They say if you really want to get to know someone, travel together. Traveling with someone you're close with can really make or break the relationship. I’ve seen it break relationships and build them, too. If you’ve had experience with going on a vacation with your friend and it ripped you two apart, the idea of going on vacation with your significant other can be immensely scary.
Erdem and I went on vacation for two weeks to Europe and it was our first big vacation together. Safe to say, it was amazing. For starters, we already have a best friends relationship which we’re both sure added to the success of a great trip. Oddly enough, we’re both Leos and still managed to make it out alive. We had a couple of differences during our trip, but Erdem is pretty good with quick remediation. Our disagreements don’t usually last too long. When you’re on vacation and have ten days left, you don’t want to spend it being mad at each other. So, we’ve rounded up our top tips for a great couple’s trip.
Have A Plan, But Be Flexible
I’m big on planning out my trips. I like to know what I’m going to do in each city. However, I tend to be loose and flexible on the itinerary. Erdem is a lot looser than I am, which made for the perfect balance. We booked our flight, train and bus tickets to each city. We had a general idea of what we wanted to do and who we wanted to see, so we gave ourselves a sufficient amount of time in each city. We didn’t do many tours but we knew which attractions and restaurants we each wanted to check out. This made sure we got to do the things that were most important to each of us, avoiding any arguments. We, also, had people we were visiting in each city in Germany. So, we worked our itinerary around what was the best timing for them. There were some stops that needed to be removed from the list just because we couldn’t do everything in just two weeks without feeling burned out. Sometimes, a little compromise is necessary.
Planning is necessary so no one goes without seeing or doing something they really wanted to do. However, not cramming everything into your itinerary is great for spontaneity. Sometimes, being too planned out can have your mind so focused on the itinerary and not allow your mind to wander and enjoy the beauty around you. Being a little free can allow you to truly bask in the ambience with your significant other.
Be Prepared for Boredom
We sat on so many 1-hour, 2-hour, and 3-hour flights, trains and buses. We needed a way to fight the boredom. So, I downloaded backgammon, a few movies, and some other fun things to do together. Also, use boredom times for having serious and not-so-serious talks, especially while you’re riding through the Dutch country-side.
Choose The Best Restaurant
When choosing restaurants to eat at, make sure that there are things on the menu that you both can enjoy. Also, we had so many Albert Heijn mornings and nights in The Netherlands. Thinking ahead about if we will get hungry later and will there be any food options when we return to our Botel, was key to preventing any hangriness. Also, we made Albert Heijn stops to take snacks on our train trip to the villages we visited. I knew that we’d get hungry on the way there or on our way back and we weren't sure what our food options would be like. Sometimes, we took turns on who’d wait at the train or bus stop while the other ran to get the food. Sharing this, evened out the responsibilities.
Stay in Touch With Family
We both made sure each other had time to talk to family. If we were out and needed to talk to family and friends, we were courteous about it. We made sure wherever we were going had wi-fi. However, make sure to not be too wrapped up in your phone the entire time.
Unplugging is something that everyone can and should do more often, in order to be more in tune with your surroundings and with the ones around you. Don’t be too tied to your phone. You will miss out on so many amazing memories. While your head is in your phone, you may be missing out on a great café to try or a store to shop in. Away & Aware is a great book to guide you through unplugging. Try out some of the tips mentioned in the book, together.
Take pictures, of course. Me and Erdem still scroll back to pictures from our trip and send them to each other, reminiscing. It’s an amazing feeling. However, some memories just aren’t captured in a photo or video. Keep those memories and hold them close to your heart. Some of our best memories came from this vacation.
Be Each Other's Keeper
There were so many times where we needed to have each other's back. Being in Europe in November was definitely not the highlight of our trip. It was so cold. However, we stuck it out together. Sometimes, we'd wrap our hand into my scarf to keep our hands warm. Or if I packed a little too much (which I did), Erdem kindly let me use the space in his bag to fit some of my things. If you walk somewhere without the other, just make sure you communicate where you're going and check-in with each other. Also, whenever you're away with anyone in an unfamiliar territory, use the buddy system. This one's less about being a couple and more about safety precautions.
Us, freezing in Giethoorn.
If there are any tips you have for traveling as a couple, let us know. Happy Travels!