How Traveling As A Couple Changed Our Relationship

By Sara | August 17, 2016

It’s been almost a year since Greg and I traded our Silicon Valley apartment for two backpacks and a pair of one way tickets. We left everything we knew and began an adventure that we knew would change our lives, but had no idea how much. Over the last eight months I’ve learned more about Greg, and he about me, than we knew was ever possible.

After spending a year and a half of our relationship doing long-distance, we thought that we’d talked through everything we could possibly talk through. Boy, were we wrong. The only thing harder than sustaining a long distance relationship is sustaining a 24/7 relationship.

We travel together, live together, explore together, and now work together. As two strong, opinionated individuals, this has not been without its struggles. Our relationship has changed and evolved and continues to do so as we travel and adapt to new ideas and surroundings. For all the traveling couples out there, we’d like to share some tips to keep things going smooth(ish) on the road.

1. Know When to Be a Best Friend

All that glitters is not gold, and all parts of travel are not watching sunrises from mountaintops. Traveling has its hardships, and having a best friend who is there no matter what is often times more helpful and beneficial than having a romantic connection. Know when to be the best friend cheering each other on and making each other laugh, and when to bring the romantic spark out.

2. Find Time For Romance

At the end of the day, though traveling is great, the relationship has to take priority. If you’re determined that you’re traveling with your forever person, your relationship needs to come before everything else. Make time for date nights once in a while, and don’t forget about the little things throughout the day; they make the biggest differences.

traveling as a couple

3. Apologize Often

When spending every single day with any person, whether it be a significant other, family member, or friend, eventually you’re going to step on each others toes. Greg and I have both had our fair share of moments when we said some things we shouldn’t have, or picked an argument that was pointless. Always remember to apologize and forgive as quickly as possible while still being genuine so you can move on and enjoy the rest of your day. We’re only human after all!

4. Eat Often

If I had a dime for how many arguments were started because one of us was hungry, tired, hot, or sore from carrying our backpacks, I’d buy a really big cup of cocoa. It’s never a good idea to argue or have an important conversation when one party is not on their ‘A-game’, so carry snacks and try to have big conversations after a nice meal.

5. Establish a Piece of Home

Whether traveling as a couple, solo, or in a group, there are going to be times that are difficult. Everybody misses home or the idea of home at some point, so establishing a sense of home in some small way can make the biggest difference.

When Greg and I travel, I bring store bought coffee grounds and make a cup for both of us every day. This way, no matter where we are in the world, our mornings start the same. Greg’s sense of home comes from his over-ear headphones, which was his “can’t leave without” item during packing. Having a small item or daily routine helps keep a sense of home while traveling.

traveling as a couple

6. Ask Yourself the “Is It” Questions

When frustrations arise, it’s easy to say what’s on your mind without thinking about how it may come across to the other person. After spending so much time together, couples may become too comfortable and say things on accident that are hurtful. Recently, we started working on a new thought process that’s been going well so far. Before speaking, we ask ourselves, a) Is it kind? b) Is it necessary? c) Will it add value to our relationship/project/etc? If the answer to these questions is no, don’t say it.

7. Share Common Goals

Traveling with someone who has drastically different goals than you will almost never work. Unless you find a way for your schedules and goals for travel to align, be prepared for a bumpy road. Figure out what works best for both of you in terms of when you go out, what you enjoy doing, and when you have work and relax days. Once this is established, everything will move more smoothly.

traveling as a couple post

8. Find Time For Yourself

At the end of the day, everyone needs some alone time. Greg and I learned that he enjoys experiencing nightlife, while I’m more of a PJ’s and Netflix kind of girl. We balance this by having Greg go out with travelers and explore the evening scene in different countries while I get some time to relax and just ‘be’. Everyone we’ve met handles alone time differently but agrees that it’s a crucial part to traveling as a couple. Don’t be afraid to take small breaks from each other!

9. Laugh A Lot

So many absurd, frustrating, surprising, crazy, and just “out-there” moments have happened during our travels, and we quickly learned that the only thing to do is laugh about it. As soon as we learned to make fun of ourselves (and each other) when things went wrong, traveling became even more fun. Take a breath, get some perspective, and just laugh!

traveling as a couple

10. Make New Friends

Whenever we meet other people traveling as a couple, Greg and I throw a mini geek fest. Making friends on the road is one of the coolest parts of travel, because you get to have a first hand look and fresh perspective into someone else’s way of living.

For those traveling as a couple, meeting other couple travelers is even better because of how many things you have in common right off the bat. It also gives you both space to hang out with someone new on your own. Don’t be afraid to attend events, walking tours, or online groups to meet new people on the road.

