The thing is, we all have differing ideas about what an adventure is, including couples. For some, it’s all about the destination and seeing things neither has seen before. For other’s, it’s the experience – what the two of you will be doing while there? Then you have those who see the journey itself as something every bit as important as the destination.
Travel is an adventure, and a great way to strengthen a relationship. New couples can bond over the experience, while those who have been together for years can rekindle that spark. Traveling as a couple is an excellent way for couples to take a break from their lives, but not each other. It’s a mix of being in one another’s presence in a more profound and meaningful way while experiencing something new.
There are some things a couple will need to figure out, before setting off on an adventure. These are essential questions, which might include a little soul searching. Think of it as that part in Total Recall where the technician asks Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character Quaid all sorts of personal questions. Honest answers meant the most fun memories possible. It’s the same concept here. Couples need to be honest with themselves and each other about what they want in a vacation, which means you have to do these three things.
1. Admit Where the Two of You Are in Life as Individuals and a Couple
Let’s be honest. When a couple has been together for a significant amount of time, they change. That isn’t an inherently good or bad thing, it’s just nature taking its course. We adapt to an ever changing world and lifestyle, and age catches up to us all. Be mild or wild, but be what you are. Before any travel plans are set in stone, a couple needs to find out where they stand in life and their relationship.
One trap long-time couples can fall into is the universal danger of nostalgia. We look back at our early 20s and the awesome parties we had and might decide it would be fun to relive those nights until we get there. That’s when you realize how whiny and drama-filled your early 20s were. And depending on how hard you party, you might spend the next morning learning the hard way that you can’t handle tequila the same way you could fifteen or twenty years ago. Then there’s the horror of suddenly realizing that now you are that “weird old couple” pretending to be young that you made fun of back in the day.
Young or newer couples aren’t off the hook. It’s even easier for one person in the relationship to mistake what they want for what you both want. Also, be prepared for your first big trip together to be a massive learning experience.
2. Decide What You Want to do Together?
Deciding what to do can be harder than expected. You might agree that you want to get away for a couple of weeks, but things get complicated when someone wants to hit the ski slopes, and the other wants to spend a little bit of January by staying at an all-inclusive resort in Barbados. Agreeing on the travel arrangements is just as important. Some people love road trips while their significant other hates the idea of wasting a couple of days driving when flights are available. There’s no easy fix here. Couples have to figure this out for themselves.
Remember to include a little bit of alone time. As much as you and your partner might love each other, there will always be something that interests one of you but not the other. It’s okay to spend time apart. It can make the vacation better for both of you. The classic example is for one to spend the afternoon golfing while the other hits the local boutiques and shops.
3. Plan as a Couple
Unless you are confident your partner is all in for a specific kind of vacation getaway, don’t spring one on them as a surprise. Any vacation as a couple should be something you both are excited about doing. Plan the trip together, and make sure it’s one to remember.
Go over everything from travel, accommodations, and activities. This is also a smart time to work up the vacation budget, including on what you can spend on souvenirs and other bits of fun. Vacations spending can spiral out of control if you aren’t careful. Having fun in paradise is excellent and all, but you don’t want to get stuck eating ramen noodles for the next six months when you get home.