Traveling to a new part of the world can be an exciting experience, and a great way for couples to use a shared event to increase their affection towards one another. Unfortunately, traveling often comes with a lot of stress factors, and these can easily double when traveling with someone else. If you’d like to keep both of your stress levels to a minimum during your next vacation, below are some tips therapists recommend you attempt before and throughout your trip.
1. Set a Budget Before Leaving
Few things cause anxiety and unnecessary fighting the way money does. To avoid arguing over who can buy what, or how you should spend your time during your travels, set a fixed budget. This should include more than travel and lodging expenses, but also meals, souvenirs, activities, and any extra spending money the each of you are allotted.
Plan how much each of you will pitch in so there is no last-minute penny pitching or splitting bills at every meal, which can become tedious and create tension. You should also consider who will be responsible for which expenses and split it in a way that removes money tension. Also, remember to round all of your expenses to avoid spending other funds.
2. Agree on Travel Standards
Although some people have zero preferences on the hotel—or lack thereof—where they stay, others have a more specific taste. Therapists suggest discussing what each of you prefer before looking at hotels or transportation, so you can save up for the appropriate way to travel that leaves you both comfortable.
3. Leave Some Free Time
A vacation is supposed to be relaxing. Many couples forget this, and try to pack in every hour of their day with activities. It’s ok to have some free time, and actually, you’ll probably enjoy your trip way more if you don’t feel like you’ve been exhausted for all of it. It’s also incredibly important that you leave plenty of time for sleeping and eating, as a deprivation of either can cause you to become cranky.
4. Plan According to Your Strengths
If you are in a relationship, one person shouldn’t have to plan and do everything regarding travel plans. If you are better at researching local activities and organizing, then you should be in charge of scheduling your days. However, if your spouse is better at the finances, they should create the way your budget flows for each day that you’re out of town. Working to your unique strengths wil allow you to help each other. Plus, your trip will be better spent overall. However, just remember that although one person was in charge of a specific task doesn’t mean the other shouldn’t have a say in the final plans.
5. Feel Free to Do Stuff Alone
After spending numerous hours in a car or plane, anyone can get a bit stressed out or annoyed with their spouse. Spending a few hours decompressing away from one another will help you both be in a better mood later on. Also, don’t feel pressured to do something you have no interest in or force your spouse to do the same. You might be able to better appreciate your trip by doing one or two activities on your own. Then you can meet up and do something you’ll both enjoy. This way no one is frustrated, and you’re both having a good time.
*Image: Igor Ovsyannykov via Unsplash