Some say you don't really know someone until you travel with them. This has been proven true time and again, with many of us having friendships fall apart the first time we spend a few days away with them. But it's never more relevant than when you are dating someone. We are all on our best behavior early in relationships. This may mean never being grumpy, always being at our most groomed, keeping conversations light and fun. But when you are traveling with your significant other for the first time, whether it's for a weekend or a week, it gets a lot harder to play nice. Road stresses, travel delays, or just too much of each other's company can make even the best of relationship feel the strain very quickly.
"I highly recommend that if you haven’t traveled with your partner that you go on your honeymoon BEFORE the wedding," says celebrity travel expert Johnny Jet. "You really get to know someone’s true colors when you travel with them. Especially, if it’s a more difficult destination, say India," he says.
The dirty truth is that traveling with someone you are dating can make the honeymoon end, fast. If you are going to take the plunge, use these expert tips to be prepared.
1. Plan a vacation that fits your couple personality.
If you are looking to relax don't overbook your days with tons of activities. "However, if you are a couple that wants to experience everything a city has to offer be sure you plan in advance so you don't end up panicking during your trip that you are missing something," says Katie Lara of Travelingpanties.com. That said, no matter what, leave a little down time for you to enjoy each other's company.
2. You'll have to be tolerant
Sharing one bathroom when you're in a rush to get out in the morning ain't easy. You want to make sure both of your needs are met. Compromise where you can, says Lara. "If he wants to sleep late but you want to get up early, meet in the middle. Remember you are both trying to enjoy yourself," Lara says. Pick your battles but don't be afraid to talk about what you want out of the trip. Having open communication is key.
3. You should spend time apart
When you travel, you spend so much more time with each other than you do in everyday life, and it can lead to disagreements. "Rather than dragging your partner around exhibits they’re not interested in, carve out some time for yourself. You’ll have more things to talk about in the evenings if you’ve been off doing different things, too," says Lauren Juliff, a travel blogger at Never Ending Footsteps.
4. You will figure out each other’s trigger points
If one of you gets angry when you're hungry, make sure to work in food stops while you’re out exploring to keep everyone happy, says Juliff.
5. Discuss your expectations
You don’t want either of you to end up disappointed so before you book anything, have a discussion about what you want to do, where you want to stay, and how much you want to spend, suggests Juliff.
6. You're going to see each other at your worst
Because things can (and often do!) go wrong or not according to plan when you travel, it's a good way to see how your partner handles stress. "Are they impatient in long lines and rude to flight attendants? Or do they take things in their stride? When your room isn't ready when you check into a hotel, do they make a scene or suggest something you can both do to get the vacation started pronto? The way a person handles these types of situations can be very telling and can help you determine whether you're actually a good pair," says Natalie DiScala, Editor of Oh! Travelissima.
7. You'll have to communicate a lot
Talk about it first. Even if you learn some things that are disagreeable about the other (say leaving the toothpaste cap off) you can either learn to live with it or maybe your partner will try to change.
"You may want to start off with a shorter trip first, say a long weekend instead of a seven day vacation, in case things should happen to go south for whatever reason. That way, you can get back on your home turf and figure out what went wrong before lasting damage is done to the relationship," says David Bakke, travel expert at Money Crashers.
Images: Leo Hidalgo/Flickr; Giphy