Tag Archives | red eye

Prepare for Take-off: Long Flights With Your Significant Other

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.

flying couple

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.

Bring Distractions

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.

long haul 3

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.




Couple Travel: Red Eye Survival

Our best traveling fights have had one key ingredient: Lack of sleep.  The culprit?  The dreaded RED EYE.   We live in the western US, so our intercontinental flights almost always involve bivouacking in the “flying tube.”    While we are far from being “Red Eye Ninjas”…we have come up some sure fire solutions that make traveling on little sleep a little more sufferable as a couple.

Give me Some Space

lost manIt’s no secret that the fighting couple often takes different flights to the same destination.  Often this is out of necessity, as we may have sky points on different carriers.   With that said, we often elect to travel separate because we can’t stand sitting next to each other. Luci likes to talk to Mike. Mike likes to ignore Luci.  We end up fighting before we even leave the runway. So, we fly separate or elect not to sit by each other if we are on the same flight.

We treat complete strangers nicer than our spouse.   It is the truth!  Flying solo or at least separated might be best for all involved. The thought of being seatmates on our recent 16 hour flight from Johannesburg to Atlanta, Ga is a new definition of hell for us.  So Mike took a detour, made a stop in Paris and our marriage was saved.  Crisis adverted.  Typically, Mike flies with the heavy luggage, arrives two or three hours before Luci and meets her at the gate with a luggage trolley and a plan to exit the terminal.  Sweet huh?

But aren’t you two missing out on great conversation (fight) time in route?  Good question.  No, we don’t think so.  Airplanes have to be one of the worst places to discuss heady relationship concerns.  You really can’t face each other, and hearing each other is always a challenge over the roar of the Pratt and Whitneys.

What if one of the traveler’s flights is delayed or cancelled?  This actually happened to us on our recent trip to Thailand.  Luci’s connecting flight to her international flight out of Portland was nixed.  Stress!  But thanks to email, Mike found out, was able to adjust the plans and he spent a night solo in Bangkok…  Yes, delays and changes can occur.  They always do.  But candidly with flight service, delays and changes seldom extend longer than 24 hrs.  We typically add in some flex time at the front and back end of our journeys to accommodate iffy air service.  If being delayed a couple hours is the worst thing that happened on your trip, you are in good shape.

Plan to Make a Plan

We are planners.  We live by the adage:  Fail to plan-Plan to fail.  We do take it a little overboard.   Mike likes(see LOVES)  his excel spreadsheets! Set your clocks ahead to the destination time, and then lay off the caffeine if the sun isn’t shining in your last stop.  Plan ahead, you know that you have an 8 hour flight.  Make a plan of attack to survive.  Make your list:  one movie, 30 mins of reading and then shut eye.  Depending on which direction you are flying, you may want to sleep on the front or back end of the trip.

fighting coupleDivision of Labor

One of the best ways to avoid the Red Eye Fight is to agree in advance, when both parties are sane and sober, what each is going to be responsible for.   Have a conversation about what bags are going to who’s responsibility.    As we mentioned above, Mike is the muscle for the heavy baggage.  Luci on the other hand is the keeper of the camera and anything delicate ie art work, prints, ect.  Agree in advance who is carrying the passports and cash.  Working together always results in fewer travel fights.

Food and Water

One of the most underrated component of successful red eyeing is body fuel.  Grumpy will move into your relationship if either one has not eaten for long periods of time.  Pack some grub for the flight.  One of the challenges we have run into is landing at breakfast time, when our tummies are telling us it’s time for dinner.

Just a Little Patience

In the immortal words of the one of the greatest rock bands of all time Guns N’ Roses, “It takes a little patience.”  Again, follow the steps above, and build in some sleepy time at your destination before you hit the streets of Rome.    No fights make for happy travels!