Your first vacation as a couple is a special event. You could just go for it and hope your relationship carries you through or you can take note of some tips for your first vacation as a couple. The first time you go away together comes with a set of challenges – especially if you don’t live together. This may be the first time you are spending 24/7 with each other. That can be a scary prospect. There’s no harm in taking note of some tips for your first vacation as a couple. It’s so much better if you look forward to your trip with excitement that isn’t tinged with trepidation about the new experience.
Before going on your first vacation as a couple, try a weekend getaway on for size. Try a short flight to a nice hotel on neutral ground. Take notice if you have different expectations about what a vacation should be, and if you get on each other’s nerves. While you may be very compatible on other levels, travel can be very stressful and seeing how you get along on shorter trips can indicate how you might handle being together for longer periods.
Don’t make your vacation more of a chore than a relaxing time off. Stay away from rigid schedules, and leave time to take advantages of opportunities that pop up to do fun things you didn’t expect. Although some planning is great - after all, you wouldn’t want to miss some of the big attractions of the area, especially if you’re visiting for the first time. The goal of your first trip together should be getting to know each other. Don’t mimic the stress of everyday life by planning too strictly.
Unexpected things are going to happen, and how you deal with them may be an indicator of your compatibility. Learn to compromise by planning activities around each person’s interests. If the unexpected pops up, like getting a flat tire on a rental car or losing the luggage, take note of how you handle it. Do you roll with the punches and laugh it off, or do you blame and point fingers? Do you always see if you can work together as a team?
Be sure your vacation suits the both of you. If one of you loves golf and the other loves sightseeing, don’t book a week’s stay at a golf resort. Don’t pretend to enjoy a destination that you don’t; it sets a bad precedent for your relationship. Learn to compromise and run things before each other beforehand, and decide destinations and places to stay collectively rather than individually.
One of the biggest reasons for separation is money. Learn to deal with these early in the relationship, even on vacation. Discuss if one person will pay for the trip, or if you’ll be splitting the bill. Don’t pressure someone who earns significantly less to go beyond their fiscal means. Neither party should feel like they “owe” the other something. If one person is carrying more of the expenses, discuss how you each feel about that. If one person enters the vacation thinking “let’s share everything,” and the other enters it saying “my money is mine,” you’re likely to end up not enjoying the vacation.
Some people view vacation as a time as time to lay back walk on the beach and relax. Others view it as a chance to see everything they’ve wanted to see, all within a span of 2 weeks. Some prefer arriving early to destinations, while others like to arrive at the last minute. Some don’t like flying, some hate road trips. Take time to understand each other’s travel expectations and try to accommodate each other’s styles.
Just because you vacation together doesn’t mean you need to spend every single moment together. Maybe one half is used to taking a walk every morning by themselves while the other lazes around catching up on morning TV. Maybe one likes golf and the other wants to shop. Have your own adventure and make an appointment to meet each other later on to discuss each one’s day!
Don’t get caught up in the romance of the moment and get tempted to propose. This is a time to get to know each other, not to form a permanent commitment, at least not yet. It’s not a good idea to get drunk, because no one really enjoys themselves the morning after when they don’t remember clearly what they did the night before.
You’re going to learn a lot about each other. Some of that stuff might be less than stellar. Give yourselves a couple of days to decide if the vacation strengthened your bond, gave you some insights about your partner, or if it was a complete bust. Discuss your vacation with your partner, and work though any difficulties together.
Your first vacation as a couple is a very special occasion. I hope you enjoy it and it makes your relationship stronger. Are you planning your first trip together?
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