First date, first time meeting the parents, first anniversary — there are a lot of firsts to look forward to as a couple. Yet, one of the most unforgettable is your first vacation. Regardless of location, traveling together poses many challenges, but the experience is also incredibly rewarding with the right preparation and mindset. Ensure you both survive your first trip as a couple by following these five simple tips.
1. Create a Balanced Itinerary
Most couples share some similar interests, but there are likely a number of things one person wants to see or do that the other doesn’t. While there needs to be some compromise, it’s vital that the itinerary doesn’t end up only representing one person’s travel goals. When such a situation occurs, it tells the other individual that their needs aren’t as valuable, leading to feelings of disrespect and resentment. For that reason, it’s important to create a balanced schedule that reflects both partners’ wishes.
Achieve this feat by sitting down at the very beginning of the planning process and write a list of things you both want to accomplish on your trip. Next, compare the items and create a table that separates them into three columns — shared interests and each person’s individual interests. As you create your itinerary, focus on things you’re both attracted to and only add items from individual categories in even amounts (one from each at a time).
2. Start With a Short Getaway
The thought of a week-long romantic vacation is incredibly enticing, but it’s also a risky move for your first trip as a couple. Traveling can be stressful, but your first getaway ups the anxiety because it’s such a monumental moment in your relationship. To avoid adding unnecessary pressure to yourselves, start with a short journey, like a weekend trip. The shorter timeline allows you both to get to know each other’s travel habits and quirks better before tackling a longer time frame.
3. Set a Budget
Talking about money isn’t comfortable, especially during the early stages of a relationship. But, it’s an important conversation to have when you’re planning on traveling together because you’re going to face expenses along the way. To avoid either of you experiencing unnecessary financial stress on the trip, create a budget for every aspect of the trip.
Start by having a discussion about each of your spending goals. Next, discuss how you want to cover certain expenses. In most cases, couples split the basics, like hotels, or cover their own individual costs, such as bus tickets, but the waters become murkier once food and activities enter into the picture. At this point, you need to work together to determine what you’re both comfortable paying. For instance, if there’s an activity that caters to your interests, you may agree to cover the cost for both you.
Once you’ve reached an agreement, write it down. This step helps make it feel more official and takes the financial pressure off of you both during your trip. It’s also vital that both parties partake in the budgeting process to ensure each of you feel comfortable with the outcome and aren’t simply trying to appease the other. Honest and open communication are the true keys to success on your first journey as a team.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Alone Time
Being together doesn’t always mean that you have to physically be with each other around the clock. Whether it’s a few minutes or a few hours, it’s completely acceptable to enjoy some time apart on your getaway. In fact, it can actually make the experience more pleasurable, especially if you’re someone that needs time alone to recharge.
A quick break can also allow you both to reflect on the memories you’ve made so far, making it much easier to appreciate all the time you are spending with one another. Hit the gym by yourself before breakfast; schedule some pamper time, like a massage or facial; or simply visit a local site that your partner isn’t that interested in seeing. Regardless of how you fit it in, be open about your need for it to be alone time before your trip so that your partner knows it’s not personal.
5. Get Enough Rest
If you want a sure-fire way to have an argument, don’t get enough rest on your trip. Lack of sleep makes just about everyone cranky, which creates the ideal atmosphere for disagreements. Fortunately, you can avoid the issue simply by planning strategically. For instance, when you place a late-night event on your itinerary, don’t book any activities early the next morning. Or, if there’s an action-packed day, follow it up by a relaxing day of lounging by the pool or on the beach.
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