Your first trip together as a couple is a big deal. It can be amazing, but it puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. Are you really ready for it? By Eli Walton
Traveling together as a couple is a great way to become closer to each other. More than that, it can be fun, exciting, adventurous, and romantic. The question though, is when is it okay to embark on a holiday together?
Going too early in the relationship, when you’re still just getting to know each other, can be quite risky.
When you travel with your significant other, you will most likely spend 24 hours a day together. Just about everything you do, you do with each other. Sleeping, waking up, eating, activities, you are in each other’s presence around the clock. It is a true test of your relationship, and your commitment to each other, whether or not you can survive the trip without wanting to kill each other.
In the early days of a relationship, you’re still only just getting to know each other. There is an adjustment period where you’re still getting used to someone. You are learning to deal with their quirks, but if it suddenly becomes a constant, all night all day thing, it can be too much. Spending that much time together straight away means not having the adjustment period that most relationships need. [Read: 9 new relationship tips every couple should know]
The right time to travel together depends on the type of people you are, and the type of travel you plan on doing. No couple is the same as any other, and every travel itinerary is different. Read on to find out what’s best for your relationship.
What type of traveler are you?
In general, people who are naturally spontaneous will find it easier to travel together early on in a relationship. When travel just happens naturally, and the trip seems to plan itself, a couple will most likely enjoy themselves. People who travel this way tend to be easier going, and lower maintenance. When two of them travel together, they usually find it very easy to get along, even in the early days of their relationship.
But for the type of people who like to plan out their holidays long in advance, they should wait much longer before embarking on a trip together. If you are someone who likes to have everything planned, you are probably the type of person who doesn’t like many surprises on their holiday. You want to know what to expect with your trip, and what to expect from your significant other during your travels. If this sounds like you, then you should wait at least a few months before any long holidays together. [Read: 13 huge mistakes new couples make]
Of course, nothing is one or the other, and you might be anywhere in the middle of these two extremes. And it’s always possible that one partner in the relationship is the planning type while the other is the spontaneous traveler. You’ve got to find the balance for what will work in your relationship. Even more important than what kind of traveler you and your partner are, is what type of travel you intend to do.
A trial run
For most people, travel requires a significant investment of time and money. Time has to be taken off from work, transportation and hotels must be booked, and activities need to be planned. You certainly don’t want to ruin a two week holiday by fighting the whole time, or breaking up in the first couple days of the trip.
For this reason, usually the best trips for new relationships are the short ones. A weekend away will do, or maybe even a few days longer than that, but it’s best to keep it under four nights unless you’re absolutely sure. A short holiday together will let you feel each other out a bit more, and see how you do together when you spend your every waking and sleeping hour in each other’s company. [Read: 7 life lessons you can learn on a road trip]
While on holiday, even when there are no explicit arguments or fighting, sometimes the pressure of having to get along and enjoy yourselves can sabotage you. An issue that would otherwise not be a big deal, can, during your travels, blow up out of proportion. You’re always together, and you feel like you must enjoy yourselves every second. It can be a recipe for disaster. Keeping your trip short can alleviate this issue since you both know you’ll be home within a few days, and will be able to deal with your problems without the added pressure that traveling adds to the mix.
What to do…
Of course, the type of travel is as important as the length of the trip. You should obviously plan a trip that you’ll both enjoy. If you’re both nature lovers, then make sure you get out into the wild. If you’re more into nice restaurants and art galleries, then you should visit a city. No matter what though, try to set aside time to spend together passively.
What this means is time where you don’t actually have to do anything. This can be relaxing together, each with a good book, or just lounging about in your hotel room, or anything else where you don’t have any obligation to entertain one another. This can relieve a great deal of the pressure that is on new couples when they travel together, even if it’s just an hour or two per day.
Of course, it’s likely that this time won’t be needed. Two people newly in love may find they never run out of things to talk about, and never get tired of their partner’s company. But it’s a good idea to keep the option available, to spend passive time together. [Read: Could a sex vacation be the ideal trip for you?]
Forcing the issue
There is one scenario where you may want to ignore all of this advice and just dive right into travel at the start of your relationship. If you feel like now is the time for you to find the right person, and you can’t risk a relationship that will take a year or more to determine if your partner is the right fit for marriage, then a long trip together can help you find the answer.
For all the same reasons listed above that show how travel can be a risk to your new relationship, it can be a benefit if you just want to know right away if you’re a good fit. Being forced to spend every minute of every day together for a week or two can help you to determine if what you feel for each other is genuine, or merely a case of being caught up in the initial excitement of having just met someone.
The traveling couple
Travel is one of the greatest things you can do together as a couple. Experiencing a new place, culture, cuisine, or just something beautiful together can be so much more meaningful than if you each did it alone. But traveling can also mean stress, and that can put pressure on your relationship. If you’re not yet ready to travel together, you could prematurely ruin a potentially great relationship.