Exactly 24 years ago we started travelling together – little did we know that would mark not just the beginning of our lives together as husband and wife, but the beginning of a journey that would turn us into travel bloggers.
Back in the day, the advice we got for planning our honeymoon was – “don’t worry about planning some exotic vacation – save yourself the stress – just wait until you’re married and book something last-minute, you’ll save yourselves a fortune!”
Who knew that our first vacation together would turn out to be the worst we’d ever experience … and THAT my friends turned out to be the FIRST and LAST, last-minute vacation we’d ever take.
Fortunately, what didn’t kill us (almost quite literally) made us smarter.
Without getting into all of the horrible details of that ridiculous trip from hell (where we honestly thought we were going to be murdered by our cab driver when he stopped in the middle of nowhere and went to rummage in the trunk for no apparent purpose – and no communication to us – somewhere in Puerta Plata – Dominican Republic, between the “safe” town our tour guide told us to visit and the safety of our terrible resort), we’ll just summarize by saying; we didn’t get a great deal, we should have researched locations ourselves, we’ll never put our vacation time and money solely in the hands of a travel agent again, don’t always believe the tour guide and their claims, and above all – educate yourself!
There! Now that we got that out of our system, we’ll just go back to forgetting it ever happened. Travel experience gained – CHECK! Live and learn!
When we first started travelling together we never really gave it much thought – you just take vacations – no biggie – you figure it out. And maybe that’s the way it should be – maybe everything in life doesn’t need to be analyzed to death, there doesn’t need to be some premeditated relationship-building purpose behind it … just get out there, relax and have fun!
Initially we thought we’d take this opportunity to create some super useful post with tips about travelling together without killing each other, but we’re not sure there’s just ONE recipe for that. Some advice says you should be sure to schedule some “me-time” – but we’re pretty much together every step of the way, and NO we don’t take separate vacations! So, what’s the best way? YOUR way! 😉
No matter how you slice it, travelling together brings you closer (for good or for bad) – you’ll learn a lot about each other – in tighter quarters and tough situations you’ll learn all the little quirks of your partner, how to compromise, problem solve, get over disagreements and fights faster so you don’t ruin a vacation, and most of all – you’ll learn not to sweat the small stuff!
A few basic tips that we will offer are these:
- If you’re travelling together – plan together! Fewer surprises (especially financial ones) lead to fewer disappointments and arguments. Make sure you plan to do and see things that you’re both interested in. If that’s not possible find a way to compromise so you’ll both enjoy the vacation.
- Budget! Unless you’re rich and famous or independently wealthy you probably need to consider the costs. Don’t over-spend or go into overwhelming debt for the sake of a vacation – it’s not worth it! The short-lived enjoyment you may experience on the vacation will quickly evaporate with the stress of having to pay it off when you get home.
- Whatever happens at home … stays at home. We suggest you leave your work and worries at home. You’re on vacation after-all! Unless you’re running some multi-million dollar company or have some serious ties to a project – forget about it! That said, always do your best to schedule your vacation at times that are going to allow you to switch off, try to find someone reliable that will fill in for you while you’re gone – otherwise, are you really “getting away from it all” if you’re stressing out about what’s happening at work?
- Unplug! While this means the obvious – no phones, no internet, no social media (with the exception of checking in briefly if you have family, or posting the odd selfie), we also find it’s great to unplug from the English language! While it may be a little more stressful venturing to a country where they don’t speak your language, it can be quite liberating when you can’t understand what’s going on around you! It really forces you to switch off and give the old brain a break! Definitely forces you to connect with your partner a lot more too!
- Splurge … a little … even if you’re on a budget. Try to budget or save up for that one special splurge. When you’re planning your vacation take the time to ear-mark that one special excursion, that out of the way location you’re dying to see, or maybe some unique cultural event that you REALLY want to experience. Check the costs and do your research – you might find there are some reasonable options available if you compromise a little. Decide as a couple where you want to splurge, if it’s worth it or not, and you’ll come away from your vacation – no regrets, just great memories.
Happy and safe travels!
Copyright © 2016 Iain & Gail Shankland / TravelBloggers.ca (at) Gmail.com
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Iain Shankland & Gail Shankland started blogging in order to inspire and motivate people to travel the world from their perspective – specializing in having the most fun while using the least amount of money, travelling on the cheap without sacrificing comfort.
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