The Tipping List
The Couple Who Travels Together
Tips for making the most of your vacations
By: Jennifer Canzoneri
My husband, Mike and I were in Florida recently visiting his grandmother for her 80th birthday. Although we’re aspiring globetrotters – if our bank account would ever cooperate with us – traveling is always somewhat stressful. There’s the ever-growing list of things you need to remember (ID, debit card, toothbrushes, medicine, head phones) added to the list of ever-growing things you need to worry about. (Will the plane be delayed/canceled? Will they have the new US Weekly in the airport gift shop?) It’s easy to understand why couples who fly together usually fight together.
Before we travel, Mike usually takes charge of booking things – the rental car, excursions, hotels -while I take charge of getting us there. Meaning, I do laundry, pack and set the alarm. I push him out of bed, and I beg him not to yell at too many airline attendants. And, you know, over the years it has become a routine we’ve gotten comfortable with. Somewhere along the way we became good at traveling together, and it really does make a world of difference.
Here are a few tips that work for us, and, perhaps, they’ll work for you too:
- Put one person in charge of IDS/tickets/boarding passes. This can get tricky, I know, but if one person puts all important documents into a pouch or envelope, it actually becomes easier to keep track of things.
- Remember the little things: Offer your spouse the window seat; give him/her the side of the bed closest to the AC unit; let him/her buy a ridiculously overpriced and useless souvenir.
- Don’t backseat drive: The hardest part about traveling is getting around in unfamiliar places. Work together to get to your destinations instead of criticizing and nitpicking
- Take turns picking activities-my husband loves to snorkel while I like to snorkel. If I would let him, all of our beach getaways would morph into snorkel fests. Instead, I tell him (before we arrive) about the things I want to do. Knowing I’m willing to breathe through a mask for six hours makes him that much more eager to go horseback riding.
- Give each other space: This sounds unromantic, doesn’t it? On our honeymoon in St. John, I would sneak away to read on a lounge chair, swim leisurely while he snorkeled, nap while he explored. I really do credit a little alone time with the reason we were still all starry-eyed by the ninth straight day together.
Traveling is stressful, yes, but it can also be the perfect time to recharge, bond and remember why you love one another. Instead of bickering and pouting, you can make memories of sunbathing and exploring – hand in hand.
Tell us: What is a traveling tip that works for you and your husband?