Traveling with your love, life partner, spouse, or better half can be one of the MOST rewarding and enjoyable experiences! Personally, we enjoy traveling with friends and spending quality time with family but there is still something that is uniquely special about experiencing a new or even a familiar place with each other. There is just something care-free, romantic, and unifying about it. We really can't get enough adventure with each other!
While traveling with your partner is the ultimate awesome there is definitely an art that goes into making sure you are both on the same page and ready to have an enjoyable experience. Traveling often correlates with unfamiliar settings, tiring flights or drives, spending money, and our personal favorite, a lack of knowing where and what to eat. That romantic, relaxing trip that you dreamed up with your love can quickly and easily become a stressful hassle if you forget to take a step back and remember a few simple tips for getting your focus back from the distractions.
1) Communication, Communication, and Communication
One of our FAVORITE things about getting to travel with each other so often is the effort and time we spend (together) planning our trip. When planning your travels be willing to communicate the one thing that you just HAVE to do, and on the flip side be willing to communicate if you're willing to trade a sight for another just to make your love happy. This allows you and your partner to realize and satisfy what's really important to each other.
When we first started traveling, back in our early days of marriage, we were a bit more reserved about expressing basics that we may have needed or wanted. For example, if one of us became hungry we wouldn't express that to the other person, which would then turn into h(angry). We've all been there! It's not fun! Especially when you're cramming a bunch of new sights into your schedule and walking a ton of steps to make sure they're all reached. We later came to the conclusion that both of us had been hungry but neither of us expressed it because we thought the other one wanted to keep exploring rather than stopping to eat. You can see the issue with this, I'm sure!
We learned that when you're traveling or planning your travels don't hold back on communicating your desires, wants, and necessities! In the end you'll both be happy, content and fulfilled!
2) Practice your Patience
This is key when traveling with any individual but especially with your Love! When you combine more than one person into any event that requires planning of sort you HAVE to be patient!
This example of patience goes hand in hand with communicating what are the most important aspects or experiences of a trip for the both of you. Since these may not be exactly the same for both of you on every trip keep in mind what is important to your significant other and take that into account when you feel yourself running low on patience at that particular exhibit or photo opportunity.
Life is full of unexpected surprises, so be patient with one another Remember, your trip is a trip for TWO! Ultimately, it's about the two of you experiencing something with one another!
3) Take Time for Each Other:
One of our rules that we established early on with our travels is that we would have at least one "date" experience wherever we went. We started to choose one thing that BOTH OF US really wanted to do that may would be be more extravagant or costly than we would typically do at home.
For example, it may be a fancy dinner out to one of the finer restaurants in town, or a show that we both agree we would enjoy. Our rule is that it has to be an experience we BOTH agree on and that we feel would enhance our time wherever we are. Something that isn't necessarily a "touristy" sight or something that we "have" to do while there. It's just something for the two of us to enjoy. It's important to remember when you're traveling and trying to check off all those "must do" items to stop and enjoy each other in whatever culture you may be in at the time.
4) A Good Plan goes a Long Way
We are all for those spontaneous, unplanned experiences that enhance a trip. However, there a few exceptions to the carefree, go with the flow travel style. For example, we mentioned above that we could get pretty h(angry) after a while if we didn't communicate our hunger to each other. Well, we could ALSO become h(angry) when we were in a new place and had no clue where to eat. We aren't the biggest fans of chain restaurants and while we like the typical touristy sights we tend to get our biggest thrills out of the "most unique," or the "oldest" or "original" of places.
This means we have to plan! When we start planning a trip we immediately look for those "local spots" that have been around forever, or were an iconic "first" of its kind, or are known for that one dish that you "have to have in ____." We learned this trait about each other early on in our travels and we have found that planning can be a lifesaver! Call us uptight, but it definitely helps us to relax and enjoy our adventure a little more if we don't have to spend thirty minutes trying to figure out what would make the most sense to see or do next.
5) Be Okay with Compromise:
If you have four weeks to take a trip and see every in and out of a particular place then you have hit the jackpot big! That doesn't happen for all of us which means time is a limitation.
There will inevitably be things that make the list and things that just can't. When we plan a trip we categorize our tourist sights into "must do," "possibly do," "undecided," and "not this time." In the early stages of planning everything tends to go into the undecided or must do categories because it is much easier to make notes early on and decide its priority later than to spend a lot of time deciding its final category when it will more than likely change before you take the trip.
This tip also goes back to the communication portion of expressing what is important and what is not that important. What you can't live without seeing or doing and what would just be an option. Be honest with one another and with yourself!
6) Pack your Sense of Humor
Traveling is one of the most rewarding and exhilarating experiences, according to many researchers and psychological studies. However, travel can also be unpredictable, messy, and uncomfortable. Anyone who travels often knows that at some point there will be a surprise that takes you off the beaten path. Some of these experiences you will be able to laugh at easier than others but it is important to do your best to find some good humor in all situations. After all it's all about the adventure, right?
Some of our most memorable travel experiences have occurred in an unexpected fashion and usually derive from some element of a plan that went awry. One particular experience that explains this perfectly was one of the final days of our honeymoon on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
After a few days of perfect romance and extravagance we decided to branch out and explore a bit. We had spent the entire day riding circles around the island trying to figure out where to get off, what to do next, and where we were going to stay after our supposedly quaint bed and breakfast ended up being quite the dump. We were exhausted and fairly disappointed with how the day had turned out despite our expectations and we ended up in a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint by accident. Picture this scene: dim lighting, a whisky scented pizza parlor, a piano man sipping his gin (that never seemed to run out), and two tired, very hungry newlyweds just looking for a break. We were seated at a small table in the corner next to two individuals that we later learned to be somewhat of local legends. One was a former professional jazz singer and the other a recognizable actor in the movie Jaws and a few other films. The pawere in an assisted living home now and would venture out to town every Thursday for the piano and pizza scene.
After three hours we had heard a healthy dose of Jazz piano tunes, split a pizza with two complete strangers, and made two new best friends. To top off the night as we were leaving the restaurant we bumped into another animated acquaintance from earlier in the day who when we asked him how he was he replied "I'm just here for the free peanuts!" Needless to say this is a line that sticks with us as an inside joke when we travel and serves as a reminder that no matter how bizarre the situation may be there's almost always a glimpse of humor involved to make it memorable.
7) Remember to put Each Other First
Travel can become a very selfish ambition and while you may start out thinking it's something you both want to do, remember to relax and enjoy each other more than the special sights and events. After all, traveling should be an occasion for two and when it's done with someone you absolutely can't get enough of it can be a remarkable experience for you both!
We are the Best's! Jo and Mo. We have been immensely blessed with many opportunities to see various parts of the world. We live an average, working life in Raleigh, NC but through our many opportunities have developed a passion to see the world. Our goal is to share with other desiring travelers different tips and experiences from around the world as we begin to check them off our bucket list. If anything, we hope to provide a little sense of motivation and adventure to those wishing to embark on their own journey!
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