Couple’s Travel: Dos and Don’ts For Your First Trip Together

Couples Travel — By on March 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm
By Jill Martiniuk
Special to Lost Girls 

Wine TourIn preparation for our upcoming trip to Paris together, my boyfriend and I spent one January night watching Midnight in Paris. Since this was going to be my third trip to Paris, and his first, I took it upon myself to point out what every single sight in the opening montage was. When I was just about halfway through listing all of my favorite cafes, my boyfriend said, “I can’t wait until we travel someplace neither of us have been.” He had a point: I’d definitely acquired a ‘been there, done that’ attitude towards Paris, and was on the verge of becoming my least favorite type of travel companion—the Know-It-All. You know the type, the one who has been everywhere, knows everything about the place, and will loudly proclaim, “Only tourists do that!” when you mention something you want to see or do there. Here are a few of my suggestions for keeping a happy balance for that first trip together:

Don’t Play Tour Guide

I’m a planner. I can’t help it. I feel better when I have a time table in my head of the things I want to do and see. If it’s a place that I’ve traveled several times, I often feel like it’s my responsibility to show my travel partner a good time. When I travel with my boyfriend, I try to let go of my inner tour guide, and allow myself to relax and just enjoy the trip.

Do Be Flexible

As already discussed here on Lost Girls World, there are lots of different traveling styles. Be sure you both are willing to be flexible when it comes to how you both travel. If it’s your first big trip, it’s going to take a bit of time to adjust to each other’s traveling style.

Do Learn to Grin and Bear it Sometimes

As an experienced traveler, you might not want to see the Coliseum for the fifth time, but if it’s your partner’s first time in Rome, it’s probably on his bucket list of things to do while there. If it’s something you absolutely cannot bear to see again (ie. Lenin’s Tomb, once was enough for me), go find someplace to wander for a while on your own, and offer to meet up with your partner later after he’s had his fill of the sight.

Do Find Things that Are Brand New to Both of You

Eliminate the uneven experiences by finding places and sights that are new to both of you. Check out local blogs and travel websites for new art galleries, unique shows or events that both of you like. This way both of you get to experience something new together.

Don’t be Afraid to Use Your Knowledge

If you do know a lot about a city, use that knowledge to help make the trip go smoother. If your travel partner mentions a “great” café on main street that has a menu with lots of pictures and multiple languages, you should steer him towards a local café instead. At this point, you do have expertise in the city so use it to avoid tourist traps. Don’t be afraid to speak up if it means a more authentic experience.


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  • Sarah says:

    I very much wish I had read this before I went on my trip to England/Ireland with my boyfriend last week. Having studied abroad in London for a semester I felt like I had to play tour guide for most of our trip which put unnecessary pressure not only on me, but our entire trip. Great advice! Wish I would have gotten earlier, but now I know for next time!

  • Amanda says:

    If they are the creative type, make sure they bring a camera and take the time to take lots of pics! My husband doesn’t enjoy a trip as much if he doesn’t bring his camera…it actually can make/break the experience for him. I also had to get used to him stopping every 2 minutes to take pictures which was hard for me because I like to see as much as I can when I’m in a new place but I learned to slow down a bit.

  • Naina says:

    My travels have definitely been enriched since I met my boyfriend. I’m into food and he’s into sports, but our ‘compromises’ means he’s now tried (and enjoys!) foods he never would have touched before, and I’ve tried all sorts of outdoor adventure sports. Plus traveling together as a new couple is a great way to tell if you’re compatible or not — my bf (who’s also named Mike) and I met as flatmates, so between that and traveling together for a year around Asia, if we weren’t going to work we would’ve known right away! It’s a great litmus test.
    Thanks for this post.