Traveling as a couple is rough! We have been a couple for over 15 years, and traveled to 25 plus countries on 5 continents. One thing that we have learned traveling over this time is that traveling together can be the best and worst. We thought that we would offer you some handy tips on how to travel together.
Traveling with a man-
“Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men.” -Joseph Conrad
Traveling with a man is truly a test of patience and will power. We want to arm you with some tactics that will make your next holiday much more enjoyable. So let’s start with the basics: Hunger.
1 Hunger-One of the intriguing features of male physiology is the constant need for…..food. In the bible of understanding all men aka: The Godfather note when big decisions need to be made…food is included ie “Leave the gun bring the cannoli.” A little known fact is that 61 scenes involve food. Why? Men need Man Fuel. It makes everything go much better. Those little mini-meals they serve on long haul flights? Not gonna cut it. Ladies in order to combat this challenge plan your meals. Make time for food! A little planning goes a long way.
2 Directions-Just like the pitiful scene of Napoleon at Waterloo or Lee at Appomattox, asking a man to hand over his sword and ask for directions is just as humiliating. Admitting defeat, even in the face of insurmountable odds, is next to impossible! Instead, might we suggest that if possible you approach by using rule number one. “Hey I am starving…is there anyway we could stop by this store/café and grab a quick bite?” (see rule #1) At the same time… this will give you a chance to inconspicuously ask for some pointers on where the heck you are. The invention of GPS has quite possibly single handedly saved our marriage. It is now a travel must.
Traveling with a Woman
“The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is ‘What does a woman want?” -Sigmund Freud
It’s all about the journey, not the destination. Men, for whatever reason have a “let’s get there attitude” when traveling and doing other things. As women, we tend to focus a little more on the path. Men: build in a little extra time into your schedules. Be flexible. Here’s an example from our recent trip to Venice which turned into another 1000 fights. We were driving from Triste, Italy to Venice. We were looking through tourist books and spotted an amazing castle cradling the bay outside of Triste. It wasn’t in our plan. Mike had an Excel spreadsheet that kept a strict schedule with everything we were to see that day and the castle wasn’t on the list. He didn’t even know about the castle. Of course Mike was like, “Gotta get on the road, got to see Venice, got to obey the spreadsheet.” After a fight that resulted in zero pictures of Mike and I together at the castle (in fact, Mike wouldn’t even take pictures of me-our friends were the photographers), we went to the castle. We ended up seeing one of the most incredible sites of our entire trip. Mike admitted he was wrong three weeks after the trip, and I have a few pictures of a fairy tale castle in Italy. Guys take the hint. Be flexible. Slow down a little and enjoy the ride!
A little more talk and a little less action
Talk. Women need to talk. We need to communicate. We need to discuss. Guys: a couple of different options for you. Some of you are talkers as well, so no problem. Some of you are good listeners, no problem. If you are neither or your name is Mike, a few ideas for you. Let your spouse known that you need some time to talk. You finally have some time together, and for women it’s all about communication. If you don’t know what to talk about, we suggest “The Book of If: Questions for the Games of Life and Love” by Evelyn McFarlane and James Saywell. On a four hour drive through Croatia, we found out a lot about each other. Like, “If you could fire someone from work, who would it be,” or “If you could relive one romantic date from high school just as it was, which would it be.” Some answers we had to plead the “fifth.” But overall, it’s a great way to get a conversation going.
Of course one of the most important part of a successful trip as a couple is the place. Why not try one of the Club Med all inclusive resorts? Sun, sand, and your sweetie what more do you need?
There they are, a few ideas to help you travel as a couple. So get out there and explore the world together!
Ha, I love your tip on distracting your man with food in order to secretly ask for directions. Genius!
I have no idea where this oft quoted stereotype came from of men being stubborn about asking directions. I can’t tell you how many arguments (conflicts?) my wife and I have gotten into because I was ticked off that she resisted me asking directions. I get so perturbed by running around aimlessly when you can just go up and ask someone. Maybe this is another part of the “just gotta get there” mentality of men. But “hand over his sword” and “humiliation”? PLEASE!!!
Ha – my husband and I travel together all the time, and we have had completely opposite experiences from you! I am the “spreadsheet” queen (I actually prefer to create itineraries on PowerPoint!) but I also am the experience junkie, and will deviate from the plan at a moment’s notice if I see something I want to check out. I don’t stop when I travel: sleep is optional. Joey, on the other hand, prefers to relax by the pool, chill out in a pub, etc. We rarely fight when we travel – I think I love him the most when I’m out of country! – but when we do, it is because he wants to rest and I want to see more stuff. And once when we forgot to bring enough money to pay our wedding photographer in Costa Rica…
I love your blog! I feel like we would be great couples traveling companions! ;) Check out mine as well: http://downthewrabbithole.blogspot.com
Haha, the “men need food” point made me laugh. As my husband can attest to, I’m the one in our relationship who turns crazy and crabby if I don’t get eat enough food. He now has a 15 minute rule. If we get into a city and I’m starving, he points to the first restaurant we see and says that is where we’re going to eat unless we find something better within 15 minutes. This resulted in us once eating Italian for our first meal in Bangkok, but it keeps the peace. :)