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Two Women, One Suitcase: The Rules of Travel for Two

Traveling as a same-sex couple doesn’t necessarily have to be different from traveling as a straight couple. In fact, some might say it’s no different at all. Regardless of what kind of couple you and your partner are, some basic rules still apply.

Rule One: Someone will have to take charge
In every relationship one person has better organizational skills than the other. In some cases it depends on exactly what is being organized. Some of us are hat-changers. We may be great at wearing the “Whip Things Into Shape” hat at home but yank out the “Free-spirited Adventurer” hat at the mere mention of vacation. That’s okay. It just means the usually more laid-back one will have to take charge. If that’s you (and let’s assume it is), we can safely move on to rule two.

Rule Two: Research, research, and a little more research
Your first step is going to be to research your destination. You’ll want to compare prices of hotels and read guest reviews. Find out where the hotels are located in proximity to what you want to see. If you’re staying in NYC and you want to be within walking distance to Times Square, Central Park and Broadway, you’ll want to look at hotels in Midtown. Or maybe you’re going to San Francisco and want to ride the cable cars or be near Chinatown. The Fairmont Hotel is located in the only spot in the city where the cable car lines meet, and it’s only two blocks from Chinatown.

Consider price. How much are you willing to spend? Do you prefer an economy hotel, or do you want a little more luxury? Just remember that the more luxurious the hotel, the more people you’ll have to tip. If that’s a consideration in these troubled economic times then you’ll need to choose your hotel accordingly.

Rule Three: Book early
There are two opinions regarding how early to book your vacation. While many people agree that “the earlier the better”, some maintain that the longer you wait, the more likely you are to steal a last minute deal. It all depends on what you’re after. If you’re a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of couple, then by all means, wait until the last minute. But if you’re like most of us and have to request vacation time at work, make arrangements for the children or find boarding for the pets, last minute planning isn’t going to cut it. In booking early you get the peace of mind of knowing a plan is in action. But there’s an additional benefit; the costs of flight and hotel are covered early. That means that by the time you actually leave for vacation, your only spending will be on food and whatever sightseeing you have in mind.

And speaking of spending, when splitting costs try splitting per item instead of 50-50 all the way. It makes life much easier to say “I’ll get the hotel and the rental car and you get the plane tickets” if the cost is going to (more or less) even out anyway. “I’ll pay for dinner tonight; you get it tomorrow” and so on.

Rule Four: Pack accordingly
We’ve already established that the other half is not going to be any help with the practical things so it’s up to you to make sure that along with suitable clothes, you’re also prepared with travel size toiletries (you might not like the ones offered at the hotel) and a mini survival pack (think bandaids, hand sanitizer, tissues, and so forth).

Rule Five: Airport transportation
Why count on taxis or friends to bring you to the airport and pick you up when you return when you can drop your car off in the Buffalo Airport’s Long Term Parking section for as little as $8/daily or a weekly maximum of $40. In some cases, that may even be cheaper than a taxi. Plus you have the added luxury of getting directly off the flight and into your car without having to wait for your ride to get there.

Rule Six: Have fun!
So you’ve covered all the details and you’re finally on vacation. You’ve worked hard for this. There’s nothing to do now but relax and enjoy it. She can owe you one when you get home!

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