Whether you’ve been dating for a few weeks or you’re coming up on double-digit anniversaries, escaping for a vacation with your love interest may reveal more about your relationship than you ever knew before.
Sometimes it can reignite excitement, other times it can show you who someone really is based on how they handle themselves. How adaptable are they when things go wrong? How do they treat staff at the hotel? Are they a spender or saver? Are they more go with the flow or structured? It is amazing how open your eyes will be after only a few days together.
Even before you leave, you are going to have a good sense of who handles things, what budgets are like, and what’s important to them in terms of travel. Is it easy to talk to them about who will pay for what? Are they open to your suggestions about what to see and do? These are some of the questions you’ll want to ask yourself because the more you feel comfortable discussing things like this, the better, and chances are your vacation will not go smoothly if you both have a hard time communicating.
The good news is there are a few ways you can prepare ahead of time to help lighten some of the unexpected challenges that may arise so you can focus on enjoying your quality time together.
• Figure out the finances early. It may not be the most romantic of conversations, but it’s an important one to have, because financial stress is definitely something you want to leave at home. Depending on where you’re traveling to, you’ll most likely be going out for meals, going on tours or excursions, and of course coordinating accommodations. It’s just best to get the talk about who is paying for what out of the way early. If you are newly dating someone, it’s even more crucial to know what is expected.
• Consider why you’re traveling. It’s important to make sure you and your partner are on the same page. If they are hoping to escape work stress, but you are looking forward to an adventurous and activity-filled trip, this can cause a major disconnect between the two of you. When your vacation desires are aligned, you’ll feel more in sync and connected. Let them know how you envision the trip, and find out if they are an itinerary person or more “relax and see where the day takes us” spirit. You can absolutely compromise as well, if one is more activity-focused and the other is feeling a more pool-and-chill vibe!
• Prepare to go off the grid. Not everyone will be able to fully shut down their devices and cut off communication back home, but try your best to give notice to your office and friends so you can focus on the quality time you’re about to enjoy together that you may not typically get.
• Be flexible. If you can be flexible and open to trying new things, hopefully, you may find your S.O. does the same in return for you. Trying things for the first time naturally triggers a release of dopamine in our brains, making us happier as a result. This is an added perk for couples who are about to experience on a new adventure together and are open to breaking out of their comfort zones, because they will ultimately associate their spike in happiness with their partner.
For some couples, the trip may not go quite as planned and you’ll start to pick up on idiosyncrasies about your companion that only spending a straight week together could have revealed. Maybe you noticed that your partner needs to arrive places over an hour early, but that sort of punctuality stresses you out. Maybe you discover that they are extremely respectful to hotel and restaurant staff, and it makes you proud to be with them. No matter what you discover, you are bound to learn who your partner is and what they enjoy, which can serve as a trial run for what a longer relationship may be like.
If you discover that you’re not a fit, don’t stress about it. It’s better to learn earlier than later how well you can be together or not. However, if the vacation was a success and you and your partner are happier than ever, try to unpack your bags without unpacking your honeymoon state-of-mind to keep the passion alive.