Ask these questions before you take a trip with your partner to have a more fulfilling time together!
1. What's your traveling style?
Maybe one person just wants to relax and sleep in past noon, while the other wants to get up at the crack of dawn to pack in as much sightseeing as humanly possible. Some may want to skip the tourist sites and instead have 5 meals a day at fancy restaurants.
Have a conversation about what each of you tends to enjoy more, and if there is any common ground that you share or habits that may clash with the other. Are you the one who wants to research and plan everything? Or do you just want to go and see where the day takes you? Laying it all out allows you to find a compromise and go in knowing what the other person enjoys or dislikes.
Kara of Whimsy Soul wearing Arden Cove Full Crossbody with Chain Strap in Cream
2. What kind of things do you want to spend or save on? What budget works for you?
Lifestyle travel blogger Kara of Whimsy Soul, who often travels with her husband says, "I’m lucky because Robin’s travel style is the same as mine, which has always made it easy, but I’ve chatted with girlfriends about this before. One friend values staying at a nice hotel, clean rooms, comfy beds, while her boyfriend would happily spend forever booking at cheap roadside motels. That sometimes causes friction in their travels about where to allocate budget."
If you're concerned about your budget, look up prices of accommodations, food, and activities beforehand so you can figure out what items you are willing to spend more on and while items you don't mind skipping.
3. How do you want to spend our time there?
You always want to spend time well, but when you are on a trip where you already spent money and vacation time on, you are especially more aware and unhappy to waste it. Talk about what you find the most valuable to spend your vacation time on.
Kara brings up: "Another girlfriend really loves to get out in the city and explore, but a guy she dated and traveled with loved to sleep in until noon and then party in bars until 2 am. Then there’s another couple friend where one likes beer and hates wine, and the other hates beer and loves wine. They don’t visit Napa Valley together, but have found they both like cider and will seek out cider houses on trips instead."
4. If something goes wrong, how will we handle it together?
Travel is stressful. You miss a flight, the Uber is stuck in traffic, you don't have signal on your phone, or the restaurant you were really looking forward to has a 2-hour wait. That coupled with sore feet and less restful sleep, it's easy to get into a disagreement.
Go in with a battle plan of how you are aware of these likely possibilities and how you want to address any issues as they come up. Remind each other that even if there are a few bumps along the way, you are both committed to working out the problems as they arise.
5. What do you see as the goal of this trip? What do you hope to get out of it?
Each trip may have a different significance to the other person. Maybe it's to relax from a stressful period at work, to have a fun adventure, to learn new things about a country together, or a chance for a long, uninterrupted period to connect with one another.
You don't need to have the same goal, but it helps in picking the activities that will satisfy both partner's needs.
Karin is the co-founder of Arden Cove and co-creator of the Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies - bags created for women who want all the practicality and safety features without compromising in style. Shop ArdenCove.com.