The Beginner’s Guide to Traveling with your Significant Other

Imagine exploring new areas, romantic getaways, and always having your significant other to adventure with. Sounds like the dream, right? Running off together and exploring an unknown city or navigating through a country where you both are lost in translation. No one seems to mention how difficult it can be to travel with your significant other for a long period of time, or even on a vacation! You know, they always say you don’t know a person until you’ve traveled with them!

If you don’t believe me, take Bill Murray’s advice:

And if you need a bit more convincing, this is the beginner’s guide to traveling with your significant other. No matter if it’s your first time going on a weekend trip together, your first relationship, or maybe you both are starting to take things more seriously. Here are some tips for traveling with your other half, and making sure you both enjoy your trip and come out sane.

How to NOT drive each other insane:

  1. Separate responsibilities
    The easiest way to avoid arguments or becoming completely annoyed of each other? Designate responsibilities. If you like driving most of the time, designate your significant other to do a bit of research on directions and also have an idea of how to get to your destination. If you’re more of a packer, make sure to pack the essentials for you both (ie: beach towels, sunscreen, etc). Separating responsibilities won’t make one person feel like they’re doing all the leg work while the other person is reaping the vacation benefits! Planning a trip is a good amount of work, and when the responsibilities are equally divided, it makes both people a bit more excited for #baecation!
  2. Don’t play that Oh, I don’t care, you pickgame. Yes, you know what I’m talking about!
    The phrase that probably pisses off EVERY significant other. “Oh, I don’t care, you pick!” is not cute, it’s not fun, and it makes decision making absolutely terrible. Raise your hand if you’ve ever told your significant other that you didn’t care and that they could pick, only to turn down what they suggested because you weren’t “in the mood for that“. *ME! GUILTY!* I have a horrible habit of doing just this. My poor boyfriend is such a patient soul, bless his heart (and sanity)! While on a trip, no matter how tired or indifferent you both may feel, don’t play this game. One, it’s frustrating, and two, if you’re trying to decide where to eat for dinner and you’ve found yourself playing this game, y’all might as well order a pizza and stay in. Put in the effort to decide, TOGETHER. Give options! Y’all, if you got this far, you can decide. No, I won’t take your “anything is fine” answer, because we both know “anything” isn’t actually fine!
  3. Bring up the forbidden word: sex, I mean, MONEY.
    Remember that word that makes everyone cringe, hide, and/or cower in fear? The one that makes some of us break out into a cold sweat? Yeah, it ain’t sex, it’s money. Everyone has a different budget while traveling, and that goes for significant others as well! I am sure we all have our own idea of “balling hard” while on vacation. One person may think: cocktails, luxury rental cars, and the soft plushy towels and blankets of a five star hotel. The other person could be thinking: street food, beer, and short hot showers. While I’m sure if you’re dating, your travel styles can be similar, vacations together can bring out a whole different side to someone. Bring up the idea of money from the beginning. How will you two be paying for this trip? Are you splitting everything evenly? Is one person willing to pay more? Talk it out. It will save you the headache and the argument!
  4. Being a team
    One thing that is certain is that you both are a team. Traveling is only fun if you make it fun! It can also be frustrating, tiresome, and a pain in the butt. To make sure you’re not about to drive each other insane while on the trip, work together. For me, this means that my boyfriend and I are always willing to compromise. When roadtripping through Spain, I couldn’t drive at all. I have no idea how to drive a stick shift car, so my boyfriend drove the long hours while I navigated, packed snacks, and made sure we had everything we needed.
Beginner's Guide to Traveling with your Significant Other -- The Quirky Pineapple
Toledo, Spain

How to FALL IN LOVE with each other more:

