Tag Archives | Honeymoon

A Couple’s Survival Guide To Long-Term Travel

Guest Post by Sofia von Porat: Sofia writes forAsWeTravel, a travel blog sharing travel tips, videos, guides and inspiration from around the world – you can follow her at www.aswetravel.com.

Before you consider getting married, starting a business or moving in together – there is a way to find out how all that will work out: go traveling!

Traveling together on a round the world trip is the most effective way to figure out if you’re suited for each other – when you take your first long-term trip together, you will either break up, or grow stronger as a couple.  Nothing puts as much pressure on a relationship than the uncertainty and stress of traveling, which tends to bring out the worst in people.  But there are ways and secrets to make traveling with each other easier.

After years of full-time travel and running a business together, these are the 5 things that have helped us the most…

traveling coupleIf I Like You Today, I Want To See You Tomorrow

We believe that one of the things that have made staying together so much easier is a simple mindset about our relationship.  Every rule you have is like planting a landmine on the road in front of you, and laying out too many of them increases the risk of stepping on one and blowing up the whole thing.  The fewer rules you have – the fewer rules you will break.

When we first met, Nathan explained his thoughts on relationships in a simple sentence, one that we have lived by ever since: I like you today, and I want to see you tomorrow.   If a day comes when we no longer feel that way about each other, we know it’s time to go our separate ways.

Play On Each Others Strengths

We try to stick to what each of us does best, and play on each other’s strengths.

I usually do the travel planning, while Nathan keeps track of our budget – same goes for work, one of us usually does the writing, the other does the coding and so forth.

K.I.S.S.

Knowing and being strict about your core values is important, but make sure you get rid of the “fluff” and keep it simple.  One thing  many solo travelers say they enjoy is that they can choose what they want to do and where they want to go without having to discuss it with someone else first.  We’ve found that when we keep it simple and don’t get attached to everything those kind of discussions become less and less frequent.

One thing we try to always live by in every aspect of life – especially in relationships, is K.I.S.S – keep it simple stupid. ;)

travel loveDon’t Expect Anything In Return

Doing something that you might not enjoy for the sake of your partner is crucial in a relationship – but only if you don’t expect anything in return.  Compromising by saying “I’ll do this for you if you do that for me” might work in the short run but will build up resentment and create unnecessary fights.

Knowing that you make the other person happy is enough, besides, you’ll often find that you get more in return when you don’t expect anything back.

Ask Yourself “What Else Could This Mean?”

Anyone can be the most amazing person in the world when they’re relaxed and happy, but when we’re stressed, hungry and tired, the worst in us gets brought into the spotlight.  We do and say terrible things that we don’t really mean. Something which has helped us solve fights faster is to ask ourselves “what else could this mean?”.  When people get angry they tend to let the anger out on those they love the most, or sometimes whoever is closest to them at that moment.  For example, if a waiter is rude to you, it’s usually not about you at all but about something completely different – the same goes for your partner.

Try not to take anything personally, from each other or anyone else.

When All Else Fails…

… a handhold and a kiss will be worth more than a thousand words.

Sometimes, when the world is upside down and chaos surrounds you, it’s nice to let each other know that no matter what happens, you will be there to hold each other’s hands.

The best thing about traveling as a couple is that all your experiences are magnified when you get to share them with the person you love the most, and that handhold can make all the difference in the world.

1000Fights:  A sincere thanks to Sofia.  We especially like the last suggestion.  Sometimes a little tenderness goes a long way.  Please give their blog a look:  www.aswetravel.com .  Not sure we could survive traveling together long term…

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I know what you did this summer!

We asked a few of our couple travel blogging friends: “so what did you do this summer?” We were stunned by what we got back! Everything from warm beaches of the Blue Lagoon Resort in Fiji to a scenic 12 mile “stroll” that ended in a couple fight! Yay! Granted, fall is quickly approaching for us on the top of the ball, its not too early to start your plans for next year. If you cant wait that long, at the bottom of the rock summer is just getting started!

 

Peter and Dalene

www.hecktictravels.com/

When boarding our flight to Brussels, Belgium, we waited in line behind a guy wearing a dog-collar with spikes, metal plates on his shoes and horns coming out of his nose. We started chatting to him about his city, and he immediately warned to be careful when going out at night – that Brussels was becoming increasingly dangerous.

A scary first impression, we thought. And after our first few days, we realized he spoke the truth – sort of. Brussels is definitely dangerous, but only for your waistline.

