Travelling with your partner can be awesome fun and very rewarding. But long term travel as a couple can be hard work, and if you don’t go in prepared you could be in for a very average trip. Here are a few tips on how to survive a long term trip with your partner.
1. Ask a few questions
There are some important questions you should ask yourself and yourself and whoever you may be travelling with. Do you both love to travel? Are you interested in doing and seeing similar things? Do you have similar budgets and travel styles? It’s important to consider these things when choosing your travel partner. Make your expectations for the trip clear before you leave. You don’t want to work out two weeks in to a 12 month trip that you partner wants to go on benders every night and you prefer yoga retreats.
It’s important that you are both on the same page from the beginning, so be honest with each other. If you’re not 100% committed to the trip say so early on, not a month in when you’re having a shit time and want to go home!
2. Get over it… quickly
You are going to have arguments while travelling. Everyone does. To be honest, most of ours occur when I am hungry (known as the ‘hangry’ phenomenon). The important thing is to talk it out (or eat) and get over it as quickly as you can. I hate the cliche, but it is true that you have to be a team on the road so the less time spent battling with each other the better.
3. Remember ‘me’ time
Whether travelling for a week or a year you will spending a lot more time with each other than you normally would at home. You will probably shift from seeing each other before and after work during the week to being with each other all day, every day. It can be quite daunting.
I like my own space so it’s important that I occasionally have a day to myself. This doesn’t necessarily mean being physically alone. It just means having some time to yourself even if you’re in the same room together. Read a book, listen to some music, go for a walk, have a nap, meet someone new in the hostel kitchen, or FaceTime your friends or family.
4. Treat yo’self
It can be great for both of you to have an occasional ‘day off’ from travelling. Do something you would normally do at home: see a movie, get a manicure or massage, go out for a nice dinner, or book a ‘weekend away’ in a nice hotel. It’s a great way to rejuvenate yourselves if you’re starting to get a bit weary of constant budget travel.
5. Realise travel can be hard work
Being together on the road is not like being at home. You won’t love every single day of travel, and at some point you will probably hit a ‘travel slump’ when you wonder why the hell you ever left home. You will be putting yourselves in stressful situations more often, so it’s important to be patient and understanding. Don’t stress or feel guilty if one of you is not digging it for a few days. It’s normal! Just ride it out.
6. Support each other
Often you will have to be the positive one when your partner is having a shit day (and vice versa). If your partner or you gets bad news from home, is sick or is just simply over it then try to support each other through it. You’re not going to have family or friends around so you have to stick together. You’ll probably find yourself in situations where if you don’t laugh you will cry – so try to make each other laugh!
7. Be prepared to compromise
You aren’t always going to want to go to the same attractions, eat the same things or stay at the same places. Both of you need to be prepared to compromise. Choose your battles wisely!