Tips for Travelling with Your Partner for the First Time

Making memories that don’t include ‘and then I almost strangled him’.

Silly season is upon us, and before you haul your gorgeous booty off on a holiday with your boo, best you read these travelling tips by marriage and family therapist Jane Greer.

1 Choose your destination wisely

First things first, location, location, location. ‘What if one of you prefers the beach but the other wants to go skiing? Or what if one of you wants to go on an African safari but the other has always wanted to see London?’ says Greer. And man oh man, I feel this one on such a deep level. I’m a beach girl through and through, while my partner is all about the skiing and sub-zero temperatures. Try finding a happy compromise. Realistically, it might not make sense to try squeeze both a tropical and snowy adventure into one silly season, so plan for the long term. Perhaps a summer at the sea this year, and a ski trip next should your finances allow it. Discussing these things beforehand means there won’t be any unspoken resentment on the trip from the end of the person who didn’t get exactly what they wanted.

2 Get on the same page and know you won’t always be on the same page

‘So much goes into traveling together, from planning the trip with plane reservations or a driving itinerary, to booking hotels and restaurants, that knowing that you might not always be on the same page can be helpful,’ Greer explains. Identify the ways in which you and your boo are different, and try plan the trip as calmly as possible. Spend a few days dedicated to finding the right accommodation before moving onto planning your itinerary. Baby bites, people.

3 Acknowledge you’re different people

‘You may think that sleeping late and then spending six hours by the pool in a lounge chair drinking a banana daiquiri is the perfect vacation while that’s not at all what your partner envisions as fun.’ So it seems that the destination itself isn’t the only contentious issue; it’s what to do once you actually get there. Truthfully, navigating this one is about being as honest as you can be. If you’re not down for a 5am hike, tell your partner to go enjoy themselves and you’ll hear all about it at the breakfast buffet when they return. There’s nothing wrong with demanding your own space on a holiday, romantic or otherwise.

4 Deal with the way your partner deals

‘The bottom line is that while traveling can be fun and exciting, it can also create a lot of room for anxiety,’ warns Greer. ‘People tend to handle that anxiety in different ways. Some deal with it by wanting to know exactly what to expect, sometimes planning it all out, minute to minute, and leaving nothing to chance, while someone else might feel more comfortable being footloose and fancy-free, hoping to stumble across something unexpected. ‘ If, like me, you’re known to handle anxiety a little poorly, help your partner out by explaining what it is you’d like from them in any given moment. ‘I’d like to book the ferry we’re taking in three days now because it will make me feel better’, or ‘I’d appreciate it if I could take a few hours to myself to regroup.’

Often, holidays with partners are depicted as flawlessly peaceful sex-fests. Sure – maybe – but also we’re all just human. Humans who fight and bicker and snort when they laugh and sometimes need their own space. Plan wisely, manage your expectations, and above all, enjoy yourself. ‘All the exploring that couples do can be a great way to strengthen the bond between them.’

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