Jeremy Duca, 25, of Colonia, New Jersey avoided a potential disaster on his first romantic getaway to the Caribbean island of Curacao when he and his then-girlfriend planned ahead. "She wanted spa treatment; I wanted a full-day offshore fishing trip," says Duca. After some budgeting, the couple were both able to enjoy a new Caribbean experience -- together. "She caught her first tuna and I very much enjoyed the Swedish massage."While Duca and his girlfriend were able to dodge a disagreement through smart planning, some couples aren't as lucky when the most well-laid plans go awry. While no one can moderate your first trip together, there are five tricks you can put into practice to diffuse first-time trouble spots.
Odds are, at least one thing will go wrong during your time together -- ranging from lost luggage to a bad sunburn -- and at some point, you will have to be flexible if plans change. You'll get to know a lot about your guy (his temper, and his drinking habits) when you see how he reacts to these snafus. If you accidentally order the $300 bottle of wine thinking it was $30, it's reason to be annoyed -- but don't let it ruin the remainder of your trip. Save money the rest of the time by hosting romantic picnics in your hotel room.
Being on vacation together for the first time should help you to see how your interests overlap. But a word to the wise: don't use your man as a replacement for your girlfriends. Even the best of guys (read: he enjoys theater and shopping for you at Juicy) have limits. Respect the fact that the same way watching him pick out power tools or video games bores you to tears, he may not love everything that's pink. So if you're looking for a vacation that is a mani-pedi extravaganza, take it with the girls, not your guy. Like Duca, try to plan equal opportunity activities that you'll both end up enjoying.
The old saying that the way to a man's heart is through food holds true where travel is concerned. It's also a method to make your guy way less cranky. When you're sightseeing, you never know when a half hour line or waiting for a table may push a few buttons. If you carry a few protein bars or a piece of fruit in your purse, he'll not only love you for it, but it may help avert World War III with a restaurant hostess.
Okay, it's understood that you might just have to try on the swimsuit you passed by in a shop window -- hey, you're only human. This is what "me time" is for. While you shop for an hour, it will allow your guy some time to check scores, read the news, go for a run, whatever he wants to doâ€¦with the promise that you'll model any of the new items you purchase.
What fun is vacation with your guy if you can't get back to why you love one another in the first place? From flirty little gestures while you are sightseeing to taking one day out of your trip to do nothing but enjoy the view from your hotel room, vacationing one on one will no doubt bring you closer as a couple. According to a Travel Industry of America poll, 31% of American couples annually take a romantic getaway together. For many, this will be the first of many. And we have heard (ad nauseum), and instinctively know, that compromise and planning are key to any relationship, especially when taking it to a new postal code for the first time.
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