To me, traveling with someone is a one of the most revealing and interesting activities that you can do in any relationship. (When I say traveling with someone, I
mean for more than four days. That trip to Vegas isn’t going to make or break you guys.) Think about it. You have to make mutual decisions: on where to go, where to eat, what time to wake up, what activities are more important than others, if, when, and where you want to party. The list goes on. If you both know you are going to lay by the pool and get drunk for the next week, awesome. Crisis averted. However, you should still read this list for some hot tips that can save you some embarrassment. Here are some vacation tips from a self-proclaimed travel guru:
Plan the Trip Together. This sounds very obvious, but you never know. Some people like to show up and go where the wind takes them. Others like to have an agenda. It is best to know this about each other before you arrive at your destination. Otherwise, you may catch each other off guard. Don’t assume that you have the same interests. You may want to go to a museum while he wants to jet-ski. Also, you don’t want to miss something or learn about it in hindsight. Become well informed about your travel destination and make sure you are both on the same page before you step foot on the plane.
Get to Know Each Other’s Travel Styles. Ask, “Do you like to relax? Or sight see? Do you like to sleep in on vacation or are you an early riser?
Would you rather be on foot or take the metro?” The answers may surprise you. For instance, Joe was my boyfriend of two years by the time we went to Cancun, Mexico. We went during Spring Break, but we stayed on the wrong side of the beach (Thanks to Yahoo for booking a hotel that was under construction. They “accommodated” us by moving us to a sleepy location… but anyway). Spring Break was winding down anyway, so we both decided to go about site seeing throughout Cancun. This was when the contradiction happens. When I am NOT on vacation, I push my snooze button as often as I can until I wake up at the last minute before I start my day. When I’m ON vacation, I wake up at dawn, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to hike, climb cliffs, swim, or do whatever the terrain can offer me. I wanted to sight see every morning, every day. I also wanted to party every night, every day. So we did. This resulted in me dry heaving on practically every morning bus ride to the excursion we booked for the day. In addition, this ended up wearing out poor Joe. He wanted to relax during vacation (which was a foreign concept to me). Late nights and early mornings are not a good combo, but I learned the hard way. Don’t forget to listen to each other’s requests and think ahead before you over commit while on vacation.
Meet in the Middle. Find an activity that will interest both of you. If he or she wants to parasail and you don’t, then let them parasail while you cheer on. Don’t rain on anyone’s parade because you don’t want to do something. Compromise and don’t hurt yourself trying to get every activity in. I always try to do that- I always burn myself out. Remember to enjoy who you are with; the setting is the bonus!
Don’t Over Pack (and expect your significant other to carry your luggage). Yes, it would be great if your mate helped you carry your bags all the time, but it is really impractical and a waste of time. Really take the time to pack only what you need. Solid colors are great, and so are layers. I like to bring a lot of layers of light clothes.
Step Outside of the Box. You are on vacation, let your hair down and try something new and exciting. It can be as simple as eating an oyster for the first time, snorkeling, riding a camel, or cliff diving. Trying something new together is such an incredible bonding experience. The memories are priceless. Besides, if you are going to try something new, who better to do it with than your significant other?
Most of my treasured memories were made while on vacation with my beloved. Swimming with dolphins, learning to shoot a blow gun from the indigenous people of the Amazon, para-gliding over Lima, and learning how to wake board are memories that I keep really close to my heart.
- Bring chapstick with SPF and SPF, even if you don’t burn. My bottom lip is bigger (yes, like Bubba Gump) and my bottom lip became sun blistered for a few days. No kissing for 4 days while on vacation. How horrible is that?!
- Always bring your own money. You may want a massage on the beach and silly trinket that your mate may feel you don’t need. Nothing can stop you if you have your own moolah!
- Bring Tums, Pepcid AC or Immodium AD. Bring matches if you haven’t passed the “pooting” phase yet. I suggest you get over that phase before going on vacation though. Food from foreign lands have different strains of bacteria than ones that we have become immune to in our native land. Your tummy may hurt. Don’t hold it in!
- Bring a travel journal. The little jokes that you crack, the stupid things that you do, the yummy food you eat, the things that he or she will say that make you fall
in love more… they are priceless. I always write in my travel journal. It makes me laugh, cry, and relive fond memories. Make the time to journal or at least write down bullet points of your day.
- Wear breathable clothes! If you can fit an extra pair of clothes inside your carry on, you should pack a spare outfit. Also, carry a tooth brush, facial wipes, antibacterial, your make-up essentials, tissue and medicine with you. This is in case the airline loses your luggage. This happened to us when we went to Greece.
- Take a cooking class (if time permits). We did this once (in Florence, Italy), and I wish I would have done it everywhere
that we traveled. My husband and I loved learning how to prepare an authentic Italian meal.
- Forget to pack a comfortable pair of tennis shoes and a coat, regardless of your destination.
- Carry too many electronics. I brought a 3 pound laptop. I thought it would make it easier for me to journal. I hardly used it and resorted to writing it. Plus, sometimes the hotel’s bellhop will not accept electronics to store or transport for you. Thus, you have to carry it around with you where ever you go. Now I have a compact HD pocket camera that works just as well!
- Make excuses or be whiny. Honesty is the best policy. If you don’t want to do something, then don’t beat around the bush and waste time going back and forth over something you think you don’t want to do. Better yet, you are on vacation… you should try new things!
Always remember, no matter how big or small your trip, leave your problems at home. Don’t discuss finances or family problems when you are away from home. Really use the much needed vacation time to get away from your daily stress. You deserve to enjoy your time and enjoy each other!!
If you have any travel questions, you can contact me. The only two continents that I haven’t been to are Antarctica and Australia. I have travel books for all parts of the Carribean, Central and South America (one on just Peru), Spain, Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Thailand, Japan, Greece, Egypt, The Hawaiian Islands, and some random spots in the United States. Please feel free to ask me any travel questions. I will help you as much as possible. Also, let me know if you want me to scan certain destinations from my travel book and email it to you! Please comment and leave any of your tips while traveling with your significant other!