Better communication, improved teamwork, reliving the romance – the benefits of couples travelling are endless.
Travelling is easily a part of any couple’s lifestyle. Long weekends away, summer / winter getaways- travelling for couples are not limited to just honeymoon.
It’s the universal truth – couples that travel together (often) stay together.
But today, let’s dig deeper than just travelling or getting away. It isn’t just the act of travelling itself that is beneficial for couples, it also greatly depends on the kind of travel that they do.
Here are 9 kinds of travel or travelling style that I suggest couples take at least once in their relationship span.
Be warned: Some of these will strengthen your bond, and some will definitely put tension on the relationship. What I can guarantee you though: if your relationship can survive all these kinds of trips, you will emerge an extremely stronger duo and will be able to weather the test of time.
1.) That “Amazing Race” trip
You don’t need to enter an actual race, but there’s nothing like landing in an entirely foreign country or city where you both don’t know anyone, don’t know the language, nor the roads.
When you get lost together, an element of teamwork will naturally come out. Task delegation (or evation) will occur, bickering amongst the two of you will arise as to which direction/train/bus the map says you should take, the grief of turning into a dead end (while one partner bites his/her lip from saying ‘I told you so.’) ,and the elation of finally reaching your destination in one piece.
And when doing a roadtrip, let’s not forget the 300 or so songs sung out loud in the car, the impromptu stops along the road for a break, to ask for directions, a snack, a quick snooze (or more..)
Trip suggestions: Road tripping through: LA to San Francisco (or vice versa), Sydney to Melbourne (or vice versa), East to West coast of any country, North to South of New Zealand. Or you can also both get a whole day ticket for bus / train in a city you both don’t know and just see how far (or how lost) it can take you.
2.) That trip that gives you an adrenalin high
We’re talking team-related adrenalin activities such as scuba diving and rock climbing. Not ony do these activities give your adrenalin a kick but will boost your trust to an all-time high.
There’s nothing like knowing that your partner has got your back and your life depended on each other. When you are belaying your partner in rock climbing, his/her life is literally on your hands, and when you’re climbing, there’s the confidence in taking a step higher, knowing that should you fall, you are in trusted hands.
Same with sports like scuba diving, where you are required to have a buddy to go underwater. You need to look out for each other, check each others’ equipment, swim in the same pace– there’s no “me time” in these kinds of activities. The other advantage of indulging in this kind of activity: if you two get hooked, it can become a hobby and the start of a healthier lifestyle.
As this kind of adventure travel is risky, it is suggested that you train or get qualified first (depending on the activity) before you go.
Suggested trips/activities: getting your SCUBA certificate together and diving in your favourite resort destination (Maldives or Southeast Asia perhaps), Ice Climbing (New Zealand or Iceland)
3.) That trip you take without your partner
Just because you are in a relationship / are married doesn’t mean that all the travels you take have to be together. Paul and Linda McCartney famously only spent 10 days apart out of their 29 years of married life. It does sound romantic, but also honestly quite claustrophobic.
Sure, ideally all your travels should be with your partner but I personally find that solo travel, or travel with people other than your partner from time to time is actually beneficial to the relationship.
For one, it revives in you the confidence and self-assuredness you had pre-relationship days and you come back refreshed, with the heart gone fonder for your partner (it IS true, absence does make the heart grow fonder)
You should be able to grant the same kind of freedom to your partner as well and make sure that majority of your travels are still with each other. It will also help if you or your partner know or trust the people you are travelling with.
Suggested trips: an all-girls / all-boys weekend getaway with your friends/ siblings
4.) That trip that turns you into a kid all over again
This kind of trip does not get old. At all. It doesn’t have to be a theme park – just anywhere that brings you back to being a kid and let all your hair and guard down. It can be a zoo or even a visit to and old toy shop.
It doesn’t matter if you two are the serious, “we’re all grown-ups, we’re civilised” kind of couple. There’s still nothing like getting on a ride called “Montezuma’s Revenge” and seeing yours and your partner’s facial expressions in that photo souvenir, forever immortalised.
Especially when you’ve been together for more than 5 years and life can sometimes get into a routine, the fresh burst of silliness can really go a long way.
