6 Tips on Traveling as a Couple and How to Avoid Fights
There are many advantages to traveling with your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend. Saving money is a major one. Having two brains also helps significantly. But don’t think that everything will be peachy all the time. You are going to fight — hopefully not fist fight. One of you may go a little crazy for a short period of time, and may want to throw the other one down the steps of Angkor Wat. This is not a good idea and should be avoided at all costs. Killing your partner will only make the vacation more difficult (what with the funeral arrangements and the awkward phone call to their parents). Here are my tips to avoid a relationship meltdown while travelling abroad.
What’s the point of being with someone if you can’t be yourself? This includes being open with your feelings and wants. Be honest about what you want to do and how you want to do it. You won’t always agree but if both of you have an opinion it will be easier to come up with a compromise. Also, never answer a question with “I don’t know” or “I don’t care”. Whether it’s, “What do you want to do today?” or “What should we have for dinner?” always think about it and make a suggestion. And don’t ask those questions if you already have an idea of what you want. Just suggest it. That being said, remember to…
Be open minded
If your guy/gal wants to try something that you are a bit afraid of, why not try it once? If you hate it, at least you’ll know. Relationships are all about helping each other to become better people. If she suggests going to an opera and it sounds like the worst thing ever to you, do it anyway – you may like it, and you’ll make her happy. Remember the reason you travel: new experiences. Having someone there to suggest things that you wouldn’t normally do, breeds new experience like a Catholic in a Monty Python sketch breeds babies.
Sharing is caring
When Sara and I travel we share everything. We split meals, which allows us to try more things (instead of exchanging plates, exchange seats; this will give you a whole new backdrop to look at). We divide up jobs – you pick out a place to stay and I’ll figure out the best way to get there. We take turns sitting next to the window. We even trade pillows from night to night if one is clearly better than the other. Keeping things nice and equal makes everyone happy and stops resentment from building up. It’ll also help to make your vacation run more smoothly. You’ll discover that one person is better at doing some job or maybe they’ll enjoy doing something you hate. If the task is torturous for all, then make sure you split that torture up evenly.
Find time apart
No matter how much you love your better half, being around them all day for four months can be tiresome. Look for moments in the day to escape and get some alone time. This can be going for a walk, running an errand, or doing entirely separate activities – you go to the museum, I’m going to the bar for a beer. I find going for a shave is the perfect activity to help me relax. It allows me to hang around in a masculine environment, and gives Sara some time to write in her diary about her period (or whatever women do when they’re alone). A little time away and you may discover that you weren’t sick of your spouse, you just missed being alone.
Don’t forget to date
A vacation is not a date, especially if it’s long-term travel. Make time to go out on real dates where some romance can blossom. Take your sweetheart out to dinner at a fancier place every once in a while. Splurge on a nice hotel. An activity you have already planned to do can be turned into a date with a little surprise, a cordial invitation, and your cleanest shirt.
High-five a lot
There is something about a high-five that makes me happy. I think it brings me back to my childhood when I actually thought it was a cool thing to do. Now, it’s more out of irony but it’s a great way to feel like a team. Alternatives to high-fives: Fist pounds, secret handshakes, chest bumps, hands together and lift with a “Whoa Bundy!” (or your own surname if you share one).
I’m not a couples counselor, but I’m pretty sure that if you follow these tips, you’ll never ever ever fight agai–
“Ryan, what do you want for dinner?.”
“Stop interrupting me while I’m writing this article!!”
“I hope you get your head caught in a box crusher.”