How to plan your first vacation as a couple

By: Jen Kirsch

© Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©


How to plan your first vacation as a couple

By: Jen Kirsch
Dating is filled with so many firsts: The first kiss, the first time you meet each other's parents, the first fight and, of course, the first vacation. Planning a trip together is quite a commitment and the process may seem daunting.

Don't let stress put a damper on the fun, because there are a few ways to ensure you both get what you want out of your first trip as a twosome.

We asked travel advisor Lori Gold for her tips on how to book a vacation with your significant other.

1. Do your research
You should never just jump on what seems like a great deal without researching all of the details about the hotel or resort you're considering. It's important to do your due diligence to make sure there aren't any unexpected surprises, says Gold.

"Make sure you know what you are getting into," she says. "There are some resorts that have mirrors on the ceilings and clothing-optional policies, or no phones or TV in the rooms, and the list goes on."

Be realistic and ask yourself what you want -- and what you don't want -- out of your accommodations before you book.

2. Plan an all-inclusive vacation
A good first vacation option is either an all-inclusive resort or a cruise, suggests Gold. "Everything is paid upfront, so you can both relax and enjoy the destination and each other," she explains.

This takes some of the pressure off, since you won't need to worry about arguing over the cost of dinners, drinks and accommodations. With most all-inclusive packages there isn't even a need to leave the resort, since events, entertainment, food and drinks are all at your fingertips, ready for you to enjoy. Everything is at your disposal without the hassle of having to make joint decisions.

Page 1 of 2 -- Discover three more great tips for planning your first vacation as a couple on page 2
3. Balance the planning process
If your partner tells you that you can take control of the planning process it might seem like a great idea in theory, but the truth is you should make your travel plans together, says Gold.

By making destination and resort or hotel decisions as a couple you'll get to learn more about your partner and his or her wants and needs, she explains.

When you plan together you are both responsible for the decisions and you'll avoid finger-pointing should there be any issues concerning the spot you've chosen.

4. Know where you stand
You may have decided to go to an all-inclusive resort with the idea that you'll be sitting side-by-side in beach chairs, sipping drinks all day long, only to discover when you arrive that your partner can't sit still and wants adventure. It's important to discuss what each of you wants from the vacation before you go, says Gold.

"Make sure you are on the same page when it comes to travel style," she says. "Do you want a relaxing vacation on the beach while he wants to hike, bike and scooter around?" It's best to figure this out before you go to make for a more enjoyable trip.

5. Consider a weekend getaway
Don't have the budget or time to go on a full-fledged vacation? Why not book a mini-getaway over a weekend. This will give you the opportunity to have some uninterrupted time together in a new location.

"A fun, exciting place like New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas or Miami, where there are lots of things to see and do, would work well," suggests Gold.

Weekend getaways are an ideal way for couples who have never travelled together to get a taste for what it would be like to go away together for longer, she explains. Just remember to leave your cellphones off! A weekend getaway is all about maximizing the short time you have alone together.

6. Get insurance
Gold says she has booked many vacations for new couples who have broken up before they even go on their trip. No matter how happy you are in your relationship, keep in mind that things can change and that it's important to get some type of cancellation insurance just in case. It may offend your partner, but it will protect both of you from potentially losing money down the road. "There is no cancellation insurance for breakups," says Gold.

Travelling together is a monumental step in any relationship. To make the most of your vacation and avoid unnecessary arguments, plan and research your trip together, be willing to make compromises and be sure to choose a destination that appeals to both of you.

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How to plan your first vacation as a couple