Now that we’re deep in the heart of these bone-chilling winter months, it’s only natural that our thoughts might turn to the allure of a warm vacation with a hot beloved. I’ve heard it said in a number of places, by a number of people, that you really don’t know how compatible you are with your partner until you travel together. It makes sense, right? Out of your comfort zone, lots of opportunity for things to go wrong, close quarters–it’s not exactly a recipe for Hollywood-perfect romance. But it still makes sense to plan as well as you can for your first vacation together to set yourself up to have great memories. Here’s how to do it:
#1. Don’t Skimp on Lodging
Unless you’re purposefully seeking out a rustic experience like camping under the stars or renting a cabin in the woods, make where you lay your head a priority. Cheap hotels where the water smells like sulfur and the bedding is threadbare may make for a funny story when you’re traveling with buds, but it’s a total romance killer when you’re with your partner. Do a little research on TripAdvisor or a similar site to make sure your accommodations are clean and comfortable.
#2. Split the Cost
Travel is expensive. There are very few of us who don’t have financial constraints while planning a trip. Make sure that you’re not going broke in an attempt to show your other half a good time. Unless this is a surprise trip or a gifted vacation, there’s no reason not to split the expenses for lodging, meals, and activities, cleanly down the middle. You can make sure you’re both on the same page by either having a direct conversation about it, or during the planning stages making it part of the discussion–“Here’s the hotel I was thinking we should stay at; the price is in my budget, does it work for you, too?”
#3. Plan Together
Half the fun of taking a trip is planning! Do it together. Figuring out what activities and sights are a priority will help you with things like setting a budget, or getting a rough idea of how much you’ll be doing each day. You don’t want to end up feeling like one person called all the shots. You certainly don’t need to plan every minute of your vacation but a rough outline of schedule will be invaluable to reducing stress and maximizing fun.
#4. Be Flexible
You will inevitably run into snafus. Flights delayed, car rental reservations lost, bad restaurants, unpredictable weather–let me just assure you now, you can count on one of these things happening. Roll with the punches. If it’s raining when you’re supposed to be touring the lush gardens of Savannah, head to a museum for the afternoon, hole up with room service, or try out the indoor pool at the hotel. There’s no sense in obsessing over what you can’t change so make the best of it and enjoy the company, regardless of the activity.
It’s ok if you loose an eye, you’re on vacation!
#5. Work in Surprises!
A couples’ massage on the beach, a delivery of champagne to the hotel room, a new carry-on bag given the night before the trip–who doesn’t love a sweet surprise from their partner? If you can swing it, plan something small and fun to sweep your sweetie off his feet. Happy and safe travels!