When you plan a trip with your significant other, it’s not just about the destination, the reason, the budget, the flights, the hotels etc. The trip is an opportunity, to discover/re-discover each other. It can be said, without a doubt, that every time you travel with someone, you learn something new about them.
So whether you’re going away for the weekend, or a week long holiday, a month long backpack trip, or even just attending a wedding – the trip is, in itself, very important to your relationship. Because it will help you see your partner in a new light.
So, here’s a few tips that I could think of
1. Discuss the flight timings, and the hotel options with them before booking. If you like night flights, and your partner doesn’t, you will have a grumpy person with you when you land and you don’t want that. Also, if your partner prefers charming boutique hotels to high rise five-star hotels, then you might want to know before you book. So do your searches and bookings together. It’s actually a fun bonding exercise. And don’t shy away from an upgrade if you can afford it, flight or hotel. It will make you both happier people throughout the trip.
2. Figure out your partner’s “travel behavior” at the airport. Are they the type who like to shop at duty free, walk around, grab a beer or bite at the airport, or do they like to get there just in time to board the flight. Make room for each other’s choices.
3. Some people are flight talkers, some are flight sleepers, some are flight movie marathon runners. Figure yours out. And tell each other. Tip – sometimes having some (or a lot of) wine with your in-flight meal can be a precursor to a fun conversation.
4. Provided you have your transportation to your hotel all done, and you get there after a long, tiring flight, the first thing you should check is if the hotel looks as nice as the pictures (they are deceiving a lot of the time), and if your partner likes it. Trust me, there are shockers a plenty when it comes to hotels… right from the location being in a weird part/street, to the carpet smell in the rooms, or even just the hot water. This is why you should read reviews online before booking a hotel. But if you’re still in for a surprise after all your research, ask your partner what they would like, and both of you decide together if you want to stay or change. I’ve come to realize that if you’re not happy with your hotel/room, the place where you rest, your energy is not going to be at its best on the trip.
So even though there might be a little early tension in the trip if the hotel isn’t great, just be prepared for it, and make sure you ease it out by calmly figuring out a solution together.
5. You’re sharing space with someone, and you’re living out of a suitcase. Try not to be sloppy. Keep the bathroom floor dry, keep the wash basin area dry, don’t throw your towels around all over the room, keep your stuff in your suitcases or in the part of the room where your stuff is. Don’t have it strewn all over the place. Not only does it look/feel untidy to the other person, it messes up the energy in your room. So this is just basic, general stuff that one can even stick to at home. But I’m stressing on this more during a trip because you are sharing space with a lovely person and you want to make them more comfortable and happy around you than less.
6. Ask your partner what kind of things he/she likes to do in a new place. If you like exploring old buildings/monuments, and he/she prefers to check out the bar/club scene, then mix the two together and make sure you both enjoy the other person’s interest with them. That’s what being together on a trip is about. Compromising is key, be open to doing new things even though they might not be your interest. You’ll find that sometimes trying something new with your partner might just spark a new interest in you and you might grow to love that activity.
7. Hold hands while walking around and exploring the place together.
8. Don’t be camera-crazy like some tourists, but definitely take some memorable pictures together. In the future, these pictures will always make you smile. (Avoid the classic stand together and smile poses.)
9. If you’re walking a lot on the trip, ask your partner when they’d like to rest/take a break. Make a drinks break out of it. ; )
10. If one of you falls sick on the trip, don’t leave them alone and run off to explore. This is where you show them your priority. Stay back in the hotel room with them, the point was to spend time together on a break. So do it while watching tv together in bed if that’s how it turns out. No big deal. The last thing you want is to be left alone when you’re unwell, in a new country, all alone in a hotel room with nothing to do. So don’t do that to them either. Classic solution for situations like this – carry a pack of cards or uno with you. I always have a pack in my suitcase. Uno always turns things fun. : )
11. While I don’t think you should leave the other person alone when you’re unwell, I do believe that it can be healthy to spend some time apart even on your trip together. For example, one of you loves shopping or scuba diving, and the other one loves spas or just lazing at the pool/beach… well, you can split up and each do your thing for a couple of hours. It’s healthy, it will allow you to miss each other for a bit, and who knows, it might just give you both a fun story to share later.
12. Be aware of each other’s needs at all times. Look after each other. Be considerate.
13. Get drunk together.
14. Have conversations with strangers together. In a bar, on the street, doesn’t matter. Engage in a healthy conversation with a new person/couple – you’ll learn something new, and you’ll make a memory.
15. The most important one – LEAVE YOUR PHONE IN THE ROOM. And DON’T CONNECT TO WIFI, anywhere. You’re on this holiday so you can DISCONNECT FROM THE WORLD, and just be with your partner. Get your “together time”. Getting on Facebook, updating your status, checking in – what’s it all worth??? NOTHING. The world will not stop running if you don’t check your Facebook for a few days. There’s a live human being in front of you that you love/care about, whose traveled hundreds of miles away from home to spend time with YOU… so be there WITH THEM, completely.
Share stories, talk, laugh, get to know one another on a new level – remember, that is the whole point. You never get to do that when you’re at home in your city. Do it now. Don’t waste time on the usual crap you fill your life with back home. You’ll never look back on your life when you’re old and think “I wish I had checked my Facebook/Twitter/Instagram more often”. But you will regret not having made the most out of time together with your partner.
And finally – life is short, time is short, and your trip is definitely short. So just have fun, get to know each other on a deeper, newer level, remember that being with each other was the point of the trip, let your worries and tensions go, and enjoy your time together! It’s never going to come back.