Planning a trip with your spouse or significant other? Vacations are great ways to bond together and with your family. But I’ve also heard the horror stories of vacations gone wrong. We love to travel, and the boys have flown more in their lives than I did in my first 18 years probably. For this reason, we have come up with a few rules when we travel that have helped us have some pretty amazing trips.
1. Have a Plan
No rash decisions. At least, when it comes to how you are getting somewhere or where you are staying. Of course some spontaneity is always fun, but make sure you have some time of game plan. Where are you going and how are you getting there? Where are you staying? We don’t always plan out exactly what we are going to do somewhere, but do research a few things before we leave. When we went to Colorado earlier this year, we had some ideas of what we wanted to do, but we also got a bunch of brochures from the hotel lobby and looked through those for ideas.
2. Know what you all want from the vacation
Are you there to relax? Are you there to immerse in the culture? Are you there to shop? Are you there to explore the area? What are you each looking to get out of the vacation? Know what everyone wants so you can make sure to either find activities that work for everyone, or work out a schedule so everyone gets to do a little of what they want. You also don’t all have to stick together, either. It is ok to do your own thing. With technology, it’s very easy to split up and find each other later, just be safe about it.
3. Learn each other’s strengths/weaknesses when traveling
Does someone get motion sickness? Who’s better at navigating? If you know yours and your travel buddies strengths and weaknesses, you can work together to make sure you both enjoy the trip. For example, Justin is better at driving, while I am better at navigating. He gets tired and grumpy when he isn’t driving, and I get tired much quicker when I am driving than I do in the front seat. Most of the time, on our long drives, he drives all except maybe an hour or two halfway through when I drive just to give his eyes a break.
4. Be willing to make compromises
Especially when it comes to the music in the car. This seems to be where we have to make compromises. I like country music, Justin doesn’t. So we usually will listen to my music for a couple hours, then his for a couple hours. We also have to compromise on places to eat because I am more picky than Justin, but he likes to try new things. As long as you are both willing to make compromises, you shouldn’t have any trouble.
Luckily for us, besides a few minor differences, Justin and I are very similar in what we usually want from a vacation. We learned quickly on our honeymoon that going somewhere to “just relax on the beach” doesn’t really work for us. By day 3 we were getting bored. We like adventure. We like to explore. And it seems like the boys do too, when we were in Colorado they had the most fun when we found some trails to walk on that went near a river, across some bridges, and to areas covered in fresh snow that they were able to play in. I hope they never lose their love for adventure, and we can take them to a lot of fun, new, exciting places as they grow up.