Cultural travel is certainly rewarding. Cultural travel with your spouse can be one of the most incredible experiences in life. If you don’t want to kill each other in the process, that is.
Today I’m going to share with you 9 no-brainer tips that I’ve used myself (and you can too), to protect your relationship and have the trip of your dreams next to the guy/gal of your dreams!
Does that sound good?
Is travel with your spouse really all that hard?
Well, even though the famous Tom Cruise’s “you complete me” line in Jerry Maguire had many of us sighing in romantic bouts of breath, in reality, you are really two very different people.
When it comes to travel, you may have different expectations and travel styles, different physical energy, different tastes in food and different interests.
Like I said in my last article, traveling with your Honey can cause stress if you don’t consider my 6 recommendations before your trip (if you haven’t read them, I suggest you do); but there’s also stuff to do while enjoying that eye-opening awe-inspiring cultural trip.
So here are 9 things you can do to make your trip memorable:
1. Choose a private room
Traveling with a partner does have advantages like cutting costs in half by booking a room for two.
I am not personally the kind of traveler that would stay at a hostel with shared rooms and bathrooms, (not even traveling solo).
But if you are, a trip with your spouse is the occasion to book a private room and enjoy a relaxing, unwinding evening after a grueling day of walking around a new city.
If you can splurge a little, you can even get a room with a nice hot tub at a great price, and well… prepare for the next day in your cultural travel itinerary of sightseeing and exploring the city!
2. Each is responsible for their luggage
First rule of any cultural traveler: pack light. Second rule of any cultural traveler on travel with their spouse: you are responsible for your luggage.
Now, this one goes especially for you, my lady traveler. Yes, he is the guy, but that doesn’t mean he is your lackey.
First of all, edit your luggage to bring as little as possible. That may very well mean a lot less than you think you need right now.
Secondly, make sure you only carry hand luggage: a carry-on bag and one purse; that’s it.
Editing and cutting back on items will ensure that you are able to carry your luggage around and that you are not burdening your hubbie with it.
3. Be mindful of hunger, restroom needs and tiredness
Three things that can put anybody in a foul mood: being tired, being hungry and having to go to the bathroom.
The best advice I can give you is to be flexible and understanding with your spouse (or travel partner) while on your trip.
You should have discussed these matters before departing and tried to come up with solutions or code signals for when the experience is really turning into the unbearable.
You know yourself, so share with your partner the best ways to deal with you in these stressful situations.
Research online where restrooms are located and where they are not and plan accordingly. Also schedule enough time to sleep and rest in your cultural travel itinerary.
As you’re in the middle of your travel with your spouse, make sure to pack a few snacks to eat along the way if there are no restaurants nearby.
4. Try to stick to your cultural travel itinerary and bring navigational tools
Well, of course, I’m all about the travel itinerary and if you’re reading this, it means you are too. Having a pre-designed travel itinerary allows you to be in the moment instead of planning on the go.
If your spouse is more of the spontaneous kind, compromise and negotiate your next moves. In any case, having good navigational tools can save you the stress of getting lost.
Have a printed map at hand, or bring your GPS device along.
5. Beware of local customs
Make sure to do your research in regards to local customs for couples.
PDAs (public displays of affection) are against the law in some countries and in others it’s frowned upon.
In some countries (like some Islamic countries) male/female couples are assumed to be married; people may ask you if you are married or not.
Wearing your wedding rings can put locals at ease and prevent some embarrassing or potentially dangerous situations.
It’s not uncommon for locals to ask how much a man wants for his girlfriend and offer payment.
Find out about the dress code and how men and women act towards each other as a couple and towards strangers.
6. Include romance in your travel itinerary
Yes, you want to see it all; yes, you’ve been dreaming about this trip for a long time; but don’t forget that you are here with the person you love.
Make time to just be with each other, and if local customs allow it, use this opportunity to get closer and get to know each other better.
Romantic destinations such as Paris are perfect to express your amorous side!
7. Keep a sense of humor
Look, mishaps will happen, you’ll embarrass yourselves in front of the locals, or one of you will get scolded for slightly touching a tassel in a grandiose palace (like it happened to me).
Keep a light mood about it, go with the flow and laugh it off! Don’t let minor things spoil your fun!
8. Don’t discuss sensitive issues while on vacation
Even if the two of you are working some issues out, your cultural travel experience is not the best place to discuss them.
Give yourselves some space to enjoy the experience, take a break from the tension and to breathe some new air.
The trip itself can give you an entire new perspective on things and you’ll have plenty of time to solve things back home.
9. Be flexible
… and roll with the punches. Sh*&t happens, particularly when you’re in a new place. Things don’t always go according to plan.
And to us planners, that can set us off in a fit of rage.
But let me ask you: is it worth it to ruin this time with your spouse?
You are together, just regroup, reset and move on.
Now here’s what I want you to do:
First, if you enjoyed this article, pass it along to someone who might benefit from it or share it using the icons below.
Second, go to the comments and tell me: What’s the best thing about travel with your spouse?
What is something new you learned from this article that you’ll implement the next time you go on a journey with your soulmate?