There are many different ways to travel and one of the biggest decisions to make is whether to go it alone or take someone with you. Going travelling as a couple has its ups and downs and can make or break a relationship – so here are a few points to keep in mind and the benefits and pitfalls of travelling with your significant other.
1. You always have someone to do stuff with
One amazing benefit of travelling as part of a couple is that you always have someone to do stuff with. You never have to eat out alone, you have someone to take the edge off of trying a daunting activity and someone to explore new places with.
This can make travelling a lot less intimidating and much more fun as there is always someone you can share bad days and good days with who knows you well, gets your sense of humour and (usually) enjoys similar things to you.
2. You always have someone to take your picture
Although it’s always possible to ask a stranger to take your picture, it is usually a little awkward and you never quite get the photo you were hoping for – there’s no time to find the perfect pose and it’s too awkward to pull your favourite silly face.
Even travelling with a friend, you can start to feel irritating when you want to do 300 takes of the same photo before you get the right one.
With a partner, not only do you feel more comfortable asking them for what you need, they also already knew that they would have to take 700 pictures a day and were resigned to that fact before you set out on the trip – never mind the day’s activities.
Travelling with a partner is a fantastic opportunity to solidify and deepen your bond. You’ll experience new things together, overcome challenges together and likely learn so much more about each other than you would in normal life.
Akin to redecorating or moving house together, there are some challenges that make or break relationships and travelling is definitely up there. If you survive travelling together, that’s a bond that will be tough to break.
One major pro of travelling with a partner is the increase in safety. There are some places in the world that are just safer to explore with someone rather than alone (especially if you’re a woman).
Also, while most places are safe enough as long as you keep an eye on your surroundings and don’t take unnecessary risks, your chances of being a victim of petty crime are reduced if you aren’t alone.
5. It can make it difficult to meet other travellers
Even the most outgoing of couples give the impression of being a package deal, so travelling with your partner can make it difficult to make new friends.
Solo travellers might be reluctant to approach you and risk becoming the third wheel, and you might end up feeling out of the loop if you join a larger group because they won’t make as much of an effort to get to know a pair as they might an individual.
It’s also possible that you might be having such a good time in each other’s company that you just don’t make the effort to meet other travellers either – which is great if that’s what you want to do, but if you did want to meet other people make sure that you make time to do so!
When travelling alone, you are in complete control of what you want to see and do and how much time you spend seeing and doing those things.
If you’ve only got three days in a place and you really want to see a particular sight and eat at a particular place then you can prioritise those things and arrange your time accordingly – if you’re travelling with a partner who wants to see something different and check out different food, then you might have to cut your activities short and compromise on the meal.
This isn’t always a bad thing (especially if you’ve got plenty of time in a particular destination) because you might end up experiencing something awesome that you wouldn’t have thought of by yourself. However, it can be frustrating when you have to choose between what you want to do and what your partner wants to do. It can leave you feeling like you’ve missed out and can result in arguments.
7. Missing out on finding yourself
Being in a relationship is lovely, and travelling together can be the ultimate bonding experience. However, one of the greatest adventures of travelling is learning who you are and learning to rely on yourself, which you can miss out on when travelling with a partner.
You can rely on them for emotional support, to help you problem solve and make decisions – this all makes life easier, but you might miss out on learning a lot about yourself because of it.
Travelling alone leaves a lot of room for growth and time for reflection, which is largely eclipsed when travelling with a partner.
There’s a lot to consider when thinking about travelling with a partner, from always having your own photographer to making your own decisions. Each way of travelling has its own pitfalls and rewards – just make sure you make the right decision for you.