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Your first vacation as a couple is a super exciting time in a relationship, as well as a big step. It means your relationship is headed in a more serious direction, and a it’s great indicator of how you both work together as a team. It’s also a great way to test the waters of living together. Although vacations are lots of fun, there’s definitely a lot of planning before the trip, and sometimes even stress.
While it’s super exciting to have this adventure together, there are a few key things that you need to know before your big first vacation as a couple that can help alleviate the stress as much as possible, and ensure a fun vacation! Continue reading if you want to find out the important things to talk about ahead of time, and what to keep in mind during your trip!
1. Talk Money
Vacations ain’t cheap, let’s just put that out there. Although there are definitely ways to cut costs, there are still expenses. From the hotel, to flights if necessary, gas money for a road trip, Uber’s while you’re there, all the food, and whatever else comes up.
Some couples don’t really talk money for a while into the relationship because there hasn’t been much of a need, unless you’re living together. Before sharing a living space the most common shared expense is dates, which usually doesn’t need to be that big of a discussion.
I’d suggest sitting down, even though it may feel a little awkward or uncomfortable, and talking it out. Trust me, it will be WAY more awkward and uncomfortable if you wait till all the costs come up to talk about it.
Maybe you split everything 50/50, maybe some things you cover and other’s your partner covers, whatever it may be, it will be better for everyone if it’s discussed before the trip.
2. Discuss Traveling Habits
Are you someone who likes to plan out every single moment of the trip or figure it out as you go? Do you like to wake up at the crack of dawn, or snooze till noon? Do you want to eat out every meal, or have some groceries on hand? Do you unpack right when you get there or live out of your suitcase? Do you exercise when you’re on vacation or lounge 24/7?
There are plenty of traveling behaviors you probably didn’t even realize you had, but it’s a good idea to lay them all out before you leave for your trip, so you can have an idea on where you and your partner are similar and where you’re different.
3. Figure Out Each Other’s MUST Do Activities
This will entirely depend on how long your trip is and where you’re going, but if there are places you want to visit, restaurants you want to eat at, shops, whatever else, talk about it before you go! Get an idea of what overlap you have and don’t have, so you can figure out the best vacation plan for both of you. There’s always so much less time than you realize on a trip, so having an idea of the things you want to hit up the most will definitely be helpful.
4. Have A Rough Itinerary
So if you’re both the full on itinerary kinda people, go ahead and plan it out. But if only one of you are, or neither of you are, it’s probably still a good idea to have a rough idea of what you’ll do each day.
Some places require reservations or tickets ahead of time. Map out what activities are close together, so you can do them all in one day instead of having to go all over the place. It helps to eliminate some of the vacation stress that can arise if a loose game plan is already drafted.
5. Be Willing To Compromise
There probably isn’t time to do absolutely everything you both want to, so compromises will have to be made. This is why it’s good to have an idea of both of your MUST DO activities, so if there are some things on the maybe list, you can eliminate those if you run out of time.
Having a rough draft of an itinerary will help you see where you have time to squeeze things in between all your must do activities, and figure out what’s realistic to do while you’re on vacation. This way, you can figure out what you each might have to compromise before you even get there.
6. Decide Who Is In Charge Of What Responsibility
So, with all this planning and coordinating, who is in charge? Who is booking the flights? Who is making reservations? Who is calling places to get tickets? Who is looking up the best restaurants in the area? Who is making the rough itinerary?
Scott and I split it pretty evenly and work together to figure all the details out. I don’t particularly like making phone calls, so he handles that. And whatever aspects he doesn’t like, I’ll handle that.
7. Discuss Vacation Stress Points And How To Remedy
Maybe nothing about vacations stresses you out, but for me I get stressed about figuring out the planning. Scott has a harder time deciding what we should do because he wants to do it all (and more specifically, eat it all). So, I help with the decision making, and he helps with the planning and coordinating.
Maybe you’re a nervous flyer, and you can let your partner know so they can help during the flight, or whatever it may be. Sharing a bathroom can bring on stress for some people, maybe you don’t want to talk about that before you go, but trust me, BRING THIS! Maybe your boyfriend tends to get hangry when he doesn’t eat for a while (looking at you, Scott), so you can try and bring some snacks for him. (Or, he can bring his own snacks, but moving on…?
8. Go With The Flow
No matter how much planning you do, life will always get in the way. Scott and I usually cram too much into our days, so midway through the day we’re both in need of a nap! We end up having to switch some things around, but we make it work.
There will always be something you can’t plan for, so do your best to be flexible, and just enjoy yourself!
I hope this doesn’t scare you off from taking a vacation, trust me, they are way more fun than they are stressful, even if you don’t go over all of this stuff. These are just the things I wish I knew ahead of time, and some things that work for me and Scott, that I think might be helpful for you too!