You don’t really know you love someone until you take a trip together and still like them afterward. Let’s talk about traveling together and all coming back alive at the end. And no, we’re not talking about travel safety! -aa

“Work hard, play hard” is the motto many of us live by when it comes to managing work/life balance.

So when vacation time rolls around, we are looking to really make the most of our time off. Sharing downtime with those we love most will help us savor those precious moments away from work all the more… right?

Traveling together is a really great way to grow closer to your loved ones, but it can pose some special challenges. This is especially true if you’ve grown used to calling all the shots in your daily schedule and will consider it an adjustment to have to factor another voice into the many decisions inherent in planning and executing a big trip.

The good news, though, is that with a few simple steps, you can have a great time on your trip with your BF, husband or BFF without killing each other.

Before You Go.

  • Choose a destination that both of you can get excited about.

When you’re planning a trip with someone else, it’s natural that you’ll both have certain preferences when it comes to destination, and it’s natural to try to convince the other person that your idea is best. But it’s very important that you make a compromise that both parties will be excited about. After all, vacations only come around once a year, so negotiate a spot that everyone can agree will be a blast.

  • Set boundaries.

Creating some boundaries with your travel buddy before your flight takes off is important. For example, will you be rooming together or separately? How much time will you need by yourself? What time do you plan on getting up and going to bed? These are questions that you can discuss before the trip so that everyone’s on the same page.

  • Ground rules.

This is especially important if you’re sharing a room and there are certain “deal breakers” you can’t live with. For example, if you’re traveling with a friend who parties, will you be able to tolerate late nights? What about guests in your room? Again, establishing these ground rules should be done before you arrive at your destination in order to avoid an argument.

  • Talk money.

Discussing how much you’re willing to spend on your vacation is important as it will guide a lot of other decisions, including where you’ll travel to, the accommodations you’ll stay in, etc. Talking about money can be awkward, but being up-front about your budget with your traveling companion will allow you to have a good time without stressing about how much you’re spending.

While You’re In Transit.

  • BE ON TIME!!!

There’s nothing worse than establishing a departure time with a travel partner, only to have them be late and foul the whole plan up. Being late will set your trip off on the wrong foot, so be on time!

  • Stay patient.

Traveling can be fraught with delays, cancellations, crowded conditions, and other inconveniences. Brace yourself for these possibilities and stay as patient as possible. Again, getting flipped out over a delayed flight won’t start your shared vacation on a positive note, so stay as upbeat as possible, even if unexpected aggravations pop up.

  • Keep pillows, snacks, and earplugs handy.

One of the easiest ways to make your travel experience smoother is to stay comfortable and avoid getting too hungry or tired. Make it easy for you and your companion to eat and sleep by planning ahead. This will leave you both feeling refreshed instead of depleted when you finally arrive at your destination.

How to Have an Amazing Vacation Without Killing the People You LoveWhile You’re There. 

  • Don’t over-schedule.

It’s tempting to want to see everything when you’re in a new place, but scheduling too many activities will cause you and your travel partner to feel stressed. Be sure that there’s plenty of down time in your plans to move at a pace that’s works well for both of you.

  • Be flexible.

One of the purposes of a vacation is to explore a new destination, and sometimes you end up going in an unexpected direction. Or, maybe the person you’re traveling with heard about something cool to do that wasn’t originally in “the plan.” Be flexible and open to new ideas. This will also keep your partner from looking at you as “the boss” and allow them to feel comfortable changing plans if necessary.

  • Spend an afternoon or two apart.

At the point that you and your travel companion have reached your destination and spent a few days there, you’ve already been in each other company for a long time. Spending an afternoon or two apart is a good way to keep from getting sick of each other and gives you both time to recharge without the other person.

Planning a dream vacation with someone else is possible if you follow the tips above. With a few simple steps, you’ll be smooth sailing into the trip of a lifetime!

John Gower is an analyst for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping you save money with tips on everything from travel to scoring a good CD account.

Featured Photo: Two Revelers “Wining” in Trinidad’s Carnival, Jean-MarcPhoto: Dominican Carnival, Hotel View Area, Wikimedia Commons.

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