In recent years, there has been a huge surge in bloggers telling you why you should travel alone. Having travelled solo in the past, I can definitely attest to the benefits that this travel style offers. However, this doesn’t mean that it is a bad thing to explore the world with company. There is undoubtedly a lot to consider before you decide to drag your partner halfway around the globe but providing you can balance the good and bad, there is a lot to be gained from the experience. These are the best and worst things about travelling with your other half.
Why it sucks…
You already see them all the time and the novelty has long worn off.
It sounds harsh but having already done the planning and budgeting side of the trip with your partner, there is probably very little of the plan you haven’t already discussed. This means that conversations can be repetitive and you may feel like you have nothing left to say.
It can be easier to stay inside your comfort zone
Travelling with a familiar person who offers security in day to day life means that it can be harder for you to leave your comfort zone. I often think that if Tim and I travelled solo, our decisions would be so different that our entire travel experience would be worlds apart.
Your partner becomes your emotional punch bag.
Travelling can be incredibly physically and mentally demanding which can make even the best of us grumpy and irritable. When you travel with someone you know as well as a romantic partner, it can be easy to take them for granted and to put them in the firing line when you’re having a bad day.
You get to know their toilet habits
Tim feels very strongly that this is a bad thing. Even in relationships, some things should remain private. This becomes hard to do when you have to listen to the other person poop on a daily basis from behind a curtain in the same room.
Side note: always expect the unexpected from Asian hostels!
They know exactly how to push your buttons.
Being romantically involved with someone means you get to know them really well. This can be disastrous when things start to go wrong and emotions are running high. Before you know it, one sarcastic comment can lead to a full-blown argument about that time you compared his hair to Jimmy Neutron’s which he always brings up when he wants to get at you.
You might want different things.
Both Tim and I are very different types of people. I am more of an introvert whereas he is far more sociable and easygoing. This means that sometimes while we travel, we will want to spend our time differently. He will get talking to someone who I don’t like and stay chatting for hours whereas I just want to return to the dorm room and read a book.
It can be harder to escape and get your own space when you need it.
Being on the road with your other half is an intense way of living. You end up spending a lot of time together and sometimes you need a break. At home, you can meet up with a couple of friends or get out of the house but these things are not always possible while you travel.
Why it is awesome…
You already know you can put up with this person and enjoy their company (mostly).
Being in an established relationship and travelling with your partner already gives you a huge advantage in that you pretty much know what to expect. You are used to seeing them at their best and worst and you still choose to be with them.
They know all of the right things to do.
Whilst travelling with someone you know very well can definitely have it’s downsides when it comes to arguing (as discussed earlier), one plus is that they also know what to do to cheer you up. Whether it is singing a cheesy line from a song you love or buying your favourite food, these little things can really turn a stressful day around.
You have a mutual interest in resolving conflict.
When you date someone, that person becomes heavily interwoven in the threads of your life (and therefore more difficult to cut out), unlike a stranger you will never see again. You will also find that you both have a mutual interest in resolving conflict in order to preserve your relationship. This usually means that both sides are more willing to compromise in order to keep the peace.
You can do scary things knowing you are supported.
For me, doing anything out of my comfort zone is a big challenge. I am not a natural risk taker and don’t enjoy the adrenaline you get when you are afraid. However, I am also aware that without Tim’s influence, I would’ve wimped out of a lot of things that, in hindsight, I am glad I did. Knowing you can try something new and that you have a support network can definitely make it easier to say yes and get out of your comfort zone.
You won’t get lonely.
Travelling can be an isolating thing to do. Although you will always meet other people who are on the move like you, it can be hard to establish genuine and profound connections with people in a short space of time. Travelling with your partner means you always have someone whose company you enjoy to hang out with.
There are financial benefits.
Being able to share accommodation and food prices is a super handy way of saving on your travels. Tim hates to admit it but he would be lost without me shouldering his extra items in my backpack as well.
You get to share some really awe-inspiring moments.
This is perhaps the soppiest reason on my list. Travel opens your mind to new ways of thinking and allows you a window into a life that you would never usually see. In my opinion, this is one of the best things about travelling and one that makes the physical and mental hardship worthwhile. The moments that take your breath away are why everyone travels and having somebody to share that with is a truly special thing.
Do you prefer to travel solo, as part of a couple or as a group of friends? Why is that your preferred travel style?
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