Those couples on Instagram sure do look happy traveling the world together.
No complaints over the inevitable $16 airport sandwich. No disagreements about whether to see an ancient temple or the Prada store. No wandering around some labyrinthine souk looking for contact lens solution because your partner forgot theirs at home AGAIN.
No, everything’s shiny and photogenic and about as real as their 450,000 followers.
Here is the truth about the challenges involved when traveling as a couple and how to make it as easy as possible.
Problem #1: Packing
You planned to bring a suitcase. But they think it’s cute if you double up, plus you’ll save on space and baggage fees. Even if that means you’ll probably have to leave a few things behind.
Solution: Our Travel Essentials Bundle
Reserve this ahead of time and have it waiting for your partner. So they’ll already have their own bag. Sweeten the deal with a couple of add-ons you know they’d appreciate, like a neck-pillow, noise-cancelling headphones and a travel hair-dryer. We almost want to start dating you just based on the idea that you’d do this for someone. Plus, you’re pretty hot.
Problem #2: Planning
This can be a tough one. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of seeing Oaxaca, but their life long goal is to do the City of Lights. Maybe you want to sit on a beach doing nothing and they want to study 7th century ballroom dancing. What to do? What to do?
Solution: Communicate and Compromise
Before fixing a destination in your mind, share the qualities you’re looking for in a vacation then decide on the location together. You want a beach and nightlife? They want culture and courses? Maybe you’ll end up in Barcelona. Or Rio. We definitely don’t suggest Daytona.
Problem #3-45: Arguments
Hopefully the time you spend in your destination is so rich with new experiences, you wont fall into a pattern of squabbling. But inevitably, things can happen. Boats get missed, meals get delayed and couples get lost because someone wouldn’t look at the fucking map. These are the times people can get stressed. And shall we say, moody?
Solution: Be Flexible
As bad as it can feel at the time, wrinkles in your plans are what makes travel exciting. They’re the kind of things you’ll laugh about later, as long as you don’t let random bumps in the road rip you apart.
The truth is, you’re not home and you can’t control everything even when you are. Start the trip with an attitude of flexibility, so that any situation that does come up can be dealt with by cool heads.
So you missed the last tour of Elvis’s Jungle Room because your partner needed to find a not-gross bathroom? What can you do but remind yourself that you love this person and need to be there for them? And will someday just have to come back to Tennessee. Assuming that’s where Graceland is.
Problem #46: Posting
Hey, you made it to that famous cathedral/painting of a lady/rock thing that makes it look like you’re hanging over a cliff when you’re really not. Amazing. Now here comes a situation. You both want to post a photo of it. But the rules of life say only one of you can. Everyone’s watching.
Solution: Pick Your Battles
Hopefully you two can agree to shooting a few different angles or get into the photo together. Otherwise, you’re just going to have to decide who really wants it more. Did you post the last one? Well, you may have officially ceded your rights to this one.
Whatever you do, stay strong out there.
Flying halfway around the world will be easily survivable compared to the thorny personal debates you engage in about social media on a daily basis. The kinds of things you just might not be able to come back from if not handled with extreme care.