The secret to a successful vacation with your partner – your boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, or whatever you like to call that person – is a bit counterintuitive.
The journey you are about to embark on could be a deeply connected experience, a shared adventure in which all your quirks and weaknesses are laid bare, where thrills and shared challenges bring you closer than ever. But the thing is, you don’t have to spend every moment together.
In fact, the secret to a successful shared trip might just be a lot of time apart.
“It’s the only way I deal with it,” admits travel writer Flip Byrnes, speaking on TravelerThe Flight of Fancy Podcast from. “So just before my next family trip starts, I’m going on a three-day solo trip. Somewhere near where the family trip is.
“As a naturally empathetic or introverted person, I know that to fill my cup, to get my soul juice, I need time alone. So if I’m going on this family trip with my three or four day alone, I’m ready for anything. That’s what I’m here for.”
Of course, not everyone will have the time – or perhaps the ambition – to go on a solo vacation before heading on a road trip with their partner. Most of the time, the idea is simply to set aside some time each day to spend by yourself, doing what you want to do.
Plan the romantic times, by all means. Share experiences. Address difficulties together. But also take time for yourself.
This week’s episode of Flight of Fancy looks at how to travel with your partner and survive the experience, how to embark on a fully immersive journey with your partner, and emerge on the other side with an even stronger relationship.
It’s not always easy and Traveler Writer Belinda Jackson admits it doesn’t always work out well.
“There’s nothing to hide when you travel together,” she laughs. “Absolutely nothing. There are no secrets, especially how you react in a terrible situation, for example when the Russian army attacks your tent, or the fact that you have no food or drinking water. All these difficulties pile up and you think, ‘We can do this, we’re lifers.’ But you go home and… you’re not.
It’s not enough to spend some alone time on your travels. A successful trip with a significant other is also about communication, and that means right from the start, right from the vacation planning stage, even though one person can naturally do more of this work than the other.
“I think you need to agree on the basics of the country you’re going to visit and the general plan for the trip,” Jackson advises. “And then I’ll usually start digging and researching [for both of us]. But to start, you have to have this conversation: ‘What do you really want to do on this trip?’ And that way, you both have a bit of ownership. »
You will learn a lot about your partner when you travel with them, for better or for worse. You will see how they react under pressure. You will see how open they are to new experiences. You will see what their personal hygiene routine looks like.
And, according to Byrnes at least, you’ll find that some things are best done alone. The key to doing this, she says, is talking about it.
“It can be really hard to say, ‘Hey, look, I’m going to go do my thing this morning,'” she says. “And then someone says, ‘Oh, you go to those markets? Sounds great, I’ll come with you”. And you have to say, “No, I’m actually going by myself”. It can really offend someone.
“But communication is everything.”
For more – and to make sure your next trip with a partner avoids a major disaster – listen to the episode.