9 Tips for Couples Travel (so you stay a couple)

Craig and I married in 2002.

In celebration of surviving 18 years of marriage, I thought I would write a post sharing our tips for couples travel.

Tips for Couples Travel
our wedding photo from 2002

Back in 2002, just three days after our wedding, we took off overseas for what turned out to be a five year honeymoon. Travelling as a couple is either going to make you or break you.We took the risk as newlyweds and its safe to say it made us.

Living out of each others pockets 24/7 can be extremely challenging, yet has its definite rewards.

I think many people find us a little weird now as we do everything together. That is just the way its always been. Since travelling we’ve always had the same circle of friends and our life has been the same big adventure.

We now have a marriage that is founded on really strong principles such as team work, problem solving, and communication.

We have so many amazing memories that we share and things we have been through together, how could we ever separate?

I mean who would get to keep the photos??

We now have two young daughters, and how we travel with kids is a completely different ball game, but below are our top tips for traveling as a couple.

9 Tips for Couples Travel

1. Learn to laugh a lot

Travelling as a couple
Having fun

Craig and I like to have fun and laugh a lot. This helps bring so much ease and casualness into, not just our relationship, but our life.

We try not to sweat the small stuff and we often find stupid things to laugh at like who has the biggest nose and who can do the silliest laughs.

When you are spending the majority of your moments in joy then everything else flows so well and couples travel becomes fun.

2. Make light of each other’s annoying habits

You each have annoying habits. Admit it and get over it. Instead of getting upset about it just make fun of them.

We would often sit down to breakfast at yet another day on a gorgeous Thai beach, and exclaim,

“Oh god. Not you again. Why are you always here? I can’t get a minutes peace. What are we going to talk about now?”

This always ended in a lively and stupid conversation that would set our day off on the right track.

people sitting at tables on the beach
Breakfast on the beach in Thailand – Not you again!

Really, I don’t know what I’d do without Craig’s annoying anal retentive habits that have to always focus on the details. I’d still be fluffing around meditating on the bigger picture, never knowing how to eventually get there.

It really does annoy me how he has to have the piece of wood perfectly straight before he hammers it to build the house. I mean just hammer the damn nail in so we can have the house finished!

3. Give yourself time out

We don’t do this one as often as we probably should, but we usually don’t feel the need. Make sure you do spend time doing the things that you love to do.

We did more of this when we were actually living in an area for a long period of time.

a woman sitting on a bench and reading a book
Happy Time out in Laos

When travelling, we were mostly enjoying the same activities. Although we would spend many days lost in our own books, lying on the beach or going off for walks or massage times.

Alone time is also an important part of your couples travel.

If you feel like your space is getting too cramped then just let your partner know,

“Hey, I love ya and all, but if I don’t get some time out from you for awhile I am going to go crazy.”

4. Participate in activities together that involves teamwork, support and encouragement

Craig and I love hiking and climbing mountains. We look for adventurous activities when we are travelling all the time. Not only are they giving you a fun memory to share, but it really helps you to join together as a couple more.

It is always so great for me having someone as physically able as Craig to help push me along the challenging parts and help me to have more faith in my own strength.

people smiling
Hiking Mt Fansipan, Vietnam- a tough one!

It has been great to have him to turn to when I am crapping myself coming face to face with the monstrous rapids on the Nile River. This helps us to be able to apply the same principles for when other challenges un-travel related appear in our life.

We are constantly giving each other the encouraging pep talks we need to push through our personal and business barriers. This is a great benefit to couples travel.

5. Compromise and share the decisions

people hugging and smiling
Bollywood party in Hong Kong

We mostly find ourselves arguing over who is going to be listening to the ipod next, or swinging in the hammock first.

Learn how to compromise.

Many times when you are traveling you don’t want to make a decision in case it is not what the other person wants. Be clear on what you both want and someone make the decision that will suit both of you.

Don’t leave it to one half of the relationship to always make the decisions.

