Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to travel well. Together.

Written by Karen
Tokyo, Japan
Whether you are traveling together for a weekend getaway or for a longer international trip, your ability to travel well together will determine the overall success of your trip. 

Here’s what has worked for us:

Plan the trip together.  Although both of you are going on the trip, usually it is one-half of the couple that will perform the majority of the research.  Both people need to participate in figuring out where to go, how to get there, and what to do when you get there. Your trip will be more meaningful if both partners have worked together to plan the trip.  Working together tends to create a dynamic where the unexpected might happen, like a discovery that you actually enjoy deep sea fishing - and if you don’t, then maybe being out on the water on a boat is the prize.

Don’t forget that you are still a couple. Whether it is staying in a private room, going out for a rooftop drink, having a romantic lunch, or walking along the beach, celebrate  the fact that you are a couple.
Tokyo, Japan
Take personal time.  Everyone needs some personal time to read, play the guitar, take pictures, write a letter, surf the net, etc.  Always grant your partner some space and the opportunity to take a time out - you don’t need to be together every moment.
Respect individuality.  Even though you are a couple, you are still two individuals with different perspectives and opinions.  Respect your partner’s differences, strengths and weaknesses.
Know thyself.  Your communication skills will be vastly improved if you know what is important to you and what you can compromise on.  Communicate honestly, fairly and clearly.   
Take care of yourself.  Eat right, exercise, and pamper yourself every once in awhile.  Travel can be stressful, so do what you can to keep your good mood elevated.
Take care of each other.  Enough said.  Pay attention and slow down or make adjustments when you need to - nobody’s got a stopwatch. Try to go slow and travel on unscheduled time.
Paris, France
Don’t overdo it.  Stop the day’s travels and settle in for the evening way before night falls.  Pace yourself so that every day ends with some energy that might be applied to spontaneity down the road.  
Keep a regular routine.  If you like to ease into the day with a cup of coffee and reading the news, or sharing a glass of wine over dinner at night when you are at home, keep that routine intact as much as possible.  Traveling is challenging.  When you keep some parts of your regular routine when traveling, you can lessen the feeling of being a fish out of water and instead feel like you are comfortably at home - wherever you are.
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Keep your sense of humor.  Probably one of the most important items on this list.  Laughter will change the mood and the direction of the moment instantly. Learn to laugh at yourself and with others.  You can’t take yourself too seriously when you are traveling.  
Give yourself permission to splurge.  There are times when you are tired, hungry and maybe even downcast.  Give yourself permission to spend the extra money to upgrade your room, order whatever you want, or purchase the necessary convenience.  Life is short even when traveling.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

"Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter." --- Izaak Walton

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