You love to travel, your partner loves is just as adventurous, so planning a trip together should add even more romance to your relationship, right? Imagine staying at a beach resort, watching the sunset as you sip cocktails with fancy umbrellas. Couples who travel together can grow closer together, or they could end up wanting to kill each other by the end of the trip. But how do you make sure that doesn’t happen to you?
Imagine crying hysterically as you try to keep from killing the person sharing your hotel room because they’ve just hummed “It’s a Small World” for the tenth time in a row after stinking up the bathroom (again) when you’ve got to pee like a racehorse, and had the nerve to mention just how quickly you put on a few pounds in such a short time. There’s a saying that once a couple travels together, they either fall in love or never speak to each other again.
Yes, traveling can be romantic and bring people together. When you spend every waking minute together having fantastic sex on a strange new bed (that you don’t have to make), you turn into hedonists by sampling exotic dishes at different restaurants every day, and get drunk every night for on liquor that probably isn’t even legal, it can be fun.
But before you get insanely jealous watching your friend post hundreds of pictures on Instagram from her Honeymoon in Bali, you should realize that traveling as a couple comes with challenges. However, if you prepare before a trip, many of the usual stressors that can frustrate couples on vacation can be eliminated.
1. Become a Sex Addict
Let’s just get this one out there first. I really think this can help more than any other tip. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe I am a bit of a sex addict when I’m in a relationship (look, there’s usually a lot of time between partners so I need to get prepared, kind of like a survivalist, or a pack rat). But I strongly suggest you at least try to become a sex addict, at least for a week or two. I mean, when we’re home living our normal (often boring) lives, going to work at jobs we hate and dealing with bills, school, or kids, finding time for pure, unadulterated sex is rare. Honestly speaking, many times we’re just too damn exhausted. Going on a trip can help us to bring some of that much-needed passion back into our lives. Be a sex addict- or just act like one by showing your partner you find them irresistible.
2. Look Like a Hooker
Okay, so maybe you don’t have to dress in the getup Julia Roberts was wearing in “Pretty Woman”, particularly if you’re staying at the type of upscale hotel Richard Gere’s character did in the movie. But isn’t it fun to dress a little sexier than normal while you’re on vacation and don’t have to worry about what your nosy neighbors or co-workers will think? If you don’t feel comfortable dressing in something you might find at Agent Provocateur, try to dress at least a little more risque than usual. Most backpackers stuff a few pairs of jeans, t-shirts, and some old, smelly sneakers into a carry-on, and I’ve never understood that. Of course, you need to be comfortable while walking around all day but New Yorkers don’t typically have cars and we walk everywhere and you don’t see us dressing like slobs. Many women I know wear or carry a pair of heels in a bag for later.
I take a gown when I travel. Not a fancy, brides-maid type of dress. Just a long black dress in a fabric that allows me to roll it in a ball and not worry about it being wrinkled. I can wear that dress with flat sandals, or dress it up with fancy jewelry and heels. I’m not saying you have to do that, but on almost every trip I’ve ever taken I get invited to engagement parties, weddings, funerals, exhibits or events where I’m going to need something nicer than my torn, faded, favorite Levis. You don’t have to pack a gown but try to bring along one nice dress and pumps.You’ll feel (and act) more like a femme fatale (or stud) if you make an effort, which can only increase the attraction between the two of you.
3. Go to a Fancy Restaurant
Whether or not you’re on a tight budget, check out a more upscale restaurant. When I was in St. Thomas, I went to Room With a View, a lovely, (expensive) restaurant that has spectacular views of the ocean. Located at Bluebeard’s Castle, (a popular attraction on the island) this spot is often overlooked because of its pricey menu. Initially, I had intended to do what I do on every trip-simply get a drink there so I could take pictures and enjoy the atmosphere without breaking the bank. But I was thrilled to see that there is a daily Happy Hour and all appetizers are only $5.00 each. I ate 5 of them.
Traveling in general, and especially traveling on a budget, can cause tension and stress in a relationship. Splurge a little. Some of my most cherished memories are of places I would normally avoid because I think I can’t afford them, but on trips, I make it a point to check them out. I once had a decadent bowl of lobster bisque at a country club restaurant in Trinidad with a Couchsurfing friend, I went parasailing (twice) in The Bahamas, I checked out Hedonism in Jamaica, had front row seats at Moulin Rouge in Paris, I went scuba diving in The Red Sea in Egypt and ordered salad for lunch in order to enjoy the use of the swimming pool on swelteringly hot days at The Taj Mahal Hotel in India.
All of these experiences (and many others) were things I debated because I was a backpacker on a very tight budget. I’ve realized, though, that these are the things that have filled my life with romance and excitement and passion- and they’re almost always places I’ve been to by myself! Make sure you don’t worry about money on your trip so much that you miss out on having some incredible experiences.
4. Know Your Lane
A colleague of mine just returned from a trip with his wife. They attended their friend’s destination wedding, and they brought their two children with them. I asked if he had any secret tips or tricks that I could include in this article. He said, “No”. He went on to explain that he has never wanted to kill his wife on a trip because they know each other well. His advice to give each other space, and to “know your lane” while traveling seem so common sense to him because these are the same things they do while at home.
“We know our travel styles and how we differ, and we simply allow each other to be ourselves.”
It’s true; everyone has their own travel style or time-table. Some people prefer to lie on a beach and do nothing but relax. Others prefer to go at full-speed, trying everything, going on every new adventure, stopping only to sleep for a few hours each night. Know your personal comfort levels and styles and give each other space. If you want to go shopping and your partner wants to check our a museum, make plans to meet later in the evening.
Everyone, no matter how charming and adorable they may seem in the beginning, has flaws. You’re going to get on each other’s nerves. Just schedule some time apart and try to not be so codependent.
I know, meditating, praying, and all that woowoo stuff sounds so airy-fairy and when you’re in a hot new place like Bali or Belize with your sexy soul mate the last thing you want to do is sit down and chant “Omm…” for an hour. But trust me, as someone who can barely sit still for more than five minutes (even when I’m not traveling), I get it but it can make a huge difference in how you get along during the day. Start your day relaxed, and you’ll be able to ignore the “little things”, and compromise and just hang out together without arguing. It’s much easier to ignore small, petty annoyances if you’re already chill. You could just smoke some weed together, but you don’t want to end up serving a life sentence in some foreign prison. So, try to meditate for a half hour each morning- it really does work.
5. Do Something Different
Do something together that you’ve never done before. Go skydiving, bungee jumping, or ziplining. If rock climbing or hiking, or renting a motorcycle and driving around the island is more your style, do that. Engaging in an activity that is a bit scary will bond you in a way that just going to dinner or a movie cannot. Unless you’re seeing a horror film or you’re trying food considered to be an aphrodisiac. Or if you’re less adventurous but still want to try something that will add some spice, shop for a scandalous new bdsm toy in a sex store or try dining in the dark. As long as you try something new it will add some fun to your relationship.
Have you ever traveled with a partner and lived to tell about it? Have any tips on how to keep calm and not kill your road trip buddy? Comment below!