“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Traveling is magic, frustration, bliss and exhaustion all wrapped up in an exciting package. Each time I visit a new place I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning opening my presents. Traveling as a couple is kinda like opening a present labeled
TO: you and someone else.
It’s still exciting, but you have to figure out how to open the gift together, or else someone might get upset.
Will and I have been traveling as a couple for over 3 years. At first our trips were short weekend getaways, then they turned into week long escapades, that turned into month long journeys. In the past year we started traveling A L O T for work. We started a company called Watson Creative that specializes in Videography. Lately it feels like we are away more than we are home.
Most of the time we get along like best friends, but every once in a while we start to push each others buttons and get cranky from all the traveling.
I wrote down a few tips during our last BIG trip together. It was a 2 week Euro trip combined with a week in California, and then a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and Virginia.
I wrote these tips down as a future reference for us and decide they were worth sharing. Hopefully they can help some other traveling couples out there!
1. HAVE A PLAN, BUT BE OPEN TO CHANGES
What we do before each trip we take is make a bucket list of what we each want to do and see. I am usually responsible for the research part of it. Then I make a list of all the cool things I found. I share them with Will, and together we decide which items are top priority and which ones we will squeeze in if we have time.
“I think the main thing you learn while traveling is that plans, more often than not, don’t go accordingly.”
Just go with the flow. You can’t see everything, delays happen, accidents happen, and tiredness happens. Sometimes your partner won’t be able to make the 5 mile hike to the top of a mountain because their head hurts, or they have blisters on their feet. Be understanding in these moments. Relationships are all about working together and compromising. Traveling as a couple will help you grow immensely in these 2 areas.
2. AVOID THE HANGRY PANTS
I can’t express how important it is to avoid the dreaded HANGRY pants (that’s what we call being hungry and mean lol). Leave them at home and make sure you eat before a new pair has a chance to pack itself into your trip.
“I’m sorry for the things I said when I was hangry.”
I am extremely guilty of putting on hangry pants. Usually we get so caught up in exploring we forget to eat. Over time we’ve learned that this is a very bad idea. I’m like the Hulk…you won’t like me when I’m hangry.
This is a simple fix – pack a granola bar or some light fruit in your bag. It will come in handy, trust me. You might end up spending 3 hours exploring an area you thought would take less than an hour. If you have a snack on hand then no big deal. If you’re empty handed on an empty stomach then fights will happen, temper tantrums will occur, dramatic fits will explode, and the list goes on and on.
3. DONT BE AFRAID TO TAKE AN ADVENTURE ON YOUR OWN: ALONE TIME IS IMPORTANT
Although being with the person you love every second of every day sounds amazing…after a while you’re bound to accidentally rub each other the wrong way. It’s inevitable. It’s also avoidable. Spend some time apart every day. Even if it just means sitting on opposite sides of the room taking care of personal business. Space is hard to find when you’re traveling together, but I promise you a little bit will go a long way.
Don’t be afraid to take solo adventures. Sometimes when we make our bucket list we discover there are things I really want to do that Will doesn’t or vis-versa. When we were in NOLA I really wanted to check out a certain above ground cemetery (because Im a big fan of the vampire show The Originals.) Will didn’t want to do that at all, in fact he thought it was weird. So, I went by myself. It was incredibly creepy, and awesome!
Usually, our space involves skateboarding. Will always finds a park or ledge he wants to skate. I’ll watch for a few minutes and do my duty as a supportive girlfriend. Then I’ll look up something nearby I can explore alone; a beach, a trail, a river, a coffee shop, Etc.
“A little time apart can make all the difference when traveling as a pair.”
Alone time is great! You come back refreshed and ready to experience more moments together. Sometimes you even stumble upon cool new places to share with each other.
4. DOCUMENT YOUR ADVENTURE
This is our favorite thing to do when traveling! We love filming and finding creative ways to share what we experience on our trips.
“Take a million photos, videos and write down your thoughts about the journey. I promise you won’t regret it.”
5. DONT FORGET TO ENJOY THE MOMENT
Sometimes you get so caught up in following plans, or trying to cram in as much filming and photography as possible that you can forget to actually enjoy the moment together. I know this kinda contradicts my last tip, but its all about finding balance.
“Put down the camera and turn off the stress for a few minutes at each new place and just enjoy each others company. Those are the memories that will last a lifetime.”
6. SHARE MEALS AND SAVE MONEY
Honestly, the most expensive part about traveling isn’t the air fare or the lodging…it’s the stinking eating. And when you share a bank account or a budget eating out 2 – 3 times a day gets expensive.
Sharing 1 meal a day will dramaticly lower the amount you spend on food. If you can swing it split 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner) and you will really be able to pinch some pennies. You can use the money you saved for a different adventure. But remember AVOID THE HANGRY PANTS!
7. ASSIGN RESPONSIBLITIES BEFORE HAND
Assigning roles and responsibilities before you embark on your travels will make a world of difference on how smoothly your travels go. You can’t just assume your partner knows their responsibilities either… (ladies, I’m talking to you!)
Here’s what ours kinda look like
- Research on what to do and see
- Outline of trip
- Find Flight and travel information and keep itinerary
- Keep a positive happy vibe even when things don’t go according to plan
- Book flights
- Forward travel details to Kristin
- Carry money
- Carry luggage / camera gear
- Keep a positive happy vibe even when things don’t go according to plan
8.REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE A TEAM
“The most important thing to remember when you’re traveling as a couple is that you are a TEAM!”
You WILL disagree on things. It might be what to do or see. Stress will pop up when things don’t go according to plan. It’s easy to place the blame on the person next to you if you forget you’re on a team.
Every time I feel like we are starting to play against each other I remind myself, and Will, that we are a team and we need to work together like one.
Team work makes the dream work, and it also makes traveling as a couple work!
I know this list could go on infinitely but I have to go pack my bags for our next trip. If you have any other tips or insight on traveling as a couple I would love to hear them!
You can find us on Instagram to follow our traveling adventures