Travelling together can sometimes make or break a relationship. You’re all up in each other’s space CONSTANTLY, the daily pressure is tenfold, and carrying backpacks weighing a tonne, absolutely sweating your tits off, does. not. help.
Luke and I have been travelling around together for nearly 6 years now, our longest stint being 3 months in Southeast Asia. We don’t live together at home either, so we really wasn’t sure what to expect whilst living together abroad!
Well we can thankfully say, it was an absolute breeze! Which is a bloody relief because neither of us would have wanted to get the next flight home…
So here are our top 10 tips for travelling as a couple – we really think people will benefit by keeping these things in mind, and hope these will help you whilst travelling with your loved one and travel buddy!
This has got to be right at the top of our list. A whole relationship in general should be based around compromise, so it definitely the most important thing whilst travelling as a couple! Compromise can not only help keep each other happy, but also keep those pointless, bickering arguments at bay.
If one of you wants to get up at 4am for sunrise (me), let the other person have a lay in the next morning (Luke).
If one of you chooses where to eat for breakfast, let the other person choose where to eat for dinner.
If one of you carries most of the bags, the other person should do something nice for them in return to show them you appreciate it.
Set alarms and control time keeping
Something I have discovered about myself recently, which I should have figured out a long time ago, is that I get super aggy if I’ve wasted time (entirely my fault). I’m just talking about myself here, and despite being laid back in all other aspects, time wasting while travelling (and even at home) really grinds my gears.
If Luke and I have been lazy and lazed around in bed for the morning and got up at 10 instead of 8, I’ll be pissed.
If we were meant to be somewhere important for 8 and were an hour late, I’ll be pissed.
This is definitely something I am working on, as I know there is nothing I can do to turn back time, so I should just enjoy the rest of the day and not take it out on myself (or Luke).
To save all these potential mishaps, set alarms, create itineraries and do what you’ve set out to do.
Both write down your travel goals
Each physically write down what you want to do, see and achieve while you’re travelling. It’s important to both compromise (there it is again) and see what both of you want to see, having you both feeling fulfilled and happy.
One of you or both of you may have to make a sacrifice here if you can’t squeeze everything in. If you can’t decide on a place or activity, score each thing from 1-10 of importance, or you could always bring the classic out… heads or tales?
Give yourselves alone time if you need it
Everyone loves a little bit of ‘me time’ now and again. This is so important when you’re travelling for longer periods of time, cause you’re going to be up in each others grills constantly. Sometimes when staying in hostels you can’t even shower or poo in peace either!
Appreciate that the other person might be feeling stressed and want to chill on their own for a little while. Maybe try this once in a while – go for a stroll on your own, pop to the shop quickly on your own, chill on opposite sides of the room for a bit.
You could even do this every morning for 10-20 minutes to get your thoughts together for the day (or even better – meditate and clear your thoughts altogether!).
Stay healthy together
Staying healthy on the road can be really hard at times, but it’s a proven fact that if you feel healthier and better about yourself, you will naturally be less stressed and more happy.
Try stretching together in the morning, or even squeeze in a little workout or jog if you can!
It is also known that drinking 2 cups of water in the morning will wake you up more, as you’ve been dehydrated for 8 hours (or however many) whilst you’ve slept.
Speaking of sleep, this is probably the most important thing. If you sleep well this will of course help prevent fatigue, tiredness, agitation and a fair few arguments in our experience!
The one thing worse than being tired when travelling? A terrible case of hangry. We are literally the worst for this! We find it so easy to forget to eat when there’s so many exciting things going on around us, we don’t even feel the hunger?! It’s not until we stop for a moment, then the hunger pains kick in.
Our solution for this is to take snacks wherever you go! We’ve always got a backpack on us so always make room for a bit of food, which can tie you over until you find somewhere to eat.
Dehydration can also be a bi*ch. This is another factor, along with hunger, that can easily and unintentionally be overlooked and ruin your day. You’re so busy trying to explore and squeeze everything in that you either forget to take water with you or forget to top up.
Take a reusable flask with you so you don’t get caught out, and to prevent yourself from using too much plastic!
This is a big one.
Communication between each other during a trip can seriously make or break the whole thing. Always share what you’re feeling, good or bad, and air your thoughts.
Communicate what you’re feeling. When you’re feeling tired, anxious or unsure of something, speak up to not cause any confusion or maybe even regret. Also appreciate the other person’s feelings – you might be feeling fine but you have your other half to consider too.
If you’re ever angry, tell them why. Don’t beat around the bush but also try and keep your calm so things don’t escalate.
Don’t ever go to bed angry. You should always try to resolve your issues before you go to sleep, not only to get a better sleep, but also due to the fact studies suggest that people find it harder to suppress negative memories when sleeping on them.
It’s also a good idea to clarify certain things out loud.
“So today we’re going to head to the shopping mall, grab some lunch there, then get to the park for 8pm for fireworks, right?”
This may sound like a stupid concept, but on numerous occasions Luke and I have got things mixed up in our own heads, thinking we were doing things we weren’t! It also prevents any blame throwing if something goes tits up.
Travelling on your own is fine cause you can totally wing it, but when travelling as a couple, you both need to be aware of what the plan is and be on the same wave length. This links back to the communication!
Writing out your plans (or creating a good old spreadsheet) make it simple and clear to both of you what you’ve got planned, and also give you the chance to pop on the list all the different things each of you want to do.
Winging it can also get stressful when you’re travelling as a couple because you can both get very indecisive! A bit like the “what shall we order for dinner?” scenario…
Combine your spending money/account
Okay so I don’t know about you… but in general day to day life, we tend to buy our own things or just split it, or if it’s something small and regular (like snacks) we just take it in turns.
“I’ll get the snacks, you buy dinner later?” That kind of thing…
This is obviously just a personal preference and we know this topic is quite controversial.
However, when travelling, we think it’s a good idea to keep your money combined. The reason we say this is because you’re going to be going everywhere together, and eating everything together, so why not keep it simple?
It will make life a whole lot easier only having to deal with one account, one card and one lot of cash. It will be much easier to keep track of all your spending!
You won’t have to worry about who’s spent what, who’s spent more and all that nonsense.
It’s nice and easy knowing you’ve just got the once budget to analyse, and only one trip to the ATM.
Always have each others backs
You’re a couple, travel buddies, partners in crime.
Look out for each other, stay safe, be vigilant and most importantly don’t ever walk off in a huff after an argument and leave the other person alone. It’s literally you two against the world, always remember you’re on the same side.
Hotels can work out cheaper than hostels
Travelling together as a couple can sometimes be challenging, and personally for us, one of those challenges was privacy and ‘us time’.
This lead us to always comparing prices of hostels vs. hotels, knowing full well we should save the extra couple of quid staying in a hostel, but were dying to have our own private space in a hotel.
Little did we know at first, that a private room in a hostel actually works out more expensive than a hotel in some places!
Always check out hostel private rooms vs. hotel rooms in each new location, you could be suprised at the difference in price.