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Travelling as a couple

While travelling as a couple can be a life-enhancing experience, it sometimes comes with a lot of challenges. It can be a real test for some lovers, like having a kid or investing in a house together. So, how can you pass this test without putting your relationship on the line? In this article, which you should totally read with your partner, we’ll give you some tips and ideas on how to find the best way to travel together.

Our survey

We carried out a large survey between 4th and 9th February 2021 amongst 1,416 long-term travellers. We asked them numerous questions about how they experienced their trip as a couple and what effect it had on their relationship. We’ve written this article and created a huge infographic based on their responses, advice and comments. Learn more about our methodology

Infographie voyager en couple (loin et longtemps)

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So you’ve decided to go travelling with a burning desire to discover the world’s treasures, other cultures, other countries and breathtaking places. When the time comes, the idea of experiencing this with another person offers a different dimension; one that’s more intense, more real. In a relationship, this is all the more true, as you get to share the moment with the person who means the most to you.

You’re discovering and sharing incredible moments together that’ll be etched into your memory forever. You can discuss, exchange and talk about everything you’re going through with someone who knows you. Without necessarily feeling the same things, being heard and understood makes moments like these even more special and enjoyable.

According to our survey, women attach more importance to memories and connections created by these shared moments than men do.

Travelling couple holding hands at the top of a volcano

Photo: G&A – Our Steps Forward

Support each other

Sharing the good times together is great, but having someone who you can count on on the bad days is a real bonus.

During a long trip, as incredible as the adventure may be, you’ll also have some down moments: tiredness, homesickness, missing your close ones, deep culture shock, and so on. If you’re in a slump, your partner knows how to find the right words to cheer you up and remind you of all the positive reasons that pushed you to go on this trip. If you’re struggling, you know you have someone by your side and, often, you find the best solutions together. If stress prevents you from thinking, the other is there to calm you down and help you overcome your fears, or simply take over when it all gets a bit too much.

If you fall ill, they’ll take care of you and do whatever it takes to make you feel better. Even if it just means going to buy some rice, a banana and a can of coke when traveller’s diarrhoea rears its head, it means a lot.

Travelling can also get quite overwhelming, as you’re constantly discovering new things. However, amidst this ongoing state of discovery, your other half is a precious and familiar face, and you can seek comfort in them whenever you need to. There’s nothing better than keeping calm in the face of adversity.

According to our survey, couples who’d been together for more than 10 years at the time of the trip were less likely than more recent couples to mention support as a benefit of their trip together. It’s maybe more obvious and less visible, but still very much there.

Feel safe

A travelling couple stands on a hanging rock

By your side, nothing bad can happen to me

Photo: Coco & Gege – Eurasia together

When travelling, being with someone else makes you feel safer. You’re in fact less vulnerable as a pair. In our article on safety whilst travelling, we found that 9% of solo travellers were victims of assault (theft with threat or violence) compared to only 3% of couples travelling together.

According to our survey on travelling as a couple, women are far more aware of this aspect of travel than men are. They told us that they felt reassured to have someone by their side in countries that are considered dangerous or in certain situations, like hitchhiking. It also allowed them to avoid being heavily hit on or the target of intrusive staring.

Unfortunately, this feeling is justified when we know that 10% of solo female travellers have stated that they were victims of street and transport harassment, whereas this “only” concerns 4% of women who travel with a partner.

Save money

Travelling as a couple allows you to share certain costs.

Accommodation is the main expense area where you’ll make the most savings in comparison to a solo traveller. In Asia, for example, accommodation in dorms is rare. Solo travellers typically have to pay for a double room all to themselves, unless they’re sharing it with another traveller. Couples, on the other hand, share the price of a room. Elsewhere, a double room costs as much as (or even less than) two beds in a dorm and you’ll get more comfort and privacy.

