When traveling long term as a couple, it can be difficult to keep the romance alive. Heck, even on a two or three week backpacking trip with my partner I sometimes found it difficult to keep the flame burning. Especially on long travel days with delays or things not going as planned bickering is almost unavoidable. Budget accommodation can make it hard to feel romantic, and spending 24/7 with your partner can be exhausting (yes, I’ve said it).To make sure your relationship survives a trip together, here are my top five tips to keep the romance alive while traveling:
1 Make time for romance
No matter if that’s a dinner date, a bottle of wine shared while watching the sunset on a beach, or cuddling up with a movie in bed – it’s important to make time for romantic things on a trip. Otherwise, it can easily feel like you’re traveling with a buddy, not with your significant other. While on a trip, days tend to fill up with sightseeing, planning the next few days, booking accommodation and making travel arrangements (especially on long term trips) and maybe checking in with family and friends back home (or like in my case: checking work emails). How many times have I found myself at the end of the day just ready to crash, unable to even entertain the thought of ‘getting it on’. That’s why it is important to plan in time for romance from the get-go – otherwise quality time with your partner will get the short end of the stick.
2 Celebrate special occasions
Make sure to celebrate special occasions on your trip – your birthday, your partner’s birthday, your anniversary: don’t let these events slip or say ‘This trip is already our celebration!‘ If it’s your partner’s birthday, seek out a swanky restaurant in the city you’re in and surprise him or her with a candle light dinner. Even better: order flowers! Luckily, it’s easy enough these days to find flower delivery services online these days, no matter if you need a flower delivery in Melbourne or in Mexico City. And it doesn’t have to be a birthday – don’t forget about Valentine’s Day just because you’re traveling, or a special date you share.
3 Factor in the occasional splurge
This goes especially for long term travelers: you probably saved up for this trip for a really long time, and on a budget backpacking trip $50 can go a long way. Do, however, plan in the occasional splurge and don’t become super stingy with your money. It’s easy to get into this mindset of having to live on $50 or less a day to make your trip last as long as possible – but at what price? Treating yourself to a nice hotel every now and so often will not only do wonders for your relationship (it sure isn’t easy to get romantic in a cheapie room with an uncomfortable bed) but also for your sanity. Remind yourself that you aren’t actually poor .. just frugal. I can’t tell you how quickly I ‘get my sexy back’ in a fancy hotel room with a nice shower and a big, comfy bed with fresh crisp sheets.
4 Give yourself personal space
That’s a big one: All of a sudden you and your partner are spending 24/7 together! Think about your daily lives together – even if you live together, how much time do you really spend together? Probably not much between a 9-to-5, social obligations and work out sessions or other hobbies you pursue. I remember that before my partner and I left on our round-the-world trip together, I usually got home around 8 and was in bed by midnight. That’s barely four hours a day – except for weekends – and all of a sudden, I had to spend every waking hour with my partner! The loss of ‘me time’ and personal space will not go unnoticed in 95% of relationships, and I recommend planning separate activities regularly. For me, these can be photography walks, morning runs or simply enjoying a cup of coffee while journaling by myself. Doing things separately also gives you something to talk about when you reunite and it keeps things interesting.
5 Don’t forget to laugh
As I mentioned above: There will be times that are frustrating, that’s just unavoidable. Delayed trains, a 12-hour bus ride in an uncomfortable seat (or, if you’re really unlucky, next to the toilet..), the search for something to eat when you’re already beyond starving. There’ll be moments that will test your patience and moments when you get annoyed by something your partner says or does. In moments like that, don’t forget to laugh. I remember traveling with my partner in Thailand when it was impossible for me to find a place with decent wifi on the tiny island we were on and I felt how I became increasingly bitchy towards her, which in turn agitated her, and there we were, on a paradise island, bickering, instead of feeling lucky to be in such a gorgeous place. At some point, I luckily caught myself doing it and reminded myself that this was an annoyance beyond our control. I looked at her and started to laugh, gave each other a big hug and decided to spend the day on the beach instead of continuing this frustrating search for wifi. Here are some other unconventional tips on how to end an argument.
So no matter how short or long your trip is, make an effort to keep the romance alive, and your trip will be much more memorable for both of you.
Do you have any tips on how to keep the romance alive while traveling? Feel free to share them in the comments below!