Let’s be frank – traveling with your boyfriend or girlfriend (or anyone) can come with its challenges. You can’t just plan a trip with your boyfriend or girlfriend and assume it’s going to go by without a hitch, especially if you’ve never traveled together before.
As someone who has traveled to over 20 countries with their boyfriend, I want to share my *expert* tips to help you avoid conflict and enjoy your time together. Yes, I’m considering myself an expert because 20 countries with the same person is a lot okay!
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Let’s dive in.
#1. HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT VACATIONING V. TRAVELING
You may be wondering the difference between vacation and traveling. There’s a HUGE difference! Vacationing is relaxing on the beach with a cocktail in hand. Traveling, on the other hand (no pun intended), is exploring – seeing famous sites, checking out museums, going on hikes, etc.
Realistically, most people like to do a mix of both on each trip. However, it’s completely essential you and your partner discuss whether you are going to be vacationing or traveling. You don’t want to show up with one person expecting to relax and the other person ready to walk 50,000 steps a day.
If you don’t have this conversation ahead of planning the trip, one or both of you may end up disappointed. Just start the conversation like this: “Were you thinking this trip would be more about relaxing, exploring, or a mix of both?”
#2. SPLIT THE TRIP PLANNING TASKS
I’ve noticed that with a lot of couples, one person plans the large majority of the trip. If this is you and it works well, then great! But in my opinion, there are a lot of benefits to splitting the trip planning tasks. I find that if one person plans the entire trip, they can sometimes feel the trip is “theirs” and feel disappointment if their partner doesn’t seem as excited or blame if things don’t go as planned.
In my relationship, I typically plan the day-to-day activities and my boyfriend plans the flights and transportation. We find that this works well for us because these tasks fit with our personalities and interests. Of course, we keep the other person in the loop and consult them before making any decisions.
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#3. COMMUNICATE YOUR WANTS AND NEEDS EARLY ON
Say that you are going to Positano and really want to get that perfect photo to post on Instagram. To some people, this may sound ridiculous, but it’s important to you and that’s okay! (Yes I am talking about myself here). Rather than assuming your boyfriend or girlfriend is going to know you want this photo, you just have to tell them, even if you feel silly.
My boyfriend knows getting good quality photos and videos when we travel is really important to me, because I have communicated this to him! Previously, he would take one photo which would turn out bad and I would be silently sulking the rest of the day. Now, he’s well aware of my needs and wants and what makes me happy.
#4. HAVE ONE NON-NEGOTIABLE EACH
You and your partner might not have ALL the same interests, and that’s totally normal! However, for you both to enjoy yourselves to the fullest while traveling, it’s good to have one non-negotiable thing that you want to do that the other wont contest. (And will try their very hardest to act like they are fond of for the time being).
My boyfriend really likes going to football games when we travel, and while this isn’t my favorite thing in the world, I am more than willing to go because I see this as his non-negotiable. Mine is usually a funky museum (like the cat museum in Montenegro).
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#5. TAKE A MOMENT FOR YOURSELF EVERY DAY
Taking a moment for yourself is important in day-to-day life but especially when traveling with your boyfriend or girlfriend. This can be really small, like spending a few minutes on the toilet scrolling TikTok or walking yourself to a local coffee shop.
It can be a lot to spend 24/7 with someone, especially if you don’t already live together, and travel can make things feel more tense since you are in a new environment. Having some time every day by yourself is truly so important to help you recenter and get ready for the next exciting activities ahead with your partner.
#6. LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
This one may be a bit controversial, but it can’t be argued that consuming alcohol with your boyfriend or girlfriend makes it more likely you will get in an argument. I feel that getting in an argument can taint the vibe of an entire trip, so it’s best to try to avoid this however possible.
Personally, I don’t like getting intoxicated on trips (especially if they are short) because I don’t want to deal with the hangover and miss out on things. So limiting your alcohol consumption when traveling with your boyfriend or girlfriend is really a win-win!
All in all, having a partner that shares your love for travel is a gift. Don’t let the little things get in the way of exploring the world with someone you love! I hope you have a great time traveling with your boyfriend or girlfriend.