Is there anything more exciting than planning a vacation? Sure, it can be stressful sometimes, but if you decide you want to take a big trip out of the country, it’s definitely something to look forward to. And if you haven’t traveled with your partner yet, that’s also a major step. Deciding when to travel internationally with your significant other can be tricky, but there are some surefire ways to know you’re ready.
“Travel can make or break a relationship,” says professional travel couple Marie Fe and Jake Snow, who have built their Instagram with more than 400,000 followers by traveling together full-time. “It is the ultimate compatibility test.” Because of their nomad lifestyles, Fe and Snow started traveling together almost right away — and for them, it was a positive thing. “It laid out such a strong foundation for our relationship to thrive,” they tell Elite Daily. “Our first year together consisted of eight months traveling, [and] by the end of that year, it felt like we had known each other for five [years].” Experiencing the world with someone will inevitably put all aspects of your relationship to the test, for better or for worse. You and your partner will be spending almost 24/7 together, experiencing jet lag, culture shock, and the inevitable transportation woes.
It’s crucial that you’re both on the same page about details of the trip, so you’ll avoid fights or arguments down the road. For instance, are you planning on eating out every day, or cooking some meals together? Will you spend your days hiking or lounging at the beach or park? Get all your preferences out in the open so there won’t be any big surprises when the trip rolls around.
According to life coach Nina Rubin, you’ll know you’re prepared to travel with bae “if you’ve shared your hopes and goals for the type of trip, how much money you can spend, what type of accommodations you want to stay in, [and] how you travel.” Planning things out (as much as you can/want) will help you both feel like you’re getting the type of travel experience you’ve been dreaming about. It will also make you more aware of what each other’s travel needs might be. That way, you’re less likely to get into arguments, because you’re prepared for what to expect.
If you’re reading this and thinking… “I’m definitely not ready for an international trip together,” that’s totally OK too! Going abroad as a couple is a big step, and sometimes you need to work your way there. Rubin suggests building up with smaller trips first to see how you travel together. Once you’ve taken a day trip together, or a short weekend getaway, you can start thinking ahead about planning bigger travel down the road.
Ultimately, with all forms of travel, you have to learn to expect the unexpected. No matter how much time you spend planning, things aren’t going to go as smoothly as you hope. “You will at times be hot, hungry, frustrated, annoyed, and most likely angry at each other,” Fe and Snow recall. “Do you recover quickly and forgive after these moments, or will your relationship show cracks?” Although stressful at times, travel is a revealing way to learn about each other and explore your compatibility. When you feel like you’re ready, go ahead and take the leap! There will never be a perfect moment to make your dreams happen, so trust your gut and do what feels best for your relationship. If it all goes well, you’ll come back with some amazing memories to carry with you for years to come.