Nikki and Jon sitting at the Grand Canyon

5 Tips For Traveling as a Couple

Imagine traveling to those places you’ve always dreamed of — The Maldives, Costa Rica, Bali, the National Parks in the USA. Now imagine traveling there with your partner and it immediately gets even better!

While traveling with your partner seems like a great idea – and trust me, it can be! – it can also present unique challenges. For instance, now you’ll be together 24/7, you’ll have to quickly decide what to do when plans get cancelled out of the blue, and chances are, you and your partner have different vacation styles.

We’ve been there… and sometimes it can be rough. But honestly, traveling together has accelerated and enriched our relationship more than we could have imagined.

So here are our top 5 tips for traveling as a couple.

1. Talk about your vacation styles

As mentioned above, many partners don’t have the same vacation styles. Most likely one of you will be the explorer while the other will be the relax-by-the-beach type. You need to incorporate both of these (or whatever your style may be) to make the travel fun and fulfilling.

In our relationship, Jon prefers to stay at resorts and sit by the pool while I prefer to stay with local families and adventure throughout the country we’re in. If we were to stay at a resort the whole time I would think it was a waste of travel. On the other hand, if I planned a full itinerary of hiking and talking to locals Jon would burnout. Both lead to us being grumpy with the other.

We recommend deciding how best to meet both of your needs. Even if only one of you is the planner, you need to know how to create a balanced itinerary.

For us, we plan to explore and adventure about 2/3 of the time and then to stay at a hotel or resort for the other 1/3.

2. Decide on a Budget

We all know that money is one of the most argued topics among couples which makes this an incredibly important tip. You must decide on a budget before you travel. There’s no point in going into debt to travel and there’s no reason to argue about money if you’ve already discussed it beforehand.

We typically recommend to have a budget and then book your stays and adventures way under that if possible. This way you won’t be worried about eating out, buying something or doing an unplanned activity.

3. Be Flexible

For all my type A planners out there I know this can be a rough one. I am with you. I prefer to have a spreadsheet of where we’re going and when and to stick to it. However, that’s not realistic for long-term traveling. 

Things change, flights get cancelled, fights happen and you need to be able to adapt and do it quickly.

Grand canyon engagement photos - Travel Nurse's Wife

4. Create a Support System ASAP

At home you may have friends and family who you can visit and run to in times of trouble. However, when you are traveling for a while – even though you’re traveling with your partner – it can become lonely without a support system.

We recommend getting out of your comfort zone and making friends as soon as possible wherever you go. Get to know the people staying next to you, go out to places and strike up conversations, pick a church and help out! 

You have to learn to make friends as an adult if you will be traveling long-term. While being with only your partner for one week is nice, being with only them for a few months isn’t ideal.

5. Make Sure You Travel With the Right Person

This one might be the most important. Some people don’t do well traveling together for more than a few weeks. So if you are planning to travel for longer, make sure you have picked a good travel partner.

There’s no set thing that makes someone perfect to travel with but in our opinion you need someone who:
• Can make you laugh when things aren’t going your way;
• Doesn’t pick arguments that aren’t absolutely necessary for your relationship;
• Genuinely enjoys travel (it’s no fun dragging along a partner who just wants to be home);
You can talk to all the time;
• Meets your expectations;
• Is willing to try new things; and,
• Can pick up the slack when you’re overwhelmed because trust me, it will happen.

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