Travel is the best way to grow your relationship together. It will help you learn more about one another by breaking the routine of life at home. Travel will put you into situations that you would never experience in your day-to-day lives of being at home.
Home is comfortable. It is what you are used to and you know what to expect. You know the places you enjoy, and the places you prefer to stay away from. You know the language and the people. There is nothing about home that is unfamiliar, especially when it comes to the routine of your daily life.
Travel is nothing like that. Travel can be at times, uncomfortable. You do not know exactly what to expect from it and at times it can be completely unpredictable. You may not know the language of the place you will travel to and you will definitely not know the people. Everything will be unfamiliar. Yet, it is outside of your comfort zone that you will learn the most about yourselves and one another.
This is what helps you to grow as a couple and overcome obstacles. Because there will be many of those put in your path when you travel together. You will quickly learn what you need to plan for, who is better suited for different tasks, who can navigate, who can plan, who can problem solve, and who can keep the mood positive even when the most negative things happen.
Though Natalie and myself are not full time travelers, I feel that it is during our travels that we have learned the most about each other and this has helped us grow our relationship to new levels. This is why we feel so passionately about couples getting out and traveling the world together.
First Trip as a Couple
Your first trip as a couple is going to be incredible. You will learn the most about each other during this trip. It will also most likely be the most challenging trip that you take together as a couple before things become more apparent as to who takes on which role in the planning stages and during the trip.
Now when we talk about travel, we do not mean going to an all-inclusive resort where you do not even need to leave and all the meals are prepared for your leaving all of the planning and problem solving to someone else. We are talking about the travel where everything needs to be prepared in advance by yourselves or at least in the moment. This includes transportation, accommodation, food, and itinerary. This is what we mean by traveling.
Our first trip came when we traveled China and Nepal. Immediately we tested our flexibility when just weeks before our departure, the plane was rescheduled and our eight day Nepal trip turned into a three day Kunming, China trip and a five day Nepal trip. We had to make a quick decision if we should continue with the new plan or make a new one. With finding that there were no other affordable plane rides out of our country, we decided to continue with the China and Nepal trip and enjoy the short amount of time we would have in each destination.
It was the right decision, as we thoroughly enjoyed each destination and everything it had to offer. We discovered more about each other in those eight days together than we had in the previous five months that we had been together at that point.
I learned that Natalie really missed her home food whenever we went traveling so we had to make sure that we found a Korean restaurant wherever we were staying every once in a while. I also learned that she really loves finding the best food places for us to eat at while we are traveling. I discovered that I am best suited to plan the itinerary and the transportation from one place to another. I also am the one who is the luggage carrier, while Natalie is the document carrier and makes sure that we are all prepared when we get to a location.
We also learned the best ways to communicate with each other and when we have an argument that we should move past it as soon as possible in order to avoid having our trip ruined by something so small. Also, that we should always pack snacks and water for our day excursions to avoid becoming hangry.
There is so much that we have learned about each other through travel, that we felt we should discuss these tips with you for first time couple travelers. Along with what we have learned, we have also interviewed several other travel couples on the Travel Couple Podcast to discuss what they have learned about one another and to ask for their advice for first time couple travelers as well.
Plan and Prepare Together
Take Your Own Time
Work and Problem Solve Together
Move Past It
Understand Things Will Go Wrong
When you are planning your first trip with your significant other, make sure you do it together. Sit down and really plan out what you want to do. The main reason for this is to really understand what each other wants out of traveling.
You may not want the same things when you travel. For example, one person may want to visit all of the museums while the other may want to relax on a beach. Make sure to choose the accommodation together so you can both choose what type of accommodation you will be staying at, whether it is a hostel, hotel, or AirBnB and the conditions of those.
Plan the itinerary together and be very clear with each other about what you want to see and plan your days accordingly. Make sure each day has a balance of what each person wants to do.
Communication is so key to a successful relationship. It is extremely crucial when traveling together as a couple. From the planning and preparation that we discussed in the previous point to the time you are actually traveling together, constantly communicating with each other is important to make sure that you are making the most out of your trip.
Just remember that you may never visit the same place again, so make sure that you accomplish what you want to get done. So letting one another know what you cannot miss during your trip is important to your enjoyment of your travels.
One of our couples that we interviewed on our Travel Couple Podcast talked about how at the end of each day they ask each other how they feel on a scale of 1 to 10. This helps begin the discussion of whether or not you feel like you have enjoyed your travels together and if you are holding back something that you wanted to say.
Travel is a great way to work on your communication skills together which will help you in your relationship. There is nothing like travel to help work on your relationship.
This is so important when you are traveling together. It is likely that the two of you want some of the same things and some different things from your travels. You will not want to do everything that the other wants to do and vice versa.
This is where compromise comes in. After planning your trip and communicating to each other what you want to do, you may need to compromise on some things. This is a great way to practice what is truly important to you and what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not willing to. Again, another skill that you can work on when traveling that can be applied to your relationship.
When you are planning, make sure that you make a mental note of what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not willing to. This will help when you are traveling as you may not be able to accomplish everything you wanted to on any given day. Not everything will go as planned when traveling.
If you are traveling for just a short amount of time, you may not have the excess time to spend away from each other. Though if you are traveling for a longer amount of time together, you may want to schedule in some time away from each other to just refresh.
It can be enjoyable to just go to a nearby cafe and have a coffee by yourself or to split up for an afternoon to do some things that you wanted to do that you were not willing to compromise on.
This is not for every couple, but it can be a good thing to practice in your relationship if it is something that you see yourself needing. Having your own alone time is important, whatever you want to accomplish during your own time.
Things will go wrong when you travel. There is no doubt about that. Travel is unpredictable. That can be the best and worst thing about it. When the unexpected happens, make sure that you work together towards a solution rather than working against each other.
Especially when it was not your fault and something goes wrong, it can be easy to just blame it on someone else. But when you are traveling and time is limited, that is not necessarily where you want to put your time and energy. Instead, work on a solution together and problem solve together. This is a great way to practice your problem solving skills in your relationship.
It can also help you on working together and moving past things that happen.
Moving past things is important in a relationship. Instead of letting something ruin your time together, working together to move past something is just as important as problem solving. This is true when you are back home, and even more true when you are traveling.
You have limited time when on the road and making memories. Do not let a petty argument ruin your time and memories that you could be sharing while traveling. Work to communicate, problem solve, and move past your arguments as soon as possible so that you can make the most of your time.
This may be the most important. You should both understand that not everything will go as planned when traveling. There will always be things that come up that will make your trip even more enjoyable, but there will also be things that come up that will make your trip seem like it is going downhill.
If you go into your trip knowing that there will be things that go wrong, then you are already prepared for when something does not go as planned. Plan your trip together, but just understand that travel is all about going with the flow.
Travel is the best thing that you can do as a couple. Everything you learn about each other while on the road can be applied to your relationship when back at home. It will help you work on so many skills that will help your relationship flourish.
Planning your trip is exciting. Planning your trip with your significant other is even more exciting. The memories that you will share together will never go away. So make the most of your time together while on the road. Get out there and work on yourself and each other.
There is nothing like travel to help build your relationship together.