10 Things Not to Do When Traveling as a Couple

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Considering traveling as a couple? As they say, couples who travel together stay together.

Since we first met in 2011, we’ve traveled together quite a bit. Not only that, but we’ve both been working remotely since 2012 on freelance work and our couple travel blog.

Needless to say, over the time we’ve been in a relationship, we’ve spent a lot of time together and often in very close quarters.

Travel is just one of those things that throws you into unusual situations with a partner or travel buddy and puts you through some amazing times and some not-so-amazing times.

It can be easy to grow frustrated and bicker, even while doing something as fun and freeing as traveling.

Yes, travel can indeed be stressful. Don’t believe me? Watch the average family at Disney World and you’ll see that even in the happiest place on earth, kids are screaming and parents have looks of horror on their faces; these people are at their wits’ end.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Sure, there will be ups and downs (and you should certainly prepare for those downs), but if you put some effort into presenting your best self and avoiding bad habits, you two should do just fine.

To help you prepare to travel as a couple with a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other, here is what to avoid.

10 Things Not to Do When Traveling as a Couple

1. Don’t spend every second together.

You do NOT need to be together on your trip 24/7.

Even if you’re only traveling with your partner for a week, be sure to take time now and then (ideally every day) to be by yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to spend an entire day apart, but that you simply need to make time for yourselves.

We hear this time and time again (self love! self care!) but all it really means is taking time to get in touch with yourself and your needs and get rejuvenated. This is especially a good tip if one or both of you are introverts.

A perfect compromise? Spend 2-3 hours alone during one afternoon of your trip, doing whatever pleases you.

2. Don’t expect all couples travel to be romantic.

You’re traveling with your lover. Every moment should be fireworks and castles and epic mountaintop couple selfies, right?

Wrong. One of our favorite couple travel tips is that it’s not always going to be great together.

You will absolutely have some beautiful times like that while traveling as a couple. But not every second of travel is glamour and romance.

Delayed flights, getting lost, language frustrations. All of these things can suck the joy right out of the moment (not to mention kill the romance.) So don’t head into your travels expecting pure, unadulterated bliss.

traveling couple - heart with hands in the sunset

3. Don’t forget to make time for romance.

By the same token, while couples traveling together shouldn’t expect a constant love fest, you should also be deliberate about making time to enjoy romantic moments together.

It doesn’t always sound spontaneous and passionate, but it’s what you gotta do!

Whether your idea of romance is an afternoon where you opt to order room service and stay in bed all day, or a special hike you take just the two of you, give some thought to how to make your couples travel sweet and memorable.

These intimate moments will stand out and be some of the best-treasured memories of your holiday.

traveling with your partner - man and woman in vintage clothing

4. Don’t argue about money.

Woof. Arguing about money is the worst. And when you’re on a vacation, it can be even more of a buzzkill.

There might be an exception to this if you’re traveling as a couple long term. Then, the issue of money is inevitably going to come up, and you’ll have to work to compromise and budget as a team. But when you’re on a shorter vacation, strive to refrain from financial arguments.

How do you do this?

Have a serious discussion BEFORE you depart about what you are planning to spend and where you might be able to splurge. It’s always wise to budget expecting those splurges, too. That way you don’t feel stretched thin when you decide a couples massage is just too good to pass up.

READ NEXT:  How We Afford to Travel the World as a Couple

5. Don’t act possessive of your man or lady.

This tip goes for your daily lives, not just for traveling as a couple. However, being in a foreign land does introduce new environments and new people. Especially in certain parts of Europe, men are vocal with their appreciation of female beauty.

Husbands and boyfriends: don’t freak out or pick a fight. Almost always, no harm is meant, and their whistles are simply a compliment to the lovely lady you’re escorting.

The same goes for the females. Your man might be a bit googley-eyed over the tall blondes of Scandinavia, but just remember, he came here with you.

On your trip together, it’s wise to focus on one another. No one else matters. It’s just the two of you and an amazing holiday.

tips for couples travel - kiss in Australia

6. Don’t isolate yourselves.

Now it seems I’m going to directly contradict myself. The trip may be all about you two and your relationship, but your couples travel will be enhanced if you expand your party of two a bit now and again.

A short vacation or honeymoon is an exception, or even your first trip as a couple…then it is natural and expected to be hyper-focused on your partner. But if you’re engaged in long-term travel, as a couple traveling around the world, try not to isolate yourselves.

Make sure you take time each week to be social. Try and meet other couples. Get engaged with the locals. Participate in group cooking classes, brewery tours, or city walks.

All of these things will open up your circle and add so much more to your travel experience. It’s sharing those new experiences with your partner that is important.

7. Don’t fall into a routine.

This DON’T applies primarily to long-term traveling couples. Whether you’re on the road or at home, it can be far too easy to fall into a routine. Soon, routine becomes a rut.

Travel has an inherent advantage: you are constantly adding excitement and novelty into your life. But no matter where you are, don’t get so caught up in the patterns of daily life and your schedule that you forget spontaneity, romance, and special, small gestures.

