No matter how much you are looking forward to spending some quality time with that special someone, traveling together can be a bit stressful; regardless of whether you have been married for decades or are just testing the waters as a couple. So what can you do to ensure a blissful getaway? Here are a few surefire ways to keep the fires burning without getting burned.
1. Both Contribute to the Planning – It’s important that you both feel like you have a part in the trip’s success. A site, like hotels.com, is great because you can check out all accommodations from bed & breakfasts to boutique hotels, vacation rentals to spa resorts. Take the virtual tours, read the guest reviews, check out the location relative to the sites you want to see and book it, together.
2. Work with Each Other’s Strengths – During planning, if one of you is a savvy researcher then perhaps that person can do the destination investigation while the other could be responsible for booking the flights or hotels. Working with each other’s strengths is even more important while traveling. Who’s the control freak (I mean backseat driver) between the two of you? Come on! Admit it?! Maybe you should drive while your partner navigates. Don’t be afraid to play to each other’s strengths versus struggling through a situation.
3. Pace Yourselves – Rome wasn’t built in a day and you can’t see it all in one either. Trust me! I know how fantastic it is to be on vacation sans work and children, but take time for the small moments and some relaxation. Factor in downtime for your vacation as well as extra time while sightseeing. You never know when you will want to spend some additional time in a museum, on the beach, or sampling the vineyard’s newest harvest. And you’ll appreciate not having the pressure to be on time or the disappointment of missing out on an opportunity.
4. Communicate – Seems simple enough, right? Are you tired? Are you hungry? Do you want to stay in this town for another day? How quickly we forget that we are not mind readers. Be sure to let your sweetheart know what you’re thinking before it’s too late to do something about it. When traveling, you are out of your normal rhythm and routine so it’s important that you are sharing your needs and desires even if you are used to your honey knowing what those things are.
5. Take Time for Yourself – It’s important on vacation to have some time for you, whether to relax or explore. That’s when the tips above are most useful by working together, communicating and taking the time to really enjoy your trip; you should be able to get some coveted ‘me time’. For example, you could check out the local village shops while he takes in a round of golf.
6. Do Not Disturb – Our sleep patterns can really wreak havoc with our vacations. Is your sweetie a snorer? Plan ahead and pack those earplugs. Who’s the morning person? Be kind to your special someone and allow her that precious time to sleep-in by perhaps following the tip above for your ‘me time’ and take a walk around town or read a few chapters of that book you have been wanting to peruse.
7. Try Something New to Both of You – If you frequent the same destination then make sure you change it up by finding something new to do each time you go. Experiencing something for the first time is a great way to bring a couple closer together. So whether the destination is new to you or perhaps it’s that zip-line adventure that you both have always wanted to try, give it a whirl together.
8. Budgets and Splurges – Let’s face it money is often an issue for most couples. It is important for a couple to understand their vacation budget, if they have one, before they embark on their trip. It’s not fair to either person to feel constrained or overly frugal while traveling. So know before you go! Allow and anticipate for splurges like dinner at that tres romantic restaurant you stumbled upon or a piece of locally created art.
9. Use the Hotel Concierge – Here’s what frequent travelers know; the concierge can make things happen. They often have discount tickets to area attractions, know the best restaurants and want to help make your hotel stay special. Tell the concierge if your stay is to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, etc. and see how he/she can help you make it memorable.
10. You Don’t Have to Go Far to Get Away – A vacation is merely a break for the ordinary. And sometimes staying in a nearby resort can feel like you are one million miles away. A staycation, or vacation close to home, is often a great way for new couples to test the traveling together waters as well as to have some fun. It’s also a great way for couples with children to have some alone time without the worry that comes with traveling away from your children.
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