Travelling with your partner can strengthen and grow your relationships as you experience new things together and spend quality time with your significant other away from the stress and distractions of every-day life. But while holidays are meant to be a time for resting, relaxing and reconnecting with our loved ones, they can also be stressful, occasionally scary and full of conflict.
There are some things that you can be mindful of before and during your holiday to ensure that when you get back from your holiday, your relationship is stronger and happier than ever!
1. Be clear on your roles and responsibilities
Before you even get in the car or on a plane, you should be clear about who is doing what to prepare and plan for your holiday. Nothing creates conflict more than rocking up to a hotel, or car hire shop only to realise that you both thought the other person had made the booking!
Through either formal or informal conversations, make sure you both know who is responsible for certain tasks to prepare for the holiday.
2. If it is not your job, butt out!
Few things create frustration or anger on holidays than “back-seat driving” (whether you’re actually driving or not!). In many cases, if you have decided that one person is responsible for, say, packing a shared bag for the trip, then the other person needs to stay away and trust their partner to do the job well. Constantly nagging or putting in your two cents about how their responsibilities should be completed is almost certain to result in a fight.
3. Compromise is key!
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise given compromise is also key to a successful relationship on your home soil. But if you and your partner have different travel styles or interests, it is important to make sure that you both get to do a little of what you want. For example, if one partner loves visiting museums, and the other person can’t think of anything worse than wondering around an old building for hours, maybe schedule one or two museums in around other, more active attractions, but don’t plan to hit every museum in the city before you leave.
If you can, discuss before you go what attractions or sights you want to see before you go so that you know you are both on the same page and don’t end up disappointed when you get to your destination.
4. Schedule in some me-time
When travelling with a partner, you are in each other’s back pocket more than you may be used to at home. It’s ok to admit that you need a little alone time to recharge. Take an afternoon off from sight-seeing to have a nap or lounge by the pool with a good book. Taking some time for yourself will help to ensure that you can be patient and understanding with your partner when you’re together.
5. Manage your expectations
It’s easy to let our hopes and expectations run away from us – particularly when we spend months or even years planning a holiday. We may plan for a city to be the Best Place Ever, only to get there and find out that it’s not a great as we thought it would be. On top of trying to make the most of the holiday, we then also have to deal with the disappointment and anger at our unmet expectations. Be open to letting the holiday be what it will be and commit to making the most of any situation you find yourself in.
Metanao provides relationship counselling services for couples at any stage. If your next holiday is causing stress in your relationship, or disappointment with your last holiday is leading to some built up resentment, call Sue Geelan now on 0439 294 532.