Apart from the beautiful architecture, Brussels is known for its gastronomy. We feasted on beer, their national dish of frites with mayonnaise, mussels, a wide variety of international cuisine, and of course, their heavenly chocolate. Never mind that when strolling through it’s streets, the aroma of fresh waffles is constantly in the air. It’s a foodie and beer connoisseur’s paradise!

 1000Fights: Ok, we are hungry now!  Those waffles look to die for!

 

Emanuele and Romana

www.thesiracusas.com/

When the summer kicked in in the northern hemisphere we were in Fiji. Technically it was winter time there, but as you can imagine you couldn’t tell, tropical weather is tropical weather, after all. The fijian trip was the final part of our 8 months round-the-world trip, so we were going there to take it easy, enjoy the tropical paradise experience, prepare psychologically for our homecoming and also celebrate our second wedding anniversary.

The quest for our dream island was over when we landed in Nacula, at the Blue Lagoon resort. Because of the amazing white sand, the beautiful crystal-clear waters and the friendly resort staff, we decided to stay at Blue Lagoon more than initially planned. The management also gave us a deluxe seafront villa (with no extra cost!) as a present for our second wedding anniversary. We were also given the opportunity to visit the local village and the school, getting an insight into the locals’ life. I can assure you, the day we left Nacula, and the Blue Lagoon resort, was a sad day!

 1000Fights:  Congrats on your second anniversary.  We wish you many happy years and fights as well!  The closest we have gotten to Fiji is drinking their water from the gas station.  Someday!

 

 

Erica and Shaun

www.OverYonderlust.com

Our favorite place that we visited this summer was Tulum, Mexico. We were blown away by some of the most spectacular beaches we have ever seen. This was also offset by the Tulum ruins which are placed on the sides of cliffs looking over the sea. The city is so incredibly laid back that we felt right at home. We even ended up hanging out there two separate times on our trip!

This location also rocks because we were also able to make day trips to to the neighboring Akumal, Mexico for our fix of the best fried fish tacos with fresh mango salsa we had ever had the pleasure of inserting into our mouths at Lucy’s Kitchen. About 50 feet away you can snorkel with sea turtles munching on sea grass right off of the beach. Bring your own gear and you can swim out to them yourself. Huzzah for free activities!

1000Fights:  Sounds amazing.  Lucy’s kitchen?  I think that is the only way we can get Luci of 1000Fights into a kitchen!

 

Betsy and Warren

www.marriedwithluggage.com

This summer we spent 5 weeks in Edinburgh, Scotland. We fell in love with the place, the people, and the real ale. Scots really do have more fun than everyone else, and we were lucky to make some good friends and have some fun adventures during our time there. We climbed munros, learned how to retell ancient stories to entertain a crowd in the dark upper room of an old pub, ate local specialties like shortbread and haggis and tasted the abundant varieties of whisky. We also had an epic fight during a 12-mile walk along a scenic canal – at the start, of course – and made some pretty good breakthroughs in our relationship during the remaining 11.5 miles. We’ll definitely return to Scotland to explore the Highlands and enjoy some real ale and whisky with good friends, but we will probably skip the haggis (and hopefully another epic fight).

1000Fights: DARN!!  Dont give up the fights!

 

Doesn’t all of these sound like fun!  Thanks you guys for sharing some great ideas for summer fun.   Couples take note, pick one of these or a place of your choice, put aside a little cash over the next few months.  Dont let another summer get by without going to place of your dreams.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.

“You can steer yourself any
direction you choose.”

You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll
decide where to go.

Dr. Suess

 

 

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A Room with a View

We need your help.  So we were fighting the other day.  You have no idea how many times we have said that!  But then again you are on this site.  We were having a “discussion” on which of our fave hotels had the very best views?  Hotel rooms are just that to us, rooms.  What is important to us is what you can see from the room.  Great views are travel porn.  One of Luci’s all time fave shows is “A Room with a View”.   In this “chic” flick, the heroine Lucy Honeychurch and bumbling chaperone Charlotte Bartlett find themselves in Florence with rooms without a view.  In the end, she gets the man, and they get a room, oh and it has a view.  As a result of this show, as we travel one of key requirements is an amazing view.

Our four contenders are:  Conrad-Istanbul, Hiton-Nice, Cavalieri-Rome,  and the Fairmont Zimbali Lodge-South Africa

Conrad-Istanbul

This is an amazing property!  It lands overlooking the mighty Bosporus.  (click on the pic below to get a better feel of the immense view)  You can see two continents (Europe and Asia) with this view! How many hotels can claim that?    The unique shape of the hotel makes for views of some amazing land and seascapes. What makes this hotel’s view special is your are treated to views with two senses: sight and sound.  Every morn and night you are greated with haunting renditons of the call to prayer for nearby mosques.