6. Look after each other’s interests

people standing on a beach lookout
Kynsna South Africa

It helps to have similar interests.

Craig and I are really lucky in that we pretty much like the same things. We both love outdoor activities, travel, music, sports and having a sunset beer. This means making decisions on what we do and see is not that difficult.

There are times when one of us wants to do something more than the other. I really wanted to see the gorillas in Uganda, where Craig was give or take on that one as it was really expensive, but he knew it was what I wanted to do so he agreed.

In our new eBook we talk about the importance of making sure you experience those once-in-a-lifetime moments, so if your partner really wants to do something, give a little.

And of course, I find myself going to many live sporting events to feed Craig’s addiction.

7. Watch out for tiredness

Craig and I usually only fight on the road when we are really tired and frustrated. One journey in Africa saw us squashed into the back of a pickup truck with the whole village, bouncing around a dusty dirt road for hours.

Tips for Couples Travel
This will cause anyone to fight

We had bike handles up our butts and women’s backsides sitting on our elbows and knees. All of a sudden we grunted to a rocky halt and our wheel went rolling off into the ditch beside us.

The car was so beat up,it was taking hours to fix so we decided to walk to the next village that ended up being an hour away.

Craig and I had a big fight and we walked that whole distance with our heavy backpacks and about 10 metres distance between us. It took another couple of hours before we reached our destination, but by that time we were over it and talking again.

Tiredness and frustration will bring the worst out of anyone.

Be prepared for when it strikes and try to keep your anger in check and your mouth closed. It could signal an end to your couples travel.

WE share more of our crazy travel stories in this podcast episode on Tales from Uganda, Africa.

8. Don’t isolate yourselves

When traveling as a couple, it is easy for you and your partner to just stick together the whole time. There are plenty of single people around you and other travel couples doing their thing.

Make an effort to mix with other people, both couples and singles, and send off a we-are-approachable vibe. This gives you both a break from just each other’s company, allows you to meet many wonderful people, and gives you lots to talk about later on.

people siting at a table
Dinner with new friends in China

Craig and I are always socializing with others when we travel, and we have made a great number of beautiful friendships because of it. This really adds another dimension to your couples travel experience.

9. Have special “date” moments

When you are travelling as a couple every day and night is really date night. It is really difficult to create a special date experience. But travelling for long period of times becomes a normal daily thing.

Try to find other ways to have special times together.

Going on adventures as mentioned above is one way. Organize a special dinner or movie night out, or even in. Splurge for a more upmarket accommodation type. Get massages together, or spend the day lazing around the pool or on the beach.

a man sitting at a table
Thai date night – Koh Samui Beach, Thailand

End the day with a romantic beach stroll and your favourite cocktail before having a delicious seafood dinner on the beach where you talk about your hopes and dreams for the future and plan for them.

More tips for couples:

More inspiration

We recorded our story in podcast over 5 episodes. Each episode showcases how we made travel our lifestyle despite many challenges, and not matter what life stage we were in.

Episode 3 is where we dive into the dark times spoken about in this post. All episodes are filled with nuggets to help you see how anything is possible. Pull up a chair and your favorite drink and let us help you keep your dreams alive.

  1. Episode 1: Solo Travel and Working Abroad before we met
  2. Episode 2: Our 5 year honeymoon living and traveling the world
  3. Episode 3: The Dark times and Birth of the girls and travel blog
  4. Episode 4: Embracing Family Travel and our 18 month Australian road trip
  5. Episode 5: Getting a green card and traveling the US (our dream realized)

And more useful nuggets in I want to Know your Secret,  The Reality of us as Travelers: then and Now and You’ve got Time + the end of 22 years of nomadic travel.

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97 thoughts on “9 Tips for Couples Travel (so you stay a couple)”

  1. I love the idea of a 5 year honeymoon! That’s basically what my husband and I want our lives to be like! This is a great list, and Happy Anniversary!

