Whether you're abroad with your best friend, married significant other, or boyfriend/girlfriend, a little effort goes a long way when it comes to enjoying each other's company for an extended period of time in a foreign country. With different interests but one single itinerary, it can be tricky to keep the peace when you and your travelling companion want to do different things on your trip.
Read on for our top tips!
Identify your differences and embrace them
When it comes to planning a peaceful trip, the first step is to identify what makes each of you different. Are you a night owl or an early riser? Are you a careful holiday planner right down to the details, or do you prefer to leave things to chance? Would you prefer to take your time when exploring and soak up the atmosphere, or do you like to move at a quicker pace? Interests and travel styles vary greatly between individuals, even between those who are happily married or have been close friends for a long period of time.
It is important to understand that differences are okay (after all it's what makes you unique), but on the other hand can lead to issues later on down the line. Before you travel, have a chat to each other about your expectations for the trip and discuss how each of you likes to experience things. Respect each other's travel styles and be prepared to compromise.
Choosing a destination
If there is one part of travel planning that definitely needs a consensus, this would be it. If you love basking in the sun, whereas your travelling partner hates the excessive heat, you're pretty much doomed from the very beginning.
Ensure that both people are involved in choosing a destination and try to pick one that will tick boxes for the both of you, rather than having everything one-sided (trust us, it will save the arguments later!)
How are your energy levels looking?
What do you plan on doing whilst on holiday? Just because your travelling companion might think that trekking at a fast pace for 8 hours straight is a fantastic way to unwind, doesn't mean that you think the same. Different fitness levels should be taken into account when considering what sort of things are on the itinerary for the duration of your trip.
Think about why you are travelling too - has one of you come off of a stressful time at work and is looking to relax by going at a slower pace? Are you looking to see all of Europe within 24 hours on a shoestring budget? The best time to check energy levels is at the beginning and middle of the days - assess how you feel each day as it comes and remember not to push yourself too much if you feel you don't have enough energy that particular day. There is always tomorrow!
Do your own research
Do you fancy heading to a museum or tour? Do your own research to find out what sorts of things are on offer, where they are, when they are open and how much they cost. That way, when you pitch the idea to your friend or spouse, you have all the information pre-ready and they don't have to worry about any logistical issues. Sweeten the deal by offering to pay for their ticket too (if you can afford it) and you've got the recipe for a successful trip.
Speaking the language
When choosing a destination, keep in mind the cultural and language differences. Does one of you know a language well, compared to the other who can only speak a handful of basic phrases? Is one of you an experienced skier, whereas the other has only had a beginner's lesson or two? If this is the case, be aware that although this does come with benefits (knowing a foreign language is always handy and can help the both of you!), other times it can make one person feel left out.
Consider each other's routines
Venturing out on a foreign holiday or trip doesn't mean you have to ditch your existing routines! If you're addicted to your early 7am jog, enjoy sipping coffee and reading a paper in the morning, or like to unwind and relax with a spot of yoga - do it!
Getting up a little earlier each day to fit in your early morning routine can be well worth it, especially if you have a busy schedule ahead of you. It is important to continue doing the activities you enjoy doing, and it also gives you the chance to have a little 'me time' if your partner doesn't feel like joining you. It doesn't hurt to go your separate ways for part of the day or do something different. You both have your own individual likes and dislikes, so embrace them - you can always meet up later and carry on with your travel itinerary together.
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