You’ll also save on private transport. You’ll share car hire, whereas a solo traveller will have to find travel buddies if they want to keep costs down. If you hire a motorbike or a scooter, just imagine yourselves gripping on to one another, your hair blowing in the wind (under a helmet, of course): it’s pretty romantic… and more cost-effective! The same goes for a taxi ride, which is much more reasonably priced when it’s shared.

In the same way, if you rent a guide, you won’t pay twice. Electronic equipment (camera, computer, etc.) is also part of split expenses.

According to our survey, cost-sharing expenses is an advantage that was mostly mentioned amongst travellers and couples under 35. It’s true that their budget is generally tighter.

Avoid loneliness

If you travel as a couple, you always have someone around you who knows and understands you. Moments of solitude are the ones you choose, and they’re certainly not to be endured.

As a couple, you can choose to go and get lost in a wild area, faraway from any human life, and you’ll still be protected from feelings of loneliness. What’s more, you (usually) have a special bond, so you’re not in danger of getting bored. On the other side of the world, these intimate moments, like laughing with your partner until your stomachs and cheeks hurt, are so precious.

According to our survey, men were more likely than women to cite not feeling alone as a benefit of travelling as a couple.

A travelling couple alone in the middle of the desert

Being alone, but together 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

Photo: Maud & Larry

Go beyond your limits

Travelling couple at the mountain top

Together we can go higher 🔝

Photo: Foxes Odyssey – Geoffrey & Manon

On a trip, whether it’s conscious or not, everyone sets themselves their own goals: discover new things, do new activities, meet new people or make an effort. When you travel as a couple, you need to agree on what you really want to do. You’re therefore led to do things that you’d never even dreamed of!

Perhaps you’d never have reached that summit, discovered the joys of diving, or met John if your partner hadn’t been there. Naturally, you enrich the other’s experience and vice versa.

Lots of travellers told us that they would probably never have embarked on such a long journey, so far away, if they’d been alone. It’s much easier to be daring when you’re with someone else.

Work as a team

As a couple, during your trip, there are two of you there to think and analyse when a new or unexpected situation arises. It’s not necessarily easier to make decisions, but you don’t bear the responsibility alone. You share your experiences, knowledge and skills to find the best solution.

You can rely on the other in areas you have less command of (foreign languages, general organisation, administrative procedures, photography, and so on).

On a day-to-day basis, you distribute tasks depending on your preferences and abilities. You can also take turns in the organisational department when one of you needs to take a breather. Flexibility and complementarity: together, we’re stronger!

Break the routine

When you travel with a partner, not only do you step out of your own comfort zone, but also that of your couple. You break the dreaded daily routine: tube-work-groceries-housework-bed.

You have time for your relationship, to discover or rediscover each other again, and experience extraordinary adventures together. The constraints and obligations of daily life seem far, far away. So you feel less pressure and happier.

You treat yourself to a romantic break. It’s time to relax, enjoy and explore, all with the person you love.

According to our survey, couples who’d been together for more than 10 years appreciated having time together, more than more recent couples.

Connect with people more easily

It can be easier for you to go up to the locals, as the image you give as a couple is more reassuring, although this does depend on the country you’re in and the culture. Nonetheless, two loved-up foreigners are “cuter” than a solo backpacker. This is even more true if you travel with kids.

Beyond meeting locals, when you hitchhike, people are more likely to trust in and sympathise with you, and are therefore more likely to stop.

This is obviously only a tendency and it’s up to you to take advantage of it.

In our survey, more men than women mention this advantage of travelling as a couple.

A travelling couple hitchhike

Who wouldn’t stop to help two lovebirds?

Photo: 525 Around the World

Split your equipment

All the content of a RTW traveller backpack

“Honeyyyyy, I don’t suppose there’s a little room left in your bag?”

Photo: Bretzels in Asia

In your bag, you’ll carry some shared equipment (electronic gear, tent, camping stove, toiletry bag, etc.). You can split them between your two bags which makes them lighter. Of course, a solo traveller has to make more sacrifices than a couple with regards to what they bring, or be alright with lugging a heavier bag around. If you’ve ever lived out of your backpack, you know that every gram counts!