Suggested trips: a weekend at the Goldcoast to visit the theme parks, a weekend pass in Universal Studios or Disneyworld / land
5.) That trip way outside of your comfort zone
I would only suggest this trip to those who are less than 2 years in their relationship or if you feel you don’t know your partner deep enough yet.
When you go on a nice trip that’s within all your comfort zones, there’s nothing new about your personality that will surface. But if you are in the ‘getting-to-know-each-other-better’ stage, I suggest going out of your comfort and luxury zone. Sometimes these kinds of trips happen inevitably – your hotel booking got cancelled /screwed up so you have to check-in at the run-down hostel 10 blocks down the road because its the only place with availability. Or you didn’t know that the tour you booked was ultra-mega-super-backpacker budget.
The purpose of this exercise is to see the other person’s deeper nature. How does one react when things don’t go their way? How do they cope when their surroundings are not up to par? Do they lash out at everyone including you? Do they just shrivel up and cry? Or do they take things as it is, suck it up and say,“Ok, this place is grubby but we’re not going to die. And if we live through this, we are NOT going to do this trip ever again. Now, let’s have fun while we’re at it!”
This type of trip brings out a lot of skeletons (and charms) in each other.
Suggested trips: Visit a city you’ve already been to but book everything with less than half the usual budget. Or simply, just travel in the way and norm you are not used to.
6.) That trip where you can give back and where everything is so foreign
Travel is part of the endless education included in life and there’s nothing more educational than going to a foreign country whose culture and beliefs are so far from your own.
It’s also better to experience this with your partner as you learn about other people’s lives, beliefs and what is of utmost importance to them. It’s fun to learn a language together, mispronounce the words, attempt to speak to (and be understood by) locals.
And it can also be a chance to give back. When you and your partner engage in volunteer tourism, not only are you doing great help and deeds towards other people.You will also be able to gain a wider perspective in dealing with problems. Things that you used to bicker about will seem trivial when you think about the places you’ve been to where it would be a luxury have ‘couple problems’ like you do (such as fighting over the remote, or having an argument over where to eat out on Friday night)
Suggested trips: Cultural immersions and volunteer tourism over Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America
7.) That trip you go on with a group
Group travel is not for every couple (sure is not for me), but sometimes it’s inevitable. You travel with friends, family, or a complete set of strangers.
It can be fun especially when you really like the group you are with. But there are times (more often that not) that it can also backfire.
Why this is crucial for couples: It’s also important to shake up the dynamics from time to time when you travel. When you broaden your usual travel circle of two, you learn a lot of new things.
I for one, get inspired whenever we travel and we meet an older couple whose relationship we aspire to. You can also meet like-minded people that may end up being lifelong friends.
Yes, there’s also a chance that you will be with people who are annoying (or you can be the annoying one to them), but such is the nature of group travel. This can also strengthen your bond as you learn to appreciate each other more.
It can also be a true test of patience (see number 5).
Suggested trips: cruises, group land tours, trips with each others’ families.
8.) That trip from your past
Unless your past is something that you want to be erased completely and be disassociated from, it’s pretty fun (not to mention important) for your partner to visit places crucial to your life before he/she came into the picture.
This could be a trip to the country of your origins (could be where your parents/ grandparents came from), or simply your hometown, the school you attended, the building where you had your first job, etc.
This will help you understand each other better, get to know each others’ backgrounds better and will make for good conversations ,if you have not already talked about it.
I took my then-boyfriend Zombie to the school I studied for 13 years, and showed him each gate I escaped from to cut classes and where exactly I (and my posse) got busted and the rooms where we spent detention.
While the” tour” didn’t really paint a stellar picture of myself as a student (and that was never the goal), he now probably understands better that I am never one to obey strict rules. (and this is putting it mildly).
This works both ways, it’s also important for you to see places of your partner’s past and have a blast laughing at shenanigans they’ve gotten into long ago.
Suggested trips: High schools, hometowns, a visit to your parents/grandparents
9.) That luxurious getaway
If you’re still together after surviving all kinds of trips mentioned above, book your ticket now to the nearest paradise destination and all-out splurge. You both deserve this!
While most couples would put this kind of trip early on in the relationship (honeymoon), I personally think they place more meaning if it was taken after you’ve survived more than 3 years of marriage and laugh as you look back and reminisce all the troubles (and failed trips) you’ve had in the past as you toast to an even crazier future together while enjoying the view from your overwater bungalow.