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Travelling is something that can make or break a relationship.
A short relaxing holiday usually isn’t where the problem lies, more so during long-term travel periods where issues can arouse more, stresses build up, and irritability shows.
Travel is not all cheap beer and street food (although a decent chunk of it). Mostly long-term travel requires a lot of effort daily, especially if you’re moving around a lot.
The relationship pressures are numerous
Trying to communicate with people whose language we don’t speak, working out how to get from A to B, being surrounded by people who don’t understand us, or are trying to rip us off (insert country you’ve been ripped off by the most by here).
You feel so foreign and out of place. Constant frustration towards each other builds and, if not dealt with from the place of harmony, can make for a stressful holiday.
Travelling with someone you love, whether it be a friend, relative or partner is one of the most rewarding experiences ever. If you can still manage to smile at the end of each day and say “I can’t wait for tomorrow” then it’ll make every darned sleepless night on a Vietnamese death trap/bus worth it.
Below are 5 tips for couples travel if you find yourself wanting to pull your hair out while travelling with a buddy:
1. Remind yourself who you’re with
If you find yourself in a distressing situation, remind yourself that this is someone you care about enough to dedicate months of your life to travel with. Before you show your frustration, breathe and remember why.
Nothing has changed between the two of you, just a couple of additional stresses, so it’s totally pointless taking things out on each other and jeopardizing the relationship.
2. Accept them for who they are and they will accept you as you
We all have our quirks and one of the best ways to let things go, in travel and in life, is to accept people as they are.
It’s not my job to create someone I love, but rather love them for who they are.
If you have totally opposing opinions, have a chat about it, agree to disagree and move on. If you can’t move on, have a tequila shot each, remember how horrible that tastes and pinky-promise each other to never get to that stage again.
3. Talk! Don’t assume your partner can read your mind
We usually expect a lot from our partners, especially wanting them to know what we’re thinking without us having to actually use our vocal chords.
Life would be easier if we could read each other’s minds, but since we haven’t worked out how to do that yet, you’re going to have to talk to your pal.
The longer you leave it bottled up, the more it’ll annoy you and the more you’ll lash out at them because of your frustration. Sit down, express your feelings and create a new plan.
They picked you to spend all this time with too so it’s unlikely that your opposing opinion will be a deal-breaker. It will, however, open the doors for more thorough communication and a much more enjoyable [bus] ride.
4. Put the camera (and phone) down and engage with your partner
Exploring in a new place can bring on many wonderful experiences and emotions.
These may be once in a lifetime opportunities so by all means click away and take it all in. However, don’t forget to put the camera down, go for a walk, share a coffee, enjoy dinner or dessert and spend some quality time together.
The days can be long and exhausting but it’s important to make the effort to chill out and appreciate each other.
5. Be authentic
In whatever you do, be true to yourself first.
You may encounter some struggles along the way and what you choose to do is defined by who you are and what you believe in. If there is something you really don’t want to do, don’t do it. If they really want to go, let them.
Travelling with someone doesn’t mean you need to be permanently connected at the hip! You will share many amazing experiences together but you also need to respect that you are there for your own reasons too.
Just remember though that some of the most amazing experiences while travelling usually come when we least expect them.
So while you need not do anything you don’t want to, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone either. It’s all part of this crazy ride called life.
Want more couples travel tips?
- 9 tips for couples travel
- How travel can strengthen a relationship
- My partner doesn’t want to travel – 7 ways to change their mind
Is there anything you can add? In the comments below share one of your couples travel tips. Or do you have a funny relationship-travel story?