Traveling with a companion—whether it’s a romantic partner, good friend, sibling, or someone you just met on the train—can be a terrific experience, but it’s not without its share of hazards. Unfamiliar surroundings, close quarters, and different interests and energy levels can quickly create tension between travelers. Therefore, as with any relationship, it’s important to put in a bit of work to ensure that you and your travel companion not only survive, but enjoy the trip. These strategies can help:
Take time apart.
Too much time together is the thing most likely to drive a traveling pair crazy. As often as you need to, give yourselves permission to go off on your own; and yes, this can be an important thing to do even if you’re traveling with your spouse. You might want to visit an attraction that your partner isn’t interested in, explore a new neighborhood, or simply read a book at a quiet café. The time apart will not only help you both recharge your batteries, but it will also give each of you something new to share with the other when you reunite.
Take your turn at making decisions.
You may think that not expressing a preference for trip decisions like where to eat dinner is helpful for your travel companion and shows that you’re a flexible travel partner. But in fact, it can be frustrating and stressful for your partner to feel like they’re responsible for every decision. If you do have a preference, be sure to share it; if you really don’t, take your turn at proposing and choosing destinations and activities anyway.
Talk about money.
It can feel awkward to talk frankly about setting a trip budget that you can both feel comfortable with, but it’s a vital conversation to have. You don’t want to wait until you’re at your destination to learn that you were planning to eat in restaurants while your partner was counting on saving money by grabbing picnic items from the grocery store. Being up front about your desired spending limits helps you plan a trip that you can both enjoy and afford, and thus avoids misunderstandings and arguments.