  1. Although you might think this is an entire prolonged “date”, it’s not
    Who DOESN’T want to fall more in love with their partner while on vacation? Romantic, right? Sunset dinners or feeding each other grapes while laying on the beach, heck yes! One thing to keep in mind is that your vacation isn’t one long “date”. It’s an adventure! Just kidding, but not really. Just because you both will be spending most of your time together doesn’t mean that finding one nicer activity, to do together shouldn’t be included in the itinerary. This could be a nicer restaurant for dinner, snorkeling together, or even getting a couple’s massage! Switch it up, you’re in a new place, which means more spontaneity!
  2. Having alone time (*wink wink*)
    Before y’all get your mind in the gutter, I’m talking about time alone, from each other. Sometimes being in a new area, especially if you don’t speak the native language, can make frustrations rise. Also, spending a lot of time with one person can easily make you feel annoyed or bothered by small things. It’s ok to have alone time and relax in your own way. This could mean laying out with a good book by yourself, going on a walk, grabbing some food, etc. Taking a step away from each other and enjoying the new area on your own could be what you two needed! If you’ve been rolling your eyes at your significant other for more than half the day, it’s probably time to put this into action and take that alone time.
  3. Embracing the things you can’t control
    Let’s face it, no matter how hard we try, we can’t control everything. (That’s some solid life advice for y’all, not just travel advice!) Like I mentioned before, sometimes we all get a bit annoyed with our significant others. Or, we get annoyed at SOMETHING and take it out on our significant others. Again, bless my boyfriend and his patience, because I am not the easiest person to deal with. Things will definitely pop up while traveling, whether they’re pleasant or unwanted surprises. One thing I’ve experienced is embracing the things I couldn’t control. Like that one time my boyfriend and I didn’t even go out to eat dinner (two nights in a row!) because we were so pooped from roaming around the city. Or, that time I thought I had packed something, or asked my boyfriend to pack it *cough cough* and the item was never packed. Then I went into head on control freak mode and said our trip was ruined and blamed my boyfriend. Yes, don’t do that. Blaming each other is never going to work and only going to cause more problems. Embrace it, you’re in a new place with your boo – was that item really that important? And can it be bought at your nearest convenience store?
  4. Take the cutesy photos (just don’t bombard us with your #baecation on social media)
    As millennials we sure do love our social media. If you’re not tweeting it, posting it on Facebook Live, Instagramming it with #nofilter, or Snapping it – did it REALLY happen? Did that thrilling, romantic, and fairytale #baecation really happen if we didn’t feel every ounce of jealousy and FOMO that you wanted us to feel? Kidding, of course (kindof, I’m not salty). I’m all about taking photos and posting it to social media (hello, I am a blogger!); but as a person who truly believes in being all there in a moment, sometimes the social media can ruin the vacation. Take the photos, post the cutest ones that you love, but for the sake of all of your Facebook friends or Instagram followers, I don’t think we really need to see EVERY DRINK you had while laying on the beach with your toes in the sand and your hunny next to you. I think we get it after the first three photos that you’re living it up on vacation with your boo. Soak it up together, but this vacation is for you two, not the 500 followers you have on Snapchat or Instagram. Y’all, we don’t care that much. Ouch, do I sound salty or what?
Beginner's Guide to Traveling with your Significant Other -- The Quirky Pineapple
Chefchaouen, Morocco

Traveling with your significant other doesn’t need to be complicated. The real reason you decided to take your first trips together as a couple were to experience somewhere different, TOGETHER. That’s what it really comes down to!

(Watch me and the boo’s #baecation in the Algarve, Portugal! Subscribe to my channel here.)

Have you traveled with your significant other? What worked for you two? What didn’t? And if you have never traveled with your partner, fuck it, grab a bestie and these things can definitely be applied!

Never traveled with your significant other? Here's the beginner's guide to traveling with your significant other, for less headaches and more loving! -- The Quirky Pineapple
Pin it to win it, awh yeahhh!

Enjoyed this post? You might like these, too:
5 Questions to Ask Before You Travel with Someone
8 Tips for Traveling with a Political Mindset
How to be a Cultural Ambassador while Traveling
Finding Time for Travel

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30 thoughts on “The Beginner’s Guide to Traveling with your Significant Other”

  1. Thank you, Dave! (: I love your advice on recognizing if something or someone doesn’t make you happy, then it’s time to LEAVE. It is something that a lot of people struggle with, and something I can admit to struggling with as well. A significant other should not be someone that asks you or requires you to compromise your happiness just for the sake of the relationship. Not saying that all compromises are bad, but you know what I mean haha. Also, no need to tiptoe around people’s feelings here hahaha the saying goes “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!” although I’m not too sure how that applies to this comment hahaha

  2. Thank you, Céline! I think dividing responsibilities is a huge one, especially if one person can be better at something than the other!

  3. LOL THE SHADE hahaha! The “I don’t care, you pick” game is always the hardest. My boyfriend and I will always do that for what to eat, too!

  4. Omg! Now that is a story I would love to hear one day! (: That is so funny <33

    I completely agree with you. If you can travel the world or somewhere with someone, especially to a foreign country where you both don't speak the same language, and you come out still enjoying each other's company – you have found a keeper!

  5. Hahaha YES! Share away! Sometimes I can see myself doing the same, where I kindof hang back and let my boyfriend do most of the planning because he is the one that knows the area better – but, he’s never shy in asking (or telling lol) me to help him. It actually ends up being a lot more fun when we plan a trip together (:

  6. It really isn’t easy sometimes, and traveling with my partner was a learning process. You’re very right about it bringing you closer, together, and much more understanding and compromising. Hahaha – yet! Although I’m sure you both have worked out a great system and can understand each other’s roles!