Please click on photo to get the entire view!

 

Hilton, Nice, France

What is better than a view of the French Rivera?  Nice offers some ob the best water and beach front  on the globe.  We understand the hotel sold to another chain.  Can anyone confirm that?  Regardelss the view of the swaying palms, the fine eye candy on the beaches and of course the azure water are not to be missed.  You are literally a hop, skip and a jump to world class beaches.

 

 

Cavalieri-Rome

Ok we weren’t going to reveal which is favored by who to let you the reviewer an unbiased opinion.  But this is Mike’s fave hotel in the world.  The mighty Cavalieri is one of the ugliest hotels on the outside.  It is about as glamorous as a cement box.  But what it lack in outward appearance, the inside and of course the views more than makes up for.  Located on a perch overlooking all of Rome and especially the Vatican, the view is breathtaking.   As luck would have, as we opened the siding door to our patio, there was a rainbow over the city!   The hotel is located in a 50 acre parklike setting.  We understanding that during conclave, rooms go for astronomical prices.  You could see the white smoke from your room!

 

 

 

Fairmont Zimbali Lodge-South Africa

Lastly, but certainly not least is the the Zimbali.   While our room offered a jungle obstructed viewof the Indian Ocean, a few steps down the path to the pool affords one of the most impressive ocean front views!  We visited the Zimbali at the end of our safari trip trough South Africa.  The resort lodge is an oasis for the soul.  The hotel has a number of freshwater pools right on the edge of the ocean.  We timed our visit on the shoulder season and had the entire pool area to ourselves.  Beat that view?  I dont think so!

There are some many great locations out there: an African Lodge, a Mediterian escape or even take in Kensington apartments for that matter!  Regardless if they are hotels, hostels, or even serviced apartments treat yourself to a great view!

Now is your chance to weigh in with your opinion.  Which is the best view?  Just leave a post below.

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10 Things to Know for Your First International Trip

We put together a little cheat sheet for you folks who are attempting your first international trip.  These little hints are the sum of all our knowledge from visiting a couple dozen different counties on 5 continents.  These are the things that we wish we would have known, but were painful lessons learned out on the road.

1)Roll with it

Ok, this is your first trip abroad.  You happen to be the type A, planner type.  Take a chill pill!  Regardless of how planned you are, things are going to be different than you expect.  Roads don’t exist that are clearly on the map!  This is a really good thing.  Experiencing another culture, another language, and another environment makes you a better person.  You can understand and cope with differences better after your return.  You become more deep as a human being.  Just to recap, things are going to be crazy.  A lot of things are going to come at you fast.  Savor every moment!

2)Speak the Language

If you are a loyal 1000 Fighter, you know that we always harp on this.  It is so critical in order to really get to know a new country, you must, must, must know some of the language.  You by no means need to be fluent.  Its better if you are not.  You do need to know enough to engage in a small conversation without relying on your native tongue.  Our goal is always to know enough to chat up a taxi driver for 10 mins.  Know how to talk about the weather.  You don’t need to conjugate every verb, you need to know how to ask a kid their name, and how old they are.

Turkish Breakfast

3)Just Try It

This little nugget of advice applies on so many levels.  Lets start with the food.  As you departing on your first international trip, you are going to see menus that look Greek even if you are in China!  When you walk into the food establishment, glance around,  pick out something that looks interesting and give it a try.  Why not?  (If your are in Cusco, Peru- give the guineu pig a try!) You have never been on balloon flights UK?  Follow rule number 3.  Just try it!   The beauty of experience days is stepping outside your comfort zone.

4)Ask a Lot of Questions

Luci is a real pro at this.  It is her reporter background.  Regardless if we are on a plane, in a museum, taking a nature tour, or just in a cab, she is always pumping anyone that will listen for information.  Why?  Frankly, you don’t know what you don’t know.  There may be another bigger unknown waterfall just around the corner.  There may be a cheaper place to buy your souvenirs just down the road.  The taxi driver might have a brother that runs a better tour.  All of these things have happened to us.  Only because we asked.

5) Follow your instincts

Traveling internationally, trust your gut.  One of our fave couple travel bloggers: Y Travel Blog recently did a post on safety tips for single female travelers, in this article Caz says: “Trust your intuition.  It always knows best. If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. There is a reason why you get that unsettled feeling in your stomach when you meet that strange person on the beach.  Don’t freak yourself out by imaginary monsters, but definitely pay attention to those little messages our animal instincts give us.”

