So, you have been dating this amazing person for a few weeks (or months), and its finally time for that highly-anticipated vacation. Eek! There is every reason to go bonkers about it - you will be traveling with your partner for the first time!
First vacations together can be fun but also daunting. Reduce stress by remembering these 11 things, from choosing a destination to giving each other a little space.
As appealing and romantic as it sounds, you might feel a little daunted. Don't worry, you are not alone - I was in the same position recently when we went for our first trip to Paris.
You will be spending time with your partner around the clock, and will likely find out a lot more about each other - some you will love and others maybe not so much (at least in the beginning). But that doesn't mean you should get paranoid, start being judgmental, or even worse doubt your compatibility.
Here are 10 easy things to keep in mind when traveling with your partner for the first time for a memorable, easy-breezy trip.
1. Your Travel Bucket List Might Be Different
If you are a travel junkie, you probably have a hefty bucket list filled with dreamy places you yearn to explore. Now is the time to revisit the list and discuss it with your partner. Choose a destination that you both will love to discover together.
Pick a destination that is new to both of you so that it is more intriguing and enjoyable, plus you can create new memories together.
2. An Unplanned Trip Can Be a Perfect Recipe for Disaster
Planning together in advance is a crucial step to prevent your holiday from going south. Build an itinerary by choosing locations and attractions that you both would like to discover, at a pace that is comfortable. That said, build in a little "padding" in to allow yourselves to just go with the flow.
It's not necessary for both of you like all the same activities, so do a few that your partner enjoys even if it outside your comfort zone. Flexibility plays an essential role in any healthy relationship.
Avoid overstuffing your schedule with too many activities, as this could make you both tired and cranky. It is supposed to be a romantic getaway with your partner - so throw in a spa session or simply relax on the beach for a day (unless you're in Iceland!).
Planning ahead also helps to understand your partner and their desires before you hit the road. A planned trip is exciting from start to finish and leaves no room for dull moments.
3. Don't Spoil It Over Budget
Apart from planning your itinerary, the budget plays a crucial role too. For you or your partner, this might be a sensitive subject, but it's better to discuss it early on in the planning process.
Be compassionate and understanding if your partner cannot match up to your grand lifestyle, and seek compromise. For example, stay at a 3-star hotel instead of a luxurious resort or pick up the tab at an expensive restaurant. If needed, try to make your partner feel comfortable by dividing the expenses in a way that is agreed ahead of time.
4. Avoid Last-Minute Hiccups
If you're going on an overseas trip, preparations are essential to prevent disappointment, travel stress and unnecessary fuss at the last minute.
- Apply for the necessary visas where applicable, allowing plenty of time for processing.
- Buy comprehensive travel insurance by that suits your requirements. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Read more about the new country's background, focusing on culture, customs, safety and currency.
5. Set Your Packing Boundaries
Packing for a holiday can be fun. However, it is imperative to know this does not imply packing your entire wardrobe! Be sensible about what to include.
"He who would travel happily must travel light." - Antoine De St. Exupery
It's a good idea to create explicit packing boundaries if you are not comfortable with sharing. Personal backpacks go a long way in helping that, and allow you to carry your own luggage (most of the time).
6. It's About Creating Memories
Click, click, click! Take plenty of photos and videos but don't go overboard with it. Capture precious moments while experiencing the present to the fullest - photos serve as a return ticket to a juncture otherwise passed. You will both love to reminisce and walk down memory lane later.
7. Strengthen the Connection
Traveling with your partner allows you discover hidden talents you didn't know before. Couples connect a lot better when they are involved in shared activities. And travel takes this to a new level.
If possible, take a break from your smartphones and give each other undivided attention, so that you have more time to connect. It's a wise idea to avoid using smartphones at meal times.
8. Give Your Partner Time and Space
While connecting is important, you might feel that you're running out of things to talk about all the time. Remember that most successful partners can be comfortable in each other's' silence and respect their mutual space. It won't come immediately - give your partner time to get comfortable around you (and vice versa).
Your first vacation might be the first time you will spend such a long duration together. Thus, there can be times when you both run into disagreements or arguments. Bottling up your emotions will not help - talk it out and try to get back on the same page. Don't ruin your trip because of a tiny road bump. An unfortunate instance at the time can sometimes make for a hilarious story later!
Depending on your personality type, a little alone time can help you feel balanced and recharge. So, don't be afraid to discuss this as needed.
9. It's Better to Be Real Than Perfect
It's natural to try to put your best foot forward. But you are better just being yourself sooner than later. Remember, this is a vacation, you get a free pass to be carefree and do crazy things while traveling together.
It also helps to open up to your partner and be as comfortable as you can in your skin. Being goofy makes it all the more fun. Do something unusual and fun with your partner besides the usual romantic date. Remember, adults are just grown-up kids.
10. Good Food Can Set a Happy Mood
Delicious food can play a huge role in enjoying a trip to the fullest. An empty stomach is a quick route to becoming cranky and irrational. Think of a few restaurants along your sightseeing route, so you don't end up hunting for a restaurant only when you are hungry. Google Maps and Happy Cow are essential travel apps for this situation.
Always pack snacks for a long road (or rail) trip. Surprise your palette by trying a few local dishes and drinks that you won't find at home.
11.Buy Souvenirs to Cherish Your First Trip Together
A souvenir is a small, inexpensive item picked up as a reminder of a special place. It's a way to bring home a piece of your far-roaming adventures.
These collectibles can be in the form of stamps, postcards, magnets, figurines, coasters, t-shirts, you name it! A well-thought-out souvenir allows you to cherish the memories of a personal tale that will bring a smile to your face when you look at it.
From comical memories when you both did something silly, to romantic kisses under starry nights in exotic locations, and laughing at the small arguments or differing opinions you both had during the trip; traveling with your partner is a fantastic idea.
It does wonders for relationships by teaching us to communicate better, set realistic expectations, overcome challenges, accepting differences in opinions, and most importantly, be more sympathetic to each other.
There's just one more thing you can do to help with your trip… share this article with your partner and make sure you're both on the same page. Happy travels!