If You See Relationship Problems After Going On Vacation Together For The First Time, You're Not Alone
Every new relationship has major milestones to cross. There’s the first date, first kiss, first sleepover, first Instagram post, and the first time you go on vacation together. For people like me who love adventure and traveling, vacations are an important way to discover how well you and your partner mesh. And while the hope is that everything goes swimmingly well, sometimes you may notice relationship problems after going on vacation together.
Let’s face it — travel isn’t always what it looks like in Instagram photos. Sure, it’s fun to visit a beautiful place together, but it also breaks you out of your normal routine and forces you to adapt to a new environment. And when you’re with your partner navigating all this unpredictability, you learn a lot about each other. In fact, I’d argue that it’s one of the best ways to get an idea of your long-term compatibility with someone. “The next best thing to living together for learning truths about your partner is to travel together,” Dr. Fran Walfish, family and relationship psychotherapist and author, tells Elite Daily. “You will soon know whether you can move forward together and your relationship can survive if you jump in and talk together [about] conflicts as they emerge.”
If all goes well, travel can give you lasting memories you and your partner will cherish for months or years to come. But it may also reveal some red flags you never noticed before. To learn more about what to look out for, I spoke to two travel influencer duos who travel the world together full-time (so you could say they know a thing or two about baecations). As you embark on your first vacay as a couple, look out for these signs you might not be as compatible as you thought.
1. You Can't Agree On Activities
Let’s say you picked the perfect spot to travel together, but once you get there, you have totally different ideas about what you want to do. Maybe you want to go hiking while your partner wants to chill at the beach. Or, you’re into art museums while they really want to hit up the local bar scene. As a result, you both get frustrated because you can’t fully enjoy the vacation.
“A couple always has different interests, but being able to compromise and see what the other one wants is very important to keep the trip equally fun for each other,” explain Sebastian and Espe Gomez, the couple behind the Instagram account @twotrends. Sure, you can’t both have things exactly the way you want them, but if you can meet in the middle (say, morning hike and afternoon brewery), you’ll both feel like you got to have the experience you’d hoped for.
2. You Fight Over Small Things — And Then Never Resolve Your Arguements
In and of itself, arguing isn’t something to panic about. “Fighting is normal even [on] trips,” the Gomezes say. “We have gotten into arguments in a couple of our trips already.” The key, they emphasize, is knowing how to talk through disagreements as they are happening. “Try to solve the issue right away and enjoy the moment,” they suggest. If you hold your frustration inside and let it build, you will only continue to get angrier at each other as time goes on.
3. You Or Your Partner Take Every Little Thing Super Seriously
It’s cool to have a clear game plan about what you want to accomplish on the trip, but it’s also par for the course that things won’t go 100% according to plan. Collette and Scott Stohler of @Roamaroo know this all too well — they’ve spent years navigating flight delays, lost luggage, and jet lag together as a couple. “Even the smoothest travel day can cause the sanest person to go a little mad,” they tell Elite Daily. “The best way to work through arguments and challenges while traveling are with patience and a sense of humor. Don’t sweat the small stuff!”
If every little setback is causing you and your partner stress, it might be a sign that you’re not prepared to handle challenges together. Try to take a step back and remember that these problems won’t last forever, and what matters most is that you’re spending quality time together as a couple.
4. Your Partner Doesn't Treat Others Well
The stress of travel can sometimes bring out the not-so-great parts of someone’s personality. And if your partner is being rude or insensitive to people who are helping you on your journey, it shows a lot about their underlying character. “It’s important to pay attention to how your SO treats flight attendants, waiters and waitresses, and hotel staff,” the Stohlers explain. “If your partner treats others with disrespect, that’s a big red flag!”
5. Your Partner Is Always Rushing Ahead To The Next Event Or Activity
Instead of enjoying the moment, your boo wants to plan out the details of what you’re doing the next day. While that level of organization is something to be admired, it’s also not a great sign for their ability to just enjoy quality time with you. Walfish explains that it’s problematic if your partner “doesn’t stop to smell the roses and enjoy the moment of each vacation experience.”
After all, this experience is fleeting, and the moments you’ll remember are the ones where you felt loved and grateful to visit a new place together. Months and years down the road, it won’t matter that you saw every painting in that art museum — just that you made shared memories along the way.
6. You Forget The Big Picture
In the stress of the moment, it’s easy to forget what this vacation means to you. If you find yourself so frustrated that you forget why you originally wanted to travel together, it might be a sign that the relationship isn’t meant to be. “Remember why you’re taking this trip in the first place — so that you and your partner can bond, become closer, share new experiences, and connect with each other on a deeper level,” the Stohlers advise.
If the trip isn’t bringing you joy and happiness, it could be time to rethink a few things. This doesn’t necessarily mean your relationship is doomed, but it does mean you may have to talk honestly about how to resolve conflict in the future. “The key to a long-lasting relationship is to have two willing participants who hang in together, not only in the good times, but who are also committed ... over the long haul to working out each kink when they arise,” Walfish explains. A real-life vacation may not be as glamorous as it looks on Instagram, but if you’re in the right relationship, you should be able to enjoy the ride, despite the challenges.