34 In Travel/ Travel Tips

How To Travel Together (And Survive)

Ty and I have managed the whole “travelling together and surviving” thing pretty well (we recently got engaged during our time in the Bahamas), but I’m going to rewind to September 2013 and let you in on a secret.
Prior to moving abroad, I was nervous. I’d lost count of how many times I’d been offered the following “advice”: “Travelling together will make or break your relationship and will change it forever”. Um…yeah…thanks for the encouraging words!
Everyone made such a big deal about it and it terrified me, mainly because it made me scared about the possibility that it might not work out for us. While it sounds silly to me now, those comments and thoughts legitimately worried me enough to discuss my fears with family and friends. They all said “It’ll only make your relationship stronger” and I guess I knew it would (at least I hoped it would), but I was still secretly worried.
Fast forward to today when I came across a quote that first made me smile, and then made me reflect on our journey of travelling together. And after all this time, and all the things Ty and I have learnt along the way, I realised no matter who you plan to travel with, I have some much better advice to pass on to you then the “make or break” spiel that I got! So these are my tips for how to travel and stay together. Whether you travel with your partner, your friend(s) or your family, there’s something here for everyone!

Ask yourselves these questions:
What is your travelling style and do you have a similar budget (as travelling style is often dictated by budget)? Discuss your travelling style BEFORE you leave. I’ve spoke about this before, but if one of you needs 5-star luxury and the other wants the backpacker experience, things are going to get tricky early on and it’s better you consider this and work it out prior to leaving. Ty and I went the budget-friendly route as it suits our lifestyle, travel philosophy and our budget.

How will you share the costs? Decide on how to manage the expenses BEFORE the trip. Arguing over who is going to pay the first hotel bill isn’t the time or place to do it. There’s no right or wrong way to share the costs so whatever will work for you is best. Ty and I keep receipts and split the cost of everything equally.

1. Communicate! This one is so obvious but still worth mentioning because it’s so important.

2. Learn to compromise. You are different people and it’s unlikely you’ll both want to do the same things all the time. But to ensure one person isn’t constantly missing out on the things they want to do, it’s important to recognise that it’s BOTH of your holiday, so compromising with each other will ensure that you both can have an amazing time.

3. Recognize and utilise your strengths and minimse your weaknesses. The beauty of travelling with someone else, is that they bring a different set of strengths (and weaknesses) to the table. For example, if one of you is very directionally challenged (me), the other can be in charge of getting you to and from places (Ty).

4. Be considerate. It’s no secret how amazing it is to travel, but sometimes what isn’t as apparent is that travel has moments when it can bring out the worst in people (eg. after 8 hours in the car/bus/plane when you are quite simply exhausted). Unfortunately, your travel companion can often bear the brunt of your bad mood/exhaustion/frustrations. But try to remember to be considerate of each other! You often only have each other to lean on and you are in this together! Give One another space, if possible, when the bad moods strike, and try not to always assume that it has anything to do with you!

5. Share the planning. This one is so important, in my opinion. If one person is responsible for all the planning, the burden is all theirs when things go wrong or don’t meet your expectations. If you share the planning, at least you are both responsible for every victory and every let down (and hopefully you can laugh together about it rather than blame each other!). Ty and I have shared the planning since the beginning of our travels, that way we are both invested, and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.

6. Have an opinion. Don’t use the phrase “Whatever you want to do”. If you expect to get anytjing out of travel, you have to put something in. Not having an opinion puts all the responsibility for deciding on good ideas and plans on one person. The holiday is a joint venture and you need to speak up so you don’t miss out on the things you want to do.

7. Pace yourselves. Seeing 8 places in 4 days isn’t fun. It’s downright exhausting, and exhaustion inevitably leads to bad moods and arguments. Pacing yourselves helps you to get more out of each activity, attraction or place you visit, anyway, rather than just ticking off a bunch of activities to say you’ve done them.

8. Respect each other’s need for space and time alone. While you are travelling together, there’s no reason you need to be joined at the hip. Ty and I use some time each evening to just chill out, whether that be blog writing (me), motorbike research (Ty) or watching a movie. It’s nice for both of us to do our separate things but still be together.

9. Lighten the mood. If something hasn’t turned out as hoped, rather than take it out on each other, do something silly and make each other laugh. This really helps you both to get over those stressful and frustrating situations or moments when things don’t go to plan. Ty and I make up silly jingles, speak in weird voices and just be generally ridiculous every once in a while (and even when things are going swell, just because it’s fun) and it makes us laugh!

10. Pack snacks. If you are anything like me and get super irritable/angry(“hungray”)/annoying/extremely difficult to be around when you are hungry, be sure to always have a snack handy. This will save you from going into monster mode and it’ll save your travel companion from having to deal with that!

Travelling with a partner, friend or family member is such an amazing and enriching experience. It’s so wonderful to make memories that’ll last a lifetime with someone who you care about and who knows you. Don’t let what others (might) say make you forget that, and if you think about these tips before and during your trip, it’ll be smoother sailing for everyone!

This is the third post in my Travel Tips series. The first post was a step-by-step guide to creating a travel budget and the second post discussed 9 tips for saving money. Be sure to check them out!

Have you got any tips to share from travelling with a loved one, family or friends? I’d love to hear them!

Linking up!
Travel Tuesday

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