Planning a trip can be a huge endeavor, no matter where you’re going or for how long. And for many of us, it’s a rare opportunity to escape from life’s usual stresses and have some fun. Ironing out the details is key, including figuring out who will be your vacation buddy (or if you're going to have one at all). In some instances, you might want to bring bae along, but in others, maybe you want to ride solo, with your family, or with one of your BFFs. If you don’t want to travel with your significant other, that’s totally fine, but you may need to talk to them about why this isn’t the case.
First of all, you don’t want to make your partner feel unwanted because you’re looking to travel without them. Life coach Nina Rubin suggests being honest about why this particular trip is important for you, and why you need the space to do it independently. She advises approaching the conversation in this way: “I’d love to plan a trip with you next time! This is really important for me right now to travel with my best friend (or alone)." Maybe this is a goal you've had for a while, or just something you really feel like you need to do for yourself. Regardless, you should not feel shame about pursuing your dreams, with or without your SO.
When you assert that you still care about your partner, and you’re not excluding them to make them feel bad, the conversation will go a lot more smoothly. And if you do want to travel with them at some point, remind them of this! It will mean more if you do it when the time is right. Especially for new couples who might not feel ready to travel together yet, it's great to talk about your excitement for the future. Hopefully, later on in your relationship, you'll both be prepared to take this next step.
It takes time to feel confident enough to travel together, and your partner should understand this if you are honest about how you feel. Rubin suggests saying something along these lines: “I’m not ready to take such a big trip together. Let’s go somewhere a little closer to start out. I love spending time together and need a bit more prep before we go away.” It’s totally reasonable that you would want to start small and work your way up to something bigger!
If you like to travel, but don’t ever envision yourself traveling with your boo… “One has to wonder why,” muses Erika Ettin, dating coach. You might have a different problem on your hands that deserves a deeper personal assessment. If traveling is an important part of your life, you should eventually want to share it with your significant other, even if you aren’t ready just yet.
But that doesn’t mean every single trip has to be a couples’ vacation. “Every relationship needs to have time apart in order to maintain your individuality as people,” Ettin says. You deserve space to maintain your separate lives, and having a conversation about traveling alone can help you establish healthy boundaries in other facets of life as well. While quality time together is crucial for couples to thrive, quality time apart is also valuable in its own right. When you each get to pursue your goals and dreams without worrying about how the other will feel, you’ll feel more appreciative of one another. And when you travel without your bae and inevitably miss him or her, you’ll be that much more grateful for the bond you share when you return home.
And hey, if all else fails, just sing bae the lyrics to "NASA" by Ariana Grande: “I can't really miss you if I'm with you. And when I miss you, it'll change the way I kiss you.” You need space, baby! Ain’t nothing wrong with that.