11. Never Stop Trying

Greg is a wise man, and my favorite belief that he holds, and that I share, is that any relationship can succeed if both parties commit to keep trying. This means from day one, both people are doing everything they can to be the best partner they can be. Both parties go out of their way to make the other smile, and both people never, ever stop trying, even when they’re mad, sad, upset, or hurt.

Even through our toughest times, which we’ve certainly had, Greg and I always come back to this point and it’s a big part of what has kept us going the last 4+ years.

12. Remember Why You Started

At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong way to travel. There’s no blogger, traveler, YouTuber, or luxury vacationer who does it “better” than anyone else. Never forget that initial pull to see and experience the world, and how buying that first plane ticket was the best feeling in a long time. Remember why you decided to travel, and keep going until it feels right to come home.

Traveling as a couple is not easy. It tests relationships in ways I never thought possible and both parties need to be fully committed to making it work and embracing change. Traveling as a couple requires patience, forgiveness, and an understanding that travel changes everyone in different ways.

For those who can talk through the issues, forgive the mistakes, and make the most of the reality of life on the road, traveling together can change your relationship in so many positive ways and you’ll become a stronger couple than when you left home.

traveling as a couple post

**Photo Credit in this post goes to April Zelenka, who was so kind to meet up with us during her trip to Ireland to shoot these pictures at the Gap of Dunloe!**

How To Travel the World As A Couple

By Sara | July 15, 2016

Let’s be clear: traveling with your significant other isn’t always as amazing as it sounds. Sure, you make countless memories together, are with each other for all the ups and downs, and know each other better than anyone else. But, there are times when traveling with your significant other is incredibly difficult.

Traveling with another person means true, 24/7 contact. You take transportation together, explore together, relax in together, and maybe even work together. That much togetherness can get exhausting quickly, and it can be easy to take out frustrations on your partner. However, there are ways to adapt in order to have a more harmonious trip as well as strengthen your relationship. The five tips below contain a few suggestions on how to travel the world as a couple.

Tip 1: Alone Time is Okay

This is tip number one for a reason. Even couples that live together don’t typically spend 24/7 together, so it’s important to schedule out time for yourselves to stay sane. Whether one person explores with another fellow traveler while the other has a Netflix day or whether you work in different rooms of an Airbnb to get some breathing space, taking time to recharge alone will help both parties appreciate each other’s presence more.

Tip 2: Remember the HALT Rule

My mother taught me this rule and it’s true what they say: mom’s know everything. HALT stands for ‘hungry’, ‘angry’, ‘lonely’, ‘tired’. If you or your significant other are feeling any of these things, don’t engage in an argument or debate. Solve the HALT issues first, and then see if it’s still a discussion worth having.

Tip 3: Communicate

Once the HALT factors are solved for, make sure to remember to communicate clearly with your partner. This includes sharing the joys, excitement, fears, and failures openly with each other and never forcing one person to play a guessing game of what the other person is thinking or feeling.

This also means communicating in a way that resonates with the other person. Knowing your partner’s love language and preferred communication styles can prevent many problems before they even arise. The more that issues or potential issues are talked about and worked towards together, the more peaceful and loving the relationship will be.

Tip 4: Share Responsibilities

Traveling the world alone is hard enough, and though there are many great reasons to travel the world as a couple, there are also many additional challenges. It’s important to share the workload equally so that no one party feels like they are pulling more weight than another, and no one party feels a lack of purpose.

The best way we found to to this is to write down all of the daily and weekly tasks that need to be accomplished (blogging, video recording, planning transportation, planning itineraries in cities, brand connections, making money, etc.) and then divide them up equally, or in a way that works best for you as a couple. Having an equal workload can help to increase understanding between couples as well as make each person feel like what they contribute is valuable.

Tip 5: Don’t Take Your Partner for Granted

This last tip is so crucial and yet so easy to fall into a habit of. It’s not easy spending so much time with the same person, but if you can sustain long term, or even short term travel together, then you’ll be that much stronger for any other obstacle that comes in life. A huge part of making it all work is appreciating the things that your partner does and letting them know that.

Whether it’s little things like her making coffee and breakfast every morning or big things like him staying up late to finish projects, let your partner know that they are appreciated. Likely, you’re the only one they’re hearing it from on the road which makes it all the more important.

These tips aren’t everything that goes into making a relationship work on the road, but they’re a good start for those wanting to travel the world as a couple. Have any couple’s travel tips? Comment below!