Travelling with your partner may sound like a romantic idea, and can help you create lots of happy memories. But given the unromantic nature of travel — long wait for flights, homesickness, jetlag, bouts of food poisoning — there may also be lots of stress and bickering.
Use these five easy ways to navigate your journey with your partner with minimal stress and misunderstanding.
Take some small trips first: Have you ever gone on a day trip with your partner or a hike? Perhaps you can start by going for a long drive and then a weekend trip before deciding to spend a week in a foreign country? This will help you know their quirks, and you can be better prepared to deal with things that blow your fuse.
Understand that the journey can make you grumpy: Travelling within a city or going on a date is very different from spending days cramped in a car or jostling with tourists at a foreign hotspot. Mood swings are much more likely when you are hungry, tired, lost or have just missed out on seeing something important. Be prepared for this, and cut your partner some slack. Understand that circumstances can drive anyone crazy, even your otherwise calm and peaceful partner.
Set realistic expectations: You can only control so much. The adage stands true even when you are travelling. Places may not match up to your expectations, things may be overpriced, you may miss out on important spots because you forgot to check which days they are shut, you may even lose something important during the journey…there are tons of things that can go wrong. Instead of blaming your partner, be realistic and get travel insurance and refundable bookings, but don’t expect everything to go smoothly.
Take a break from each other: Just because you are travelling together doesn’t mean you need to do everything together. The secret lies in doing what makes you happy (at least for some time during the trip) and let your partner do so as well. You can sign up for pottery classes or learn to cook a local dish while your partner visits a museum or an exhibit. Spending time apart will give you both a breather, and none of you have to compromise on your interests.
Divide responsibilities: Travelling as a couple means you have an additional person to share the tasks with. Why should one person handle all the travel arrangements, scout for locations, get the best deals, and safeguard the money? Instead, divide the responsibilities with each other, so that each person gets to do what they are best at and no one is overburdened.