So what experience do I base this article on, you may be thinking. Well I just backpacked through Europe with my girlfriend for 3 months, and we didn’t kill each other, and in fact we had a great time!
So here are a few tips to travelling with your girlfriend to keep the peace and make sure that the relationship stays intact at the end of your trip.
Don’t Plan Every Tiny Detail
Some good advice is to NOT plan out every single detail of the day, a lot of the fun times we had were more spontaneous or done last minute with other backpackers. Discuss HOW you want to travel with your girlfriend before you leave – if one of you plans on making a cram packed itinerary that leaves no room for anything else, it’s important that you’re both on the same page with that idea.
Stay in Hotels AND Hostels
Being in a relationship, you’re going to want some alone time away from the dorm rooms and communal bathrooms of hostels, for obvious reasons. In a lot of cities, it can actually be CHEAPER to stay in a hotel then it is to book two beds in a hostel.
For example, in Paris, we stayed in a hotel because we wanted some time together, but it worked out being cheaper as well compared to booking two beds in a hostel. Some cities are just like that.
On the flip-side, if you’re travelling for a long time, you don’t want to always be staying in hotels because the best way to meet people is at hostels! We made lots of friends that we would never have met if we only stayed in hotels. Hostels are also (generally) cheaper, so it’s good for the travel budget.
Unless you’re on a one week romantic getaway, I advise you to stay at both – the perfect combination of alone time together and fun with other backpackers.
‘The Money Boss’
It’s easy for one of you to transform into what I like to call ‘The Money Boss’. This is the person who loves to carry all the money and be in control of the spending.
I’m sorry to say that I turned into that man whilst we were travelling, it wasn’t a big problem but my girlfriend did have to pull me aside at one point and say, ‘We both saved for this trip, I want to buy things when I want and have access to my own money supply’.
So learn a lesson from me, and allow yourselves to both be The Money Boss. This point obviously applies to those who will be travelling with joint savings.
Travel Budget and Financials
So, before you leave choose a financial budget that you’re both happy with. How much money do we plan on spending on this trip? Talk about it. Then you know if purchasing some fun things or new clothes is feasible or not without having a big debate about it in the shop.
Give Each Other Space
You do it at home, it’s just less noticeable. Think about it, there are always instances where you are ‘giving each other space’ in the home environment. One of you might be on the computer, and the other snuggled in bed reading a book.
You do this unconsciously because it’s something that most humans need, a bit of time on your own to reflect and think without any interruptions – it’s completely natural.
The thing is, when you’re travelling together you’re often constantly in each other’s pockets, so it’s important that you make a conscious effort to give each other a bit of space every now and then to recharge and re-energize.
Do Something Romantic
Alright, alright – it might sound a little cheesy, but it can be fun to do something romantic for each other every now and then. Go out to a nice dinner together and have some wine without other backpackers. Make sure you stop at a romantic city, like Paris or Venice for a while.
Look After Each Other
The most important tip I can give you is always try to look after each other. You may snap, or say something silly – but don’t start turning on each other over every little thing. Travelling or backpacking together for more than 3 months means you have to think about each other and not just yourself – if you both travel with this in mind, you’ll have a great time.
One of the absolute benefits of travelling with someone that you love and are in a relationship with is that you DO have someone else to look after you. If one of you is really tired and didn’t sleep well, the other person can make that trip to the tourist office or to the supermarket. That is key – those little chores can be split and shared, so take advantage of it!
Hopefully I’ve given you some food for thought, travelling with a girlfriend can be fun, and you will end up with loads of brilliant memories and amazing photos – and I highly recommend it to all couples, just keep these points in mind. If you’re ever wrong, don’t let your pride keep you from saying sorry.
That’s all, safe travels!