Traveling as a couple can strengthen a relationship or stress it.
My wife Amy and I recently celebrated 8 years a s couple. We have been through a lot together, both the good and the bad of life and we have had to work through our share of STUFF in our relationship. Life has a way of testing you to see if you really want the things you think you want and we definitely want to be right where we are and with each other. Over the last few years we have begun to travel a lot. In my opinion there is nothing better than exploring the world with the person I love and with every adventure we plan and take we grow closer. Traveling has a way of revealing the truth about things, it can be stressful, exciting, and challenging. There are always scheduling hiccups, sometimes there are language barriers, and any plans that are made have to be fluid and flexible. We have learned that simply being on an adventure together is enough if plans do not pan out. There are some things I have picked up through our travels that make traveling as a couple easier and I want to share them with you so the next time you are out on an adventure with your significant other, whether it is hiking in the back country or heading to Southeast Asia, you can make it a little smoother. Instead of focusing on stress and problems you can just enjoy being on an adventure together. This is how we keep the stress low and the FUN high!
6 Tips for Traveling as a Couple–
1. Bring Snacks. —
This one is a no brainer but is often overlooked. do not underestimate the role that an empty belly plays in your overall enjoyment of things. We all can get a little bitchy when we are not fed. This is especially true if we are used to eating on a schedule or we follow a special diet like Paleo or Veganism. If you always have something to snack on you can take the edge off of any hunger that crops up and you will be less likely to sweat the small stuff. (Remember that it is all small stuff in the grand scheme of things). We have all ad the experience of being so hungry that everything sucks, and if you have not had this experience then I bet you are always eating. Don’t let it get to the point where everything is a little more intense because no one has eaten and you cannot find a place to grab something. When you are in a strange city or country your normal restaurants are not there and if you are a picky eater it may take a while to find a suitable option. If you can take the edge off of your hunger then your wanderings looking for a restaurant will turn into an adventure and not into an argument.
2. Be supportive and solution oriented —
Did your hotel lose your reservation? Flight get canceled or delayed making your plans go into limbo? Did the restaurant you chose for dinner turn out to be gross? Was there no WiFi when they said there would be WiFi? These are just normal every day things that happen when you are traveling and believe me when I tell you that there is no point in dwelling on any of it. It is just the reality of the situation…SO WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT? The stress lies in the perception of the event, not the event. The quickest way to a high stress situation is to panic or start blaming. As human beings in this time in history we have a tendency to make things bigger than they actually are. We are all guilty of this at some point but if we just stay cool and stay focused on making our trip great then that is what it will be. Look at the questions you are asking yourself. Your internal (or external) monologue may be saying,”why is this happening? This is going to ruin our trip! or I can’t believe he or she did this, etc.” When things go down on our trips I always say ADVENTURE!!! and laugh it off. That is why we are traveling, right? To have an adventure, so chalk it all up to having an adventure and figure out how to move on to the next thing. Remember during the situation that everything happens for you and not to you so roll with it and find the way to make it better than it was before. There is always a way.
3. Know your style of travel and do your best to accommodate each others style —
This is also known as “fail to plan, plan to fail.” THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!! If you like adventure/ Eco travel and want to do some glamping while cage diving with Great White Sharks and scuba diving ship wrecks but your partner prefers 5 star lodging, great food, and an awesome spa then you need to do your research and find the best of both worlds. I assure you that there is something amazing that will meet both of your needs out there you just have to find it. Look for locations and resorts that offer the high side of life while offering excursions, tours, diving, or anything else you may be into. Or look at splitting your time between different locations so you can experience both! Start out glamping and having an adventure then transfer over to a resort and live the high life before you go home. The point is, not everyone enjoys all of the same things so it is important to know what you’re getting into before you go. Use Travelocity, blogs, and even a travel agent to plan your adventure. Do not be afraid to look at A LOT of places until you both agree on one or two. If it is a big trip we will work with a travel agent to build an itinerary so everything is planned and taken care of to our specifications or if it is a quick trip we will just book a hotel and wing it. I want to let you know that winging it has worked out well at times and not so well at others so if you are the type of person who needs a schedule and a plan or who does not do well thinking on their feet and finding solutions in the moment then be sure to avoid winging it.
4. Communicate A LOT! —
This should go without saying but if you want to do something make it known, if you do not want to do something make sure you say something. If you need to get some rest or you need to eat, do not be afraid to say it. Trust me, everyone will have a better time if they are open about what is going on with them and about what they do want to do and don’t want to do. This does not mean that there are not compromises that are going to happen with different activities or cuisines but open communication will lead to better planning of and more enjoyment of activities, food and the whole trip. It will also help ensure that everyone gets to do what they want to do. I am sure that both people who are traveling want the other to have an amazing time so be sure to advocate for what you want, do not say you do not care what you do then get upset about not getting to do something or having to do something. This will throw a wrench in your enjoyment and will take valuable time away from enjoying the moment.
5. Stay Active. —
Health and fitness is a huge part of Amy and my life and we make it a point to keep this going when we are traveling. We do not dedicate as much time to our health and fitness as we do when we are at home but we do make time for it. We also love to eat but we try not to go off the deep end on every meal. This keeps us energetic, keeps our moods high, and alleviates stress. All of the positive benefits of exercise make it a must while traveling. For us, it makes everything go smoother and keeps us happy. We make time for it almost every day we travel, it takes 30 minutes and is a great way to start the day or build up an appetite before dinner. We recommend that you make some time for it. If you would like more information on how to travel and stay fit click here to visit Amy’s blog, she explains it well.
6. Make time to appreciate where you are and who you are with. —
I hope that these tips help you enjoy your next adventure with your spouse, partner, or friend and that you remember that there is so much to see in the world. In my opinion there is nothing better than seeing it all with someone you care about. Traveling with Amy is always a great experience, we take in new cultures, reflect on how far we have come in our lives and together, and we grow closer. Traveling is always a time to celebrate the adventure of life as a couple, so be grateful for where you are and most importantly who you are with. If things get stressful just think how amazing it is to be where you are. Think about how grateful you are to have the opportunity to travel and explore. Think about how you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right then. If you are living in gratitude then there is no room for stress, anger, or frustration. Remember that life is what you make it, so make it good. Have fun on your next adventure and remember to LIVE FREE!