Vacationing together – unless you’re somewhere with multiple swim-up bars and fruity cocktails featuring miniature umbrellas – isn’t all long walks on the beach and sparkling turquoise water. Traveling as a couple
can test your relationship. Missed buses, delayed flights, language barriers and sub-par hotel rooms can all create chaos on the road. But there are also many benefits to exploring new territory as a duo. If you’re hitting the road this holiday, follow our travel tips for a smooth vacation for two.
To get some insight into traveling as a couple, we spoke with travel agent Ilana Valo about what those benefits are and how to plan a trip that best suits your twosome.
Choosing a destination
First, you’ll need to keep in mind what you both like to do. If one person likes to sit on the beach while the other prefers to be more active, you need to find a place that satisfies both styles of vacation. After all, the whole point is to spend time together. Then think about where you’ve gone in the past and where you’ve been comfortable. If one person is used to backpacking and the other expects a suite at the Hilton, you’re going to have to find some middle ground. You need to find a solution that suits both of your comfort levels. “At the end of the day it comes down to patience and compromise,” Valo says.
When it comes to where couples are going, many are taking more adventurous trips to places further afield like Thailand and South America, says Valo. In fact, one couple we talked to just booked a two week trip to Argentina in February. They’ll even be forgoing a hotel for an apartment in the city center so they can have a more authentic experience.
European vacations are also popular right now as are educational trips like visiting Napa for a weekend of wine tasting or hitting the slopes to learn to ski. If you can’t afford a longer stay, Valo says many couples are also opting to take long weekend trips to various easily accessible urban hubs with a lot to offer couples traveling together, like New York, Montreal, Boston and Chicago.
Benefits of traveling together
You learn a lot about a person when you travel with them. “Every time you travel together you’ll learn something new,” Valo explains. What better way to get out of a relationship rut or boost your bond than with a trip somewhere new? “Travel gets you out of your routine and experiencing another culture together will enrich your relationship.” Not to mention all the shared stories and great memories you’ll have when you get back – something that makes even the more stressful parts of travel worth the anxiety.
Travel tips for survival
When things do go wrong (which they inevitably will), Valo advises taking it in stride and realizing you can’t control everything. When you come up against problems, it’s usually out of your control and often out of the control of the people you’re dealing with, so getting upset won’t help anything. Be polite and take a step back to assess the situation. She also suggests using a travel agent to make things run smoother, and adds (only half joking), “you can blame the travel agent if something goes wrong.”