If you are in a place that doesn’t fell right, leave. Common sense kinda stuff.  We must say, be careful of situations where your instincts are dulled: “see drinking too much barley pop.”

6)Smile

We give you permission to forget every other one of our hints in this post, please don’t forget this one.  This is the most powerful hint to traveling abroad.  The smile is the universal language.  Attempt to speak Turkish,  compliment them on their beautiful country and then grin ear to ear.  Your feeble attempts at communication  will be supplanted with the power of the smile.  If you are struggling figuring out the exchange rate and what all of the multi-colored monopoly money means…flash a big toothy grin.  No problems.   Smile at everyone.  Give the little children you pass on the street a warm smile, the old man in the chair in front of his flat a big one as well.  The returns from this small gesture will pay huge dividends.

7)Be Prepared

The old boy scout motto applies to international travel.  If you are going to the Amazon, buy some medical evacuation coverage.  If you are going to Tahiti and you only wear a certain sun tan lotion, bring it.  Think through things on a couple of levels.  Put your money in a couple different places.  Another couple of our travel friends, Cam and Nicole have a great story about this!  “How I got robbed by a Thai prostitute on the streets of Bangkok.”  Cam shared this story with us when we were up in Vancouver, BC this summer.  We are still laughing.  The moral of the story is always be prepared!

8) Don’t Follow the Other Tourists

It is soooo tempting when traveling abroad to do what everyone else is doing.  But didn’t your mom warn you about doing this?  If not, we are!  Don’t go on a tourist bender.  If you are prepared, and follow the other tips above, wander out of the norm.  See the undiscovered sites.  Are they still out there you ask?  YOU BET THEY ARE.  Will you get lost?  We sure hope so.  Some of our best moments traveling are when we get lost.  Be a leader, not a follower.

9) Show me the Money

Every place you go, you are going to need rupees, pounds, yens, or coconuts…Be prepared.  Exchange some cash at the airport.  Have a couple different flavors of credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, and something else.  Anywhere you go, money will flow.  Have some.  The law of travel we have found that is that ATMs are never close, and they are finicky.  Having cards from different banks is literally a lifesaver.

10)Pack Light

We really hate to put this one in.  How can we preach something we don’t practice? Mike is the all time worst packer.  He packs a ton.  He is a child of the 1980s so he has to match the seasons, with clothes for every event, restaurant, and setting.  Don’t follow his example!  Here’s why it is so critical that you follow this suggestion.  Luggage is heavy.  On every single international trip we have taken, we have ended up walking long, long distances with luggage.  It WILL happen to you.  If you pack heavy, you will be tired.  Good decisions are rarely made when tired.  Especially if you are traveling as a couple.  You can always buy more clothes when you get there.  In fact, this is a really good idea.

So that’s it!  Our 10 ideas that will make your life a little easier making your first trip abroad.  Now go and book those tickets.  After you come back, please share with us the lessons you learned!  We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions.  Just leave us a comment below.  Bon Voyage!

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7 Questions with Here, There, and Elsewhere

Do you ever get a kind of insight when you meet someone for the very first time? You say to yourself, this person is going places?  Is it charisma?  Well we feel this way about our 7 Questions featured couple this week.  They are really destined for some great adventures!   So… meet:  Bryan and Laura.

Blog:  Here, There and Elsewhere

Twitter: The DeLuca’s (follow them as they have hit the “2000 barrier”)

 

1) How many countries visited between the two of you?

Team DeLuca has been to 22 countries collectively…Bryan having visited 12 and Laura ten. Not too shabby for a pair of (strong to quite strongly attractive) amateurs.

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be? (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: Morgan Freeman, so he could narrate my entire journey.

She Said: I would travel with one of my best friends, Katie. She and I met six years ago at an alumnae gathering where I proceeded to unknowingly make fun of one of her high school acquaintances, and we’ve been friends ever since. She and I have similar interests – could sight-see one day, then watch a Real Housewives marathon the next while ordering room service in our PJs – and get into quite a bit of trouble when we are together.

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

He said: Switzerland because it’s so tranquil and picturesque. And the sheep are cute, too.

She said: I feel like such a typical girl when I say this, but definitely Paris. The sights, the smells, the random men in their underwear splashing around in fountains. It’s just delightful.

4) If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

He said: This is a tough one, but I’d have to pick steak and lobster at a really nice steakhouse. You know, man food.

She said: Hands down, I would have a Tex-Mex feast. A little queso here, some sour cream chicken enchiladas there, and a nice margarita to wash it all down.

