How to travel with your spouse without fighting

By: Shannon Christie

© Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©


How to travel with your spouse without fighting

By: Shannon Christie
Travelling with someone you love can be an amazingly revealing experience that will strengthen your relationship and bring you even closer together. Any getaway is an opportunity to get beyond the day-to-day routine and make some new memories together, but that doesn't mean that things will always go smoothly en route.

Being on vacation usually brings out the best in people and helps enhance relationships, but sometimes being away from home and finding yourself in unfamiliar situations can expose some of your less-than-ideal qualities.

These travel tiffs experienced by real Canadians will help you avoid some of the most common relationship challenges and smooth any bumpy situations that might occur.

1. Compromise about where to go on vacation
"We had difficulty deciding where to go for our honeymoon. I'm the type who wants to travel somewhere exotic and experience a culture different from ours, but my partner is more comfortable at five-star all-inclusive resorts with North American--style food and accommodation. Neither of us wants to force the other to take a trip the other isn't keen on." -- Jamie G.

Avoid disagreements about where to travel by making compromises. Before you book your trip, take some time to discuss what you each hope to get out of your time away together. Listen to what your spouse has to say and be honest about your expectations and comfort level. Both partners need to feel equally confident in the voyage, whether that means ultimate relaxation, exciting adventure or a little of both.

2. Be honest and communicate with each other
"When we were travelling in Europe, the time change hit me hard, but my wife didn't seem fazed at all. After several sleepless nights and exhausting days I was a very grumpy, unhappy tourist. Instead of just admitting that I would rather see the inside of my eyelids in our hotel room than the Arc de Triomphe, my crankiness led to some pretty big fights." -- Eric M.

Avoid these types of disagreements by being honest with your travel partner about how you're feeling and sharing the small, but important details that may prevent fallouts. Do you need coffee the second you wake up to feel halfway human? Do large crowds make you anxious? Do heights make you nauseous? These may seem like small details, but sharing the quirks you already know about yourself from previous travel experiences will go a long way to reducing stress or unhappiness during your trip.

Page 1 of 2 -- Spending your entire vacation together without any personal time for yourself can lead to an awful argument. Find out the best way to avoid this on page 2.
3. Schedule personal time for yourself
"We travel often, but unless we have another couple with us or meet people along the way, we can sometimes get on each other's nerves. We enjoy spending time together, but I appreciate some peace with a good book while he takes part in solo excursions as well." -- Cara T.

It's important to schedule some time apart when on vacation together. Try napping at different times or swimming some laps while your partner peruses the latest US Weekly in peace.

If you want to check out the museum of modern art, but your partner would rather visit the local sports hall of fame, split up and then plan to meet for dinner afterward to share your solo discoveries.

4. Discuss travel expenses
"I was living in Toronto when I started dating someone long distance. He invited me to go out to Banff over Christmas and I jumped at the chance, assuming that after I paid the steep plane fare to get there that he would take care of the rest of the expenses. Unfortunately, every meal, gas stop and hotel lobby brought an uncomfortable passive-aggressive conversation about who was going to pay. The scenery was beautiful, but the money issue definitely tainted the whole trip for me." -- Jenny K.

Avoid this disagreement by discussing the financial details of your trip ahead of time. Will you carry separate money? Who will pay for what? Will you keep a spreadsheet or save receipts as you go? The issue of money can spoil your vacation, so it's important to address it as soon as it becomes an irritant or is upsetting to either partner. Ignoring the issue will only make one or both of you resentful and ruin your getaway.

When travelling with your spouse, remember that compromise, thoughtful planning and communicating your needs will result in a more rewarding and rejuvenating vacation for the both of you.

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How to travel with your spouse without fighting