Travellers also usually distribute the weight according to their build. Guys typically carry slightly fuller backpacks than girls. So, thanks guys 😉

When you move around during your trip (especially by plane), you can mix the contents of your bags. So, if one of the pieces of luggage gets lost, nobody is left empty-handed on arrival. In the same way, you can entrust some of your important documents to the other. You’ll therefore feel safer and calmer when travelling.

...or for worse

Socially limiting

A travelling couple in a glass capsule suspended 1,200 feet up a mountainside

In your own lovely little bubble, why would you leave it?

Photo: Easy bliebe – Linda & Kevin

When you travel as a couple, you’ll seek all the comfort, reassurance and social interaction you need from your partner. In this framework, the two of you together recreate a kind of comfort zone and your couple is socially self-sufficient. You naturally make less of an effort to engage with fellow travellers and locals.

So, you run the risk of closing yourself off in your relationship and miss out on meeting great people. Unlike you, solo travellers who want to maintain a social life are forced to reach out to others.

What’s more, sleeping in a double room and / or in a hotel limits social interactions in comparison to travellers who spend the night in a dorm. Even if you stay in a hostel, other backpackers might find it harder to approach you, for fear of bothering you. As a consequence, you’ll mainly meet other couples who’re travelling together.

According to our survey, meeting fewer people mostly bothers travellers under 35.

Couple overload

In a romantic relationship, you rarely spend 100% of the time with your significant other. Work, sports, hobbies, drinks with friends and family meals set a kind of rhythm in a couple’s daily life. You see other loved ones and have some “you” time without necessarily having to justify yourself.

When you travel as a couple, you don’t have this outlet, this break, this escape. Your partner plays the role of the friend, the lover, the confidant… Some people love having this “all-in-one”, whereas others find that it isn’t always that easy to live with.

Also, given that you’re together 24/7, it’s pretty difficult to find time for yourself and your emotions. You may feel suffocated or even get tired of each other, and then it’s difficult to manage your intimate relationship.

Lack of privacy

If you’re constantly around someone, certain traits and habits are going to become a lot more obvious. Whether it’s picking your nose 👃, being noisy in the bathroom 💩, giving off unwanted odours 💨, be prepared to have everything out in the open. Inevitably, with a lack of privacy, you may lose a bit of your charm or glamour.

A travelling couple with their van

Travelling in a van is great, but the space is limited

Photo: Marie & Tristan – Where are we going

What about your sex life?

When you set off on a hike for several days and your hygiene leaves something to be desired, or when you regularly sleep in a dorm or you travel with kids, it can be hard for a couple to make time for romance and intimacy. And, when the time arises, it’s not always the most convenient.

However, based on our survey, most couple’s sex life didn’t change. It even got better for one in five couples. Those who thought it wasn’t as good during the trip spent more nights in dorms than the other couples.

Having different wants and needs

Go away for six months or a year? In a van or backpacking? In cities or in nature? Stay in the same place or move around? Eat street food or in restaurants? Party all night or cosy up together? Lie in or get up at the crack of dawn?

The itinerary, accommodation, food, transport, activities, visits and tours are all decisions to be made together on a daily basis and it can be difficult to always reach an agreement. Similarly, the pace you want to travel at, your comfort standards, your physical abilities or your morale aren’t always in tune.

If you disagree, you can choose not to share a certain activity or experience with your other half. But, if you do that every time, it’s like travelling alone. However, when you constantly adjust to the other’s wants and needs, it can cause feelings of disappointment and frustration that are sometimes hard to accept when it involves the adventure of a lifetime.

From what our survey says, couples who’d been together for a long time, and who therefore knew each other well, were less likely to mention disagreement as a disadvantage of travelling together.

