How to Make Your Next Vacation Together a Success
Five tips for travel bliss – whether it’s your first trip as a couple, or your twentieth.
I knew it was over with my ex-boyfriend from a few years back when, on our first vacation together to Paris, he took a picture of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. This ignited a verbal attack from French security guards – and left me mortified.
At that point, we’d been dating for a few months, but it took that vacation for me to realize that we weren’t a perfect fit. I was trying to learn the culture and say as much as I could in French to be a considerate tourist. He was more concerned with making fun of how French men dressed, and wouldn’t even attempt a “oui.”
You learn a lot about a person when you travel with them, even if you’re in an established relationship. But this is especially true for couples who are just starting out. Your first vacation together is important – it can either strengthen your bond or send you rushing back home to find someone else who will appreciate the “City of Love” like you do. Whether it’s your first trip together or your twentieth, there are some things you can do to ensure that you and your significant other come home more in love than ever. Here are five helpful tips to make sure you’ll both look back on your vacation with a smile:
1. Make sure you really like each other.
It sounds silly, but before you even start looking up flights, you should evaluate your relationship. “If you truly enjoy each other’s company, and you’re compatible in the ways that matter to you, you’ll probably have a great time. If not, you may have a dud trip in paradise,” says Dr. Wendy Lyon, a psychologist, relationship coach and world traveler.
Mikey, 28, from New York didn’t realize the guy who’s now his fiancé had an annoying quality until after their road trip to Toronto started. “We’d been dating long distance, so we hadn’t spent much time in the car together. I was unaware that this fool liked to change the radio station every five minutes and turn the heat on and off whenever he was uncomfortable. It drove me bonkers! It was as if he was working a switchboard, and I endured eight hours of this nonsense.” Luckily, the rest of the vacation made up for these odd habits, but Mikey says road trips are out of the question from now on.
2. Be on the same page.
If it’s your first trip together, chances are your relationship is relatively new. If you haven’t had the talk about your expectations, now may be the perfect time to do so. “One important key to having happy vacations together is for both of you to be in agreement about what you want in the relationship,” says Lyon. “Is it a fun romance with no strings attached, or are you both looking for a long-term love that lasts?”
Chelsea, 37, from California (of breezymama.com) was on the same page with the man who’s now her husband by the time they returned from their first trip together. “We went to Spain, and we decided to move in together after that trip,” she says. “There was definitely an overwhelming feeling that if we could navigate a foreign country in a completely different time zone, we could conquer anything together.”