There are an estimated 14 million people in the United States who would describe their relationship as “long-distance.”
Although being far away from your partner definitely brings its challenges and can be really tough sometimes, it can be super exciting to plan visits and trips with the person you love.
Here are some ideas you can try to save extra cash for your travel fund:
1. Set realistic expectations.
Extra spending money is not the only thing that holds most people back from traveling. Most of the time, there is the issue of working and how many days off you're given, both paid and unpaid, that muddy up the waters a little bit.
Have a long and realistic talk about the expectations for how often you'll see one another, as well as how you'd both like the structure of your visits to look.
Also, don't get too upset or flustered if things come up that cause you to wait a bit longer in between trips.
2. Hold designated Skype date nights.
Instead of going out to eat, heading to the bar and seeing some movies with your friends or your significant other (since, you know, you can't), it's nice sometimes to just stay in on your respective couches and watch a movie together!
The magic of Skype screen-sharing is not something that should be taken for granted! It helps if you share your Netflix, Hulu and HBOGo accounts as well! There's no sense in both of you spending the $10 a month when you could split it.
3. Meet in the middle.
Depending on the distance, it might be tough to travel all the way across the country every time you want to hang.
Try looking up places where you can meet in the middle (or middle-ish) that might be a bit cheaper flight-wise.
And if you're looking for a place to stay...
4. Couch surf.
Try traveling to places where friends and family live! This is an awesome excuse to see friends from college who moved away, your cousins whom you haven't seen in a couple of years or snowbird aunts and uncles who spend winters in the South.
If you're traveling somewhere and don't have a couch to crash on, always look into Airbnb type deals before booking a hotel, especially during holiday times.
Hotel prices surge like crazy for occasions like New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day.
5. Sign up for a travel credit card.
Book all of your flights and travel expenses through a travel credit card that gives you “miles” back as a reward.
All cards are different, so be sure to research what works best for you and your budget.
6. Split the cost.
Have you ever been scouring Google flights to find the next time you and your hunny will see each other, just to find that it is so much cheaper for one of you? Try splitting the difference.
This can definitely help make sure each visit is fair for both parties, and it will eliminate any animosity or ill feelings if their flight to see you is just too expensive this time around.
It'll all even out eventually, anyway.
There is no exact science to a successful long-distance relationship, but being open and understanding and communicating clearly regarding what exactly to expect from your partner is key.
If it's meant to be, it'll be. But, you might as well have some fun, make some memories and grow together while you find out.