Whether you’ve just started dating or been married for decades, traveling as a couple can be challenging at times. Even the best relationships can experience hiccups during a vacation together.
Avoid these common mistakes and tackle any problems before they arise!
Too Much Too Soon
One of the most common mistakes new traveling couples make is planning a three week vacation as their first trip together. Plan a weekend getaway first. You can learn a lot about someone’s travel style in two days. Do they need every minute scheduled or prefer some unscheduled time during the day? Does he leave his stuff all over the hotel room or he pick up after himself?
Make sure you really know the person and that you are compatible travelers before planning a long international trip.
Not Planning Together
Make decisions about where to go and what to do as a couple. Research and plan your destination together; decide where to stay and eat and what attractions you both want to see. Often one person is a better planner/organizer. That’s fine, just be sure to communicate and discuss everything.
In my case, I’m the organizer/logistics person. My husband is happy with me handling all of the reservations and details, but we always discuss the options first and make decisions together.
To me, a vacation is a relaxing time in one or two places with some sightseeing and lots of pool or beach time. A trip is more action packed with activities, several destinations and adventure.
Define the purpose of the trip. If one of you wants adventure and the other wants a relaxing beach vacation, it will lead to problems! The trip could be to reconnect as a couple, romance, a foodie trip, family reunion, beach vacation or an adventure packed adrenaline rush. Every trip is different. Just make sure you’re on the same page before you go to avoid any disappointment.
Planning Too Much
One of the most common mistakes couples, and all travelers, make is trying to pack too much into one vacation. Don’t try to do everything. The stresses of travel, jet lag, overextending yourself and stimulation overload can lead to conflict between couples. Be flexible about plans and balance an active day with a relaxing day the following day.
Take time to just “be”. My favorite way to travel is to do any sightseeing or activities in the morning then have a fantastic lunch and spend the afternoon with some down time. Spending all day on the go can make anyone tired and grumpy!
Not Enough Me Time
Spending all of your time together as a couple can be a problem for some. New couples tend to make this mistake more often. Make sure to spend some time alone during your couples trip. Go for a walk alone, spend time in the gym or spa, whatever you need to unwind. Personally, I like to go shopping alone or spend some time in the spa.
It’s ok to do an occasional separate activity, as long as the entire trip isn’t that way. If one of you wants to go zip-lining and the other wants to play golf…go for it. That way you each get to do what you want and also spend time alone.
Ditching The Romance
Take time to “date” while on a trip. Don’t let the stresses of travel ruin the romance. Traveling as a couple is actually very romantic and a great way to reconnect as a couple – if you leave the littles at home or get a babysitter.
Be sure to continue any special date night routine you have at home while on vacation. The fun part about planning date nights on vacation is that the destination and experiences are different and the memories will last a lifetime!
Worrying About Home
Leave home where it belongs…at home. Planning in advance helps alleviate the stress of leaving: get a reliable pet sitter, leave the kids with someone you trust, stop the mail and newspaper, prepay any bills, turn on the alarm, lock the doors and don’t look back.
Obviously, if you have young kids you’ll want to check in with them. However, calling or texting them constantly is not a vacation – for them or for you! Check in with them once a day and leave it at that. It’s good for them to be away from you too!
Same goes for work. You’re on vacation. Don’t answer the calls and emails from your co-workers. Let them handle it, that’s what they’re paid to do.
Obsessing Over Social Media
Vacation time is the perfect time to disconnect and limit social media trolling. Put the phone down and enjoy the sights with your love. Sure, you’ll want to post photos on Insta and Facebook. But do so in moderation, maybe once a day instead of every photo you take.
Not Checking In With Each Other
Spend a few minutes over cocktails doing a daily download. Check in with your partner to see what he or she liked about the day, what they didn’t like and if they are having fun. Discuss any issues right away, calmly, and never let things fester and grow into bigger issues.
Arguments will happen. If necessary, take a little walk to cool off before discussing any conflicts. Be respectful of your partner’s feelings and don’t belittle them. These are great communication skills at any time, but very important while on vacation.
For some travel destination inspiration, check out 20 Europe Bucket List Experiences.
Most of all, have fun! Be sure to pack a sense of humor…you’ll need it.