Does one of you want to eat extravagant meals every night, while the other wants to be more frugal? Are you both okay with figuring out public transportation, and walking, or does one of you prefer to cab it?
In many successful relationships, though not all of them certainly, there’s a clear “planner” and “one who doesn’t give a shit and will let the other person plan, without being too lazy.” It’s an ideal scenario because one person can take charge, while the other supports. If you are two planners, or neither of you wants anything to do with keeping an agenda, then you might run into a few issues.
3. How busy you want to be
Are you on ~vacation~ or are you there to see the sights? Some people’s ideal vacation is lying immobile on the beach, while others prefer jam-packed days, and need to see every attraction the city has to offer. Generally, if you’re traveling together as a couple, you either need to agree from the get-go on what you want your vacation to look like, or be willing to compromise on how you fill your days.
If one of you is a nervous flier, it helps if the other isn’t having a panic attack right beside you at the first sign of turbulence. Alternately, if you’re taking a road trip, deciding beforehand how much each person’s going to drive is a good idea. It sounds silly, but assuming someone is willing to drive 16 hours because they love you might be overly optimistic.
5. Tidiness factor
Does the hotel room/hostel/grandparents’ guest room need to be kept clean, or is it chill for you to throw your dirty laundry anywhere? All’s fun and games until it’s time to pack and one person is blaming the other for their lost charger. Honestly… just label your chargers, and it’ll save everyone some heartache.
6. Where family fits into the travel plans
If you’re going to see family, will that dominate the trip, or will you be branching off to do your own thing? There’s no right answer, but when you’re visiting a partner’s family, it’s good to know what you’re walking into, and making sure you’re both on the same page before you arrive will save you an argument.
Don’t be the person in the relationship who assumes the other person will pack for them, unless that’s been agreed on prior, and the packer gets taken out to dinner for their trouble.
When you’re on vacation, is your diet on vacation too? Some people get surprisingly crabby if they toss healthy eating out the window (most unfortunately, eating carbs on carbs on carbs can do that to you). However, if you have regimented dietary restrictions, that can pose issues as well— how much are you willing to let those go? (Shout out to the people who have real gluten allergies, or are vegetarian etc., this doesn’t apply to you, keep doing you.)
9. Taste in activities
Compromising on what you do, or how exactly you want to see a city, can get messy. Picking a destination is the simplest part. Once you’re there, what do you want to see? That’s the bigger question. If one of you is a museum buff, and the other wants to spend their days outside, you can start to resent the other’s taste, or feel like they’re holding you back.
10. Comfort Level
I don’t think it’s bad thing to admit that some people are less comfortable in certain situations, especially surrounding different cultures and meeting new people. For example, I’m not great at chatting with strangers at a hostel. I’m not unfriendly, but I am not the traveler who is outgoing and making new friends. However, if I were to travel with a partner who needed to shake as many hands as a candidate on a campaign trail, there might be a problem. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t want to travel with someone who can be as hesitant as I am, because then we’d risk coming off as standoffish.
To all the people who are dating someone who thinks they’re good with directions, but in fact can’t tell their right from their left, I’m sorry. And good luck.
If you’re in a foreign country, how adventurous do you want to get? As someone who 100% wants to get to know a culture through their cuisine, there’s no greater buzzkill than a partner who wants to eat exclusively chicken nuggets and french fries.