A Long List of Tips for Traveling With Your Significant Other

February 11th, 2018
Location  •   San Francisco, CA

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Over this past weekend, Matt and I took a spontaneous trip to one of my favorite cities of all time, San Francisco. If you’ve never been, I recommend you stop what you’re doing and book a quick trip right now. Ugh, you guys, this city wins my heart over with each and every visit. Anyway, after Matt and I had a somewhat rocky start to 2018, which you can read about here, we decided to take a spontaneous trip somewhere we could get to under $300, roundtrip. After daydreaming of warm locations like Palm Beach, Santa Fe, and San Diego; I saw that Southwest was offering a wicked sweet deal of $129 for a direct flight to San Francisco…so I booked it. 

 Matt was at first hesitant about visiting this city, especially since we were visiting during Super Bowl weekend of all times, but I quickly urged him to buy a plane ticket before the deal ran out, and just like that we were off to San Francisco. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with traveling, I really love traveling via airplanes, getting the chance to explore a new city and most importantly experiencing new foods; but naturally, I’m a homebody, so traveling can take a lot out of me physically, as I always overbook myself. If you are a long time TCC reader than you probably remember this post, where I said I was working on taking time off and not overbooking myself, but I mean I squeezed all of San Francisco into a three day trip, and it was totally worth flying home tired and a tad sick, because of it.

Which brings me to my point, Matt and I have over six trips planned and while traveling looks like all fun and romantic in front of the camera, we are also the first to admit that traveling together comes with its bickering matches, hangry arguments and getting lost via apple maps until one of us snaps. I mean while this trip was magical it also came with hectic moments too, like a few Uber rides due to us walking a mile in the wrong direction and an epic trolley chase down in Sausalito because Matt wasn’t about to wait another 30 minutes for the next one to arrive. I mean overall we are the definition of high-maintenance travelers but with each trip, we take together we’ve gotten better and better at managing each other. So today we wanted to share a long list of tips for traveling with your significant other.  

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Before jumping straight into the list, I wanted to share a new favorite designer of mine with you all, called Eva Franco. I discovered her brand over the holiday season at Anthropologie and recently, I just can’t get enough of her new arrivals. I’m all for a romantic skirt come spring, summer, and fall, including the beautiful lace detailed one I’m wearing below. Anyway, check her collection out here, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Okay, so let’s get to these tips, first off by no means should traveling with your significant other be a stressful experience. In fact, I often like to view it as an adventure because rarely will you ever find Matt or I just lounging around. Whether we are going to the Caribbean, Europe or California you bet you’ll see us running around at the crack of dawn, camera in hand. I always like to joke that Matt and I need a vacation from our vacations, at the airport, because we really get the most out of our time at each stop. Which brings me to tip number one… 

1) The Two Types of People at Airports: I would say, no matter the trip time, place or destination Matt and I always get into a bickering war at the airport, parking garage or even better in our home on the way to the car, on the way to the airport. Now, I travel a lot and have been for the last eight years. As many of you know, I went to college in California which meant I was flying cross-country at least eight times a year, so going to the airport for me, is a normal task. I arrive an hour before my plan boards, I’m not stressed out, I’m in no rush and I’ve NEVER missed a flight, yet Matt, on the other hand, is in total meltdown mode. 

 I mean, you would think he was launching a rocket at NASA, he’s running around the apartment five hours before our flight yelling at me to get everything in the car, because we are going to be late. Not to sound “yuppy” here but as someone who travels monthly and often alone, Matt drives me BANANAS at the airport and his negative attitude about flying used to REALLY get to me, but now I just ignore it. So if it is your first time traveling with your significant other, just know that there are two types of airport people: the cool as a cucumber people (me) and the NASA Space Launch people (Matt). I find it helpful to remember that his attitude stems from being anxious and to be honest, my Dad can be the same way at airports; yes it’s annoying and a buzz kill but usually as soon as those NASA Space Launch people are sitting and buckled into their airplane seat, the mood instantly changes, so just pick your battles and enjoy the meltdowns as they come. 

 2) Decide What Type of Trip You’re Taking, Before You Go: Matt and I like to categorize our trips so we know what to expect from each other/pack before we go! Is it a blogging trip? If so we make sure to pack all of our equipment, several bags of outfit changes and block out one entire day to focus on our blog content. Is it a relaxing trip? If so we try to bring books to read, movies to watch and comfortable shoes to slip on and walk around in. Is it a family trip? If so we make sure to pick a time for us throughout the day to catch-up. If we’re traveling with my family that basically means I’m fourth wheeling between the amount of time Matt spends with my brother and dad; so on these trips, we set aside a time (usually at sunrise) to take blog pictures, eat breakfast, chat before going our separate ways for the entire day. 

 Basically talking about what type of trip you’re headed into and what you need to accomplish or do together, diminishes any room for disappointment or letdowns. By having open communication about your expectations for the trip, you’ll have smooth sailing. 

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3) Delegate Trip Responsibilities and Expenses: This tip is key! Let’s say you are traveling to San Diego and are really overwhelmed with hotel choices, activities, restaurants, and transportation; just delegate! I often take on the responsibility of picking the hotel, airfare and transportation and give Matt the responsibility of selecting the restaurant (since he is a picky eater) and the activities. By dividing responsibilities it often decreases stress on ‘the planner’ in the relationship and allows everyone to get excited about the trip to come. I use the same system to delegate expenses, so if Matt is paying for the restaurant bills I’ll pay for all the uber rides throughout the city; which usually equals out. 

 

4) Always Pack a Snack: Matt and I have learned our lesson about packing snacks the hard way. To make a long story short, one time Matt and I were visiting New York City on an extremely hot day in August. Between going seven hours without eating, due to leaving my half-eaten breakfast on the train and the fact that we were trying to skip lunch so we could eat a HUGE dinner at Becco’s, I ended up fainting on the subway. Which resulted in me having to lie down on the sticky Subway terminal, whilst drinking a lemon Snapple ice tea and eating a salted NYC pretzel. Oh, and if that doesn’t paint a pretty picture for you I was wearing a tulle Anthropologie dress, so basically New York fashion at its finest, whilst lying down on the Subway floor…ew. Moral of the story: Always pack a snack so if you are hungry between meals you have something to eat without breaking the bank. 

5) Something Will 100% Go Wrong, And That’s Okay: Finally, it’s important to know that sometimes unfortunate things happen on vacation and that IT IS OKAY! Really, don’t let one minor hiccup ruin a whole trip for you, I mean I would go as far as saying, every trip Matt and I have taken together has resulted in something going wrong. BUT no matter the situation you’ll get through it. From our Ireland trip where my Dad, Brother and Matt ‘lost track of time’ in a pub and left my Mom, Sister and I at a national park two hours after its closing time in the pouring rain; to last April’s trip to Aruba where Matt claimed he wouldn’t get sun burnt and forwent putting sunscreen on, resulting in him having sun-poisoning for the entirety of the trip. All and all, these memories weren’t fun in the moment but looking back at them they are too funny not to laugh at. 

All and all remember that it’s completely normal to get annoyed, irritated or overly ambitious when it comes to traveling with your significant other. As long as you stay patient with one another, delegate tasks and expenses, and roll with the punches you’ll be able to tackle anything life throws at you. Okay that’s all Matt and I have for now, but we’d love to hear if you guys have any travel tips. If you do make sure to leave them in the comment section below! 

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Thank you to our wonderful San Francisco photographer and tour guide, Inna Elsie
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