I love to travel because what’s not to love, really? Because of my family’s set up where the parentals are assigned in different locations and I was left with my grandparents, I grew up travelling a lot so I’m used to being on the road.
I first travelled alone when I was about 10 and have been on the road so many times ever since, so I can say that I got travelling figured out. But believe me, no matter how good you are at travel, nothing will prepare you for hitting the road with your partner.
I love the idea of couple travel because for me, it’s a very romantic thing to be sitting next to your partner on the plane, explore places together, try different dishes and just chill in a nice hotel. When I first tried it though, things didn’t turn out the way I expected. We argued over the littlest things, got on each other’s nerves because of tiredness and ended up not enjoying what could have been a really great holiday.
I learned my lesson though and while I’m still figuring out this thing called couple travel, I can say that I’m way better than when I started. Here are some tricks that worked wonders for me and could help you out too:
Save up for the trip together. Here’s my piece of advice: save the pocket-friendly trip for another occasion because you don’t want to spend your romantic holiday stressing over how you can make the most of your budget. I’m not saying that you should drain your wallet for this trip but you can at least give yourselves a little breathing room in the finance department. Save up for the trip together. Make this holiday your little love project (how romantic could that get?) and agree on an amount that you’ll put in every month. You or your partner might be more than happy to spend more for the trip but knowing that each of you did your part in raising your travel funds will be a great start to your journey.
Unleash the OCD inside you. I am usually the one who takes care of the planning for our trips and believe me, there are more details to think about than you can ever imagine. But being a little OCD really helped me a lot in making our trips as hassle-free as possible. For one, I have checklists for bookings, packing, itineraries and even shopping. I downloaded an app called ColorNote, which is very convenient to use since you can create checklists in different colours. Once my love and I decide on a date for our trip (which is usually a few months before), I refer to my checklists right away to make sure that I don’t miss anything important. I usually book airfare tickets first then look for accommodations after. Once those two things are settled, I start putting our itinerary together and begin to decide on what clothes we should bring, depending on where we’re going. To make things easy, I also bookmark most of the travel sites I use and keep a list of companies like car rentals, hotels and what not that could be useful at some point. Yes, you may not be as OCD as me but being organised can really help a lot in making your trip successful (think about avoiding the quarrels).
Pack light. Overused tip, I know but it really does work. You see, I’m not a light packer. I love to take a lot of stuff with me because of my “what if?” mindset. I realised, however, that I don’t really have to overpack. Sure, I have someone who would gladly carry my luggage for me but would I really want him to do so? Definitely not. I’m lucky that I have a partner who’s very OC with packing for travel. I have to admit, he does it better than I do and he taught me a lot in that department. For one, plan your outfits ahead so you don’t end up bringing a lot of clothes. We usually plan and coordinate our outfits together, which is kind of fun. 🙂 Also, pack all the essentials in different cubes to avoid clutter inside your bags. I highly recommend Eagle Creek’s Packing Sets, which was introduced to me by my Mom because it keeps all our stuff organised. I also love using Ziplocks, especially for toiletries. When it’s time to pack for going home, we usually separate the laundry from the clean clothes in different bags so it’s not difficult to unpack later on.
Learn to take it easy. Finally, learn to take it easy. Being a perfectionist, I used to worry a lot about what could go wrong during our trips when really, there wasn’t anything to worry about. Having a great travel buddy, however, made me realise that I should really take it easy. The thing is, not everything will go as planned during your trip but it’s okay. As long as you communicate well with your partner, everything will surely turn out great.
We’re still figuring out couple travel, for sure, but we’re getting better with every trip. 😉