Traveling is the most beautiful experience a couple can share. All the amazing sights, experiences and unforgettable memories you make along the way will bring you closer and strengthen your relationship. But to get there, you have to pass a series of travel challenges, which actually make the process a bit more interesting and the result a lot more rewarding.
Traveling is all about the unknown – unknown places, unknown people, and unknown situations. And while it’s usually totally fun and exciting it can get stressful as well. Since no two people in this world agree on everything, there is a big chance that you and your partner will also have some moments of disagreement. It could be about food, accommodation, transportation, activities or finances.
As we all want to minimize the potential negativity, we have prepared some tips on how to avoid conflicts and how to cope with fights if they do occur. 😉
• Be realistic and prepared
Even if you choose the most comfortable way of travel, you still might have to cope with lack of sleep, heavy luggage, change of time zone, jet lag, waiting for transportation, unfriendly people, annoying security procedures and bureaucracy, overpriced goods or services, strange cultural differences, and other slightly unpleasant surprises. If you come prepared, you won’t get disappointed and none of this will be able to ruin your moment. If you manage your expectations, you won’t get cranky and lash out at your partner and no harm will be done. Do not put too much pressure in making your trip perfect. Remember: perfection lies in imperfection and those little ‘incidents’ make the best stories! 😉
• Don’t demand too much of yourself or your partner
No matter how hard you try to take it easy you and your partner will probably get tired eventually, so do not expect insane romance, extra attention or a night of passion after a 10-hour hike. Also, keep in mind that people tend to react or behave differently when facing unknown situations. You may discover whole new sides of your partner’s character. Be prepared and accepting. Remember: nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes.
• Discuss your honeymoon expectations in advance
Due to genetics and upbringing, you and your sibling are most likely to have the same characteristics, manners, values, wishes, and preferences, yet you are still two very different people. Therefore it is only natural that you and your partner sometimes have different opinions. However, if you sort your differences out in advance, if you choose your destination and plan your activities carefully, you will easily avoid misunderstandings and major arguments.
• The key is compromise
Welcome to married life! It’s not just you and your wishes anymore, now there is someone else in the picture and if you want to make your relationship work you can’t always have it your way. Sometimes you will have to compromise and even completely adjust to your partner’s wishes. And it goes both ways – 50/50. You have to compromise on destinations, accommodation, activities, budget, and pace. You especially ought to compromise when it comes to those few questions that are most important to you or your partner. When it comes to your partner’s biggest wishes or strongest beliefs, make sure to find a way to give in (and vice versa) – it will make him/her happy! Both of you should make a ‘must see’ and ‘must do’ list and make sure you carry it out! If you absolutely hate one of your partner’s ‘must dos’, let him do it on his own, but if you don’t, you should try it! Being open to your partner’s interests can be very educational and rewarding. The most important thing is to be sure the arrangement works for both of you.
• Be prepared to share
Sharing is very important in every relationship and when it comes to traveling it might be even more so. Selfishness and self-centeredness have no place on a honeymoon.
• Avoid sensitive topics
Some conversations never end well and every couple has some sensitive topics (or actions) that should be avoided at all costs, especially during your honeymoon. Maybe it’s about some unpleasant past events or about that one thing on which you never agree, or maybe it’s a habit that tends to trigger your or your partner’s anger – you will know best. Either way, if you notice you are heading towards dangerous waters, remind yourself (or your partner) to abort the mission. It can wait until you get back home.
• Avoid stressful situations
Stress never brings out the best in people. On the contrary – in stressful situations, we tend to get grumpy and suddenly a conflict is just around the corner. Here are a few suggestions on how to avoid stress: don’t overbook your honeymoon, take it easy and you won’t get tired, don’t be in a hurry, don’t pack too much, take a break whenever necessary (from planning, sightseeing, traveling, or even lying on the beach), make sure you have some water and snacks with you at all times, don’t try to control everything, don’t be afraid to improvise etc.
• Divide responsibilities according to your strengths
One of you may be the skillful organizer, while the other is a better talker. One is a better driver, and the other a better cook. One can bargain, the other can speak the language. Accept your part of the deal and let your significant half take care of the other. Complete them and allow them to complete you.
• Focus on the positive
When you feel like negativity is taking over, try to focus on the good things about you, your partner, your trip, your past, your present and your future. You can think of your first date or discuss your beautiful future together. Happy thoughts!
• Be supportive
Travel might be challenging. And while some things are simple for you, your partner may be struggling. Maybe he/she is afraid of heights, snakes or spiders, maybe he/she gets tired or hungry a lot faster than you, maybe they simply can’t stand the heat or the cold. No matter the issue, try to understand and stay supportive.
• Don’t be afraid to face your fears
Remember – life begins at the end of your comfort zone (Neale Donald Walsch). Don’t let your fear of heights ruin your trip to the Eiffel tower. Try something new and exciting! Gently push each other’s comfort zones – it’s totally worth it!
• Take some time for yourself (if necessary)
Did you know that the main reason why couples fight on vacation is the constant proximity? It is your honeymoon and the whole point is to spend this time together, but not at all costs. Some couples simply aren’t used to spending this much time together, and if you are starting to get sick of your partner, just back off. Take some time for yourself. Take a walk, read a book, listen to some music. After a while you will start to miss him/her, you will come back relaxed and the tension will be gone.
No matter if a problem is only emerging or if you already had a fight, talk your way out of it! Like compromise, communication is also a foundation of a strong relationship. Express your feelings, explain why you are upset, be honest, listen to your partner and try to understand their point of view. This way you can solve any problem.
• Be kind, patient and respectful
When you feel like you might lose your nerve, try to stay kind. Think of how much you love your partner and remind yourself that it’s your honeymoon.
• Before picking a fight decide if it’s worth it
Just take a moment and think about it – can’t it wait, is it really that important, is this the right time and place, is it really worth it?
• Still, don’t hide your emotions
If something is bugging you anyway, it’s better to say it, or else it will build up inside you and eventually explode. Be honest but tactful!
• Don’t point fingers
You might lose your documents, drop the camera or miss the bus, but placing blame is never a good idea! Stuff like that happens and arguing about it won’t make it any better – it will only make it worse.
• Calm down
Try to follow the 5 by 5 rule: If it’s not gonna matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes upset by it!
• Don’t hold a grudge
If you have a fight, work it out and then forgive and forget as soon as possible! By holding a grudge you lose precious time!!! You better kiss and make up!
• Have fun!
You know best what brings you and your partner joy. Whatever it is – do it! The whole point of your honeymoon is to have fun!
As individuals grow while traveling, so do couples – maybe even more. On the road you share countless unforgettable moments. You will see amazing places, share life-changing experiences, undertake challenges, take care of each other, learn together, learn how to solve different kinds of problems, face fears, talk more than usually and about completely different subjects, you will become more open-minded and lose prejudice, you will get to know each other even better, discover new things about yourselves, maybe even discover new talents or skills, you will rethink life, you will actually be reborn – together. And this way you will strengthen your relationship and grow closer than you’ve ever imagined. Remember – couples who travel together stay together. So go ahead – pack your bags and embark on this life-altering adventure together! 🙂
For general traveling information please visit Travel like a pro.