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Tips For Travelling As A Couple

Happy couple on holiday

You may be incredibly excited about travelling for the first time together, and so you should be. It can be intensely romantic. But it's also a time where you'll get to see another side of your travel companion, and they of you, and sometimes that leads to unexpected situations...

Expectations

If your idea of a blissful trip is hogging the sun lounger with an occasional foray to the bar whereas your partner has been pouring over scholarly guides to the ancient history of the region, you're going to have to talk about how you'll divide your time.

Top Tip: Try to be open-minded. If you're usually a beach bunny, you may be pleasantly surprised by an injection of culture into your time away. Likewise, if you often jam-pack every day with cultural activities, some chill out time will probably do you some good.

Budget

So you've been dating for a while and you're both happy with splitting the restaurant bills. But holidays are a different matter, especially if you're on very different budgets. You do not want either of you to become resentful or spend more than you can afford. There are many options here. If you're happy you can stick with splitting the bills, or even put a set amount into a pot and use that as shared holiday cash. Any extra purchases (shoes anyone?) are paid for separately.

Top Tip: Talking is vital. You can open the discussion by asking how much spending money you'll need and take it from there. If you earn a lot less than your travel companion, don't be afraid to be honest about it (they'll find out sooner or later!). If they earn less than you, be prepared to be sensitive.

Sleeping Patterns

If you're living and sleeping beside one another, you might find that you have completely different sleeping patterns. Perhaps you enjoy getting up early and seizing the day, while your partner is a night owl and loves nothing more than a lie in. Do you compromise and live to your partner's timetable, or do you stick to your own rhythms and risk getting grumpy because you have no energy?

Top Tip: Compromise now and again by all means, but you can reframe what's going on and look at it as a chance for you to get some me time. That hour or two while he/she snores away can be a blissful opportunity to read that novel, chill out to some music, indulge in some yoga on the balcony or go for a walk. Do bring some headphones, some good reading and an eye mask just in case!

Working Together

Holidays don't just mysteriously happen. They do involve both planning and work, but no one wants to feel as though they are doing all the driving/food shopping/translating/organising. The beauty of it being the two of you is that you can use your own particular skills and split the effort.

Top Tip: A conversation about who enjoys what is a great way to take this forward. If you love organising, offer to book the travel insurance, hotels and put some suggested day trips together. If you find you both hate driving and have booked a fly drive, it can be a good time to rethink your travel plans.

Joined at the Hip

Of course you want to spend time together; it's your first holiday, after all. But if you're used to your own time, telling someone that you "want to be alone" can be a tricky conversation.

Top Tip: If you think you might feel like this, mention it before you go, then it won't come as such a shock. You could maybe even plan it into your itinerary beforehand if you like. Likewise, give your partner space to tell you that they need a little solo time, and try not to take it personally. You'll both come back to each other refreshed and with something to talk about.

Ditch Social Media

If this is your first holiday, do take it easy on the Facebook updates. You want your companion to feel that you're enjoying their company, not thinking about all the people you've left back home.

Top Tip: if you really are a bit of social media addict, ration your time to once a day, just to stay in touch. Let a bit of mystery into your life! Travelling together for the very first time will be a memorable experience, and most of these conversations are an opportunity to get to know each other better, which can only help your relationship in the long term. Communication is the key, so just keep on talking, and enjoy!

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Paula Gardner

Paula Gardner is the Press Officer for Essential Travel. Paula is big Italophile and loves many things about the country: its rich red wines, strong cheeses, creamy gelato, passionate people and lyrical language. Paula has been learning Italian for four years but is still shy about speaking it. On a career break inn her 20s she travelled the world, visiting every continent, but travel now tends to be to European cities. Apart from just about anywhere in Italy, other favourites are Lisbon and Palma in Majorca. Sicily is top of the bucket list.