There comes a time when you reach a comfortable plateau in your relationship — when you no longer suppress flatulence or dissolve into an inconsolable state of panic if you forget to wax. When that moment of complete and utter transparency comes, couples should consider pushing the envelope in partnership with the ultimate pre-cohabitation test: Vacationing together.
OK, OK, it's not all just a test. Going somewhere in a pair has perks, too. Like these, for instance, which top the list:
1. Split financial responsibility. Traveling with a partner can be more economical, particularly in major metropolitan cities. Expenses, such as hotel accommodations and travel fare, are much more manageable when they are divided. It also helps to be able to balance each other out when it comes to spending. On our trip together, my boyfriend suggested a taxi to get around downtown Chicago. I suggested our legs. We saved, burned calories, and splurged instead on food. Counterproductive but delicious.
2. Safety in pairs. #IAintGotNoWorries. People tend to emphasize immediate travel threats, such as theft, and forget the simpler hassles that vacationing alone presents. Consider everyday activities like leaving your purse to go to the bathroom or nodding off on public transit. In those instances, it’s helpful to have a partner to watch your belongings or jolt you from your slumber.
3. Quality time. There’s nothing like being stuck with your partner 24 hours a day to really bond you. Your life suddenly becomes a vacuum where your only point of familiarity is your significant other. You get a feel for their quirks, resting and waking habits, and their hygiene (or lack thereof). If you aren’t completely repulsed or annoyed by them at the end of the trip, you’ll walk away with not only a greater appreciation for who they really are but also an understanding of how life with them would be.
4. Two heads are better than one (usually). Traveling to a lesser known area presents a logistical challenge — you have to look up directions to go anywhere, figure out the transit system, and map out a plan of action for your days. It pays to have another person to help with that. Also, GPS and transit apps only get you so far — especially when you punch in the wrong address (my fault) or get off ten stops too soon (his fault). But even so, being able to share these traveling woes is a bonding experience in itself.
5. Tragedies eventually make great stories. In preparation for our Chicago trip, I bought the cutest geometric print bandeau to wear downtown. However, it was not until we had already packed, driven 200 miles to Chicago and got settled that I discovered the security sensor was still attached. Awesome. So, I did what any rational human being would do. I endeavored to remove it myself. I carefully wrapped a plastic bag around the sensor and tugged with all my might (I’m pretty feeble). I managed to pull the sensor apart...slightly. A little ink spilled out, but the top was still undamaged. I asked my boyfriend to help me pull it completely off. He grumbled, but complied. After five minutes of intense tugging, we managed to completely rip off the tag and soak my top, our fingers, and the hotel sink in ink. Joy. I ended up tossing the bandeau back in my bag and sulking for ten minutes before putting on another shirt. In retrospect, I should have been more patient, but it's something we can laugh at now.
Summer vacation, anyone?