The first time traveling with your significant other is an ultimate test on your relationship. No matter how far into a relationship, it is a point where you ask yourself if you could see yourself having a future with that person.
I have to admit, I was nervous to travel with Mickey. For 9 months our relationship has been so solid and healthy that I keep waiting for the other
shoe glass slipper to drop and shatter. Is this what all the movies were saying about how you feel when you find “The One”? Here are some tips for traveling with your special someone for the first time:
Make sure you are serious: Unless you’re only planning to have a wild weekend getaway, make sure that you are at a point in the relationship where you are ready for whatever comes. Sometimes traveling together backfires and you see the other person in a different light. In a past relationship, it ended up being a blessing in disguise recognizing it early on. Take a step back and make sure you’re ready for this next step.
Talk Money: Who is paying for what? Are you splitting things down the middle? This may be a teeth grinding conversation to have but it’s an important one. Mike and I booked the trip together and split the Airfare & Accommodations down the middle. It just so happened that I quit my job days before our trip, so he was kind enough to pay for a majority of our meals and we would switch off on drinks etc and pay for our own souvenirs.
Plan your trip as a team: From the start, decide as a pair where you want to go. For us, it was easy. We wanted to see live music and be together but we had talks of other cities in the mix. We decided on Nashville and each made a list of the things that we had wanted to do. We had a planning party where we listened to each others ideas and gave feedback. This leads me into…..
Compromise: So your boyfriend wants to watch his favorite sports team play on 2 of the 3 nights you’re on vacation….let him. Does it mean that you eat dinner at a sports bar instead of a nice restaurant one night? Sure. But in return he will compromise on what you want to do. One thing on my bucket list was to go to The Bluebird Cafe. Due to reservation requirements, long wait times and location, it wasn’t in the cards for us this time around- but you better believe he made sure we went shopping to pick me up a Bluebird Cafe T-shirt before the trip was over.
Communicate: Mike and I’s relationship works so well because we are open and honest with each other. If one of us didn’t want to do something, we made it clear. When we first arrived in Nashville, we had to wait at a bar for a few hours before check-in. It made us a little antsy and I mean, who wants to deal with luggages at a bar? When we were ready to make our way to our accommodations, Mike thought it would be nice to walk the 25 minutes there. I was in uncomfortable (but super cute) cowboy boots and lugging around a ginormous shoulder bag along with my luggage. Did I think this would be a fun walk? Absolutely not. Mike sensed that I was flustered after rolling my luggage the first block on the wobbly brick sidewalks. So what did I do? Communicated. That was our one and only near-disagreement we had the entire trip, and we were able to laugh at it later.
Manage Stress: While I wouldn’t necessarily call my “Communicate” scenario a stressful issue, many things can go wrong while traveling and you have to keep each other positive before it becomes a bigger issue. Our cell reception was spotty so we took a lot of walks through the city trying to navigate to different places. Instead of feeling lost and frustrated, we used it as an opportunity for adventure!
Recognize Strengths & Weaknesses: I am a planner. At times I feel like I over-plan so I decided to do things differently this trip. Instead of planning out each day, we had a list of things that we wanted to do and that day we would decide what we felt like doing. Recognize each others strengths and weaknesses in the planning stages and during the trip, fill in the gaps and compromise.
Alone Time: You are together every second of the day when you’re on vacation, take time to do your own thing and give each other some space. Mike would watch TV while I would work on something in the other room and on our last day, he sat down and relaxed outside while I was able to take my time shopping in a boutique.
Keep a Sense of Humor: This is key to any relationship, but also the best piece of advice for traveling with someone else. Eating all different kinds of beans, BBQ and gravy and then going back to sleep in the same bed is a different kind of love that you need to be prepared for. After all of that, we came out loving each other even more.
Traveling together gives you the opportunity to bond on a whole new level. Don’t forget to check in with each other often, laugh and have fun!