Relationships, whether they be with family, friends or romantic can be tough. Now add traveling together to create a Travelationship (travel + relationship). By adding all the different layers and intricacies of travel to the mix, the outcome could range from a delightful love affair to horrid nightmare while outside of your cozy, comfy, familiar surroundings. Think of it as a science experiment or a recipe, whatever known or unknown ingredients you throw in will mold the final product. Personalities, weather, destinations, stress levels, health status, sleep patterns, degrees of experience, patience, adaptability and many other components can sway the daily outcomes.
We are consistently navigating the levels and directions of our travelationship. What worked last week may not work today because our circumstances or surroundings changed. We have made plenty of mistakes along the way and learned some valuable lessons. We have had some really great times along with some horrible fights which in hindsight we may have been able to prevent or traverse in a much better way. Travelationships can be incredibly rewarding, but they aren’t the nonstop rainbows and butterflies some people perceive them to be. That fluffy perception got us thinking about how are others traveling together and still staying sane?
We aren’t the only Travelationship out in the world and are always looking for better ways to get along while we travel. Who better to get advice from than other successful travelationships, Right?
We asked some fellow travel bloggers to share their best advice on how to travel with a partner or in groups. We can see why these travelationships are successful because their advice is terrific!
When it comes to traveling as a couple, I think there is one thing that will carry you through every time, honesty. Being honest with your teammate will eliminate turmoil before it has a chance to take root. It sounds like the easiest thing in the world, but with the possibility of either letting down or failing your partner it can be difficult always to be forthcoming. Expectations and how events materialize in the light of reality are two of the best places to start with being forthcoming and honest. Then take that momentum and enjoy.
Lauren from Justin Plus Lauren
The biggest lesson I’ve learned while traveling in a relationship is to listen to each other and compromise. We have discovered that we both have different travel styles. I plan many things in advance, whereas Justin tends to wing it mostly. I also tend to pack too many activities into our schedule with the fear of missing out on something, and Justin likes to have a more relaxing holiday. We’ve learned to meet somewhere in the middle. Justin is grateful that I plan our travels, while he’s also taught me to slow down. We’ve had some of our most memorable moments when the day isn’t completely mapped out.
Kelly from Kelly Ella Maz
Schedule Some Me Only Time
My boyfriend and I have been traveling full-time for the past year and
half. 18 months of just him and me. Every. Single. Day. The biggest lesson we’ve learned is how to give each other space since we are literally attached at the hip for such an extended period of time. Sometimes we go down to breakfast buffets at separate times, or sometimes we split up for the afternoon if I want to stay at the hotel and work while Paul goes sightseeing! It’s so easy just to do everything together, but neither of us wanted to lose our sense of independence. The occasional time apart also helps us get along better because being together as often as we are isn’t always
Plan Ahead for Meal Time
Expect to go hungry. There is nothing like traveling in a group to throw off meals times and make you earn your hunger by walking past every restaurant and bar until someone makes a decision. When this happens, you will likely decide to try to return to the first restaurant you saw only to discover no-one can remember where it was or how to get back there meaning more walking and hunger pains for you. By the time you account for food allergies, vegetarians and eating quirks of all group members, you will be lucky to be eating a snickers bar in a park come dinnertime. Avoid this by eating alone, splitting up at meal times and meeting back for drinks afterward or sharing around the decision making by each person choosing a place to eat on different days.
Yvette Barnett from Whirl of Wanderlust
Understand What is REALLY the Problem
Travelling with a partner can really make or break your relationship. When you travel with someone, you see the good, the bad and the smelly sides of them! It can also be a huge learning curve for you as a couple. I’ve traveled multiple times with my partner and when you haven’t slept for 48 hours, haven’t showered for 72 and just missed the last train to your hotel room in a non-English country, it can test you both.
The biggest lesson I have l learned is to understand what is really upsetting me because it is easy to take it out on your partner. I look at my situation, realize what is actually causing stress and then communicate it to my partner because usually, it is annoying him too! Then we can combat it together. However, On occasion, it is my partner that is the issue that is annoying me and vice versa, so in that case, it is best just to spend some time away from them and enjoy the city you in solo for half a day. Then you can meet up and discuss your days over dinner.
Danielle Desir from The Thought Card
It’s OK to Do Your Own Thing
Last year my two cousins and I spent a week traveling in Europe. I proactively created a detailed itinerary and researched activities and attractions for weeks in anticipation for our trip. When we arrived in London, I soon realized that my cousins had no interest in any of my planned activities. I was faced with a difficult decision, do I stay in the hostel as they did, or do I grab my map and head out exploring on my own? I chose the later, and I am so happy I did. My biggest lesson when traveling in a group is to be bold. Venture off if you want to and do not limit your experiences. You can always swap stories at the end of the night upon your return, and it feels good coming back to your accommodation and seeing familiar faces after a long day.
Connie Pearson from There Goes Connie
Working Together is Key
Every individual or couple has their own travel style, pace, or personality. When you are on a cruise, THE BOAT decides the schedule. When you are on a group bus tour, everyone dances to the tune of the Tour Director. But, when you travel with good friends, some give and take are critical to success. When my husband and I spent two weeks in Italy with good friends, we did two main things to keep everyone happy. 1) We took turns setting the pace and making “the plan,” and 2) we sometimes went in different directions for a few hours or a day. We were so grateful to have our travel companions when my husband’s wallet was stolen near Cinque Terre, and they allowed us to live off of their credit cards until a replacement card arrived. Their presence and generosity salvaged our whole experience in Italy.
I think all the advice above is priceless and very much encompasses the pillars to build a great travelationship. Respect for your partner(s) is a must. I find it so difficult to be around someone, let alone travel with someone I don’t respect. Be sure to show your respect to and for your teammate(s). Small to big actions can be done in many different ways. Check in and find out how he/she is doing. Listen to what your partner says or at times doesn’t say to see how he/she is doing. It seems like a no-brainer but saying please and thank you go a long way. Communicate openly and honestly, which coincides with don’t expect anyone to read your mind. Your respectful behavior to all others will create a stable base for any relationship to build upon.