Kayla’s Travel Secrets: How to travel with your Lover
Kind of like living together, you never truly know the ins and outs of your lover till you have traveled together. Being that travel is one of my favorite things to do this often occurs early on in my more serious relationships. My boyfriend Dan and I took a 3 month trip around the world last summer. We in turn had some of the best AND worst times of our relationship. Here are a few things I learned from that and other trips with lovers:
Make a budget ahead of time: Know what you are each willing to spend during and in booking your trip. Getting to Las Vegas and learning that your partner has an empty checking account can be a real drag. Know before you go. Ask for a sit down to plan out what type of cash you both need to bring and how you plan on splitting up expenses.
Pack comparable sized luggage and mix: Don’t give your partner the opportunity to blame the hike up 2000 steps blowing out their back on your luggage only. Make it even, and be able to carry your own luggage for at least 1 mile. Also, if checking bags try to throw a couple of outfits into each others luggage. I was in the UK once for a month long trip and my luggage was missing for 3 weeks. I was SUPER happy that I had put an extra pair of pants and underwear in my friend’s bag (obviously, wish I had packed more..ugh).
Plan to sit next to each other on the flight: This one strikes VERY close to my heart. I had an ex take me to Manhattan for my birthday, when we got to the airport he found out he was eligible for an upgrade to 1st class. He took the upgrade and left me in coach. Didn’t offer to upgrade me or ask if I was cool with it (WHICH I WASN’T). So my advice here is plan your seats ahead of time and stick with it!
Know where you are sleeping: Sleeping arrangements should be planned for! Don’t show up anywhere and expect a bed to come to you. In this wonderful technology driven society we live in you have the oppurtunity to take 10 minutes to go online and find a bed for your stay. There is nothing romantic about hopping around town trying to find an empty room. AND Always, always ask for a King.
Bring your own activity: Don’t expect to spend your entire flight to (insert far away destination) chatting about your childhood and favorite Seinfeld characters! Bring a book, sketch pad, journal, knitting supplies, ANYTHING! Just make sure to have your own task to consume a little of your down time through out the trip. Also, good to use this as time away from each other. Ya know, that healthy thing…
Prepare a shared activity: While this may sound contradictory to the last tip, I think it’s a good idea for a little game or project you are working on together during the trip. This gives you the opportunity to have a project or task that you bond over. My boyfriend and I worked on a little film during our trip around the world. He recorded audio while I recorded video in certain destinations that we compiled into a short film.
Do something you both have never tried: While you may be the world’s best scuba diver it does not make for a fun outing when you are the one having all the fun while your partner is trying to learn. While there are exceptions I would not advise you make your trip primarily focused around an activity you excel at while your partner struggles. Save it for later in your relationship and only if your partner is eager to learn. Choose something you have both never done and you will learn more about your lover than you ever imagined. Hopefully it’s a good thing.
Take one day/afternoon off: “We need some time apart”. Yes! It’s super just to take the afternoon or day and go to the spa or surf that fabulous break while your partner goes exploring the city. You will regroup and get to share your stories and take joy in finally being re-united.
Bring one small gift/surprise: This can be something very small, but your partner will/should be delighted. Candles (great for rooms that lack ambience), Chocolate, New Clothing or Lingerie, Lotion, Bubble Bath…. you get the idea.
Don’t sweat getting lost and don’t blame: Getting lost is inevitable! You’re in a place you have never been! SO let’s all agree ahead of time that getting lost is an adventure. Seriously make this as an agreement to each other (“I promise to not get angry if we are lost and, I will not blame you for not bringing the map”). I have had some of my best experiences after and during being horribly lost in a strange place. Embrace it and NEVER blame your partner.
Meet and engage with others: This can feel weird especially if you are with a partner. I have found that people would rather not interact when you are traveling with someone because they do not want to interrupt. You will need to take the initiative. Talk to locals and especially engage with other couples. They may even be willing to take you to a private party on their yacht (true story). This is a great way to share experiences with others and your lover!
Indulge a little: Plan at least one night where you go ALL OUT. Fancy dinner, wine, the works. Budgeting is great but you are on vacation and you only live once.
Be Decisive: “I dunno what do you wanna do?” THE WORST! Yes, you are on vacation and there are tons of options of things you could do. Choose one and commit! There is no fun to be had sitting around talking about what you COULD do. Make the decision to both be decisive in what you want to do and share that with each other. Don’t be bossy (note to self).
Be Safe: Accidents can and will happen. When I was in thailand last summer I got in a very bad motorbike accident. Luckily nothing big broken just a toe, but I had severe cuts all over my leg which immediately got infected. This was definitely an unexpected road bump (actually caused by road bump while on motorbike) but likely would not have happened had I not been so insistent on us renting a motorbike on the one island where travelers highly recommend you don’t rent a motorbike (due to bad dirt road conditions). This accident was the source of a ton of tension toward the end of our trip and could have easily been avoided. Just think before you do anything too risky and be prepared to deal with taking care of the other person should they fall ill or be in an accident.
Relax and be flexible: My Mother always jokes that she and my father used to have fights on the way to the airport or while packing for the trip before EVERY vacation. It was like clock work, but once at the destination they were fine. Vacation can come with some serious stress so try to relax and know that the goal is to share a positive and loving experience with each other. Unknowns WILL occur, so go with the flow be flexible and RELAX.
What are some of your Tips to Travel With Your Lover?