I wouldn’t say that Ryan and I are travel experts, but we are really great travel buddies. We’ve definitely had a few travel tiffs but they have helped us learn what works best for us. Here are a couple of things I’d suggest keeping in mind when traveling with your significant other.
- Make a list not a schedule: While it’s important to plan ahead and do your research, I think having an overly planned out itinerary when it’s just the two of you is unnecessary and sets way too many expectations. Ryan and I like to research the top restaurants, shopping streets and attractions to visit and make a list of the ones we want to hit. Then I’ll try to group them by location so that we’re not running all over the place. I do like to make a couple reservations for lunch and dinner so that we aren’t waiting hours to eat (see tip #2) but go into it knowing we can always cancel and eat earlier or later.
- Find a Balance & take breaks: I think it’s safe to say that about 60% of mine and Ryan’s fights usually occur when one of us is Hangry or overtired so its really important to recognize when its time to take a break – hence why not having a schedule is helpful. No one wants to be dragged through a tour when they’re starving. If you do have to plan or schedule some activities ahead of time, be sure to schedule meals and breaks right before those activities so that you can enjoy them or bring snacks. I also think its important to have a good balance of activities. I’m lucky because Ryan loves to shop (maybe even more than me) so he’s always up for spending an entire day shopping but we do like to mix in some of the main attractions. Depending on how many are on our list we try to stick to one or two a day and mix in shopping and food in between.
- Enjoy the scenic route: Getting lost is another big cause of fights between Ryan and I (even when were not on vacation). When we were in Boston, we had a long conversation about how the guys have terrible sense of direction, our friends called it taking the scenic route and now I always try to remind myself of that, especially while traveling. Getting lost is part of the experience! On our last day in Boston we had some time to kill so we just wandered some of the pretty back streets which is where all these photos were taken. We ended up stumbling upon a really famous street, Acorn Street which we had no idea was such a popular destination. It was probably my favorite day of the trip! With that being said, I don’t suggest relying on your sense of direction the entire time – google maps is my best friend when on trips!
- Keep each other on pace: You don’t always have to operate at the same pace as your SO in real life but it’s really important to understand each other’s pace and establish a middle ground before going on vacation with one another. I tend to run at a pretty hard pace at home where as Ryan is more laid back. We actually end up balancing each other out pretty well. Ryan reminds me to relax and slow down while I keep us on pace with hitting a couple items on our list each day.
- Be present: This is super cliché but so true. I could probably write a whole post about this one but mastering tips 1-4 is a good place to start. The most important thing to remember that it’s incredibly unique time that you don’t often get together so make it enjoyable. Put your phone, email, social media and anything else that might upset or distract you away. Ryan and I love traveling with our camera so that we can use that instead of our phones – chances are if I pull my phone out to take a photo I end up getting distracted by a text or open Instagram by habit, so I do my best to keep it tucked away and take time to catch up on what I missed in the evening before or after dinner. The last thing you want is to look back on the trip and feel like all you did was sit on your phone the whole time.
Just remember that it’s about spending time together and regardless of what happens you’ll have some great memories that you can laugh about, even if they are terrible ones.