5 Survival Tips for Your First Vacation as a Couple
By: Kiley Morrow
You and your partner started thinking about the idea of flying off to an Instagram-worthy vacation spot halfway around the world or even just taking a few-hour drive to the nearest beach for some alone time together. You saw all the pictures of couples laughing together, splashing each other in turquoise water, and just relaxing on sandy beaches. It’s time you join in on the fun, right?
But before you head off to vacation together, make sure you prepare yourself. Everyone remembers to pack clothes and other necessities for a getaway, but not everyone realizes they should also prepare mentally for the intimacy of traveling together.
Don’t worry. If you’re not sure whether or not your partner and you will survive your vacation, even if it’s just a weekend away, you’ve come to the right place. Follow the survival tips below and you’ll end the vacation closer together, rather than farther apart.
Schedule Time to Rest
While you’re figuring out what you want to do on vacation, be sure to include some time just to rest. Some people make the mistake of filling their vacation with so many activities that they come home more tired than when they left for the trip.
It’s widely known that being idle is actually necessary for our health. Rather than thinking about moments resting as moments of laziness or complacency, think of them as much-needed, enjoyable parts of your day.
Your body needs some time to rest. If you don’t schedule out time to relax, you’ll end up only getting the leftover bits of time for laying out in the sun or napping. Not getting that much-needed downtime will hurt your health, and ultimately the health of your relationship with your partner. Being sleep-deprived makes everything else harder and less enjoyable, especially when you’re traveling.
Don’t overextend yourself because you want to see it all or you’ll miss the most important part of traveling together—relaxing and enjoying everything that you do see.
Make a Plan
You don’t need to plan out every second of your trip, but it is good to have an idea of what you’ll be doing. Just like you need to schedule in time to rest, you also need to figure out what you want to do and schedule that into your itinerary.
Be sure to discuss what is most important to both of you, and work out a way to prioritize those things in your schedule. If you talk about what you want to do before the trip, it’ll give you time to figure out if any of it requires reservations or other actions in advance.
It’ll hurt your relationship if your partner comes away from the trip feeling like the two of you spent the entire time doing what you wanted to do as individuals rather than focusing any time on you could do together. Balance your time. Have fun doing a variety of things that you both enjoy, and make sure you plan ahead for them.
Make a Budget
Nobody likes talking about money, but it needs to be talked about. Coming home from a trip and realizing that you spent way more than you should have is a horrible feeling, and one that is absolutely avoidable.
Before you start making reservations and booking tickets, talk about what type of vacation you can afford. A camping trip is a lot different than staying in a Caribbean all-inclusive. Keep in mind, some places market specifically to families, and you’d be better off steering clear of them. You should also discuss how much you’re both willing to spend, and make sure you’re both clear on who is paying for what.
Talking about your budget might not sound like the most fun activity, but it’ll save you lots of future headaches, and maybe even some bitter arguments in the end.
Focus on Your Strengths
Chances are, you and your significant other have some big differences between the two of you. Rather than focusing on what you both do poorly, think about how your differences can be a benefit in trip planning.
Which one of you is a naturally organized person? Let that person be in charge of keeping all the details of the trip in order. Is one of you better at making calls to book hotels or schedule tours? Have them do all the calls.
If you approach planning the vacation in a “we complete each other” way, you’ll both feel like you’re helping contribute to the planning processes. It’ll be a positive thing rather than a negative experience this way.
Learn to Support Each Other
No matter how well you plan out your vacation, things about the trip will always be out of your control. Flights can be delayed, reservations can be canceled or misplaced, and rainy weather can mess up perfectly planned beachside picnics.
How you respond to situations that have fallen out of your control will say a lot about who you are as a couple. It’s good to know how you and your partner each respond to stressful situations. Knowing what can frustrate and worry your significant other, and knowing how to help support and comfort them through it can go a long way in making your vacation (and your relationship) a success.
Dialog is key. It doesn’t matter what the situation is or what you’re doing, couples need to communicate in order to be successful. Be able to tell each other how you’re feeling and how the other person can help you through the moment. Be sure to communicate well with each other so you how to be supportive.
Survive and then thrive
No matter where you’re headed, following these tips will have you well on your way to a happy, memorable first couple-trip. From there, you’ll have a strong foundation for your relationship to flourish. Taking the trip was about taking a step together, and learning more about each other. If you succeed on your first trip together, you can already start planning the next one.
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