5)How do you pick the places you visit? Spontaneous vs. planned?

He said: A little bit of both. I like knowing what I’m doing but I like getting lost, too.

She said: I spontaneously let Bryan plan most things.

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Cancer, that bastard.

She said: Human trafficking, those bastards.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: Well, I was working until the 11th hour prior to a weekend jaunt to New Orleans. Apparently I was the cause of us not only almost missing our flight, but also our bags having to travel on a later one. Then I got food poisoning and my husband went to a vampire party without me. I’d say that was quite the travel adventure and fight. Oops!

He said: Fighting about the fight Laura just mentioned.

 

1000Fights: Wow!  This couple has spunk! Ok, lets get the obvious out of the way.  We know that they are likely the odds on fav for our Hot Blogger Contest.  Luci says that they are going to make beautiful babies…I am not really sure what that means.  Anyway.  H T & E are headed on a whirlwhind trip and we wish them the very best in their travels and adventure together.  As a parting shot, we want to share one of their recent tweets:

HTandE The DeLuca’s
30 minutes ’til our guests arrive, and my hubs and I just slow danced in our kitchen. #lovebirds
5:27 PM Aug 27th

Bryan and Laura-Come back and tell us when the fighting starts!

 

 

 

 

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Shhhh….Our Secrets to Discount VIP Travel

John and Yoko suite ams hilton

Image by 1000fights via Flickr

We thought we would let you in on a few of our VIP travel secrets…

Ask for the Moon

Have you ever asked for the Honeymoon Suite? It never hurts to ask.  Most hotel managers will tell you the premium suites are vacant most of the time. During shoulder seasons especially– just asking often opens the door to some really nice rooms. High inventory cities are also prone to willingness to upgrade you if it is an “off” weekend, or better yet a weekday.  “Large inventory” areas like Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Miami, Paris, ect are an easy target.

Getting an upgrade at a discounted rate can be cheaper than a standard room due to the amenities that come with. Upgraded rooms often have access to free: wifi, bottled water, hospitality rooms, ect.  Don’t ever expect to get upgraded…Grandma’s rules apply: a little bit a honey goes a long way.

Another place to ask for the upgrade is at the rental car desk. We have friends that always book economy and play the upgrade game at the desk. This approach can be risky if the desk is swamped, they are out of cars, or if you find “Mr. NO!” behind the counter. Always ask about your options.  Negotiate a price.  Most rental car companies put a ton of miles on the economy and mid-size cars. They need to put some miles on those Cadillacs and Audis.  For those that are a little fearful to ask: just say…”what else do you have?”

Trust me, those counter agents get asked all the time.

Book Early or Late

If you are catching the train to the airport then you might be able to afford to go first class if you book yourself a ticket early enough. Train and air lines often have early bird deals on their website, it might take a little bit more planning as they often require you to book your ticket some time in advance but it can be worth it if you get a first class ticket for negligible extra cost.

An old Chinese Proverb goes: Empty seats make no money.  Again, during certain times of the year the best seats on trains and planes go empty.  There is a load of websites out there that offer great bargains on last minute travel.  This is certainly not for the faint at heart.  For crazy planners like Luci and I, this option would never work.  The fact remains there are deals to be had on last minute travel.  Give it a try.

Airline Perks

The three words that strike fear and loathing to avid travelers: LONG LAY OVER.   They are the bane of our exsisitence.  How can you travel VIP if you have to sit in an airport lounge for hours on end?  Enter the airline club rooms.  Worth every penny for long layovers.  Food?  Yep.  Newspaper and popular mags?  Yep.  Comfy chairs?  Yep.  A little privacy?  Yep.

Back to rule one, why not just ask the desk, tell them that you have a long layover and do they ever offer discounted entry?  If you happen to be female, entry barriers seem to be lessened if you find a bored gate attendant.  They are often eager to help (wink).

Valet Airport Parking

We have found the way you start and end your trip make all the difference.  If you are driving to the airport then you have a think about  Airport Parking the options that are open to you.  If you don’t want the bog standard park and ride service then you might be able to find a good deal on valet parking or even treat yourself to the most VIP option which is a chauffeur service.  Valet parking can really add a touch of class to your journey as your own driver will meet you at the airport when you arrive, all you need to do is hand over your vehicle and your keys and they will take your car to a secure place for the duration of your stay.

On your return they will meet you when your flight arrives and have your car waiting for you right outside departures.  It truly is how the other half travels.  Prices are surprisingly affordable.

We hope these tips and tricks are helpful.  Do you have any secrets to getting the VIP experience?  Leave a comment below.

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