Shared experiences build stronger relationships. That’s nothing new. However, something people rarely take about is the experience of traveling with your partner for the first time. A first big trip abroad has the potential to make or break your relationship. Assuming you’re interested in building a stronger connection rather than destroying what you already have, here are all the things you need to consider.
Choosing a destination
Before locking in your own dream destination, talk to your partner to form an overall vacation vibe. Are you big city people or would you prefer to be surrounded by nature? Do you feel like spending your time overseas exploring or relaxing? These questions will help you keep your expectations in check and zone in on the right destination.
Co-plan a budget
If you aren’t open with each other enough to discuss money, it might be too soon for you to travel together. However, if you are, discuss the kind of activities and spending you’d be interested in. This will help you plan a joint budget, stick to it, and avoid future financial arguments.
Who has the map
Navigating your way through a foreign country can be hard. But it can be even harder when two people are trying to decipher the same map (printed or digital). Appoint one of you as lord of the maps and let that person lead the way during the trip, and avoid the triggering direction questions. If you make it from point A to point B — great. If you’re lost, at least you’re lost together.
Keep a loose itinerary
For your first trip together, don’t go away for more than a few days. Use it to test the waters and plan those few days with a loose itinerary. Don’t try to squeeze every single activity into your schedule or it will exhaust you. Try to center each day around one activity and keep the others on hold. Talk to each other during the trip to touch base and see if you have enough juice for more. Use dinner time to discuss your plans for the next day and adjust accordingly. Make sure to leave yourself some alone time. After all, this the first time you’re around each other this way 24/7.
Don’t forget to decompress
Spend some time apart from your partner after the vacation is over. Take the time to breathe, reflect on your trip, unpack, look at the pictures you took, and draw conclusions from your trip. If all goes well, you’ll be taking another one in no time.