It’s first vacation with girlfriend, you want to know everything about travel and other activities. But having a list of sights to see won’t take you anywhere. So I wanted to share some tips and tricks on how to make your trip with girlfriend a success!
Summer is the most popular time of year for vacations. Most of us have a passion for traveling, but when it comes to planning your first vacation with a girlfriend, there are so many things to consider. It’s important to remember that as fun as it might be spending this time with her, you need to make sure that your first vacation with girlfriend doesn’t become a burden for both of you.
I’ve been dating my girlfriend for 2 years now. To tell you the truth, when I first got her she was intimidating. She was 20 years younger than me and the whole thing was just straight out of a novel written by some chick from Disney Channel sitcoms. It took me awhile to get used to the idea of dating a 17-year-old girl but now it’s something I’ll never go back to.
First Vacation With My Boyfriend
Finally, time for the long-desired vacation together with your boyfriend or girlfriend has come, but actually, you are quite nervous because it will be the first time you go on vacation together. Probably the first time you will spend 24 hours for several days together.
Line and I have been a couple for two years now, have already been in more than 20 countries together and will now always travel together. That’s not always easy, as you can imagine: your body has to adapt to different environments and at the same time you have to take your partner and his/her feelings into consideration. Just starting your journey is mostly not the best way and can imply many problems and inconvenience.
What would you do, for example, if your partner had a food poisoning? Will you stay calm and take care of him/her while he/she pukes his/her guts out? Or will you run like a flushed chicken through the entire hotel to wake up everybody to get some medication?
Now you are going to learn step by step about the challenges of a journey for two and how you can prepare yourselves for the first vacation together:
I split this article into two parts: before the journey and during your trip. I spared the part of your return since there are only two possibilities: you are still a couple and even love each other more than before or you split up!
Prior to the journey
1. Choose a destination you are both interested in
You probably have a wish list showing countries you would like to visit, and your partner probably has one, too. Or you may not have thought about it yet. Now it’s time to do so. This way you will find out which countries are most interesting for both of you and it’s easier to decide where to go!
If you do not come to terms during the first pass, don’t give up, you just have to go on. Each of you makes a list of 10 destinations you would like to go to together and then read it aloud. If there are no matches, make new lists.
It could also be helpful to list countries first and if you find some, both of you like, continue by going into detail – list regions or cities or as an alternative, list activities.
I would recommend doing all this separately. Each of you should buy a nice notebook, which you can fill with your lists and notes. You will need it more often in your relationship!
2. Check whether the destination offers everything, both of you want
As soon as you have found a destination both of you like, you should check what it has to offer. Are there activities you would like to do both?
If you, for example, would like to go to the mountains, but your partner is keen on diving, South Tyrol may not be the right choice and you should have a closer look at Vietnam where you can make a great hiking tour in the Sapa highlands in the North and your partner will find amazing dive centers at the beach of Nha Trang in the south.
You should both be happy and each of you should be looking forward to a highlight. Of course, the best would be a mutual highlight.
3. Plan thoroughly to avoid misunderstandings
As soon as you have decided for a destination, it’s time to start planning. It is really important to plan the first journey thoroughly to avoid misunderstandings.
Among others, you should talk about the following aspects und budget them:
– budget (details will follow)
– activities (as described before)
– cities or nature
4. Be guided by the budget of the lower income partner
Short reckonings make long friends and money should never be a topic to discuss in a relationship. To get a feeling for money und to avoid disputes, especially during the first vacation as a couple, it is essential to set a budget.
If you do not earn about the same, you should discuss this topic early. The higher earner may prefer staying in four-star hotels whereas the one with the lower income would like to stay in a double room in a hostel.
I will come to the topic compromise in a minute, but it is important that you deal with this topic as early as possible.
Should the higher earner insist on staying in four-star hotels or boutique hotels and refuse to stay in hostels at all (by the way there are also boutique hostels), he/she should cover the difference without a word. This topic must not be mentioned in a later fight or in case of separation – that’s a no go!
5. Set a daily budget or one for the entire journey, to avoid the topic ‘money‘
People easily argue about money. To be together and even more in love after the trip, you should agree on a budget.
Line and I have a monthly budget for our trips since we cannot really speak of vacation. We are always on the road, therefore we have a monthly budget for every place in the world, which we do not want to go beyond.
This monthly budget is spread out on the single days and now we have a figure to deal with. Considering the figure, there is no reason to argue and we know exactly how much we can spend on a hotel or apartment.
It also makes it easier to decide whether to go out for dinner or to cook yourselves. With such a budget on hand, some problems and decisions sort themselves out.
A really useful app is Trail Wallet!
A relationship does not work without compromising. You will not only recognize this when planning your first trip together but much earlier in your relationship.
