Going on vacation is great no matter what your relationship status may be, but there are definitely big differences between going to the beach by yourself and going with a significant other. Taking a couples' trip to a faraway land is a great way to strengthen your relationship ... and also figure out if this is really the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
According to a survey of 1,500 adults by travel website Skift, up to 41 percent of American workers didn't take any vacation days last year. And really, you have to wonder why. Working too much without a break takes a major toll on your mental, emotional, and even physical health. Taking a "staycation" can be great if you're in the right place, but there's nothing like checking out some new scenery to really get you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. So as the hot summer months approach, maybe it's time to take advantage of the sunshine and go somewhere where the land meets the sea, or even escape the heat by going somewhere that's still cold and covered in snow! And if you've got a special someone, why not bring them along, too?
If you do choose to go on vacation as a pair, it's important to keep a few things in mind: you will argue (probably over something insignificant while you're stressed out by traveling), you will be even more in love by the end of your vacation, and you will do plenty of things that make the people around you raise their eyebrows. But screw it — this is your trip with your significant other, and as long as you aren't ruining anyone else's good time, then there's no reason to worry. Besides, if you're doing any of these quirky couple habits while on vacation, I can guarantee you're not nearly as weird as you think you are.
1. Peel dead skin off each other's backs after a sunburn
Honestly, if you don't enjoy peeling off dead skin, you're the weird one, but I digress. After inevitably getting sunburnt at the beach, it feels so nice to finally take off all the dead stuff. But what about your back? The itchiness is enough to drive even the most polite person to finding a sharp corner and scratching themselves like a bear. But if you're on vacation with a partner, all you need to do is say the word and they can get to tearing off your dead skin. It's a win-win, really. You get relief from the incessant itching, and they get that oddly satisfying feeling that comes with peeling off dead cells in strips.
2. Spend more time inside than outside
The beach is great, but the second you go back into your hotel to grab a fresh towel, you remember that air conditioning is pretty great, too. Don't blame yourself; it's hard to go back outside into the sweaty, sweaty world when you have things like ceiling fans and showers at your disposal. Plus, who cuddling sessions are much more comfortable when you don't have sand up your buttcrack and can actually stand to be touching someone without feeling like you're going to melt.
3. Feed each other awesome food
I always roll my eyes at couples that think it's ok to spoon-feed each other in public (or even in private, really), but then I realized that my boyfriend and I do the exact. same. thing. Judge me all you want, because I guarantee I'm judging myself even more. But if you also do this with your S.O. when you go on vacation, take some solace in the fact that everyone else around you is doing it, too. But the thing is, it's honestly more practical than "sweet." When you go on vacation, you're bound to try a bunch of new, delicious foods, so if your partner wants to try something off your plate, it's much easier to just have your fork take a detour to their mouth instead of risking them dropping the utensil when you hand it off to them. Sure, they could just use their own fork to take the bite that they want, but that would mean risking spilling their drink or yours.
4. Talk about all the cool places they'll have sex (but then only do it in the hotel bed)
Sex on the beach sounds like the greatest thing ever until you realize that beaches come with sand and waves and other beachgoers. Sex in the wilderness sounds like the greatest thing ever until a bear comes along and eats you. Sex on a snowy mountain sounds like the worst thing ever. You might have all these great plans to bone in exotic places, but in the end, the most adventurous location will probably be the couch in the hotel.
5. Take couple selfies instead of just asking a stranger to do it
It seems like no matter which couple on my Facebook feed takes a romantic trip together, their photo album looks like this: lots of pictures of scenery, two or three normal ones of them standing together, and then a ton of couples selfies. We could all just ask that nice granny in our tour group to take a cute picture of us, but that would require actually interacting with someone we don't know, and quite frankly, hahahahaha screw that.
6. Quietly judge other people together
I don't even feel bad about doing this, because I know very well that plenty of other people do it to my boyfriend and me, too. I truly believe that as human beings, we should be able to wear and do whatever the hell we like, especially during the week or two a year we get to relax and not think about work. But that doesn't stop me from asking why oh why oh why anyone would actually shave their chest hair into a bikini top and trying to get my S.O. to look at it without being too obvious. Being as I know there are plenty of couples who join forces to snicker at me when I inevitably get a weird sunburn, I feel like the cycle of karma should make us all feel perfectly fine with doing this as long as we're not jerks about it.
7. Act like children
When you go to the pool or ocean alone, you have the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy the water. When you're there with your partner, you have the perfect opportunity to splash each other and use each other as underwater surfboards. There's something about being in an adult relationship that really brings out the kid in you, and if you can ignore the snooty glares from the less-fun grownups around you, you can use your trip to let your inner children run free.
8. Take super corny photos
If you go on vacation with your S.O., but didn't carve your initials into a wooden structure and upload the photo to Instagram, did the trip even happen? Whether it's making a heart with your hands to frame a scenic view or snapping a shot of the "U + Me = 4EVR" your husband pee-wrote into the snow, taking these photos is a cheesy, but almost irresistible way to remind yourself and the world that you both went to a super cool place ~*~together~*~.
9. Get each other souvenirs that you'll never use again
I can think of about one cheaply made trinket I've bought from a souvenir shop that I still use, and it's a coffee mug that has 50 percent of the paint chipped off. Getting a memento from your trip that's good enough to hang on the wall is one thing, but I can guarantee that your partner who lives in Montana is never going to use that super cute foot jewelry thing you bought her in Cancun. Of course, that doesn't stop us from getting those souvenirs for our SO's, and we really don't mind if they sit and collect dust on a shelf for the remainder of our existence.
10. Use each other's stuff as a way to pack lighter
Some call it "lazy," but I call it "efficient." For the time that you're out of town, you and your partner find any way possible to fit as much as you can into the smallest suitcase while managing to avoid overweight baggage fees. If that means sharing a single towel, using his (hopefully clean) boxers as sleep shorts, and letting him use your special expensive shampoo for a week, then so be it. For single folks, it might seem weird or gross, but at this point, you've already swapped plenty of bodily fluids with each other, so sharing deodorant is really no biggie.
Images: Leo Hidalgo/Flickr; Giphy (10)