For most couples, embarking on your first trip together is a huge milestone. It’s time you’ll spend together just the two of you, away from the distractions of everyday life. And it’s an opportunity to get to know a different side of your partner.

Because the truth is, you learn a lot someone when you travel together. And it’s not always roses and sunshine!

There’s just something about travel that gives us our most amazing moments but also brings out our worst sides. When you miss a train, can’t speak the local language and lose your luggage, your true colours come out.

Want to have a successful trip with your partner where you both come home in one piece and still in love with each other? We want that for you too!

As wedding officiants, we often hear about trips when we ask couples about their favourite moments of their relationship. As tough as travel can be, it’s also an opportunity to make a lot of great memories together.

So whether this is your first trip together or your 14th, whether you’re headed away for the weekend or packing for a year on the road, check out 10 tips will help you survive traveling together.

1. Plan a trip with your partner based on your personalities

two people looking at a map to plan a trip together, one person holds a cup of coffee while the other writes in a journal. There is also a laptop, camera and plants on the table.

Are you two adventurous risk-takers who love outdoor sports and dream of going skydiving together? Or are you introverted bookworms who can’t wait to explore a new museum? Whatever your personalities, make sure you plan a trip that matches that.

Sit down with your partner and plan your trip out together. Discuss your expectations, your travel style and what you want out of a trip. Are you staying in hostels or hotels? Joining a tour group or DIY-ing your route? You should both be involved in making your trip what you want it to be.

2. Pack your patience

Traveling is tough no matter where you go, how long you go and who you go with. But it’s even tougher when you’re traveling somewhere new with your partner. So, make sure you pack your patience.

Be patient with your partner – even when they’re taking forever to find the map you told them to keep in their pocket but they insisted on putting in their backpack.

Be patient with your waiter who might be practicing their English or be patient with your slow moving bus (you’ll get there eventually!). And remember to be patient with yourself, because going a trip with your partner is tough, even if you really love them.

3. Compromise with your partner

The name of the game in any relationship is always COMPROMISE! Just because you want to spend all day long at the beach, doesn’t mean your partner will want to. Discuss your itinerary and see where there is room for compromise. 

If your partner agrees to go to the flea market with you, then you can agree to go to the natural history museum with them. If you agreed to stay at their choice of campsite last week, you get to pick the site this week. They picked the lunch spot? You make the call at dinnertime! 

4. Carve out alone time

Person with blonde hair and tattoos wearing a white shirt walks alone on a busy road lined with palm trees leading up to a monument; solo travel on a trip with your partner

Especially if you’re on a long trip with your partner, you can’t expect to spend 24/7 together and be happy about it. As much as you love your significant other, you two need some time apart in order to better enjoy your time together.

Find time to do your own thing and put it into your schedule. Maybe you’ll hit the art gallery while they go on a brewery tour. Or you’ll head down to the hostel’s happy hour while your sweetheart takes a nap.

While it might sound funny to spend time alone on a couple’s trip, it’s actually a great way to make your trip more enjoyable. You’ll both get to spend some time doing what you love and come back more excited to spend time together.

5. Figure out your travel triggers

If you don’t already know, you’ll quickly learn exactly what your and your partner’s travel triggers are once you’re on a trip together. Perhaps you get super hangry if you haven’t had a snack in a couple hours or maybe a gap in your itinerary drives you bananas. Something that wouldn’t normally bother you at home, like missing a bus, can be demoralizing on the road. 

As best you can, figure out what your travel triggers are ahead of time and have a plan for how you can remedy them. If you know you’re prone to hangriness, keep a stash of granola bars on you. 

Sometimes you have to experience a travel trigger before you even know it’s an issue. When an unexpected travel trigger pops up, take a deep breath, explain what’s going on to your partner and work together to find a solution. If you and your partner have discussed travel triggers ahead of time, it’ll be easier for them to support you in the moment. 

6. Give yourselves a buffer

Not having enough time or money is always stressful – even more so when you’re stressing about it with your partner in the middle of a trip. So if you’re able, plan to give yourselves a buffer of extra time and/or extra money.

Instead of pushing to make the 20 minute connection between your buses, extend it and give yourself an hour. Instead of cramming in 12 historic sites to see, pick your top six and see how far you get.

Having a financial buffer can also help make your trip with your partner more enjoyable. Not only will you be able to indulge in some fun experiences, but you’ll also feel secure knowing that you can afford to get out of any tough situations, such as paying for a taxi when your train unexpectedly stops running.

7. Accept that things will go wrong on your trip

Two legs sticking out of a tent

No trip is perfect. Bad things are going to happen no matter what you do. Your partner is going to get on your nerves, you’ll get lost on the way to your hotel or the restaurant you can’t wait to try will be closed.

Instead of letting these moments ruin your trip, accept that sh*t happens and prepare yourself for how you will handle it. It’s less about having backup plans, since you can’t predict what will go wrong, and more about being able to adjust your attitude in the moment.

8. Rely on each other

You are traveling with your partner for a reason, so take advantage of it and play to your strengths. If your partner speaks the local language, allow them to negotiate the cab fare. And if you’re an awesome navigator, you should hold the map.

Delegate your travel tasks based on what you and your partner are best at. That way you can divide and conquer, saving you both time and stress. This technique also allows you both to show off your strengths and appreciate one another, which is always a nice feeling. 

9. Try something new

Trips are supposed to be fun! This is your chance to get out of your shell and challenge yourself to try something new. So whether that’s scuba diving, salsa dancing or a spicy cuisine, push yourself slightly outside of your comfort zone and give it a go!

In addition to trying something new, you should also make it a priority to treat yourselves, at least once during your trip. Travelling is tough and it can be hard on a relationship. Give yourselves a little reward for making it through, such as going out to a nice restaurant or booking a room with a great view.

Not only is this treat a nice reward, but it’s also a great way to make your trip more memorable.

10. Remember how much you love this person you’re travelling with

Two women with curly hair sharing a smooch

Even when your partner is covered in sweat, wearing yesterday’s stained t-shirt and swearing at their luggage that keeps falling apart, remember that you love this person. Like we said, travel can bring out some ugly moments and emotions in people.

It’s important to remember that despite the hard situation you’re in, your partner is still an amazing person that you love. 

When you’re not feeling so lovey-dovey, give yourself a break. Try to focus not on the fact that your partner misplaced the train tickets but instead of all the awesome memories you’re making on this trip. Embrace the good moments you’ve had so far and the parts of your trip you’re still looking forward to together.

How do you survive traveling with your partner?
What’s the best trip you two have been on together?