have to talk all the time. Share space and be confident in your quiet time to think, meditate, wonder at what you see and play with naughty thoughts to make your stay-over that much more fun.

7. Plan ahead. Pack a snack. Pack water. Pack tissues. Pack medicine for a pop-up headache. Pack antacids. It's better to be prepared. I eat every 3-4 hours, but my husband could eat once or twice a day. Know thyself, and I do, so I pack a protein bar. Then, I'm good to go and a much happier camper. 

8. Alone time is okay. Do you want to go for a run? An early morning dip in the pool? If one of you wants to do something in which the other simply has no interest, don't worry. Sometimes the time apart is the remedy for when you're getting on each other's nerves or it saves the other from resenting having to do something or go somewhere he or she really doesn't want to do or go. Plus, absence really does make the heart grow fonder. You can meet up later and share your experience. 

9. Don't be afraid to start small. Maybe a round-the-world trip is not your cup of tea. Start by playing tourist in your own town. Or travel to the closest biggest city. The first big date my husband and I had was to New York. We went for the day and it was magic. Central Park, the Met, tapas and can you go wrong?

10. Make it a date. Hold hands. Kiss. Take goofy photos. Picnic. Play. You love each other; make loving memories to hold dear when you're not able to travel as much. 

Whether it's a weekend getaway, a day trip to the city, an afternoon at the museum, traveling around the world, or even a Sunday afternoon coffee date, travel with the one you love is an amazing experience. You connect in a way that may go unchecked in the craziness of chaotic days. Take a chance and see the world. And be sure to kiss all along the way. 

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