Four tips for travelling with your partner (or, how to not kill your travel buddy)

how to not kill your travel partner nzmuse

I’m not gonna lie. Sometimes T drives me around the bend, and vice versa.

Travelling with a partner is a double edged sword. Travelling alone means no compromising, but conversely, no one to share the experience with. Travelling with someone else flips that equation on its head – and sometimes that’s a real challenge.

Accept your different travel styles

Learn what they are and how to work with them. T always needs entertainment, especially on journeys. I zombie out, watch the scenery, and doze.

One of you will no doubt be the one who comments on everything that’s different from home, and who struggles to adapt. Try your best to shrug off that lens, accept the local customs, and understand how the culture might be shaped by historic, social, and economic forces.

Take turns being sick

Take turns tucking each other in, hogging the toilet, going out to pick up food or in search of Gatorade/Revive.

Cultivate normalcy

Take breaks from sightseeing. Find a routine of some sort. Sleep in. Watch the latest Game of Thrones or a cheesy old movie.

Be patient

Most of all, make allowances. When you’re sweaty, sleep-deprived and starving, be kind to one another. Learn when to bite your tongue and when to be accommodating.

Got any more to add to the list?


17 thoughts on “Four tips for travelling with your partner (or, how to not kill your travel buddy)

  1. Great suggestions :-)

    My partner and I just got back from a one month trip to India. I’m definitely the zombie-out-while-travelling type, while Callum couldn’t step on a train without an episode of The Daily Show, an audiobook, a few games and whathaveyou.

    We also took turns being sick–worked out quite well actually!

    A few more things:

    –Take turns doing the responsible stuff (booking tickets, hotels, paying the bill, getting permits etc.) — At home I do 80% of the responsible stuff and I enjoy doing it. So I thought I would enjoy doing it while we were away as well. Not so. Sometimes it was just nice to send my partner off with instructions to buy us bus tickets to the next city.

    –Have alone time — Super important for me (an introvert). Though sometimes my alone time consisted of me going shopping alone. Callum doesn’t have much shopping stamina (especially in the heat), so it was nice to go out and wander and look at things in shops without having to worry about someone else getting hot and bothered and cranky.

    That’s my input :-)

  2. Like I mentioned on Twitter, splurge on some comforts you’re used to every now and then. Travel, heat and frugal meals makes people grumpy.

    On a side note, I think T looks rather red in the pic. I hope you guys have strong sunscreen!

  3. Traveling is all about compromise! I cannot imagine I want to hit the shops everywhere I go, but my wife loves it. It is one of the reasons, we travel with friends, the guys can hang out at a cafe vs. be dragged to every shop. The funny thing is very little is actually bought so it is a lot of window shopping.

  4. Travelling with a partner can be really great but kind of tricky, for sure! I think cultivating normalcy is a big deal – one of my friends travels with her favourite mug everywhere so she can have tea in something that’s familiar and routine.
    Accepting each other’s differences is a big deal too. I know when I traveled to Europe to see my best friend and see some of the sights, we had to give each other space to do our thing. Sometimes we did things separately. Anyway, good tips and congrats on not killing each other on your overseas adventures! ;-)

  5. …and when you do slip up and let fly with the caustic comments or burst of anger, be sure to apologize truly and well. It’s bound to happen at some point to BOTH of you, so be understanding when it happens to you!

  6. SPACE. Take a day (or even a couple of hours) every week or so where each of you can do your own thing, away from one another. I also always stayed up a little later or got up a little earlier than my travel partners so I could have me-time to write in my ravel journal or just have a cup of tea alone. I’m a huge introvert, though.

  7. I think your last point is one of the most important – when tired and irritated its easy to snap at one another, but you just gotta learn to be nice :)

  8. Lol, take turns being sick. I don’t travel very often but when I do and it’s with other people I tend to keep my expectations low for the trip and usually that helps. The important thing is to remember to respect each other and make the best of the situation :)

  9. Spend some money when necessary. I often joke that H and I wouldn’t have made it if we hadn’t shelled out for a GPS in Italy…I’m a terrible navigator, and Italian roads are awful! The extra €50 or so can be so worth it.

  10. In this area, it is I who needs a lot of patience. Lol. I look forward to traveling but there’s something about it that makes me lose my temper sometimes. Good tips. I just need to apply it next time we travel.

  11. Having some alone time is essential. We traveled for most of the past two years and some days we would just get to the hotel and not speak to each other until the next day. One would go for a walk, the other enjoy the hotel, or we would read alone. It is nice to share but not 24/7

  12. Love this post. I like to travel alone but when I do travel with my boyfriend it’s always a nice vacation. We don’t really like to do the same activities when travelling but sometimes it’s nice to get out of my coomfort zone.

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