  2. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    You two always look like you’re having so much fun together! Congrats on your successful nine years of marriage, and thanks for this post that shares how you manage it. 😉

  3. Love, love this post! They’re great pieces of advice only seasoned couple travellers can come up with. Conrats to your ninth year and more to come!

  4. Congrats on 9 years of marriage! I love the wedding photos too, thanks for sharing! I love the idea of taking date nights while on the road too – great way to do something special as a couple.

    1. Thanks Laura! Date nights or days can be pretty special on the road. It was so nice looking at the wedding photos today. They have been in boxes for many years.

  5. Congratulations!

    9 years… Not bad… In September it’s also already 10 for me. Time just seems to fly by!

    And I agree with your tips!

    It’s can be a test for your partnership (marriage) to travel for a longer time. But it’s worth it & if it’s works out, it strengthen your relationship.

  6. These are great tips and you are the perfect couple to share these with all of your experiences. I have traveled many times with my spouse and it can be both rewarding and challenging. I have had fights with my wife in front of Notre Dame and in the Orsay, Krakow, a beach in Portugal, and Madrid. There are things you learn about each other when traveling that you might not learn at any other time. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    And both of you have changed so much since your wedding – especially Craig! 🙂

    1. We’ve gotten older and fatter Jeremy!! LOL 🙂 It’s good to know other couples are fighting out the front of notable places.

  7. I have fun traveling with my girlfriends but there is nothing better than a trip with my husband of 33 years. We enjoy all the same things and are always ready for a visit to a new location. In the next couple of weeks, we will be in Vegas, on a cruise and visiting Vancouver. Can’t wait!

  8. Such experienced advice! We just celebrated our 1 yr wedding anniversary and are starting our travels in January… needless to say we will be referring to this post often!

  9. Happy anniversary and congratulations on nine years! You make a lot of great points for not only couples traveling together, but for a successful relationship. I certainly hope that someday I’ll have as happy and successful of a relationship (with someone who loves to travel, of course) as you! Hope you two have a very special day 🙂

    1. i didn’t think about it being good tips for those who don’t travel but they certainly would work. Maybe I could be the next Dr Phil:) LOL

  10. Congrats – especially considering the lifestyle which keeps you together so much. May your marriage last forever.

    My husband and I celebrated our 30 year anniversary last October and the one of the things that keeps us together is that we are still best friends. It’s not always easy; there are still things we do that bug the other but we have learned the art of compromise and we both know how important we are to each other. I think adding an element of surprise to a relationship is healthy too – and something little goes a long way. I often pack ju-jubes in my husband’s suitcase when he travels – a silly little thing but he loves it and knows I’ve been thinking about him.

  11. Good advice! Brian and I will keep these things in mind when we start our trip. Of course, I think these are good tips for home too!

    1. They are good for when you are not travelling, probably even more important as you don’t have those special moments and memories holding you up. You have a lot of daily stresses and mundane tasks instead. Easier to let life get on top of you and forget the importance of each other. I am sure you and Brian will have a great time.

  12. Wow, congratulations! 🙂 Nine memorable years. Bravo!! You guys made really good points here. Make me smile too. It must be so good to be on the side of loved one on the road. 🙂

  13. This is very insightful. I’ve always traveled solo but would definitely love to be able to share a life with another person who love to travel. This just gives me hope =)

  14. Congratulations on 9 years! Thank you for sharing these past couple posts and allowing us to get to know you guys all the better.

    As a traveling couple we agree on so many of the things you list above.

    Traveling with someone for this long I can’t imagine being without them and as a solo traveler. Sure there are challenging times and we get under each others skin, but the good times easily outweigh these. We especially agree for finding little pockets of time for yourself. Be it a massage or just going for a solo walk, you just need to recharge. We both get it and are not afraid to tell one another that we need it.

