For some couples, seeing the world together is a way of life. For others, it is the kiss of death. Traveling can be very stressful: flight delays, navigating foreign roads, trying to order a meal but no one in the restaurant can speak English. Well, if you want to keep your significant other happy, do as this list says.
1. Hot girl alert
Be still, those roving eyes. Whether you’re lounging on a beach in Thailand or traipsing through the busy streets of Paris, keep the ogling to a minimum. Yes, you’re in a foreign land, you probably can’t even speak the language, so what’s the harm in checking out some eye-candy? You thought it was a fleeting glance no one will notice- but us girls probably already spotted that hottie way before you did, and were staring at you hawk-eyed to judge your reaction.
Solution: Put some sunnies on so you can take a discreet look — but never, ever crane your neck as she walks by.
You hungry, thus angry- you’re hangry! This is a condition that afflicts the best of us. When you’re starving, a small thing like having to wait 20 minutes for a bus is the worst thing that can happen. A couple of hours ago you were buoyant with love and excitement and now everything your partner says sets you off.
Solution: Always carry some snacks around, such as a bar of chocolate or a packet of chips. You can also carry granola bars, but I find that when I’m cranky, the last thing I want to eat is a healthy snack made of nuts and grains.
3. To chill or not to chill?
After a long flight, navigating immigration, and battling heavy luggage, the only thing you want to do after checking into your hotel is to take a nap (or get a massage!). Your significant other, however, has already wrangled a map from the concierge and is making notes on where to go.
Solution: Do your own thing, then meet up later at an agreed time. If it’s late or dangerous for you to be out alone, compromise on how long the downtime is before you two head out together.
4. Where shall we dine tonight?
To visit a Michelin-starred restaurant or explore a hole-in-the-wall joint? To head to the seaside restaurant stretch or order room service?
Solution: Always do your research first, so you can mark out the places you want to try. However, do not plan every single meal, as there are bound to be interesting places you only learn about when you’re actually in the city and roaming the streets. If your partner made a hard-to-get reservation at an exclusive restaurant, that corner kebab store can wait. If it’s already your last night in the city, you can order small portions at various places so you get to try them all.
5. Just five more minutes!
Ladies may be guilty of taking an inordinately long time to get ready. Gentlemen may always think they can laze in bed for just a little longer. And before you know it, you’re late and stranded.
Solution: Always set the agreed time to be out of the door half an hour before you actually need to leave. Chances are you’ll overrun a little, which means you’ll actually be a few minutes early. And early, when you’re travelling and always have a bus or train or boat or plane to catch, is never bad.
6. Can you speak English?
In many parts of the world, English isn’t particularly useful. It is easy to get frustrated when you can’t seem to communicate when you need to order your meal or book train tickets. When I was in Japan, I saw a man ask, in rapid-fire and heavily accented English, a lady at the bus ticketing counter for directions to someplace. He was practically haranguing the lady, and finally, his girlfriend pulled him away in embarrassment. I could hear them bickering as they set off, still lost.
Solution: Speak slowly, use simple words, and gesticulate. Head to big hotels and ask the staff working there for help as they usually can speak English. Write down a list of words that may come in useful such as “Hello”, “Thank you” and “Excuse me” before you venture out. Always remain polite, even if they did not help you. Remember, you are the foreigner on their land.
Travelling with your significant other can be a daunting experience, but above all, it shows you how he or she handles problems, and can teach you two how to compromise and work together. Now go time to book a trip together with your new squeeze!