Tips For Couples: How To Plan A Trip With Your Boyfriend Or Girlfriend

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Something most daters claim to find incredibly important, attitudes about travel can bring a couple closer together or smash a relationship to smithereens. I know guys who refuse to consider getting “serious” with a girl until they take a road trip together and girls who carefully watch just how well their man handles snafus on a trip. Some couples leave happy and come home broken up. For something that’s supposed to be fun, travel can really take it’s toll on a couple.

There are all kinds of trip planning services on the net, so I’ll skip that portion of things. This post is more about how to accommodate each other as a couple and get back in one piece emotionally. If you’re thinking that it’s time to vacation together, take a minute to read ahead and see what kind of traveller your partner tends to be…

6 Different Types Of Travellers:

  1. Free Fallers: Action, adventure and go, go GO!
  2. Culture Seekers: Go local and “off the beaten path.”
  3. Tourists: Activities, tours and taking in the sights.
  4. Dudes: Rest, relax and check out of “reality” for the duration.
  5. Visitors: Spend time with friends and family.
  6. Free Wheelers: A little bit of this, a little bit of that…rest here, play there… options are what it’s all about.

3 Different Types Of Planners:

  1. Schedule controller: Typically has plans A-L worked up in advance with little to no room for error.
  2. Fly by the seat of my pants: No plan and hopes to experience culture, locals and opportunities to explore as they happen.
  3. Just Enough: This traveler tends to plan out the big things — like where to stay and how to get there, but is comfortable with letting the day to day sort itself out once you arrive.

If this is the first time or tenth time you’re planning a trip together, it’s crucial to talk about your expectations. This may be the one time a “Schedule Controller” wants to take a break or the “Tourist” wants an adventure vacation. Or perhaps your Type A girlfriend just might be a “dudette” traveller. Make no assumptions. It can be hard for a “Dude/Dudette” to understand that adventuring feels like relaxation to the “Free Faller,” so keep in mind that this is about finding common ground.

Find some time to sit down together and explore what the other person thinks an ideal vacation involves. It may be hard for the go, go , go-er to set aside the “lazy” word for their sleep in and relax partner… but it’s crucial that you don’t judge each other for differences in vacation styles. After all… vacations are supposed to be fun and no one likes to feel like they’re doing something wrong just because they want to do something different with their down time.

Here are some of the topics you’ll need to cover:

  • What kind of vacation does each person want? Spafari, staycation, a cycling trip, beach relaxation, explore a new country?
  • How much money do you want to spend? Who pays for what? Budget discussions are incredibly important to stay on top of in order to avoid unmet expectations down the line.
  • Where do you want to go? What kind of comfort level does each person have with the destination. Ie. Some people hate traveling where they can’t speak the language — is that going to ruin the trip if you go to a foreign country?
  • Are you both backpackers or 5 star spa goers? If you’re vastly different in what you expect, is there a middle ground where you both feel comfortable?
  • How much time do you plan to spend together? Is this going to be a 24/7 hip joining thing or is one person going to be playing golf while the other relaxes at the pool?
  • Who’s in charge of putting together different elements of the trip? You’ll need to cover time line and duration, budget, travel planning, activity planning, lodging, day to day schedule, payment and keeping track of the documentation. Unless one person is putting together the trip as a present for the other, it’s a good idea to split up the responsibilities so each person feels included in the process.

Part of traveling as a couple involves learning how to meet two people’s needs in the space of one trip together. It can be easy to think that everyone likes to adventure like you do, only to find out once you get to your Peruvian Jungle Hike that your partner is not only afraid of heights but hates any kind of creature with more than 4 legs. Maybe Costa Rica would have been a better bet and you could have left them on the beach while you zip lined through the forest.

If you’re dealing with a judgmental type or a procrastinator… this might be one of the larger challenges you face as a couple. Travel tends to bring out the best and/or worst in people. Patience, understanding and a steady temper will go a long way towards not only having fun but making sure you come back a happy twosome.