    To nine years and many more! Cheers

    1. Glad you enjoy them Pete! I’m all for getting a massage for my time out. Wish I could do more of them here in “real” life. They just don’t quite compare to $5 Thai massage on the beach. I think travel would feel lonely for me now if I was on my own. It’s been too long.

  15. Nine years definitely affords you a level of expertise. Kent and I have 12 years and I feel like we still learn something new about one another (almost) every day. Interestingly, it is the tough moments and periods of frustration that tend to be some of our most valuable experiences – and travel can sure bring about the “tough” moments.

    1. You never stop learning. 12 years is a long time. As long as you can laugh about those tough travel moments now. I think we pretty much can for all of them. And you can so clearly so how frustration and tiredness will do that to you.

  16. Love this piece you guys! Congrats on your nine years together – wishing you many, many more =) We can relate to every one of these points and I can’t even think of anything to add here, you’ve covered it so well. Being married can be just as much work as it is fun and rewarding; not hard work, just work realizing and accepting each other’s differences and finding harmony. All of these little things are exacerbated when travelling. I think every couple should travel together for at least a few months at some point in their lives to really get gritty and learn about each other. So much comes out when you’re travelling – both good and bad! Definitely strenghthens your relationship…

  17. You guys seriously ROCK! I just got done reading your “31 Things We’ve Never Told You” and it was really cool how open you guys are. Anyway, thanks for a great post on traveling as a couple. Super inpiring & helpful:)

  18. Happy anniversary! Great tips here. I’ve been through some great times and some not so great times when travelling with my boy (this year it’ll be our twelve year anniversary!). When it’s the not so good times, sometimes one of you just needs to recognise that, acknowledge it and find a way to resolve the problem and move on. Sometimes that means admitting you’re wrong – not my favourite thing to do! 😉

  19. Excellent tips! We had trouble in the beginning with our traveling styles – I enjoy what Veronica has dubbed my “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” approach. She prefers a slower, get a feel for the place mode. It took us some time, and one really big blow-up, to find a happy medium. And learning to laugh a lot is most important! Good call! -David

  20. Great tips here guys. And congrats on nine years- the travel certainly made you! So agree on the inevitable fighting when you’re both exhausted- learned that one very quickly.

    Oh, and I love the wedding pic!

  21. To celebrate your life’s most important occasions with to plan going somewhere with your loved one is good idea. But, very first i would like to congratulate Caz and Craig on their 9th anniversary. The experiences they had shared in this blog is really very helpful for new couples those are just planning to start their life.

  22. This is a great post. My wife and I have been married for 11 years next month and I can vouch for a lot of these. I would add to the list:

    It’s okay to get separate rooms for the night.

    Haha..just kidding. I think you know what I mean.

  23. You guys are so cute! I’m setting off with the other half in August for a few months…will keep these tips in mind!

  24. Loving this post. I’ll be keeping these tips in my mind when my partner and i go on our trip. Especially the bit about the annoying habbits, some times he drives me crazy!

  25. You guys are lucky! Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t really like backpacking, so I travel with my sis, but it also gives us a little bit of time to miss each other. Maybe that’s why we love each other so much 🙂

    1. Oh shame! But its good that you don’t let that stop you from travelling still. Maybe he’ll come round. Does he like any style of travel?

  26. He likes going away and discovering things, but he doesn’t like hostels etc. Whereas I like them. He also likes snowboarding, which I don’t, so he goes away with his mates once in a while.
    He’s also almost 2 meters tall, so he hates buses, trains and local transport in general, which is very uncomfortable for him.
    And there’s also his job, which doesn’t allow him to go away too often. Next year I’m going around South East Asia. He could only join me in Jan, when I’m going to be traveling around Laos by bus, which he would hate. When I’m going to be on Thai islands it would be March when he absolutely can’t take time off. So, you see there are quite a lot of obstructions, but we try to go away together for a longer weekend or a week somewhere abroad.

