Valentine’s Day is coming up and it got me all mushy thinking about how nice it can be to travel with a significant other. What’s better than sharing those awesome experiences with your best friend? But travel can be uncomfortable, stressful, and unpredictable, which can push individuals out of their comfort zones and test relationships.
That’s why, in the name of love and relationship harmony worldwide, I reached out to three traveling couples to get the inside scoop on how they make it work.
Krystal and Michael, wayward
Looking out for each other and being honest helps ensure we enjoy our time traveling together as a pair (and that we’ll still be dating by the time the next trip rolls around!).– Krystal, wayward
Michael and I have been dating since college – a little over ten years now. We began traveling several years after graduation, once we both felt comfortable in our jobs and secure with our finances. Although our favorite trips are the ones where we can travel internationally for two weeks at a time, our workplaces don’t allow for that to happen more than once a year.
To make up for that, we take a mini-break every month or two, flying to whatever destination has the best airfare and time-table. It’s not always to a top destination and it’s nearly always just to a city, but traveling this way has taken us to places we may not have considered before and we’re almost always pleasantly surprised. By choosing a destination based on its affordability we are able to reduce the stressors that money can cause, and it opens the door to conversations about what we can afford while we’re there.
We’ve learned the hard way that not being upfront with each other about our expectations for a trip can cause tension and frustration; the most important thing you can and should do with your partner
Once you are both on the same page, you can work together as a team to anticipate and address any hurdles as they arise. It’s also important to travel with someone you’re 100% comfortable spending so much time with, particularly in close quarters. Pay attention and learn what your significant other’s “dealbreakers” or pain points are ahead of time so you know what to avoid.
For example, Michael knows that I need a coffee before noon or else the whole day will literally fall apart and I know that he has a tendency to get seriously hangry if it’s been too long since our last meal. Looking out for each other and being honest helps ensure we enjoy our time traveling together as a pair (and that we’ll still be dating by the time the next trip rolls around!).
Olha and Anton, The Code Bus
– Olha, The Code Bus
Van life makes or breaks a relationship.
Anton and I have been friends for several years after being introduced by a mutual friend who loves travel even more than me. Anton had always dreamed about fixing up an old-school VW bus, so when he announced that his girlfriend Olha and him were making that dream a reality, we were all stoked and couldn’t wait to follow along on Instagram as they drove across North America and built websites to pay for gas.
Fast forward 2.5 years and now Anton and Olha are newlyweds with two dogs added to the family. Knowing that they spent an important part of their relationship traveling in a small bus together, I wanted to know what advice they had to share.
Olha says: “Make communication a priority to avoid frustrations and learn to be comfortable with each
Daphnée and Joe, Nomademoiselle
Having a baby will change the way you travel but it is just different, not worse.– Daphnée, Nomademoiselle
Technically Nomademoiselle is Daphnée’s handle, but these two are inseparable, so I’ll apply it to both of them. I met Joe and Daphnée through my job since they are both talented and well-respected professionals in the tech industry. But what makes them really interesting and perfect for this feature is that these two were both digital nomads, met and fell in love, and have gone off on a new adventure again, now with their infant son.
When I asked Daphnée about how her relationship was different as a digital nomad, one thing was clear, being nomadic was a major part of their story from day one. “Joe and I only know each other traveling full time, we never really had separate spaces, like our own flats in the beginning,” she says. “We didn’t have anything else to compare it to.“
She says when it comes to making travel plans, she tends to get the ball rolling because being decisive is in her personality. This makes a lot of sense since my own experience has been that planning a trip is more enjoyable if each person is playing to their strengths.
Now that they have a baby, their travels are considerably less risky, but they’re still just as keen on travel. In fact, they’re in South-East Asia right now. “I would say that having a baby changes the way you live anyway. So it will change the way you travel but it is just different not worse,” says Daphnée.
Their next stop
When I asked Daphnée for travel tips for other couples with children, she said having hired help has been a major bonus and more affordable than at home. “Actually, that reminds me,” says Daphnée. “I should book the nanny for Thursday night so Joe and I can go on