Traveling as a couple is the best thing we have done for our relationship. Not only has it brought us closer together we also get to experience new things together constantly. Traveling was a game changer for our relationship, it’s made us stronger, we communicate better, and understand one another better. We are thankful for how it has impacted our relationship, whether good or bad, it only makes us learn from our mistakes and grow.
That being said, it doesn’t mean traveling is an easy cake walk and there are plenty of challenges that come along with being together all the time.We are with each other 24/7, day in and day out outside of our comfort zone in new countries with new cultures. Rarely do people mention the not-so-glamorous side of travel either. We think all couples should try to travel together. There are a lot of glorious memories but with those great moments are stressful, uncomfortable, and frustrating times. There are a few things we have found important to keep our relationship rock solid while on the road. We hope that these tips for traveling couples will help those who are currently or considering travel.
Remember this trip is for the both of you. Sometimes your partner may want to do something you do not want to do. Since you have separate interests you should try to accommodate both people’s needs. Do something you wouldn’t normally want to do if your partner wants to. There will be times where the situation is reversed. Be happy to share the time together and don’t forget the trip isn’t only about you.
This tip not only goes for your lover but to strangers too. Patience is a key to traveling. You are outside your comfort zone and so is every other traveler. Try to keep your cool and remember that you are in a strange new place where neither of you know exactly where things are or how things work. Try to remain calm in frustrating situations. It’s easy to take things out on your travel companion when strangers frustrate you because you are comfortable with them. Losing your patience will only make things worse. Everytime we have been in a frustrating situation it always works itself out. We feel a lot better afterwards by not getting worked up and found strangers will be more prone to help if you are friendly and patient.
Do Little Things For Eachother
Budget traveling, or backpacking isn’t always so glamorous. It’s important to still do the little things for eachother that you would have done when you first started dating or maybe in the comfort of your home. Guys maybe pick a wild flower for your lady. Guys and Girls maybe give the other a shoulder/neck rub after a long day. Surprise the other one with a sweet treat. These little gestures can put a smile on the other persons face or create a lasting memory. It shows you care and still like to find romance even if you’re in a strange new place.
When you are traveling long term with your lover it is important to establish a date night weekly or bi weekly. Wear your finest travel clothes and maybe go to a nicer restaurant, or find a local movie theatre, or go see a dinner show, or find a special event going on in the area, get a massage together, or whatever! You want to keep that spark even on the road. We look forward to our date days/nights and find it to be the perfect days to splurge a little.
Book Private Rooms
Couples need privacy for obvious/intimate reasons. It may be nice to save some money and stay in a mixed dorm from time to time, but we find it best to book private rooms regularly. We like to have privacy, especially when you’re around a lot of people all day. We will sometimes find a nicer room where we can give ourselves a day to do nothing but watch movies and catch up on our blog away from everyone else. These days are a real treat and give us some great one on one time.
Help Eachother Out
Try to help one another out when one person gets overwhelmed. Getting angry or snippy with the other person will only make things worse. There will be times where the tables will turn and you will be frustrated, exhausted, or the lost one. When one of you starts to lose it, the other person needs to help save the day and be your support system. It helps the situation if one of you remains level headed and tries to be the sensible voice of reason. Once everything is resolved don’t forget to acknowledge and thank the one who was able to tackle the problem.
Help Eachother When Sick
When you’re going to new places, trying new foods, and going to new climates you are bound to get sick. If your lover isn’t feeling well, take care of them. Go to the pharmacy to get medicine, get them food and water, and show them you care and are there for them. It’s especially hard if you’re the sick person and you do not have a place to rest. I started throwing up in 100 degree humid weather carrying our backpacks while searching for a room in Chiang Mai. Scott gave me cold water and found me a cool place to sit and wait while he found us a room. This saved me, I would have continued being miserable if he didn’t help me and take care of the situation at hand.
Try New Things Together
Whether it’s food, meditating, sky diving, or anything you should try to push outside your comfort zone and try new things with your lover. This is exciting for us because we get to do it together. If it’s a good experience then awesome we learned about something together that we love, if it’s a bad experience at least I tried and I got to do it with my best friend. Either way we find trying new things always keeps things exciting and new for us and brings us closer together.
Have a Sense of Humor
When going to new places you are going to get lost a lot. On top of that, there’s always a language barrier. You also might get annoyed of what feels like the locals trying to rip you off. The list can go on and on for frustrating situations. During these times we like to find the humor of the situation whether it’s during or after the fact and make eachother laugh about it. This helps us stay calm and not sweat the small stuff.
These tips have helped us grow as a couple and we continue to learn more and more about eachother everyday. But we are just one of many couples traveling. We have asked 3 other traveling couples for their best advice as well. So don’t just take our word for it, see what great tips for traveling couples they have to share.
Communicate Your Feelings
Ryan & Stephanie are a married American couple who started spontaneous road trips back home together 7 years ago One time they traveled 3,800 miles roundtrip from Oklahoma to LA in only 4 days! The past 2 years they have been living abroad and traveling to places like Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, and Taiwan. You can follow their travels on their travel blog Hedger’s Abroad.
“There is a famous quote by Mark Twain, “I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” Traveling can test even the strongest relationship. The best piece of advice we could give would be to always be open and communicate your feelings to your partner. There will be bumps that happen along the way and the worst thing you could do is bottle up your feelings.”
Take Time to Rest & Recuperate
Dan & Kaitlin are an American couple who turned their honeymoon into one year of around the world traveling. They visited places in the US, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Nepal, and New Zealand. Here is what they have to share for couples after their amazing year of travel.
“Traveling side by side with anyone will present many challenges, let alone the kind of rough and tumble travel we subject ourselves to. No pain no gain, right? After a 15 hour crazy bus ride that consists of chickens in the overhead compartment, open canisters of kerosene and blaring Cambodian pop music until the wee hours of the morning I dare say that anyone will be left in a grumpy mood. Our advice? Take time to rest and recuperate. Build in days where you do absolutely nothing. If you are short with one another, try to understand that it probably because you are tired and hungry. Do not underestimate the power of Hanger. Give each other a little space, even if it is just an hour to be alone it will make all the difference in the world.”
Give Eachother Space
Ryan and Kat are an Australian couple who have been traveling the globe for just under a year and have been around Europe, South East Asia, Korea, Japan, Nepal, and the UK.
“You don’t have to do EVERYTHING together! We are very grateful we to get to spend unlimited time everyday with each other. However, spending some time solo generates new adventures to share and talk about. It allows time for yourself to reflect, lazy about, or find something of your own interest rather than a joint one. Why drag your loved one to a museum they would hate? Solo time prevents an opportunity where one can become irritable at the other person. We don’t spend 24/7 with each other at home so why do so when we are travelling. Time alone can happen even if you are in the same room. It’s as easy an hour under the headphones listening to music or a walk around the block. This could make the difference between a great day or a grumpy day! The key to making time alone work well is to communicate with your partner and respect eachother’s space.”