So you've finally decided to go on a trip with your beau. Traveling with your boyfriend for the first time is both a daunting and exciting experience. For most couples, it's the first time that they'll spend 24 hours or several days together without any intrusion.
At first, it sounds like the perfect recipe for romance: seeing wonderful places with the one you love, trying out new things and enjoying them, eating exotic and sumptuous food from a different locale.
But just like any trip, not everything goes according to plan. You realize that your partner snores, which is a bummer because you're a late sleeper. You get acquainted with his love for extreme sports while you sit on the sidelines, terrified of heights. Worse, he contracts food poisoning and you're left not knowing what to do.
Traveling can either make or break your relationship. If you don't want your first trip to end in a split, here are 14 things to remember when traveling with your partner for the first time.
14 Do A Trial Weekend First
It's tempting to book a weeklong vacation to the Bahamas when you're still in the honeymoon stage of your relationship, but hold your horses. If your trip ends up a disaster, you have no choice but to endure those five to six extra days with a person you no longer want to be with.
To be on the safe side, schedule a trip that's short and sweet—just for the weekend. You can do a road trip to the nearest vacation spot or you can browse Skyscanner for the most reasonable flight for your weekend vacation.
If you can't manage this trial trip, then you probably need to think twice about going on a longer trip together.
13 Avoid Camping Unless It's Your Thing
Unless both of you are literally happy campers, camping during your first travel date isn't a great idea. Camping will surely test your limits because you will have to live in a cramped space for the next 24 hours and you will have to prepare your own meals even when you're not feeling it. That's a lot of pressure, as if being on a trip with someone for the first time isn't pressuring enough.
If you're not yet ready to be that intimate with someone, choose a trip that doesn't involve camping. Stick with the traditional hotel accommodations for now.
12 Plan Your Itinerary And Activities
Planning your whole trip together is very important. Though there's nothing wrong with being spontaneous, you can't just leave everything to fate. Choose a destination that both of you will enjoy, as well as activities that you want to experience. After all, you're still in the stage of getting to know each other, so it's best to talk things out and make sure that you're on the same page.
Planning will also help avoid misunderstandings once you're already on the road. Plus, it will prevent both of you from staying in bed all day and missing out on the wonderful experiences your trip has to offer.
11 Don't Forget The Money Matters
Aside from planning your itinerary, setting a budget before your trip is equally essential. You might think it's a petty thing to argue about, but money is one of the most common reasons why couples bicker. You should agree on a budget before the trip, and if possible, make it a daily budget to avoid overspending.
You should also be sensitive to the budget of the lower income partner. If you earn more than your boyfriend and you want to stay in a luxury hotel, then you must shoulder the extra costs, no questions asked. Otherwise, learn to compromise and stay in cheaper accommodations that both of you can afford.
10 Pack Light
Don't pack the whole closet with you when you travel. Since it's going to be just a weekend vacation, opt for a handy backpack rather than a huge suitcase. As a rule of thumb, if your stuff no longer fits in the backpack, then you're probably carrying too much and you need to ditch some of them. If your trip involves walking a lot, you have to carry your backpack for hours, so keep that in mind.
My partner always insists on carrying my stuff when we travel, so I became more mindful of what I bring. Don't be a diva and make sure that you carry only what you need in order to avoid inconveniencing both of you.
9 Don't Forget Insurance
There's no need to worry if you're just traveling for less than six weeks since you'll be covered by a normal foreign health insurance. However, in case you opted for an overseas trip that takes longer than six weeks, get a good insurance other than the one provided by your credit card company.
There are several travel insurance plans that you can choose from based on your needs and budget. You can compare them online before deciding which suits you best.
You never know what might happen to you during your vacation, so knowing you have an insurance makes you feel secure and takes care of any kind of eventualities.
8 Avoid Drinking All The Time
Traveling with your partner is all about enjoying yourselves, but try to do this without a lot of alcohol involved. Remember, you're not in your local bar anymore. This can lead to bigger expenses that are usually out of your budget and completely unnecessary.
Also, if both you and your partner feel refreshed the next day, then that's great. But if one or both of you end up hungover and grumpy, just imagine the stress and strain that this will bring into your otherwise perfect vacation. You might end up spending the whole day in bed, and not in a romantic way. Stay healthy and get lots of sleep to tone down the crankiness.
7 Don't Forget The Food
Aside from money, couples usually get into a spat because they're hungry. Men especially get irrational when there's nothing in their stomach, so make sure that you bring some snacks with you, especially if you're going on a long road trip.
You might also want to plan ahead when and where you're going to eat your meals. It might be fun to try to find new places to eat, but not when you're really hungry and you can eat the next edible thing you see. Research on the best restaurants before you even start your trip so that you avoid wandering around aimlessly with an empty stomach later on.
6 Try Something New
Don't be a killjoy and say no to everything that your partner suggests you do. If you've never tried kayaking before, then why not try it on this trip? If your partner wants to ride a zip line with you, indulge him and let him show you his own brand of adventure.
Traveling is all about getting to know each other on a deeper level, and trying things that your partner recommends to you is one way to do that. It doesn't have to be death-defying. In fact, it can be as simple as trying out a cuisine that you haven't had the chance to sample before.
5 Use The Time To Communicate
The main reason why you and your partner decided to travel is to have some quality time together. Well, make it some quality time, indeed. Use the time that you have with each other to bond and communicate on a deeper level. Learn as much as you can about each other, including the flaws and the quirks.
And one of the best ways to do that? Unplug. I know, you want to post your photos on social media, but that can wait until the end of the day. The important thing is to be present in the moment. This is, after all, your chance to be in a world of your own.
4 Take Photos
If the two of you eventually end up together, there will come a day when you will look back on this trip with fondness and affection. Taking photos of the two of you together will give you something physical to look back on, regardless of how awkward your first trip may be.
However, one of the problems of couples who travel by themselves is that they can't seem to get a decent picture of them together. This is when a selfie stick comes in handy. It might look silly, but it's certainly easier than lugging behind a tripod with you or asking random strangers to take your photos at a certain angle.
One of the most important things to remember while traveling as a couple is to learn how to compromise. In fact, this is essential in all aspects of your relationship, but traveling has a way of quickly teaching you this lesson.
You'll be faced with a lot of choices when you travel, from something as simple as deciding where to eat to as complicated as determining what to do when you're lost. You won't agree with each other all the time, but you can always meet halfway, as long as both of you are willing to compromise and avoid losing your cool.
2 Make Time For Romance, But Also For Some Alone Time
Romance is the whole point of the trip, so don't hold back in the ways you express your love for each other. Since you're still in the honeymoon stage, romance will come naturally.
However, as much as you love spending time together, you should also have some "me" time, especially if there are activities that you can't do with your partner. He doesn't always have to love the things that you love, and that doesn't have to be a deal breaker. Allot some time to do things that you want to do on your own, and let him do his own things. At the end of the day, you'll just miss each other more, paving the way for more romance.
1 Stay Real
Don't be ashamed to show your partner the real you because sooner or later, he's going to see it anyway. There's no point trying to hide you make-up-free face from your beau if he's going to be with you the moment you wake up, complete with morning breath.
Traveling allows you to see your partner up close and personal, and there's no shame in that. For most couples, the "realness" brings them closer together and strengthens their relationship. On the other hand, if your partner can't handle the real you, then why bother with your relationship? That should definitely be a deal breaker.