Traveling as a couple can be tricky – but with a little planning your experience can be terrific. You just need a few simple tips to travel well as a couple.
My husband and I began our relationship thirty-four years ago while traveling 18 hours on a bus. Since then we’ve traveled coast to coast in Canada and the United States and are currently on the road full-time with our truck and a fifth-wheel trailer.
Yes, we have some perspective on the whole “being together 24/7″ and making a relationship work well while dealing with constant change.
5 Tips to Travel Well as a Couple
We’ve learned these tips will work whether your mode of travel is back-packing, by car, train, plane or camel; they’re about meeting your spouse’s needs when nothing is familiar and everything feels like a challenge.
1. Food and Water
It might seem elementary, but enjoying every moment can depend on having food and water readily available. Does your spouse grow short-tempered when he is hungry? What about being able to think clearly? Keeping blood sugar at an optimum level helps couples deal with the unexpected. And when you’re traveling, you can guarantee the unexpected!
Avoid sugar. Keep balanced protein and carbohydrate options available, and lots of water and you’ll see how much easier it is to communicate. It’s amazing what a bit of healthy food and water will do for a relationship in transit!
Being tired while traveling is torture. Build in time for a few naps while you are moving from one place to another. Your judgement and decision-making ability will be enhanced when you’ve had enough sleep. Use each other as a pillow – get close and snuggle for a fifteen-minute snooze. Bring along a blanket to spread out on grass, sand or a bench and grab some Z-zzzs. Being rested is a gift you can give each other.
3. Recharge: Time Alone or Time with Others
Maybe it’s an oxymoron to work in some quiet or alone-time when you’re traveling, but some spouses need time to recharge away from people – even you! Be sensitive to your spouse’s (and your) ways of dealing with new experiences. As exciting and exhilarating as travel can be, we all need to recharge.
If you or your spouse recharge when with people, then arrange time to do that too. It’s an introvert/extrovert thing. Know your spouse well enough to meet their need to recharge – you’ll enjoy your new experiences so much more that way.
4. Encourage Your Spouse to Stretch
Make it easy for your spouse to try new things. Understand their fears, affirm their strengths, and invite your spouse to expand out of their comfort zone. Be a support. Provide all the information needed so there’s no (or few) surprises. Traveling well as a couple enables you to learn and grow – together.
5. Be Open to Change
Make a commitment before you begin to travel, that you both have the latitude to change your mind about an opportunity or situation. You both have veto power. Keep in mind that the travel is secondary – your relationship is first.
Communication is Key (Bonus)
Traveling well as a couple is as much about how you embrace the issues, as it is about the moments of joy. Communicating more is where the difference lies. When everything is a new experience – bed, food, smells, sounds, people, etc. – your spouse needs more from you.
Robert and I are still learning – especially in this new season of constant travel. Have you used any of these 5 tips as you’ve traveled? Do you have any to add?