Find out all the pros and cons of traveling as a couple before embarking on the great adventure of exploring the world with your significant other.
Traveling as a couple and exploring new places together, whether it’s for a few days, weeks, or months, often deepens the bond you and your partner share…so studies say. But what they don’t let out is that it can be challenging too.
We’ve traveled the world together for the past 10+ years. From exploring remote places in Asia to camel rides in Morocco and wasting away our days on Caribbean beaches, Jesse and I have explored a lot of the world side-by-side, and it’s been amazing, but to say there haven’t been overwhelming moments along the way, well, would be a lie.
While couples travel can be a great experience, it’s what you do in the “hiccup moments” that really strengthens your relationship. In the moments that don’t go according to plan, you can grow closer together or further apart. We’re here to tell you the pros and cons of traveling as a couple.
The Pros of Traveling as A Couple
1. You Get to Experience Something Amazing Together
Traveling as a couple allows you and your partner to create new memories together and who doesn’t love creating new memories?! You expand upon the already written chapters of your relationship by adding something new and fun into the book. You get to look back and laugh at those funny moments, remember those daring moments, or reminisce on that romantic moment in someplace new and are filled with the feelings of that day.
Really if you think about it, creating new memories is like investing in the future of your relationship. It gives you bits and moments to remember and talk about for years to come!
2. You Learn More About Each Other, Quirks and All
Let’s face it, when you travel together as a couple, you are with each other a lot…basically all the time. So, you become VERY acquainted with each other. We’re talking bathroom habits, how clean or messy they are, and how they handle a buffet or their alcohol at that all-inclusive resort.
Basically, when you travel as a couple, you get to see them for who they really are. New traits and habits could unfold themselves to you as you go about your travels and you may realize you have much more in common than you originally thought. Your weird quirks or habits could sync up (or not) and you realize “how meant for each other” you really are.
3. Traveling as A Couple Improves Your Communication
For any good relationship, communication is key. And when traveling as a couple, communication is definitely important. If you are just new into a relationship, you may be in the “oh I don’t care, whatever you want to do” phase. While compromise is great, you need to speak up and really communicate with your partner if something is bothering you!
Basically, don’t brush things under the rug. And when traveling as a couple, you really can’t hide feelings for too long. You’re with each other day-in-and-day-out, forcing you to address the issues and concerns you are having with each other or the trip in general. By having these discussions, you learn how to communicate with one another in a way that works for your relationship.
4. Your Appreciation For One Another Grows
When traveling as a couple, you see each other at your worst and at your best. You overcome things together, you learn things together, and you adapt together. You become a real team and divide and conquer to solve problems when things go wrong. Whether it’s tummy troubles from that questions thing you ate earlier, finding a missing passport, or figuring out where you are going next when your bus leaves you, you overcome the unforeseeable together.
At the end of the day, you are there for each other and support each other fully. All adding up to gratitude and appreciation for your partner. The whole feeling of “I couldn’t have done this without you” is very real and provides a sense of appreciation when traveling with a loved one.
5. Traveling as A Couple Provides Comfort
When you’re far away from home and in a foreign place, having your partner with you provides a sense of safety and familiarity. The place you’re in may not seem so scary when you walk hand-in-hand with your partner or knowing that you have an extra set of eyes on your belongings never hurts.
It also helps with being homesick. Having someone you love with you can help chase those blues away when homesickness starts to settle in. Your partner is a nice little comfort blanket. Someone who is with you that you trust and can rely on is such a powerful thing to have with you when you travel.
6. You Have a Personal Photographer
It’s true! Traveling as a couple means you always have a personal photographer. Want a solo shot in front of Monument Valley or a waterfall in Bali? No problem! Just hand over your camera (or phone) to your partner and let them click away. We will say, it’s a really nice luxury to have someone always available for photo opportunities.
Related read: A year in the life of a travel blogging couple
7. You Have Someone Who Can Relate
Sometimes travel can be hard. Especially if you are traveling for many months or even years. You’ll see things that will break your heart and learn things that will make you question everything. Travel changes you. It leaves a mark and that can be a REALLY hard thing to express to friends or family who have not traveled or have not experienced the things you did.
Having your person, your partner, being able to share in these experiences, is our number one reason why we think traveling as a couple is so important. It makes you feel heard and that someone actually understands and furthermore, can relate to what you experience during your time away from home.