Arguing

When travelling, emotions are heightened. While the good times are intense, so are the bad. You come across more complex situations than in your everyday life.

When you encounter difficulties, when you disagree, if you end up alone and lost in the middle of The Pampas or if you miss your bus, tensions can rise and lead to arguments.

On the other side of the world, these rows are sometimes more difficult to defuse than at home, given that you can’t run away and spend the evening with your best friend. If these moments are poorly handled, they can unfortunately taint the travel experience.

Very zen parents with their child

We can’t just be zen all the time 🧘

Photo: Yael, Benoit and Charlotte

Speaking English

While travelling, you need to talk about your feelings, doubts and discoveries. As a couple, you’ll mostly do it in English and with your partner. These are all missed opportunities to practise another language. Whereas, a solo traveller will talk about it in French, in Spanish, or whatever the language may be, with their neighbour in the dorm or with the person they do an activity with.

In situations where you have to approach the locals in a foreign language, one will rely on the other to ask directions, get information about public transport or order in a restaurant. Therefore, you progress much slower in the learning process than a solo traveller.

In our survey, it was mainly travellers under 30 who mentioned this disadvantage of travelling as a couple.

Discovering flaws

After 10 years together, you probably thought that you knew everything about your partner, right? But this was without taking into account the revealing nature of travelling! It brings out or amps up certain personality traits, as you’re evolving in a context that’s completely different from your everyday life at home.

You’d never noticed that slightly annoying habit… You thought he’d stopped doing that… But why does she get so darn hangry?

Sometimes, the experience causes really significant changes in desires, values and ways of thinking that can create a huge shift in a couple, and you might find you’re no longer on the same wavelength.

Lacking spontaneity

Forget about making decisions on the spur of the moment. When you’re faced with an exciting opportunity, you’ll undoubtedly discuss it with your partner. So, you have to consult each other and negotiate, before completely changing the original plan. But, if one of you doesn’t fully approve of this spontaneous new plan, you might feel pressured to go through with the original one.

What’s more, in some situations, you need to consider how the other person feels concerning safety. If your other half really doesn’t want to take the risk, you’ll have to hold back your enthusiasm. The adventure then becomes a little less improvised and a little more planned.

Travelling with someone else means losing a bit of your own freedom and independence. According to our survey, it’s mostly men who feel limited when travelling as a couple.

Worrying about the other

When you get used to constantly being by your other half’s side, you develop an extremely tight bond. You can become pretty dependent on the other. You struggle to do things by yourself. Distancing yourself from each other, even when necessary, then gets tricky. You fear that something will happen to your rock. You stress about your partner’s safety and wellbeing, and ultimately forget about yourself.

Pre-departure tips

Both want to travel

Everything’s more likely to go well on the trip if… you both want to travel.

A long trip, like any major project in a couple’s life, is more likely to do you good and be enjoyed more if you both want to do it. Imagine dragging your partner around the world for six months and having to pull out all the stops to convince them to do any activity. Your own enthusiasm could take a real hit.

A couple sitting in a giant heart made of straw

“My love, pinch me, I’m dreaming.”

Photo: Alyson & Régis – RegAlyTravel

Travel appeals to people in different ways, for different reasons. That’s absolutely fine. But, each partner should roughly want it on the same level.

Make sure that both of you really want to explore the world, and that this lifestyle change excites one as much as the other. Can you see little stars shining in your partner’s eyes?

If your other half is a little less enthusiastic than you about the idea, tell them the reasons that make you want to travel.

You can also show them our article on reasons to do a RTW trip.

Who wanted to travel more?

According to our survey:

  • same desire to travel in 58% of couples
  • the woman initiated the trip in 30% of couples
  • the man initiated the trip in 12% of couples

💔 9% of couples in which one partner was keener than the other at the beginning of the trip split up, compared to only 5% of couples who both wanted to travel as much as the other.

Be on the same wavelength

Everything’s more likely to go well on the trip if… you have a similar vision of the trip.

