A trip with your significant other can lead to a lot of stress, especially if it’s your first trip together or a last-minute getaway. First, planning a vacation in and of itself can be daunting (finding a flight, securing a hotel, purchasing show or activity tickets, etc.).
Second, your trip (if early in the relationship) may also be the first occasion in which you spend a period of uninterrupted time with your significant other (meaning time that is not punctuated by work or going back to your respective apartments).
Vacations may have a big impact on your relationship. In fact, research has shown that vacation satisfaction can enhance couples’ relationship commitment and satisfaction (Durko & Petrick, 2016). Being that your first vacation together may impact the future of the relationship, it is very important to plan wisely. Below are some important tips for you to take into consideration as you plan.
Have an honest discussion about the type of trip you want
If your partner wants an action-packed vacation with little down time, whereas you prefer to spend hours lying the beach listening to music, you may be headed for trouble. You should compromise when it comes to selecting a location, being sure that the vacation spot you agree on offers options for both individuals. Choose a place that will allow you both to explore your interests at a pace that you can handle and still find relaxing.
It is important to do your research beforehand. Check out suggestions for the must-hit spots and decide if they are worth the potential wait and/or cost. Figure out the places where you want to eat, shops you need to visit, as well as the best sights to see. This will enable each person to have the experiences he/she wanted so there are no regrets.
Financial discussions are imperative to have prior to going on vacation. Who will be purchasing the plane/bus/boat tickets? Who will pay for the hotel? Are each of you going to pick certain vacation-related expenses, or will you be splitting the cost of each item down the middle? What about the cost of the activities you take part in while on vacation? It is important to discuss this beforehand, so you don’t wind up in an uncomfortable situation when a bill arrives.
Take a break from one another at times
Remember that being on vacation together does not mean that every moment must be spent as a pair. It’s important to have some alone time to recharge. You don’t need to physically separate and each retreat to a different location, but rather take a break from the joint activities. You may each choose to read a book by the pool or listen to music, giving yourself personal time.
When planning a vacation, it’s not only about the time spent together, but how the time is spent that matters. This means that planning and honest discussions must take place before you leave. While spontaneity may be fun and exciting for some, it’s best to avoid this for your first or last-minute getaway so you know that the vacation will be a positive and memorable experience for both individuals. Happy planning.
Reference: Durko, A. M., & Petrick, J. F. (2016). Travel as relationship therapy: Examining the effect of vacation satisfaction applied to the investment model. Journal of Travel Research, 55(7), 904-918.