Yeison and I have been traveling together since the beginning of our relationship, whether I was flying to Costa Rica and he was showing me around Central America or we met in another country during our two years of long distance. We were always on the go when we were together, we had to be!
As a new couple, we’ve had our ups and downs while traveling and now that we live together, we have learned more of what works for us and what doesn’t.
Nothing is 100% guaranteed to work for every couple as we are all different, but there are a few philosophies to live by when traveling as a couple to keep the peace and make the journey as enjoyable and exciting for both people.
Our relationship has never been “normal” – we were 4000 miles apart with 6 countries between us, our first languages are different, cultures are extremely different, we had obstacles prohibiting us to see each other more often (US visa issues), etc.
But among the hurdles and the interesting nature of our relationship, we were blessed with the opportunity to travel. I think it’s safe to say that every couple should travel together at one point in their relationship because it can honestly make or break you.
Either you learn that you two are compatible in that sense (because traveling will bring out the worst/best in a person) or… you don’t.
Tips for Traveling as a Couple
How to turn this
Deflect, don’t project
If you can feel yourself getting frustrated because you’re tired, hungry, uncomfortable, whatever, don’t project it onto your partner. Deflect the bad attitude by keeping the negative feelings down and positive feelings up.
Instead, try to lighten the mood by cracking jokes or laughing at silly things. I’m the one that gets frustrated easier and I had to learn that Yeison isn’t my punching bag, he’s my partner so I can’t unleash my unhappiness onto him.
Give each other space
It’s great having a partner to travel and share experiences with but there comes a time when we both just need to relax and breathe in our own space.
It can be as simple as taking a walk by yourself, watching a movie that you love, listening to your favorite artist on full blast or reading a book. Everybody needs some alone time and that’s perfectly normal.
Make friends on the road
It’s really easy to just hangout by yourselves all the time but you miss out the joys of making new friends and meeting new people. We have met other couples and single travelers who enriched our journeys because we were able to share fun travel stories and learn about new places.
Now we have a list of countries that we want to visit which increases every time we travel because of all the new friendships we have made.
This one seems obvious but it’s harder to do in retrospect. If one of you is feeling tired, tell your significant other. That way they can be aware that you’re not feeling the best and take that into consideration.
I’m really bad at dealing with hunger and headaches so I always tell Yeison whenever I can feel it coming on. I make sure to bring snacks with me to prevent hunger and learn to keep myself in check. (Thank goodness for granola bars!)
Pick your battles because if you are fighting just because you’re tired, it’s not going to be a happy trip for anybody.
Compromise and sacrifice
It’s so easy to just let the other person make all the decisions but in the end, they’ll start feeling like a tour guide and you will start getting frustrated. Express your opinion and both parties need to come to a compromise. It can be as simple as picking a place to eat or a place to stay but share the decision.
If one person isn’t as quite in agreement with the other, make a sacrifice. Or else you could be arguing about where to eat all night and completely miss dinner (that would be the worst outcome).
Do activities you both enjoy
We’re lucky because we have very similar interests, we both love the outdoors, hiking, the ocean, camping and anything active. It’s such an amazing feeling to accomplish something like climbing to the top of a mountain and having someone special to share that with.
Pick something that you both like to do so that way you can support and encourage each other along the way. It’s a great way to bond, connect on a deeper level and to truly appreciate the other person.
Support your significant other’s interests as well
I love animals and I jump at any chance to go see any. Yeison does as well but not so much. He’s already worked with rescuing sea turtles and says once was enough for him. It’s something I really want to do and he agreed to take me in September when season starts again.
I love sports but I’m not the biggest fan of watching them. Live, yes. On tv, not so much. However, Yeison is a huge futbol fan and so on game nights, I’ll set aside whatever I’m doing and watch the game with him (sometimes I end up cheering more than him).
Little gestures are important
For me, the little gestures are sometimes more meaningful than the big gestures. When you’re traveling, it’s hard to designate “date night” since you’re together all the time.
To keep the romance alive throughout the journey, Yeison and I make little gestures for one another. It can be as simple as surprising them with their favorite ice cream, bringing them a beer when they don’t ask (he loves this) or giving a foot massage.
Traveling with Yeison has given me some of my best memories and most enjoyable travels but it didn’t come without work.
There have been times when I traveled without Yeison and vice versa but we always prefer to travel together! Everyday we learn something new about each other and traveling as a couple has given us a strong and trusting foundation.
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