Taking a vacation with a date may seem like a great idea, but it can also be the quickest way to find out everything that you hate about someone. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, but you should consider a few things before you take a trip with someone you’re romantically involved with.
Here are 10 tips to keep your wits (and relationship) intact while traveling with a date.
10. Don’t complain.
Whining doesn’t look good on anyone, and whining while confined with someone else for an extended amount of time is particularly unflattering. Your date knows that the plane seat is uncomfortable or that the car ride is too bumpy. Your significant other realizes that the food seems overpriced and people keep looking at you like you’re a tourist. What if you just kept minor complaints to yourself for a while (like the whole trip)? That would be a novel concept.
9. Carry your own luggage.
If you can’t carry two duffel bags, a backpack, a 45-pound rolling suitcase, and a carry-on, maybe you can get away with bringing half as much stuff. Nothing screams annoying and high maintenance like having to carry someone else’s bags. So do your best to only bring what you can carry throughout your trip. A significant other doesn’t mean you have a permanent bellhop.
8. Understand your date’s expectations.
When going on a trip somewhere (particularly to another country), there are a few different schools of thought. Some people are going to want to do every touristy thing there is to do and see every postcard-like sight in the area, while others might want to eat their way through the region or hit every historically/culturally/musically significant place in town. If you already know what your partner wants to do before you go, you’ll be a lot less disappointed when they want to skip over seeing Oscar Wilde’s grave to get up close and personal with the Eiffel Tower.
7. Do one thing every day for your date.
It’s easy to get caught up with making yourself happy when you’re on vacation. You didn’t go on vacation to worry about other people, you went to escape the daily grind and responsibilities of the real world. That said, if you take a couple minutes out of your day to make sure your partner has at least one good thing happen for them on a daily basis (make them a snack, give them a back rub, go to something they want to go to, etc.), everyone will be happier. Really, this is one of those things that you should be doing on vacation or not.
6. Let minor arguments go.
You’re going to be dealing with a lot of each other while exploring new lands, so it’s best if you can just let all of those minor arguments you might have at home fall by the wayside. Normally, a small disagreement can be diffused by going into separate rooms. When you’re on a cruise ship/airplane/road trip, there isn’t a spare bedroom for one of you to hide out in until the tension passes, so every little argument can become exponentially more intense.
5. Know your date’s pet peeves.
Does your boyfriend hate when you smack your gums? Don’t do it. Does cracking your knuckles drive your wife insane? Don’t do it. If you know your partner has a thing about picking up loose articles of clothing, try to keep all of your swimsuits in order during your week in Hawaii. You wouldn’t want your date (knowingly or unknowingly) ruining your vacation with a few of the things that make them tick, and if you don’t know what they are, you can’t avoid them.
4. Have set plans.
For all of those times when dinner comes down to “I don’t know, what do you want to eat?” over and over again, the entire situation can be resolved just by planning ahead. The same goes for vacation, but it’s even more important. Deciding which restaurant to order from is a whole lot easier when it’s in your hometown, rather than a foreign country. You don’t need a full itinerary before your trip, but at least have a basic outline of what you want to do while you’re out there.
3. Leave previous drama at home.
One of the best things about traveling to a new place is being able to (at least temporarily) leave your problems at home behind. Just because you got into it with your partner on your way out of the door doesn’t mean you have to carry it with you all trip. You can go back to arguing about whose turn it is to take out the trash or whether the dog is allowed on the bed when you get home. Don’t let the problems of your daily life infiltrate your enjoyment of the Vatican or Carnival.
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2. Compromise instead of arguing.
So you want to go explore the cemetery but your date wants to walk down the most expensive shopping street in the city? Maybe you can split your day in half. Eat what one of you wants for lunch and what the other wants for dinner. Go to a bar one night and out in the wilderness the next. Splitting your perfect vacation with someone you like (at least a little) is going to be way better than doing what you want to do but with a miserable traveling partner.
1. Spend some time apart from each other.
In your daily life, you’re probably not spending every second of every day with your significant other, no matter how serious the relationship is. When traveling, you’re going to be spending a lot more time with your partner (and likely very few other people). You don’t need to necessarily schedule time apart from your date, but make sure there’s at least an hour or two each day when you can each be doing your own thing, preferably in separate rooms. It’ll make you hate each other a lot less by the end of your trip.