8. Traveling as A Couple Provides a Break from Routine
When you’ve been in a relationship for a bit, it’s easy to fall into a routine. And hey, a routine is not a bad thing, but it can definitely get a little, well…boring. When you travel, any sort of routine you have breaks and that can be a really fun way to spice up life again!
Instead of watching your favorite Netflix binger on a Monday night, you’re hiking and camping your way through the Southwest of the United States. Sounds pretty great, right?
Find out many other fun travel-related date ideas here.
9. Cost of Things Tends to Be Less
While this is not true in all cases, it is true when you’re able to split things. Instead of paying full price for an item, split the cost where you can, and traveling as a couple will definitely pay off (literally)!
Where traveling as a couple can save you money is splitting a ride-share or tuk-tuk, splitting a nicer room vs staying in a crammed hostel dorm, and even splitting food! And not to mention, you have two people putting money into the trip versus having just one set of income. So, if you play it smart, traveling as a couple can be really cost-effective.
The Cons of Traveling as A Couple
Ok, so now for the cons of couple travel. Sure, traveling with a partner is amazing, but it’s not amazing 100% of the time. We’ll talk about some of the realities of the not-so glamour side of traveling as a couple.
1. You’re Always Together
While you may love your travel companion, everyone needs some alone time and that can be hard to come by when traveling as a couple. Personal space and just laying low and having me-time is a real challenge for us when we travel as a couple.
It’s important you have time for yourself. So, take the time to do so. Instead of taking a walk together, take a walk by yourself. Instead of having a meal together, have a meal by yourself. Make a plan to have set time away from each other. Everyone needs a little “me-time” to reset and decompress. It’s not a bad thing at all.
2. You May Not Meet Many New People
One of the best parts of traveling solo is all the people you meet along the way. When you travel as a couple, you already have a person to hang out with and to explore with, so you may not be too motivated to meet new people. However, we can’t say what a mistake this would be!
Meeting fellow travelers is one of the BEST parts of travel. You get to meet new people from different cultures and places around the world and form lasting friendships with them. Cutting yourself off from this experience would be an absolute shame.
A great way to get around this is staying at a hostel, booking tours through your accommodation, or just flat out talking to folks at a bar. If you have no desire to stay in a shared dorm room in a hostel, book a private room in the hostel instead. That way, you can have your personal space but still get the social interactions staying at a hostel provides.
Related read: Best hostels for couples in Europe
3. You Become Dependent on Your Person
In relationships, you tend to settle into roles and responsibilities of who does what. When traveling solo, you are responsible for everything, and you only have yourself to rely on. In your solo travels, you discover so much about yourself and what you are capable of.
When traveling as a couple, you tend to rely on your person for help, which provides a sense of comfort. You may not feel compelled to jump out of your comfort zone therefore not stretching yourself to grow and be challenged.
4. You May Not Have Much of a Flexible Schedule
You may not be able to do what you want when you want. After all, you have another person to consider. For instance, if you are a morning person, and your partner is not, you may not be doing too many early morning activities. Your day starts when your sleepy-head partner wakes up, and that can become annoying to some.
It’s helpful to make plans ahead of time and also compromise along the way. Also, understand you don’t need to do everything together so if there is an early morning sunrise you want to catch and your partner doesn’t, talk about it and make a plan. Open communication is key to having a flexible schedule when traveling as a couple.
5. Your Relationship Comes to An End
Travel challenges you and things go wrong and it’s when things go wrong it really shows you the person you are traveling with. Sometimes these instances don’t strengthen your relationship but break them. You may come to realize how different you are and that your future paths don’t align. Whatever the circumstances may be, a relationship coming to end during or after a trip is never ideal, but it is something that happens.
Now, we may be biased but coming from a pair of adventure travelers who always travel together, traveling has done more for our relationship and ourselves than we ever imagined it would. It’s strengthened our bond, made us better communicators and has given us a shared passion for hiking and exploring new places. It’s broadened our perspectives and understanding of the world, and we are so happy we have each other to share in all of that with.
Sure, there are cons when traveling as a couple, but for us, the pros far outweigh the cons.
TRAVELING AS A COUPLE – PIN IT FOR LATER!
Lauren & Jesse from the Wandering Stus are a free-spirited travel couple whose appetite for adventure and faraway places fuel their wanderlusting souls. They give you travel tips, epic itineraries & overall travel inspiration to help you plan your next adventure! Follow along on @Wanderingstus on Instagram as they tell their stories of the places they’ve been and furthermore, where they are going next.