So you’ve decided to go on a RTW trip. But what does your partner think about it? Listen to each other’s wants and needs and align your vision of the trip so you’re both looking in the same direction. If you’re in step with each other’s way of travelling, you’ll get the most out of this experience. Even if you have some differences of opinion, being aware of them and having already discussed them will make things easier.

Do couples have the same vision of travel?

Based on our survey:

  • 51% of couples totally agreed on the vision of their trip
  • 47% of couples somewhat agreed
  • 2% somewhat disagreed

💔 26% of couples who tended to disagree on the vision of their trip split up, compared to 8% of couples who tended to agree, and only 5% of couples who totally agreed.

Topics to tackle

Budget

When travelling, budget is the biggest constraint. It affects a number of factors. As a couple, your starting finances aren’t always equal. So, you need to clearly define some rules. Which expenses will you share? Will you work with an entirely shared budget or will each one manage their own expenses? Whatever your method, allow for a margin of safety. To get a better idea, you can look at our article on calculating a budget.

Itinerary

Drawing up an itinerary is a step that’s as important as it’s exciting. Both of you should make a list of destinations that you want to visit, then share and compare them. How long do you want to spend in each country: do you prefer slow travel or a more intense pace? To help you, you can use our article on planning a RTW trip.

Duration

Without necessarily setting a specific return date, talk about the approximate duration of your trip to suit your situation and your desires. You can also leave without a return date. What are the other’s limits and why?

Type of trip

How will you get around? In your own van or on public transport? Do you plan to work during your trip?

Daily pace

Discuss the pace you want your trip to have, including the balance between relaxation and exploration. Tell each other what a typical day would look like. What time will you set the alarm for? Will you even set one?

Comfort

Are you more of a five-star luxury hotel-goer, a backpacker or a survivor? How important is your comfort when travelling? Can you go without hot water, or sleep on a bed that’s a little too hard? You each need to define your own limits.

Coming home

Together, consider the circumstances that could call for you to stop the trip and go home. What do you do if your boss asks you to come home, if a global pandemic breaks out, if your close ones need you?

Both get involved

Everything’s more likely to go well on the trip if… you split the prepping stages of the trip equally.

The trip starts from the planning stages. The best thing is to get together and work as a team. Building a project together creates a bond, a bond that’ll unite you for your upcoming adventures. In this way, you’re both on the same page, and once you’re out there, it’ll be easier to make decisions.

In our article on the planning stages of organising a RTW trip, we list the tasks you need to do before departure.

Once you’ve defined your to-do list, you can distribute the tasks according to your likes and strengths. Some pre-travel taks are nicer than others. Try not to leave the entire admin part to your partner whilst you only take care of buying all the new travel gear.

Who organised the trip?

According to our survey:

  • Only the woman in 6% of cases
  • More the woman in 26% of cases
  • Together, 50/50, in 53% of cases
  • More the man in 12% of cases
  • Only the man in 3% of cases

💔 11% of couples where only one dealt with the travel prep separated, in comparison to 6% of couples where one managed a little more than the other, and only 4% of those who did the prep together.

Know what your partner’s like in everyday life

Everything’s more likely to go well on the trip if… you’ve been in a relationship for a long time.

A long trip is an intense experience that puts your relationship to the test. Having solid foundations and being happy in your couple allows you to fully and calmly experience the adventure. There are bound to be surprises, but the aim is to avoid those that could really spoil your experience.

Living under the same roof, sharing your everyday life, really helps you identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses. If serious problems emerge, it’s likely they won’t get better during the trip. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: the unexpected situations and troubles you face when travelling can rapidly escalate any problems that are already there. So, try to resolve as many as possible before departure.

What was the couples’situation?

Based on our survey:

  • The travellers had been in a couple for an average of five years at the time of departure.
  • 83% lived together before the trip.

