This post was written by Michael and Alexandra from Couple’s Coordinates!
Traveling as a couple presents a myriad of challenges—some of which arise as a direct result of mistakes made by the couple. If you’re planning to travel with your partner for the first time or have only traveled together on a few vacations, you’re sure to make a plethora of mistakes as you figure out how to best work together and support one another.
When we first started traveling together extensively almost four years ago, we made mistakes left and right. Four years later, and we have visited over 30 countries together and we have developed a sound travel strategy to be incredible travel partners. Now, we are less susceptible to mistakes and fights, and instead, have incredible travel experiences.
So we are sharing what we think are ten mistakes every couple makes while traveling (and how to overcome them)!
Not Spending Time Apart
One of the most important things we tell every couple when they head out on their first trip together is to spend time apart. Make time for yourselves as individuals whether you’re at home, on holiday together, at a family reunion, or hell, even on your honeymoon.
It is imperative that you maintain your identity, hobbies, and private time in a relationship. We make a point to spend a bit of time apart every day, whether it is simply for a workout, a coffee, or a nice walk around the city.
Trying To Do Everything
There is no reason in the world you have to do everything you see on Instagram, blogs, etc. Frommers is a guide, not a checklist.
When you visit a new destination, you might feel a pull to do, try, and see everything. Sure, you should be adventurous, but don’t let that compromise your sanity.
Be sure to schedule downtime and don’t overextend yourselves. After all, couples are more susceptible to fights while tired and stressed.
Not Assigning Duties
Many relationships are one-sided. If this is the case at home, well, you can bet it is going to be the same case on the road.
Early in a relationship, it is natural to want to impress your partner. But be sure to assign duties while you travel so that you don’t overload yourself with responsibilities, and you give your partner the opportunity to help create the trip he or she wants.
Alex and I separate duties in such a way that I invariably cover logistics and organizational tasks, and she plans activities during the trip, looks for great restaurants, etc.
One fatal mistake that you’ll likely make while traveling as a couple is not planning. Sure, spontaneity can be fun, but failure to plan can lead to disappointments and fights.
We have found the right balance between planning and spontaneity and think our middle-ground is quite successful. Be sure to plan the grand details and perhaps leave some room during the trip for impulse decisions.
You don’t need an itinerary, but you certainly need to do some research and planning.
Focusing on Unimportant Details
Who takes the aisle and who takes the middle? What time is dinner? What direction should you walk to reach your destination? Where will you eat dinner?
If these aren’t easily decided, don’t let them mess with your mojo. There’s no need to get caught up in the trivial details of travel. There will be incredibly insignificant items that arise daily… so be sure to be patient.
Worrying About Life at Home
There is a reason you go on vacation. To escape your life at home. Put your phone down, neglect social media, don’t check your email, and simply forget about your life at home for a week or two.
When you get home, NOTHING will have changed. If your family and friends can’t understand that you’re on holiday and trying to spend quality time with your partner, they aren’t really your friends.
Focus on the time alone with your significant other and enjoy!
Obsessing Over Social Media
Every couple wants to be #CouplesGoals but is it truly worth the stress? We would 1000% rather have an incredible experience and no photos to show for it than a bad experience and loads of pictures depicting us having the time of our lives.
Yes, we take loads of photos for blogs and document our travels on IG stories. That doesn’t mean we let pictures and social media come first. There are loads of experiences we have that are completely held off social media and our blog.
Don’t do it for the Vine, do it for the experience.
Fighting in relationships is imperative and often ok. Important discussions that are neglected can often become toxic, causing larger issues.
So disagree while you’re traveling and don’t feel like you can’t fight. Don’t be the couple having a huge meltdown in a crowded piazza, but walk away and have an adult conversation with one another to work out your issues.
Compromise is highly tied to the point of not being affected by unimportant details. Try to see things through your partner’s eyes and be sure to compromise where needed.
It is hard when you have particular expectations, so try to rid yourselves of expectations and enjoy your trip with one another. If there are conflicting ideas and neither of you are willing to budge, spend some time apart.
You’ll 1000% get lost at some point while you’re traveling with your partner. Even with data plans, the prevalence of Wi-Fi and Google Maps, you’re bound to get lost at some point. But, hey, getting lost can be a fun adventure in and of itself.
So go get lost with your best friend and have an incredible experience.
If you and your partner are thinking of tying the knot soon, check out our favorite cheap honeymoon destinations and 10 Reasons Every Couple Should Travel Together Before Marriage.