There’s nothing like a vacation to shake up your everyday grind — but sometimes those shake ups can mean trouble, especially if you’re traveling as a couple. You might have a storybook romance back at home, but the stresses of vacationing (though it might seem like an oxymoron) can really take a toll on relationships. From planning to packing to getting everywhere on time, a vacation requires a lot of cooperation, and without the proper tools and strategies, you might find your vacation beginning and ending with a fight — or worse.
Airports are a stressful place at the best of times, but when you’re trying to navigate terminals and departure gates with your loved one, you’ll probably find yourself even more tense than usual. Many couples find their relationship on rocks even before the flight attendant shows them where the safety exits are. However, there are ways to avoid the headaches that come with flights with your significant other; here are the best ways to plan ahead for a happy start to your vacation.
Make a Budget Together
Money is the root cause of relationship problems in general, but it can be a special sore spot when it comes to trips. If there is an income disparity within the relationship, one partner may be less enthusiastic about the five-star restaurants and guided tours the other partner has planned. It’s important to discuss what you both have available to spend before either of you make any reservations.
If there is any hesitation from one party when it comes to expensive dining and activities, it is best to play it safe and go with cheaper alternatives. For example, instead of booking a week in advance from an airline’s site, use Flights.com to find an inexpensive option a month or two early. That way, you won’t risk any feelings of resentment during the trip.
Long flights are torture when you’re on your own, but they can be even worse when you are traveling accompanied. While you know and probably love this person, do you really have enough to talk about to fill five or more hours of dead time? Instead of sitting awkwardly and grasping at straws, make sure both of you pack enjoyable distractions to use during the flight. If you both have music to listen to, it won’t be rude if one of you plugs in ear buds.
You can even bring games or activities that require both parties’ participation, but be sure to bring plenty of individual entertainments as well. You will have the whole vacation to spend time with your loved one, and you don’t want to waste all the good conversation during the plane ride in.
Keep Your Individual Routines
Even though vacations are supposed to get you out of your ruts, it’s healthy to stick to your morning and evening rituals to keep your body on track. You are more likely to get grumpy and pick fights when your body is tired, hungry, or confused, so try to keep your systems regulated by eating and sleeping at predictable intervals.
You might even try to complete your nightly routine if you are going to sleep on the plane — so if you usually wash your face and stretch before lying down for shut-eye, do so, and encourage your significant other to do what he usually does, too.
Avoid Too Much Touching
Every couple is different when it comes to how much affection they enjoy displaying in public. Some couples would rather stay completely sterile, while others seem to be permanently connected by the hands (or lips). However, on the plane, it is extremely uncomfortable to sit in any other position than upright, facing forward. Not only will PDA be difficult to accomplish, but it is likely that neither of you will enjoy the experience.
So, even if you are a particularly touchy couple, try to keep your fingers to yourself until you debark — all that waiting will make the first contact even that much sweeter.
Be Patient and Forgiving
Even if you planned everything to the letter, your vacation is still going to have hiccups. Try not to stress, and never assign blame. Instead, try to laugh it off. In a few years, you’ll only have your memories, and it would be a shame if they were all tainted with resentment and anger. If you keep your tempers under control, you will be better able to relax and enjoy your trip; plus, you might learn something about each other along the way.