When you think of travel, do you think of adventure, excitement, and total freedom? Now add in the feeling of making thousands of decisions with a partner. Does the feeling of freedom diminish? Do you start to feel anxious, or even panicked?
Traveling with a partner has ups and downs. You will not feel lonely while on the road, and yet you might also struggle to make plans in a fluid and enjoyable manner when you are with the same person day after day.
There is good news. With a little bit of strategy, travel with your wife, husband, or best friend can be fun, relaxing, and just as thrilling as it ever was on your own.
Who Cares More?
When you travel, you break routine. In daily life, many decisions are made through habit. But when traveling, you can not fall back on your habits. As the day begins, you can’t shuffle to the kitchen and turn on your coffee pot, as usual. This leads to many decisions. From the instant you wake up until the moment you wake up, you will be making choices about the foods you eat, the places you see, and the methods of transportation you use. Make a system with your partner, where before making a decision you first give “how much you care” a number on a scale of one to ten. For example, if you don’t really care where you eat dinner that night, then give it a 2. Perhaps your wife has been dreaming about a certain restaurant all day, and she says that she cares at a level of 8. Let her make the decision! There will be a time when you care more, and you will get to have your preference.
Get Alone Time
Make sure to spend some time along. People need varying levels of time alone in order to feel happy and healthy. Go for a solo walk while your partner gets a rest, or take a long shower. Sneak out to the hot tub early in the morning, or request some alone time for writing in your journal or calling home. Your partner will understand, and you will make a much better travel companion!
Communicate Budget Needs
One of the most common stresses that people face when traveling is budget limits. Be sure to have an honest conversation with your travel buddy. What is their ideal budget? What is the maximum that they can spend on the trip? Check in frequently to see how your partner is doing with spending cash. If you and your partner have a shared bank account, make sure you know how each of you envisions the finances of the trip unfolding. Ideally, you will be on the same page. If not, discuss ways to compromise, and make sure that in the end you both feel comfortable with the parameters.
With these strategies, you can alleviate a great deal of the stress that comes from traveling with a partner. What is left is the good things: a person to laugh with, to experience wild and exotic places with, and to adventure with. Happy travels!