Some say you don’t truly know someone until you’ve travelled with them. I believe this is true because when you go on holiday, there’s nowhere to hide your best and worst traits. You get to experience highs and lows with your partner and get to know them at an intimate level.
With this in mind, there are a few things you should know before you travel with your boyfriend. It’s worth knowing them if you want to set yourself up for success on your couple travels.
1. Prepare to see each other’s worst side
Travelling tends to place you in uncomfortable situations. There’s a lack of sleep, tired muscles from carrying heavy luggage, and food and temperatures that we’re not used to. All these factors are a recipe for a bad mood, and sometimes, even a tantrum. The key thing is to remember it’s normal and that it will pass.
I used to take it personally but then I realised, it wasn’t about me, but the challenging situation we were in. Having said that, if it continually happens, it’s important to have a conversation with your boyfriend about it and how it’s affecting your travels negatively.
2. Do your own thing
Everyone has a good and bad side, but most of the time we can put on a smile and be polite, as we know we can escape to our own space later on. Travelling with a partner doesn’t give you that luxury. This can lead to pent up frustration and anger. Giving each other space is incredibly important when you travel so you can have time to think or calm down. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
If you’re open to doing your own thing for a bit, when you come back together later on, you’ll have plenty to share.
3. Be inclusive of other travellers
Although I’ve travelled with boyfriends, I am no stranger to solo travel. The most irritating travellers I’ve met on my travels were clingy couples who think the language of love means they need to speak ONLY to each other. It’s rude and you are narrowing your travel experiences. I’m not saying you should invite people to your romantic dinners, but excluding all others from the conversation and speaking in your cute baby voice to your boyfriend while you’re in a shared tour van is going to make everyone around you feel very uncomfortable
4. Have the money talk
Ahh, money. It can create a lot of happiness but also a lot of big fights. I remember travelling to Egypt with a partner. We were still students, so we were on a limited budget. One day, he returned beaming, telling me he bought some amazing leather bags for both of us. I discovered that 1. these leather bags were overpriced and 2. he’d blown our entire budget for the next few days, so we couldn’t afford to go on any other activities.
If we’d had an open conversation on how we planned to spend our tight student budget, we could have avoided a huge argument (and had a fun-filled trip instead of carrying leather bags that I never used).
5. Go to a destination that offers something for both
Plan for success. When you’re travelling as a couple, this means planning a trip that suits both of you. The worst holiday I’ve been on was one where my ex-boyfriend booked an all-inclusive resort for one week. It was my idea of a nightmare, because when I travel, I want to explore new food, go on an adventure, and get immersed in a new culture.
He wanted to chill out in front of the pool with endless free cocktails and lunch at all-you-can-eat buffets at the hotel. Naturally, I got bored and grumpy, and he felt I was wasting money by leaving the hotel to explore, so he became grumpy too. It wasn’t a pleasant trip.
6. Keep the hunger at bay
A majority of fights that will happen when you travel will stem from one thing – hunger.
Being ‘hangry’ makes even the most reasonable, patient person turn into a monster. Plan your meals, and if you’re wondering whether you should eat now or later, eat now. You can eat later too and both of you can giggle about what piglets you are. After all, trying new food is one of the best things about being on holiday.
But there will be no giggling if you don’t eat now and 30 minutes later your boyfriend is ravenous with three more hours to go on the bus/boat/plane/train. If you want to have a happy, successful trip with your boyfriend, always keep the hunger at bay.
Travelling with a boyfriend can be a powerful, enriching experience. You get to see the delights of the world and share those wonderful memories with someone special. You will laugh, cry, and most importantly, create memories to remember forever.