5 Tips for Solo Minded Couple’s Travel

Couples Travel, Love on the Road — By on January 19, 2012 at 3:50 pm
By Gina Douglas
Special to Lost Girls 

Traveling TogetherThe first conversation I had with my now fiancé mostly centered around our love for travel and where we’d been and where we wanted to go next. He scored a first date with me. I scored a new traveling partner. It only took a few months until we were planning the first of many trips together.

Finding a man who shares your love of travel can seem like a dream come true. You have someone in your life who understands your passion for traveling and you now always have a travel buddy.

Yet as wonderful as that may be, the allure of my early days traveling with my friends, sister, or just myself bubbles to the surface every now and then and the idea of being able to go out dancing until the early morning hours without having to make a deal – “Ok babe, if you go out dancing with me in Paris tonight, I’ll go to the red light district with you tomorrow night.” Or I miss the excitement of navigating a new city on my own without my expertly direction-adept fiancé always figuring things out first. (He can stare at a map for 60 seconds and immediately know his way around a city. I, on the other hand, can stare at one for five minutes and still not be sure what street I’m on.)

Part of the appeal for many woman travelers is the empowerment that comes from figuring things out on one’s own and conquering a destination. Here are some tips on how to travel with your significant other without losing your solo-travel mentality.

• Take some alone time. Don’t preplan this out either. Wait until it’s needed. If you see him grit his teeth when you mention getting up at 7 a.m. to beat the crowds to a tourist spot, or if him looking for the perfect gift for his parents has you feeling like you might, take a deep breath and suggest taking some alone time and meeting up again in a few hours.

• Be the one to barter…or hail a cab….or try to communicate with the non-English speaking restaurant server. Sometimes it’s easy to step back and let your man handle this – particularly in countries where men seem to command more attention than women. Don’t let that happen; speak up just as you would if you’re there by yourself.

• Before leaving for your trip, decide on a day that each of you will plan on your own. Or if giving your honey that much control over an entire day of your trip seems too scary, shorten it to a morning or afternoon instead. On your day, be in charge of transportation, getting tickets, ordering food, or whatever you need to do to make your day go smoothly and completely own the day.

Solo travel usually equals backpacker travel and here are some additional tips on how to travel like a backpacker when traveling as a couple.

• Don’t make it a romantic vacation with images of couples-only resort commercials running through your head. Focus on adventure and exploration to bring you closer instead. You’ll find romantic moments while traveling when you least expect it so don’t pressure it, just see where the open road leads the two of you.

• Don’t stay in. Get out of your hotel room and meet new people. Visit lively bars and find travelers from all around the world. This will help create the social atmosphere of hostels without actually having to shack up in a hostel.

Speaking of hostels, if you’re really willing to go solo and backpacker-crazy on your trip with your dude, stay in a hostel dorm. It’s as backpacker as it gets for accommodations…and you’ll be sleeping solo.


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