    1. I totally get the too tall thing. It’s hard for me and I am not near 2 metres. Buses in LAos will kill him!! It’s so wonderful that you can make it work by both of you having the travel moments without each other. Love that! I know people who give up their travel dreams because of their partner. It doesn’t have to be that way, you are proof you can have both.

  27. hey Caz, i loved read your blog. It gaves me so much information about travelling backpackers. and your tips for those couple travel..

  28. Spending time alone on a couple’s trip needs to be balanced. Otherwise, you won’t enjoy it and it may bring harmful consequences to your traveling experience and your life.

    The best is you decide on the time you want to spend on your own together and do this at the same time so that you can spend time together again and more.

    Rahman Mehraby
    Destination Iran

  29. Wow, you guys are my role models. There is so much I can learn from you both.
    I’m traveling since more than 4 years now, got stuck in Istanbul because I fell in love here :). And now after more than a half year here I miss traveling so much that I decided to leave again and head to South East Asia. I booked a ticket, and for my love as well :). He never traveled, never left the country. Let’s hope he get hooked with traveling the same way that I did and we can continue this trip for a long time. Thanks guys for the inspiration.
    PS: The new design of the page looks fantastic 🙂 Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you Sab! I am sure you will both have an amazing time and he will be hooked on travel as much as you are. SEA is a great place to start!

  30. #8 is the biggest challenge for my wife and I. It is hard sometimes as a couple to meet people especially when you are tired.

    I think for us one thing is to schedule some alone time. Couples spend so much time together it never hurts to have an afternoon or morning apart from time to time.

  31. Hi Caz – a totally great site im on your facebook page now too!! I met my girlfriend in Antarctica 3 years ago and we are travelling the world together still. For us, time to ourselves is important and we will try to become parts of teams more – great tips!!

  32. Great post! People think we’re crazy when we say that we live together, travel the world together and (as of recently) work together! We’ve been together for 6 years and travelling for 3.5 of those years…together 24/7 can be daunting for some, but lucky for us (and you guys), it’s been amazing.

    You’ve have been travelling much longer together than we have, you’re an inspiration! We agree with all of your tips. I think date nights are really important..romance can get lost on travel days! Here’s some of our tips: http://goatsontheroad.com/the-survival-guide-to-staying-together-while-backpacking/

    Cheers for the post, we’re really enjoying your site 🙂

  33. Good to see things like this as reminders.
    Ali and I are definitely a traveling couple. #8 is our weakness at the moment. We tend to be introverts and hang out with each other a lot just in general and travelling in foreign (non/English speaking) places seems to highlight it.
    Though the travel together HAS brought us closer together and helped with communication practice.

  34. I’m bookmarking this and sending it to my boyfriend to read before we move to Madrid together. We’ve traveled together before but never long term, and I think these tips will come in handy. Thanks 🙂

  35. Yet again great tips guys!
    It can be hard to be married or have a partner and travelling with them can be harder, but I wouldn’t give it up for the world! You laugh together and fight together but at the end for the day, you are always there for each other to support each other and its better to have someone to enjoy your moments with, like the first time you go snowboarding and fall on your ass, its nice to have someone there to laugh at you… I mean to help you up!

  36. Hi Caz, Found your website through Pinterest and love it. At the moment I’m travelling together with my boyfriend for 10 months now. It has been great so far! Your tips are so recognizable. I can really find myself in these 9 tips. They all work so well and indeed, doing your own thing is a good tip but we don’t feel the need either. We are trying to keep a blog as well, http://www.wereldbloggers.nl but yours is so amazing! I bookmarked it and I’m gonna read some more. Oh yeah, I was wondering, are you travelling now? Good luck to you and safe travels 🙂 Claudia

    1. Thank you so much for the positive feedback Claudia and for finding us. AT the moment we are not travelling, but stay tuned because next week we make a big announcement of our upcoming travel plans. We’re off again for some more long term slow travel with the kids.

