I have spent over a year travelling with my boyfriend and despite almost constantly being in each other’s company we are still going strong. Here I discuss some easy and cheap tips to help you keep your relationship healthy and alive while travelling together abroad. In those times when you are still trying to make friends but want to make the most of this new found time together it can be hard to find the right balance but I encourage you to stick to it because it will get easier with time.
- Mix up dorms and private rooms – If you’re staying in a private room it isn’t so easy to make friends I find but if you are staying in a dorm room then it’s hard to have privacy at night – this will be especially hard if you are used to living together and sharing a bed every night. When on the road for a long period of time I find it is good to mix up dorm and private rooms. What worked best for us was if we had one night somewhere to get a private room but if we were spending a few days in a place it was nice to have a dorm and make some friends.
- Don’t hold back on socialising – leading straight on from the last point, if you were travelling with a friend you would still put yourself out there to make more friends, get to know other people and even spend a few weeks with them travelling. Just because you are out doing it as a couple doesn’t make it any different, spend time talking to dorm mates, people on your day trip etc. You don’t have to constantly be together – trust me in a few months’ time it will be great to know others you can chill out with.
- Make time to go on ‘dates’ – it is hard to find time to just be a couple some times. You spend the majority of the time living off pasta meals and cooking in a hostel kitchen that doing something romantic and ‘date’ like can be difficult. I feel it is important to make time to do so occasionally be with grabbing pizza and sitting on the beach, going out to a restaurant or having a picnic. Having the chance to just stop and enjoy each other’s company will be important the longer you are on the road.
- Be honest with each other – travelling is a selfish thing, everyone has different bucket lists and ideas of what they want from their life so if you are travelling for a long period of time you need to talk. Be honest about the way your travels are going, work out what works well and what doesn’t. Talk about the bigger picture and make sure you are both on the same page because at the end of the day your travel plans need to be suitable for the both of you.
- Do your own thing – he wants to go diving but you just want to sun bathe on the beach, so do just that. You don’t have to want to do everything together; if you were at home I’m sure you wouldn’t both do the same thing just because one of you wants to. Allow time to achieve your own goals, plan ahead so that you both booked to do your different things at the same time otherwise it could leave one of you bored and lonely especially if you are only stopping in that one place for a short time and barely know anyone.
Travelling as a couple can be very rewarding and a lot of fun. Just don’t forget to look out for one another, be honest with each other and allow time for yourself. If you are working in a country then it will be easier to have different friendship groups and to have a bit more of a ‘normal’ relationship. If you are constantly in each other’s company and on the road then find a way that works for you, this is your travel experience – you don’t want to look back in years to come and wonder why you were so reserved with making friends or why you didn’t take that trip just because he didn’t want to.