Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, there are thousands of couples who head off for a weekend (or longer!) away. It can be romantic and there are plenty of perfect destinations to enjoy, but most importantly, don’t let your dream trip turn into a nightmare by allowing the little things to cause arguments between you and your loved one.
Travelling can be stressful, and it’s been well documented that arguments are on the rise when on holiday, so we asked our team for some tips on how they’ve kept their travels stress-free when on holiday with their other half!
1. Alone time!
I know, it doesn’t quite make sense, right? You’ve booked a trip away to be with your loved one, not to spend time apart! It’s true though, if you are spending 24 hours a day with someone, it is really important to take some time out and just chill. Read a book, sit in a quiet café, go see that exhibition you are dying to see but your partner just can’t stand. Take some time out and it will work wonders for diffusing any simmering irritations.
You can even have alone time whilst being together – just being sat in the same room but doing different activities may give you a break. Reading books, catchup on social media, or listening to a podcast are all things that might give you that bit of much-needed downtime.
2. Work out your travel priorities and be prepared to compromise
You may be a couple but you are still individuals with separate interests. Discuss what you want to get out of your trip with your partner before you go away. If you want a culture rich experience with top notch cuisine, museums and sightseeing, and they want to lie on the beach all day, it’s best to know before you go. It’s all about the right balance, so sort out some compromises and choose some activities you will both enjoy, as well as some that your partner may enjoy more than you and vice versa. Or, use this as your alone time and check out that event you really want to visit and leave your other half doing what they want to do. Simples!
3. PDA. Love it or loathe it, not everyone else feels the same
Check out the culture of the country you are visiting in advance. You may love walking around with your faces attached, but in some cultures it just isn’t the done thing, for example you will get some pretty dirty looks if you’re kissing in public in Japan, and people have been arrested for doing just this in Dubai.
4. The little things
Buy them their favourite magazine, or pick up their favourite drink, the little things are always appreciated especially if things are a little fraught. Travel isn’t always straight-forward and if your plane has been delayed by 3 hours, or one of you has picked up a bug, those small things might just help.
5. Put the phones away
You’re on holiday – enjoy the moment. Facebook does not need to know your every movement and your friends do not need to see your 200th selfie! Similarly, if you’re on holiday to spend time together, it might be worth cutting down on the time you spend on Instagram or Snapchatting your friends back home – put the phone away and leave all that for the plane journey home!
6. Share the responsibilities
One person cannot be responsible for booking the trip, packing, organising transport, and everything else. If you split the tasks between you then you will both feel included and the onus is not all on one of you. This will also help when things go wrong, as there are two of you to solve the problem rather than one person feeling like it’s all their fault because they were the one sorting out the trip.
7. Keep informed
Grab maps and leaflets from tourist information, ask for local information from your hotel concierge, or borrow a guidebook from your local library to take with you and get up to date on local customs. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a situation some good research could have avoided. Plan and prepare to avoid disaster! For more information check out the FCO’s foreign travel advice. Checking before you go means you might avoid the fallout from any natural disasters, political unrest or outbreaks of serious diseases.
8. Know each other’s shortcomings
If you’re going on holiday together you should be aware of the things your partner perhaps does not excel at. Plan for these in advance! If you know that you are likely to misplace things or lose important documents, give your passport and tickets and other vital information to your partner to look after. You don’t want your loved one blaming you when you’re standing at the check-in desk and the passports are sat on the kitchen table!
9. Decision-making: Don’t be overly picky
It’s fine to have differing preferences but if you are down to the 50th choice of restaurant and no decision has been made, it might be best to suck it up and compromise or one of you is going to get very hungry and very grumpy…
You’re on holiday, you’re spending some quality time together, just enjoy it. Plan ahead, but also take some time to go with the flow and experience some new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to take some downtime for the both of you.