Prague; the view from Castle Hill--Photo by Shay Davidson
For those worldly, SF Bay Area couples who have been together for a number of years, it’s no surprise that taking a trip together can result in arguments, disagreements and sometimes even a ruined vacation. For those in a newer relationship, this might be something you haven't thought much about.
The fact is that travel, in and of itself, can be stressful. After the tedious process of airport check-in, long, exhausting flights followed by finding yourself in an environment different from your everyday, normal situation, can challenge even the most stable of relationships.
What can you do to make your vacation a more harmonious, happy one? Here are a few ideas that can help smooth the way:
First, when vacation plans begin to take shape, both partners should be part of the process so that each decision can be made together. By agreeing from the very beginning of the booking process, if each partner has agreed to each part of the plan, it stands to reason that no one person is responsible for surprises later on when you are traveling.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be surprises; there most likely will be some details that don’t turn out exactly the way you planned them. But, laughing together about the goof-ups is much easier to handle as a couple than finger pointing and blame directed at the person who planned the trip alone to begin with.
On a recent trip to Paris, one couple discovered that the “beautiful” apartment that they had rented had looked great in the photographs but not so quaint once they arrived and opened the door. The furniture was shabby, the linens stiff and scratchy and the kitchen was more like a closet than a kitchen. Because they had both taken a part in the decision to rent the place, it was easier to take the attitude of, “What the heck; we’re in Paris! We’ll deal with the rest,” than “What were you thinking when you rented this dump?”
Another thing to decide upon together is the expenditures for the vacation. When he expects to spend $1,000 on the trip and she wants to stay at a 5 star hotel, there needs to be a meeting of the minds that includes some serious number crunching before the plans are made. Decisions regarding daily expenditures while on holiday, including what class of transportation will you be using and in what kind of restaurants do you plan to dine, will have a big impact on how much is ultimately spent on your trip. These details should be agreed upon up front.
Some couples love gourmet dining and some prefer the quaint, local restaurants. The problems begin when one expects five-star dining and the other would rather grab a deli sandwich and eat picnic-style. Planning a daily food allowance helps avoid arguments later on.
One couple recently found themselves quickly planning a trip to Europe. She was accustomed to first-class travel whereas he had always preferred Coach. She acquiesced and they booked Coach seats for their flight. She was irritated the entire trip because she arrived in Europe exhausted, annoyed and realizing that they had some serious differences of opinion between them. Traveling together brings out the basic parts of our personality and, as in this couple’s case, the differences were ultimately too overwhelming to overcome and they went their separate ways.
Another obvious thing that we don’t always consider when vacationing is this; normally couples don’t spend 24/7 together. When faced with spending every minute together, couples often realize that some alone time is a good thing; even on vacation! No two people always like the same things every minute of every day, so, if he doesn’t like to shop, don’t make him go shopping with you. If you don’t like fishing, kiss him on the cheek at the shore and grab a book and a lawn-chair. A few hours apart will make for good dinner conversation in the evening when you discuss the events of your day together, much as you do at home on a normal day.
What vacation experiences have you had that you might like to share with our readers? Leave your ideas in the comment box at the bottom of the page, and, have a wonderful, blissful, relaxing vacation this summer.
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