READ NEXT:  5+ Sweet Relationship Rituals That Will Help Your Love Last

Try and shake things up at least once per week…whatever that means to you as a couple!

Travel definitely helps you break out of a humdrum routine—check out these 8 essential travel experiences all couples should have.

8. Don’t complain endlessly.

It is horrid when one travel buddy is a nonstop whiner. I should know. I (Amy) have a tendency to be one.

It’s not that I am unhappy, but rather that I am highly extraverted and like to share my every thought and feeling.

Pebble in my shoe? You’ll know about it. I’m hot. I’m cold. You’re gonna hear it.

Poor Nathan.

I have made and continue to make a solid attempt to quell this habit. I know it brings down our shared morale and can be irritating to Nathan.

If this sounds like you, try and keep your complaints inside. Or better yet, reframe your mindset and for every complaint that you feel you want to make, instead state aloud something you are happy about or grateful for.

This will boost your own mood, and perhaps help your partner feel more joyful as well.

couples travelling together

9. Don’t forget to divide travel responsibilities.

On trips of any length, it can be exceedingly helpful to designate travel-related tasks to each person.

If the Smiths know that Husband Smith is responsible for carrying the passports, there will be no “but I thought YOU packed them!!!!” at the airport. Wife Smith can rest easy knowing her man has got it under control.

And Wife Smith can be in charge of something else, like printing boarding passes or booking the hotel. This helps both partners contribute and makes the process less stressful for everyone. In short, it makes traveling as a couple 10x better.

10. Don’t necessarily expect the trip of a lifetime.

I think Instagram has given us unreasonable expectations. About looks, food, pets…but especially traveling as a couple.

With carefully curated galleries and photos pre-planned down to the minutest detail, it can be easy to believe that your holidaymaking will be or must be one for the record books. In truth, it probably will, but only if you keep your expectations true to life.

If you choose to, you will enjoy romantic sunsets. You will have elegant meals. You will stroll hand in hand along the canals in Venice.

But remember, life is not a movie, it is not a fairy tale, and it is not what you see in picture-perfect Instagram photos. Embrace the good and the bad of couples travel, and you will be in for an unforgettable treat.

how to travel as a couple

And hopefully, you will travel together for years to come.
Amy (2)

Check out some of our other articles on couples travel:

Why Couples Who Travel Have Better Sex

So You’re Thinking of Traveling With Your Boyfriend

How These Couples Afford to Travel the World


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34 thoughts on “10 Things Not to Do When Traveling as a Couple”

  1. There is no one else I could do this type of long term travel with – not my best friend, not my mum, not my brother. No way jose! In saying that there have definitely been times when we’ve said (through gritted teeth) it’s time for an afternoon apart. The blog actually keeps the relationship safe, I blog and he gets peace! Good read guys.

    Reply
  2. Haha it is SO true!! Even the most beloved person can start to grate on your nerves after so long. πŸ™‚ It’s wise to have space, and yes blogging can be such a great outlet for that alone time. So glad you enjoyed the post! x

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  3. This is great idea for a blog and the insight you have put up are great. I’d not thought about travelling with someone that way. Thanks for writing on something unique that you don’t see everywhere!

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  4. Great tips! So important to not spend every second together or you’ll drive each other crazy! You can spend time together when you want and be apart when you want, and still have a great experience together.

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  5. I love this post, and as a couple who often travels together I completely agree with most of your tips! I love the first one. Just because you are traveling together doesn’t mean you have to spend every second together.

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  6. I was chuckling while reading this because it’s so true. My husband and I have made all these mistakes. The one about not isolating yourselves is particularly important; especially once you get used to it being just you two, it can be difficult to get out there and meet other people.

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  7. A bit late to the party but YES! I have been travelling with my boyfriend for about 6 months now and i totally get the “spend time apart” and “not every moment is romantic”. A truthful insight into what long term travel is really like.

    Thanks!

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  8. This is awesome, thank you so much for your realistic advice, and blessings to you both as a couple xoxo

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  9. Well, I am a solo traveler that has be roaming the planet solo for a few years already…. And in a couple of days I will be doing my first couple trip. You can’t imagine the amount of stress I am under. My style of travel could be defined as intense, and even though I will try to be as flexible as possible, I don’t know how that’s going to go with a partner as relaxed as mine… Anyway, thank you very much for sharing this and give me some ideas about how to make the best of our trip!

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    • oh I am sorry to hear you’re stressing a bit! I think that’s natural, as it’s definitely a transition. If you guys have different energy levels, remember its ok to do some things separately πŸ™‚ Good luck, and let us know how it goes!!

      Reply
  10. Since most of our vacations are couples trips, I can totally relate to many of these tips. Great blog! Learned a few things we can try, like not doing everything together (which we tend to do) haha!

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  11. Hey thanks for the tips. Actually not agree with the 1st point that says don’t spend whole time with your partner. What I think is give your partner as much time as you can. I had couple of trips abroad with my wife, the only thing made me bore and sometimes irritating is too much shopping and photos after every 2-3 min on average. However, I think if you two travelling only , you become more caring about each other.

    Reply

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