A few weeks back, I went on my first vacation with my significant other. We celebrated our one year anniversary in Los Angeles. Now, before you go judging me for being overly-romantic, I was on the verge of burnout and we both needed a vacation. It just so happened that our anniversary was the perfect time to get away.
I once was given advice on how you can tell whether or not you will be able to tolerate spending your life with someone. The advice? Go on vacation. Think about it: on vacation, you have to not only deal with someone’s living habits, but you also have to compromise on what you will actually do, which gets tricky if you do not have the same interests. I have gone on fantastic couple’s vacations in the past, and obviously, I am not still with said past vacationers (if that makes any sense whatsoever). I do agree, however, that going on that first vacation is a great way to get a gauge on whether or not you’ll be able to handle actually living with someone and not simply cohabitating. Here are some tips on making the first vacation a success:
1. Pick a place that fits both of your interests.
This may seem obvious, but it is really important to go somewhere you will both enjoy. You may think that everyone loves the beach, so of course your significant other would love to go to the Bahamas. But does your boo actually like to lounge around all day, or will he be restless after 30 minutes and want to do something different? Before booking your getaway, make sure you are both on the same page for what kind of vacation you want.
2. Make a list of “Must Do’s” before the trip.
While I am all for spontaneity, it can be hard and stressful to fit in what you both want to do on the fly. Research the place to which you are travelling ahead of time and put together a list of things you each want to do. Then, if you know you won’t have time to do it all, compromise on which of the things you really want to do. If you can’t come to a consensus on this one simple step, that could be a sign that this trip may be headed for disaster.
3. Agree on your packing situation.
This may surprise you, but even just packing for vacation can be stressful when coordinating with a partner. What if one of you wants to check baggage and the other one wants to just carry-on. Know what the heck your boyfriend/girlfriend is planning on doing with baggage before you get to the airport and get into an argument. Remember: airports are stressful enough. Don’t let them steal your soul along with the bag fees!
4. Stay within budget.
While some of us are ballers, the rest of us are ballers on a budget. We all know that money issues are a major cause of break-ups and divorce, so make sure that all of your plans are in line with what each of you can actually afford. No one wants to go home broke and broken up.
5. Accept that your partner is really weird, and so are you.
If you haven’t been living with your boyfriend or girlfriend and this is your first trip, be prepared for the weirdness. You’ll be pretty much living with this person for the next few days or weeks or whatever, so the little habits will start to come out. He or she will start using the bathroom with the door open or brushing hir or her teeth while on the couch. If there are things that really irk you and you cannot get over, chances are this will not work out in the long run.
6. Be comfortable asking people to take your photo.
You want to cherish the memories of a good trip, right? To make sure you get the best pics from your vacation, try to not limit your couple photos to just selfies (would we call it “usies” here? Hmm). Ask trustworthy looking people (fun fact: ask someone who is with someone else or a group as they are less likely to jack yo stuff) to take photos of you that require a little more room than a selfie. Yay, memories!
Not many people would think of this as being a part of a successful vacation, but I find it helpful when coming back from vacation to talk about your favorite parts of the trip. It almost rekindles the good feelings you had while doing all of those fun things and keeps it alive. It’s also nice to put together a photo album or frame one of the photos from the trip to always look back on.
Having a successful trip is not necessarily an indicator of wedding bells, but it does help to know you are on the right track. Conversely, a rocky vacation doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed; maybe you just need to work on some things. Overall, these tips could help you to make the most of your first couple’s vacation and minimize stress!