  7. Yay! Thank you, Bri! (: That’s really all it comes down to, being open with one another and sharing responsibilities and expectations about budget!

  8. That’s a good one! I also like going in and having a loose idea of how much I want to spend and how much I will set aside for any purchases I didn’t plan for. It helps calm me!

  9. There definitely are some real stresses that you both can’t anticipate until it happens! Traveling always LOOKS glamorous, but sometimes when the hotel is weird and doesn’t have any hot water, your significant other will see you at your worst hahaha

    And thank you! (: I also love your blog!!

  10. Definitely! My boyfriend is my favorite travel partner, and my patience has also been tried and tested while we travel together haha it has taught me to be more patient and less petty hahaha

  11. Haha that happened with my boyfriend and I! You can learn so much after traveling with someone!

  12. hahah I love this post! The you pick game always means I’m picking we should be doing, lol! You give some great tips! I really enjoyed reading this Cassandra!

  13. I’m lucky because my better half leaves most of the decisions to me whenever it comes to travel planning. He just need to tell me his objectives and I’ll fit them into our trip altogether.

  14. Still loving the couple’s focus of your writing Cassandra..and you’ve got some solid advice for other traveling couples, especially the compromising money situation. That can become a pretty tense thing if it isn’t approached appropriately for both sides. After traveling with a few romantic partners (but mostly solo over the years), the best thing I’ve learned for myself is to recognize when something or someone doesn’t make me happy, it’s time to BAIL. It’s a hard truth to face, but I have this belief that most people are happier on their own than with someone who’s list of compromises impedes your happiness. Ouch, hope that doesn’t hurt anyone who reads it but I think there’s a lot of truth to it!

  15. Love the honesty of this post ! My husband is my favorite travel partner and it is not always easy for sure. I can relate to so many things that you said. Dividing the responsibilities is a great tip – I always think that makes things run smoother when we both know what we should be in charge of.

  16. 100% accurate! My husband and I used to fight every time we travel but it’s gotten to the point where we don’t argue any more… only took 5 years lol. I think we have the responsibilities evenly distributed down to a tee- but we’re still guilty of paying the “I don’t care, you pick” game when it comes to food lol. We love traveling together and wouldn’t go anywhere without each other!

  17. This is great! I actually unintentionally took Bill Murray’s advice after proposing a trip together to Italy with a cute almost-stranger. 3 years later, we’re about to get married. I swear, traveling with someone is one of the best ways to get to know someone and if they can put up with all your quirks, you’ll have found a keeper.

  18. I need to send this post to my hubby. Whenever we’re on vacation, I feel like I’m always the one doing the planning, being the guide, being the person who control how much we spend. And that is overwhelming. We definitely need to share the workload (ya traveling is a lot of work!) so that I can breath again and not hate traveling together!

  19. Hi Cassandra! Travelling with your partner, some people say it’s not easy, but we actually love it! It brought us closer, together, more accepting, compromising more often and definitely being a GREAT team. I wouldn’t imagining travelling without Thomas now, unless was to stay with family. Our friends and family were shocked to know that we have not killed each other…yet! hahahah

    Telma @ Blank Canvas Voyage

  20. I love the honesty! My fiance is my favorite travel partner and we’ve been very lucky to not butt heads that much while on trips, probably because we’re very open about our budget and responsibilities. Great tips!
    Also – definitely returning to your blog soon!

  21. Love the honesty of this post!! I especially related to the note on embracing the things you can’t control – definitely something I’m working on! Traveling together can look so glamorous but there are real stress and sometimes you gotta roll with the punches 🙂

    p.s. this is my first visit to The Quirky Pineapple but it won’t be my last! I’m obsessed!!

  22. I can relate to so many things that you said. Having your own me time, not saying you choose… Those are the main big ones I guess. There is no better experience than traveling with your significant other but it can show you where you need to be more patient too!

  23. oh this made me laugh. We travel as a couple and fastly worked out what does and doesnt work for us! So many people have issues and things turn nasty quite fast.

  24. Definitely. I think if we both took things on by ourselves one person would feel upset because the other wasn’t putting in the same amount of work, or if something was forgotten then the blame game starts haha

  25. Haha that’s so funny! My friends and I also do the same where we try to tell someone to decide because we can’t. Also, checked out the other article and she is pretty spot on!

  26. I so agree with this! I travel with my husband, but also occasionally by myself when he’s working. It’s such a different experience, and it takes me a second to get back in the groove of thinking about another person. Dividing the responsibilities is a great tip – I always think that makes things run smoother when we both know our strengths and what we should be in charge of.

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