Traveling with your significant other on vacation the first time can be a great chance to bond and grow your relationship while experiencing new sights. Very quickly though, a vacation can turn into a disaster that leaves you sour or on the rocks in your relationship. Over the years I’ve had both good and bad first trips with partners, and have gathered some advice to help you and your significant other enjoy your vacation. Follow this guide to help your vacation go off without a hitch and hopefully leave your relationship in tact.
Planning ahead is the first way to ward off tension and fights on your vacation. I never leave anything to the last minute to be sure that everything runs smoothly and nothing is forgotten. Fighting often stems from the stress of plans going wrong. From packing bags with boarding passes ready to go to having the car packed and full of gas, there are a lot of small details you can prepare before you walk out the door. Be sure that you and your partner make checklists and start preparing a week or two in advance. Nothing is worse than someone leaving their wallet or bag at home or just fighting over directions. My trips that have gone positively have been ones with a good plan, so I strongly advise planning for your first vacation extensively.
But Be Spontaneous
However, spontaneity can also be fun on your first trip. Look up interesting attractions where you are visiting and leave a free or unplanned day to visit one or two with your partner. These can be at your ultimate destination, or even just on the drive. If you’re on a cruise, have a night to pick events you didn’t plan that you want to attend to keep things exciting. Mixing a well thought out plan with a little wiggle room can be a break from the planning that you or your partner may find stifling. If your partner is a planner and you’re not, or the opposite, this can satisfy both of your personalities and make the trip more dynamic.
Respect Each Other’s Space
Sometimes on trips, the tight quarters or schedules can make tensions run high. One way I’ve avoided stresses on first trips is to sometimes get in my own zone. At the end of the night, we can spend time watching TV but also read a book or just take a minute to unwind in our own way. Additionally, not every minute of a trip has to be spent attached at the hip. If you’re at a resort and your partner wants to go golfing or just relax on the beach, you can take some time apart on the trip and still have lasting memories. I have always planned me time on trips, even if it’s our first trip, to help keep tensions low. This can be really important if you don’t live with your partner yet and don’t know their habits very well. Having alone time lets both people accomplish what they want on the vacation, but keeps the other partner from being bored or annoyed.
But Plan Events Together
Though it is important to allow your partner freedom and some space on your vacation, you can also plan special couples outings. Maybe you both enjoy shopping or seeing kitschy tourist traps. Plan a few days of the trip to spend together exclusively doing activities you both have completely agreed upon in advance. I have found that unless you’re both into the activities, it can cause tension, so choose carefully. Pour over travel books and websites until you’ve settled on a few places to see and things to do. I think that doing things together can really help build a stronger bond with your partner. I’ve become closer with my partners over the years by having some fun and cutting loose together on trips.
Balance is the most important part of any couples vacation. Be sure to not overload each other with together time, but make sure that you have plenty of time with your partner. With a clear plan, with a little room for spontaneity you can be sure to have a special vacation-for the right reasons. And of course, bring a camera along to snap some cute photos of you and your partner to help the memories last a lifetime.