  37. Love becomes sweeter and more meaningful when peppered with friendship. Such friendship can actually be strengthened by traveling. Cheers to more years of togetherness and for worth-cherishing travels <3

  38. These are the best tips I have read so far. My bf and I have been traveling together constantly for one year and off and on for 2 and we have a great time and we travel very well together but we’re still learning how to deal with the tense moments. I greatly admire you two, congrats on the 9 years! I hope to one day be as seasoned and wise as you are.

  39. Hi Caz! Congratulation! ^^
    Thanks for your tips, ^^ I share this to my boyfriend, we were planning for our first couple trip, actually its not really for first time, I met him few months ago while traveling and we traveled together :D, so I guess this time is for really testing time?? ^^ I wish all going smoothly for us. ^^

  40. Hi Caz, Thank you for this great post. There are some really good tips.
    I am also on the road with my boyfriend travelling through South East Asia since 3 months and we really get on well.
    Here is my tip: As we are changing our destination every 2 weeks to compare countries in South East Asia, it is good to book a big apartment with more than one room to hang out from time to time. It gives both of us more space to do what ever we feel like and it keeps the love fresh! 🙂

  41. Love this article so much! I’m about to leave on my very first couples trip, your tips are so down to earth and helpful! We’ve got to remember to laugh, relax and work as a team.

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  43. hey guys (Caz N Craig), i liked your blog, usualy i get bored to read a blog / articles til the end,but here i liked it when i read each sentences of it, i am about to marry and im sure your tips are useful for me. Thank you and please keep it up

  44. Going on a honeymoon especially during the touristy season can get really annoying sometimes, especially when you have to rush around with the other tourists, and not be able to get any quiet time with your partner. So on your honeymoon, i would suggest you to take it in a slow and relaxed pace. On my honeymoon with my husband, we went to Rome and Florence. We did all the regular sight seeing but it was getting quite tiring after a while. So on one of the days we just spend the day strolling by the parks in Rome, and had a bike tour with one of the locals in Rome. She then suggested us to try out dining with BonAppetour. They are a website where travelers can book meals with locals who invite travelers for a meal at their home. We loved it! It was fun, relaxed and a perfect end to our honeymoon. BonAppetour also has cooking classes with the locals, which I want to be trying out on our next vacation! Getting messy in the kitchen is actually very romantic!

  45. I am aged 66 my wife 59.We shall be glad to know more on ways to enjoy later part of our lives.We are Indians from Kerala

  46. Hi Caz,

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Alicia and I have been together more than 8 years now, and while we travel together really well, not everything is smooth running.

    Reading through your tips, I think one of the most important is making light of each other’s annoying habits rather than getting frustrated and annoyed. When traveling, couples will be together all the time, so it is especially important to not to let these things get to you and give each other space now and then.

    We are trying to do more traveling so will keep your tips in mind!

    Thanks heaps!

  47. Hi Caz,

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Alicia and I have been together more than 8 years now and while we are great when traveling together, it isn’t always smooth sailing.

    I was reading through you tips and I think one of the most important is making light of each other’s annoying habits instead of letting it frustrate you. When traveling as a couple, you are together all the time which can make little things turn into frustration, so it is also best if you have a little time out from each other now and then.

    We are looking to do more traveling so will keep your tips in mind!

    Thanks heaps.

  48. It was really inspirational for me reading these experiences in travel same thing with how your relationship becomes stronger.
    More power and hope that we can have these life changing experience with travel together with my boyfriend 🙂

    Lovelots and Happy anniversary to both of you 🙂

  49. It is written quite well and the suggestions given are awesome. If you are traveling as a couple, you sure need to work as a team. You need to in fact, ‘read’ each other for better understanding because it will also help you in your future life. Unfortunately, my first ever travel as a couple was a disaster that ended in separation. I honestly became too anxious because of the lack of synchronization between the two of us. In case to one else makes mistakes like me, please find the link below:


  50. I and my ex partner are back, Robinsonbuckler ( @ hotmail. ) com made it possible……………………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊

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