💔 9% of couples who’d been together for less than a year separated, in comparison to 8% of couples who’d been together for one to three years, 7% of couples who’d been together for three to 10 years, and only 3% of couples who’d been together for 10 or more years.

💔 6% of couples who’d lived together before the trip split up, compared to 13% of couples who’d lived apart.

Have already travelled together

Everything’s more likely to go well on the trip if… you’ve already travelled together.

Before the big departure, test your partnership out! Organise some shorter trips, with less at stake, so you can assess your compatibility in this new environment. Ideally, try out the same style of trip as the one you’ve planned for your long trip. It may shed light on certain aspects you hadn’t previously thought of. Then, tweak your plan if you need to.

Do you need to be a pair of long-term travellers?

According to our survey:

  • The couples had already been on an average of four trips together before setting off on a RTW trip.
  • 10% of couples had never travelled together.

💔 13% of couples who’d never travelled together split up, in comparison to 7% of couples who’d done one to five trips, and only 5% of couples who’d done more than five trips.

Travelling tips

Communicate

Effectively communicating in a couple is sometimes a difficult art to master. Nonetheless, communication is a key component linked to your sense of fulfilment when travelling, as it is in everyday life.

When travelling, you live through thousands of experiences and feel tons of different emotions. Some, the really positive ones, will send you into a euphoric state and others, the more negative ones, will put you in a difficult position. You share these moments with your significant other, but, sometimes they experience things differently which can lead to tension and conflict. When travelling as a couple, one of the keys to success lies in the ability to express one’s own needs and listen to the other’s.

Your joys, your troubles, your desires, your doubts, your disillusions, your frustrations, your fears, your tiredness… Don’t keep things to yourself. Communicate!

A man whispers in a woman's ear

“I couldn’t be happier than to be in this magical place with you ❤️❤️❤️”

Photo: Foxes Odyssey – Geoffrey & Manon

Divide up tasks

Whilst travelling, there are numerous tasks to carry out on a daily basis: finding accommodation, choosing activities, planning the next step, looking into public transport, sorting photos, updating your blog, washing clothes, and so on.

Find a way to organise things so that each of you can still get the most out of each day.

In some couples, one organises everything and the other follows. So you need to be careful that you don’t wear one out or frustrate the other, as if that’s the case, both of you risk missing out on your trip. Instead, try to share the mental load evenly and split the tasks up. Work as a team! Let go and trust each other.

In your choices, take into account each one’s needs: comfort, safety, etc. One can deal with accommodation for tonight while the other handles tomorrow’s transport. If one of you is knackered today, the other can take the reins. There aren’t any rules as such, the main thing is to find the right balance for you.

Compromise

Illustration of Rock-Paper-Scissors game

Rock 🤛 Paper ✋ Scissors ✌️

In the prep stages, you practised compromising: ruling out a country, shortening the length of the trip, lightening your bag… You listened to the other’s point of view and found a middle ground.

In the same way, during the trip, if your partner wants to stay in a country whilst you’re eager to move on to the next one, you’ll have to reach a compromise. When desires differ, you should meet each other halfway so that nobody feels constrained or forced into the adventure.

If you can’t reach a compromise, and if there’s no friend you can call on to decide between you, you can leave it to chance and choose randomly. Take turns deciding, flip a coin, play rock-paper-scissors… each to their own!

You can also just let the other live their adventure to the full and accept to do some things separately.

Defuse the situation

💣💣💣💣💣💣💣💣💣💣💣

Being late, losing or forgetting something, being the victim of a scam, missing a bus, misinterpreting the language… During your trip, mishaps, stress, tiredness or sensing danger can sometimes seriously test your nerves. So a tiny little thing can get really out of hand. When travelling as a couple, you need to defuse these tense situations before they bubble over and end in a huge argument.

Try not to let pressure and tension build up.

If you’re in your van, you can go and get some air for five minutes. If you’re in a hostel, one can stay in the room and the other can go to the common area.

