Planning a trip is almost as fun as the actual travel. All the excitement, the brochures, the talking late into the night . . . I love travel planning! Make sure that your journey has the same excitement from beginning to end, and that you come home still speaking to your travel companion!
Here are my top 7 tips on enjoying your travels with your spouse, family or friends – whoever your travel partner may be:
Understand different travel styles
Different people like to travel in different ways, even if these people have been married for many years. One person may like a planned-ahead itinerary while the other may just like to wing it. Know these differences ahead of time so that you can plan with both of you in mind. And if you’ll be traveling on a long trip with someone you’ve never traveled with before, a test overnight together may be a good idea.
Plan an Agenda
Make a list of what each of you would like to do or see while on your trip. Then look at the days and fill in the time with items from each of your lists. Leave open time for opportunities that come up that may be more fun or interesting than what you had planned for.
Budget for the Trip
Outline what the trip will cost (airfare, hotel, transportation, food, tips, events, and of course shopping!) and determine who will be paying what. This eliminates a lot of discussion at dinner tables on who will pick up the tab. When traveling with others outside of your immediate family, talk ahead of time about paying for such things as alcoholic beverages or more expensive events, as everyone may not want to partake and have the same budget. Nothing can ruin a trip faster than money disagreements so spell it out ahead of time.
Be willing to compromise and be flexible during your trip. Do something your travel mate wants to do, then plan an event you want to do. Travel with an open mind to look for new adventures that you couldn’t imagine planning for.
Have Some ‘Me’ Time
Traveling together doesn’t mean spending every moment together. Make time for some quiet reading, journaling, spa or other ‘me’ time and offer this same enjoyment to your travel companions.
For my husband and myself, my ‘me’ time is sleep time, his is photography time. He wakes up early to catch a beautiful sunrise while I enjoy my time under the covers getting more sleep. It works perfectly for both of us.
Laugh and Enjoy Your Travels
It’s easy to get stressed with the unfamiliarity of your locale, language struggles and money issues. Rather than let these put a damper on your trip, focus on the enjoyment and fun. Go into each day with the challenge to find new fun things to do. At the end of the day, talk about the enjoyment you had and you’ll have even more fun the next day.
Bring Back Great Memories
Whether you enjoy picking up souvenirs, postcards, journaling or taking your own photos, it’s great to reminisce about a wonderful trip when you see the items that you brought home.
I collect magnets for our refrigerator and Christmas ornaments and my husband updates our screensaver with a few photos of every trip. We can sit in his office for hours (with a bottle of wine, of course!) watching these photos scroll by and they evoke very special feelings about each fabulous trip. Memories are wonderful.
I hope these travel tips help you create fantastic, memorable journeys with even stronger relationships!