Traveling as a couple has its ups and downs. It’s easy to get lost and frustrated in a new place that does not speak your language. Don’t take it out on each other! As a traveling couple, I have written some advice for those who want to travel together.
A Couple’s Guide to Traveling Together:
Decide on activities together – When choosing a spot to travel to, make sure you both know what you’re getting into. While one might want to check out the shops in Paris, the other might want to snowboard down the Alps. Make sure you know what you want to do before you go, so you know what to expect when you get there. This way you won’t hear, “But I thought we were just gonna relax and check out the city?” Set aside time for both adventures.
Pack together – You can avoid double packing this way. Check the travel check list together after packing, and know who carries what. Ray and I have packed together so many times that we have mastered packing in less than thirty minutes. He always packs the snorkels (or whatever the adventure item is), and I always pack the toiletries.
Have an open mind – Traveling allows you to see and do things you would normally not. When the other wants to try a new delicacy, open up your mind and try it yourself. You never know what new things you might like if it wasn’t for your partner in crime.
Stay positive – Ray took me to San Diego to surf which I would never have tried if it wasn’t for him. Surfing has to be the most difficult boarding sport I’ve ever tried. As a terrible swimmer, having to trek past waves to get into the ocean was tiresome. Standing on the board and staying on was even more difficult. I eventually caught a wave and the exhilaration was nothing like I have ever felt before. When trying something new, just because it’s difficult or uncomfortable, stay positive and the experience will be worth it. You don’t wanna fight over someone saying, “I never wanted to do this to begin with.” Remember, all you have is each other on this trip, so getting along is key.
Be supportive – When rockclimbing together, instead of saying, “Come on, it’s easy!” say, “You can do it. Let me guide you.” Always be supportive and know how to guide your significant other. It took me at least three days to learn how to carve on my snowboard. Ray walked me through each step on how to bend my knees, where to point my shoulders, and where to look. I gained a new ability and we can now snowboard together. If you want the other to try something new, make sure they feel like they are not alone. Keep them comforted.
Communicate – Figure out why you don’t want to spend your travels on shopping or going to a spa and getting a massage. Figure out why you don’t want to go rockclimbing or snowboarding. That way, the other person is aware on what to help you out with when you are not in your comfort zone. Communication allows you to do things together. Maybe your significant other doesn’t want to shop for bikinis in Hawaii, but he might be interested in Hawaiian fishing spears at the store next door. He can tell you all about how cool the fishing spears are, and then he can help you pick out the most flattering bikini. Maybe you’re afraid of getting bruised falling on your butt while snowboarding. He can guide you on how to better maneuver yourself on a board.
Cool off before blurting out your frustrations – Traveling can get you lost, get you to spend extra money on missed flights, get you to forget clothing or equipment at a spot, etc etc. It can get frustrating. If you communicate your feelings in a hostile way, it will start an argument. Try to cool off before you speak to the other person about the way you feel. Remember that each situation will not be perfect. He/she will try to understand you better, and then fix the problem.
Try new things together – Try to get rid of your fear of heights and go skydiving with your loved one. We were on top of the Seattle Space Needle and asked a guy to take a picture of us in front of Seattle’s skyline. He told us that his wife was downstairs because she’s afraid of heights, so he is enjoying the view on his own. I can’t imagine not being able to share an experience with Ray after we spent money on traveling. Traveling allows one to try new things and grow as a person. Sharing the experience with someone makes it all worthwhile. Remember that during uncomfortable times, like trying to overcome a fear, what better person to be with than your loved one who can guide you through it? From being on top of a building enjoying a view to skydiving above a beach. You never know what future experiences you will gain from overcoming a fear.
Ray and I have snowboarded down the Swiss Alps, participated in a tomato fight at La Tomatina, rode a scooter all over Barcelona, surfed La Jolla Beach, and enjoyed art and music at Coachella. The more you try things together, the more memories you will have, and the more you will grow as a couple. You will always have someone to try new things with. We can look at each other and say, “Remember Amsterdam?” and laugh.
Have you had any troubles traveling with your significant other? What has helped you overcome it?