If you’re at the bus station and you’ve missed your bus, try to put things into context and refocus your mind on what’s important: getting to the next destination.

Take a step back and put things into perspective. You’re living through a unique and extraordinary experience. To continue to make the most of it, you need to move forward and, according to other travellers, the calm comes back quickly after the storm.

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Have some time alone

Depending on whether you’re more of a tight-knit couple or an independent one, constantly being with your partner on the trip can go one of two ways. You need to be able to tell your other half that you want to spend some time alone or, on the other hand, accept that the other needs a little space.

On a day-to-day basis, set some time apart for yourself (listening to music, reading, napping, walking, and so on). Without distancing yourself too much, you’ll realise that these little breathers from each other are vital for everyone’s wellbeing. When you get in touch with your close ones, don’t think twice about doing it alone from time to time.

So that you don’t regret anything about your adventure, you can perhaps sometimes do some things separately. If that dive, trek, skydive, yoga course or cooking class matters to you a lot, but isn’t exactly the others’ cup of tea, don’t stop yourself from doing it. You can talk about your experience with your partner when you get back.

A man is drinking beer while a woman is reading

Everyone goes about their business 🍺 📖

Photo: Sam & Stacy

Slow down

A couple is swimming in crystal water

Take a break on your holiday

Photo: Bretzels in Asia

You can’t compare this long trip to your last summer holiday. Always on the move, from one hotel to another, one city to another, one country to another, constantly adapting, hiking, discovering one thing after another, lacking comfort, missing close ones… In the long run, nomadic life can be pretty tiring.

When this tiredness builds up, you can lose your cool more easily and become irritable. At these times, you need to know how to listen to yourself and take a break so you can take care of yourself and recharge your batteries. Moreover, if you don’t plan too many things in advance then you can avoid unnecessary pressure and, in turn, be more flexible.

Make time for your relationship and romance – think of all the incredible date nights you could have… Some travellers even recreate Sundays “at home”. They snuggle up all day in a cosy place, prepare a meal and fully activate lazy mode: relaxing, watching films, cuddling and resting.

Track expenses

When travelling as a couple, you often have to stick to a shared budget. If one of you is a bigger spender than the other, you’re in for some heated talks. It’s better to have laid out the rules from the start.

For basic expenses (accommodation, food, transport and visits), some travels work with a joint account. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, others prefer to keep track of these shared expenses with an Excel spreadsheet or an app like TravelSpend, Tricount, Money Lover, and so on. Have a look at our article on best travel apps.

Ideally, you should have a margin of safety so you can adapt to your needs and unexpected situations. For example, if one of you is ill and needs more comfort, with a margin of safety you’ll be able to get a private room in a hotel.

For activities and extras that are expensive, bear in mind that what seems essential or interesting to you isn’t necessarily the same for your partner. Lots of couples travel with their own purse or wallet so they can treat themselves. That can help avoid any friction. This way, everyone feels more independent and free.

Be open

Sharing a drink with people met on travel

It’s pretty cool to have friends all over the world

Photo: Slippers 2 Fingers – Audrey & Blandine

Try not to shut yourself off in your relationship and, instead, be open to meeting others. Sometimes you’ll have to force yourself to do it, especially if you’re a tight-knit couple. But remember that other travellers are a goldmine of advice and information. And, at the end of the day, spending time with others creates amazing memories and bonds.

Even if you prefer to have a double room than to sleep in dorms, you can still opt for a hostel. You’ll meet more travellers there than at a hotel. Couchsurfing is also a great way to get to know the locals. What’s more, there are other apps out there that connect travellers with locals. For example, EatWith, if you want to have dinner in a local’s home, or Withlocals, if you want to visit a city with a local.

To find out if there are travellers near you who’d like to share a leg of your trip with you, you can post on Facebook groups, such as The Travel Squad or gals who travel, as well as destination-specific forums.

