The Best Travel Tips for Couples
Planning a vacation with your S.O. this summer? There's nothing better than taking time to make memories with your partner, but, let's face it—traveling together can sometimes be stressful. We chatted with three travel bloggers to find out their tricks for having the best time ever as a couple on the road:
1. Set realistic expectations — Try not to cram too much into each day of your trip, Megan McDonough of Bohemian Trails suggests. That way, you'll never be disappointed. “On our honeymoon to Bali, my husband and I would be active one day, visiting temples and hitting the beach, and the next we would stick to reading poolside. It was a good balance, and after a lazy day of doing nothing, we were ready to hit the ground running come morning!"
2. Make Time for Romance — Even if the trip centers around tourist attractions, have at least some time in your schedule and room in your budget for a romantic dinner together, says Jess Dante of Love and London. “This doesn't mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars, but be sure to get dressed up and splurge on a nice bottle of wine so it feels like a special occasion. To me, there's nothing more romantic than a beautiful dinner together in a foreign place."
3. Assign Each Person a Job — Try to identify each other's strengths and weaknesses before you go on your trip, says Kristin Luna of Camels and Chocolate. “For example, I never let my husband navigate. Given a 50/50 scenario, he will choose the wrong direction every time and that led to at least one break-up while we were still dating!" she says. “But much of the problem solving falls on him. I'm the Type A planner, the one who has an internal calendar permanently etched in her memory, so I handle all logistics, bookings, and miles hacking."
4. Plan a Surprise – If you have a few days in one place, surprise your partner and plan a fun and unexpected activity, suggests Dante. “When my husband and I were in Florence for our anniversary, I sneakily planned for us to drive these cool vintage Fiat 500s around Tuscany for half a day. He loved it, and especially loved that he had no idea it was going to happen until just an hour or so before."
5. Save Money — It's expensive to travel, especially on a newlywed budget, but there are certain tricks to saving money. “We've saved by staying in Airbnb rentals all over the world," Luna says. “Not only do they tend to be cheaper, but I love the option of making our base in a locals' neighborhood that might not traditionally have any hotel options. We also love eating out and discovering new places through their coffee shop culture; however, I'll always stock up on Kind bars and nuts before traveling, which can serve as airplane stacks and even a meal replacement—particularly for breakfast when I'm usually not all that hungry—and allow me to spend more on lunch and dinner. Similarly, I keep a stock of Starbucks' VIA instant coffee on hand; they're such tiny packets, they pack well and they also taste like the real deal."
6. Indulge at least once – Even if you're on a budget, it's important to incorporate at least one luxurious adventure together, says McDonough. “I veer more toward budget travel than luxury, but I still like to splurge every once in a while. Treat yourselves to a romantic dinner or opt for pre-dinner drinks with a view (think rooftop or outdoor terrace) and then head somewhere more low key for the actual meal."
7. Be Flexible — Any traveler knows there will always be road-blocks and hiccups along the way, so it's important to account for that when planning out the schedule. “Our itineraries are more flexible than they once were, as I know that, for our own sanity, building in free time to wander is essential, as is scheduling downtime at the hotel or rental for my husband, who must have his afternoon nap," Luna says. “Sure, we sketch out things we'd like to do in each city before we visit—mostly restaurants and bars we hope to visit—but more importantly, once there, we let things unfold as they will. After traveling extensively with friends (who weren't friends by the trip's end), I've learned the stricter the agenda, the quicker a potential feud develops."
8. Compromise – If you're a married couple, you know this is the golden rule of staying happy together, and it applies to travel as well. “My husband and I often have different opinions on everything from where to vacation to what movie to watch on Netflix," says McDonough. “One day, I said, 'OK, today is Diego's Day,' and that meant that he got to decide. It actually stuck though, so we sometimes alternate between whose 'day' it is and that always makes us feel special."
9. Disconnect — We know it's hard, but give it a try! “If you can't completely disconnect from your smartphone or laptop, at least designate a few hours away from technology," suggests McDonough. “Facebook can wait… that sunset can't."
What are your best tricks for having a flawless trip with your partner? Tell us in the comments!