If your partner insists on staying in a four-star hotel, you can accept the compromise if he pays for it. Or you both agree on the compromise not to stay in a four-star hostel but to choose a nice three-star hotel which will make both of you happy.
You should not decide on this spontaneously on the spot but at home, when planning the trip.
7. Try something new
Don’t say no to everything just because it sounds stupid at first or feels somehow odd. It is important to compromise and to be open for anything new. That’s the good thing about a relationship. It motivates us every day afresh to dive into the world of the partner and to dry new things.
When Line and I came together, she still worked 9-to-5 and intended to leave it at that. Over the months, she recognized that she wants more than just a couple of days of vacation per year and jumped into the adventure of self-employment.
8. The first trip should not be a camping trip
Although you should try something new and shouldn’t say no to everything, I would not recommend to you to go on a camping trip, unless both of you are passionate campers.
If you have not lived in the smallest space together for 24/7 before, you will get really close to her/him and I mean really close. For many people that is too close and they need some time to allow the other one to get that close.
Line and I were a couple for 18 months and actually lived together the entire time but nevertheless did the road trip through Australia and New Zealand put us together even closer. You see, in a car there is not much space to hide anything.
If you are not prepared for so much intimacy yet, you should better not make a road or camping trip.
9. Try it first – try a weekend
If you mostly see each other after work and stay for the night either at his or her place and want to be sure that everything fits, I recommend a trial-weekend.
Have a look at skyscanner and enter the closest big airport. Leave the space ‘to’ open or choose ‘all places’. Thus, you will find the most reasonable flight for your trial-weekend.
If you do not manage the trial-weekend, you should reconsider taking a longer trip together.
10. Packing – set boundaries
If you read Off The Path I strongly estimate that you do not use suitcases anymore but go for the flexibility of a good backpack.
That means that both of you will have to carry your clothes on your back and each one takes as much as he/she can carry. Make sure you know what this means. If you travel a lot during your vacation, it may mean that you will have to carry the backpack for hours.
Firstly, it’s worth to invest in a good backpack with high-quality shoulder straps and waist straps and secondly to pack less so it won’t hurt too much. It should not be the case that one partner carries most of the clothes of the other one after about half of the journey, just because he could not judge it correctly.
11. Take out insurance for both of you
If your first trip together does not take longer than 6 weeks, you are perfectly covered by a normal foreign health insurance. It is important to take out a good insurance and to not only rely on the insurance provided by your credit card company.
A really good insurance which I can recommend to you is Hanse Merkur, which Line and I also use. Unless you travel to the USA or Canada it will only cost you 1.90 € a day. It will be 4.50 € a day including the USA and Canada.
With that you have covered everything you may need on your trip and it also includes medical repatriation to Germany in case you and your partner need it.
A good insurance is important so you don’t have to think about any kind of eventualities. Many years ago I was hit by a car in Australia, and a couple of months ago Line rammed a knife into her foot. It was good to know that there was an insurance company taking care of all the problems.
By the way, it is the same with the liability insurance. If you are as clumsy as we are sometimes, you should have one. Actually, you need one for your household, but also if you drop the I-phone or the camera of the other one. That saves you from a lot of trouble.
On vacation as a couple: What you have to keep in mind during the trip
Let’s get to the second part of my series. It’s really fun to write down all the experiences gained in two years of a relationship. It was and still is a huge adventure to get to know the other so well and to experience so much together.
12. Do not demand too high standards of the other one
You have been a couple for quite some time, haven’t you? You have mostly spent a weekend together und stayed overnight at the other’s place from time to time?
That’s the way it is for most couples planning their first trip together.
Fact is that we often behave in a different way at home than in new situations in an unknown environment that may be stressful. Or when we suddenly have a new feeling of self-assurance and discover new skills.
In addition, it may happen that you discover new sides of your partner’s character. You should prepare yourself for it and accept them.
13. Plan times on your own
If you are not used to spend that much time together, you should allow yourselves time on your own. There are things you love doing. But your partner does not. I already mentioned an example before: one of you wants to go hiking, the other one would love to dive.
If you have interests you don’t share that does not have to be a deal breaker. You can certainly do these things on your own. This creates time in which you will miss the other one even more.
Just because your partner doesn’t want to dive, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you anymore or doesn’t support you. Use this time and be as silly as you want to be, if you find your Nemo in the sea.
14. Do something together with other couples or people
It is amazing to spend that much time with your partner. You will discover sides and will hear stories that will not appear in the initial phase of getting to know each other or in everyday life. Nevertheless, it could be a bit exhausting always being together.
Besides, you do not want to become such a couple that is only on its own, hardly exchanging views with other people.
Therefore, Line and I try to meet other travelers regularly or talk to other couples and spend the evening with them. It is a lot of fun and we have spent some really cool evenings with people from all over the world.