Hello my friends, welcome back! Today I wanted to take a minute to share some thoughts I have about traveling with your significant other! Though Bryan and I spend plenty of time together and love taking longer trips around the Northeast, our trip to San Francisco was the longest amount of time we had ever spent together uninterrupted by work or life obligations. Amazingly, it went off without a hitch! So today I’m sharing some of the things that I found helpful in coexisting 24/7 in a new location!
Identify the type of vacation you want to take right off the bat. Whether it’s a relazing trip to the beach, an active adventure outdoors, or a cultural immersion into a different city, it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page upfront in terms of your travel expectations.
Compromise. I’m an aisle seat person, B prefers the window. Neither of us want to pay triple the airfare to fly first class, where we both could get our seat of choice. I’ll take the aisle on one flight, and B gets the window on the next. This sort of back and forth compromise has to happen the whole trip – much like it does in real life.
Plan together. I have a tendency to take the reins in planning things as small as what we’re having for dinner on a Tuesday night, so making sure that I slow down and involve B in the process as much as possible is crucial. For the most part we wanted to do the same things, but there are always attractions that don’t overlap, or something I might not have known about.
Discuss your budget upfront. No one wants to be stuck having the money conversation in the middle of vacation. Get it all out in the open early.
Designate phone time. B and I both take a lot of pictures, so while we tend to have our phones “out” a lot, I try not to start cruising Instagram in the middle of the day. A pre-dinner stop at the hotel to change and relax makes for a good designated time to decompress with some mindless scrolling.
Schedule down days. In the middle of our trip, we didn’t plan anything except for visiting Bryan’s family, which turned out to be a perfect reprieve from the aggressive touring we were doing. Having nothing scheduled and no planned wake up time gave us a chance to reset and relax before returning to more active itineraries.
Make sure to check in with the other. As someone who will happily hang out outside and walk around all day long, sometimes I forget that this isn’t for everyone. If it’s 90 degrees outside, B will probably want to take a break for some AC. Similarly, my sister tends to need to recharge at the hotel mid to late afternoon after a full morning. It always helps to check in with your travel companion and see what their needs are.
Know the signs. B can tell when I’m hovering around hangry a good half hour before it really sets in. Because he’s so good at catching it early, we can grab some food before getting really contentious. Likewise, I try to be aware of how much heat and sun we’re in, so I know when to get B some shade or air conditioning before he gets uncomfortable.
Be still. This has been a cornerstone of my approach to traveling in general over the past few years, but it’s just as important to do when you’re with someone. When we go to a particularly wow-worthy location, we always make sure to put away our phones after we’ve taken our photos and just stop and enjoy the place together. From a sunset in Burlington to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands, they wind up being my favorite moments together.