Let go

Overplanning kills the magic of your trip, so try and stay open to opportunities. Leave room for the unexpected, but not so much that one of you feels uncomfortable. Of course, if you need to know where you’re staying every night to feel safe, your partner should listen to your needs.

Make the most of the present moment, fully live the experience, have fun, as the adventure will fly by in the end.

Return tips

Be prepared

Don’t forget about the return step of a long trip, as it’s definitely the most delicate. Many of your close friends and family won’t really understand what you’ve experienced and you’ll feel a bit like an alien when you get home. As a couple, you have the chance to come home with living proof of your adventure: your other half. It’s a real bonus, so take advantage of it!

Make sure you set some time aside to relax and decompress. A day, a week or even more, just for yourself, as once you’re back, “real” life hits you. Take the time to readjust and find your bearings in the more typical confines of your relationship back home. Go over your adventure together and make plans for the future. Create new projects so you don’t find yourself in exactly the same routine you had before you left.

To help you, we’ve written an article on how to handle coming home and avoid the post-holiday blues.

Stages Of Culture Shock

Coming back is like culture shock, but at home.

What you get out of the trip

Tons of memories

You’ve just lived through and shared a unique experience, full of emotion, adrenaline and amazement. You’ve experienced more key moments in your relationship on this trip than in the several years you’ve been together. You’ve broken the routine and enriched your story with extraordinary memories. They’ll be the topic of much discussion. You’ll be able to look back on them all your life and this special bond belongs only to you.

You’re forever bound together by this adventure!

Strong bond

When you come back, whether it’s your strength, weaknesses or certain aspects of your intimacy, you won’t have much to hide from each other anymore. Both in the good and the bad times, you’ve built on your trust, your bond, your cohesion and your solidarity.

You’re stronger than ever!

Bright future

Given that you’ve managed to live together 24/7, passed many tests and overcome countless hardships, you’ve got less doubts and you believe in the strength of your relationship. You’re reassured and you really feel like you’re with the right person. You’ve greater trust in each other and you know that you can rely on one another.

You’re sure about the future!

Creating new plans

You’ve had some time to philosophise, discuss, exchange and reflect together. You’re proud that you made your shared dream happen. Your visions and your values are aligned. You pretty much feel like you can achieve anything now, together.

You’re ready to make some changes!

Handling daily life is easier

After such a life experience, you’re more open-minded, you’re more tolerant and you communicate much better than before. You’ve learnt to verbalise what you want or don’t want, to explain and express your emotions. You better understand the way your partner reacts and accept it more easily. You now know how to take a step back from the little mishaps of everyday life.

You’re ready to handle any disagreement!

The cons

Sometimes, the adventure turns sour and it’s disillusioning. The trip exposes each other’s flaws and opens your eyes to differences of opinion that turn out to be completely incompatible. What’s more, you know each other so well that you grow tired of your partner. In some cases, you come back with more sources of conflict than when you left.

You’re ready to… move on!

What couples do after their trip?

Still together? ❤️ 🆚 💔

Still together at the time of answering the survey: 92%
Separated during the trip: 2%
Separated after the trip: 6%

Amongst those who separated after the trip:

Separated right after returning: 6%
Separated less than six months after the trip: 34%
Separated between six months and one year after the trip: 35%
Separated more than one year after the trip: 25%

Any major plans?

🏠
Plan to buy a house or an apartment: 19%
Bought a house or an apartment: 14%

👶
Conceived a child during the trip: 2%
Conceived a child after the trip 13%

💍
Got engaged and plan to get married or form a civil partnership: 9%
Got married or formed a civil partnership: 12%

👔
Set up a professional project together: 10%

Conclusion

If you’ve still got some doubts, know that, according to our survey, 81% of couples entirely recommend this experience. As incredible as it is challenging, it’s an adventure that’s really worth it. There’ll be ups and downs, but if you have a solid foundation, trust in each other and know how to communicate – even just a little – it’s all doable.