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75 Realistic Tips for Traveling with a Partner

We Need Alone Time...

Pay for a single room
I have traveled with friends at different times, but I always tell them from the start that I want my own room. They have always agreed, and we come home as good friends as when we started the trip. I have been on several tours and have seen many women who start out as friends, but by the end of the tour, they are hardly speaking to each other. I'd rather pay the single supplement than ruin a friendship. It is especially true when traveling on a tour when you have to leave the hotel fairly early and both people need to get ready, etc. I also like to sit up and read until late and I wouldn't want to disturb anyone else.
Bea, Minneapolis, USA
Not total togetherness
From the first time we traveled together, my friend and I decided not to be joined at the hip. We each do our individual research and later compare notes. At out destination, we intersperse our individual day trips with our joint-interest days. We carry ear plugs and eye masks for those occasional nights when the other can't sleep. My advice is to plan ahead, deviate when necessary, and be respectful.
Terry, Honolulu, Hawaii
Book a suite with balcony
My sister and I try to always get a suite or room with a balcony so that we can get away from each other for a bit for some alone time. This works out well for us as we each like a bit of alone time each evening before we retire for the night. I like going out there and reading before bed and usually you can pull a lamp from the room and put it on the balcony. We also try to find a cabin or house or suite to rent that has something each of us likes. For example I like a Jacuzzi tub or a hot tub and she likes a very private bedroom that is quiet for sleeping. We also compromise on activities for the day and do something-at least one thing each one of us likes and enjoys.
Bettina, Huntington, USA
Share experiences over dinner
No one can remain mellow when traveling together 24/7. Plan some time off from each other during the day so you'll have something fresh to share at dinner.
Madeline, Davis, USA
I exercise in the AM
It's nice to have your own space and some privacy now and then even when traveling with a friend. It often helps to preserve the friendship! I'm a serious exerciser, so whenever I share a room I head straight for a workout as soon as I get up in the morning. This gives my roommate 60-90 minutes to get herself organized and ready for her day and my exercise is out of the way early. She heads out when I return, either for a workout of her own, a walk around the area, reading in a quiet spot, etc. while I have the room to myself for a little while. We arrange a time and place to meet and are refreshed and ready for the day's adventures.
Ann, Schenectady, USA
Why take turns being bored?
Frequently I hear someone complain 'I didn't enjoy that museum', (cathedral, market etc.) but my friend insisted we go. Of course, seeing and learning about something you wouldn't ordinarily do is a travel benefit, but shouldn't be mandatory. Older women, like myself, especially seem to feel that they have to do everything together even if only one is interested. Why take turns being bored? If my travel companion wants to shop trendy botiques, I'll find a sidewalk cafe for people watching and arrange to meet at a set time. If we've seen the major areas of an art museum together, but I want to see the drawings too, she can go to the gift shop or sculpture garden. The separate doings make for more interesting dinner table conversation.
Lucille, USA
Silence is golden
Sometimes we just need quiet. I look for travel partners who can handle silence and who don't need to go on and on about for example: their cellphone plan or other things irrelevant to the actual travel experience.
Wise words from Lonely Planet Forum

Transportation compromises...

Don't be a backseat grouch
I recently completed a cross country (USA) road trip with my niece who is close to my own age. We agreed before we left that there would be times when we would be cranky, tired and snippy and when the grouch rose it's head we would let it pass without comment and forget it. It was a great strategy and I don't even remember what we grouched about on the trip. I confess I was more the grouch than she, but that's another story.
Rosanne, Eldee, Canada
Be empathetic
My travel companion is anxious about flying. She couldn't avoid the flight last fall between Vancouver and Istanbul, but for any lengthy overland trip in Turkey or in Greece, we took overnight buses. In Turkey this turned out to be not so bad as the buses there are immaculate and very well run. That was not the situation in Greece, but in both cases we had a night's accommodation each time for the price of a bus ticket.
Thora, Vancouver, Canada
Share responsibilities
When I travel with a friend by car, the agreement is that one researches all the directions, obtains maps and 'pit stops'. The other researches and books all accommodations (taking into consideration both of our preferred 'likes'). So far this has worked out great, neither feels she is doing everything.
Margaret, Ontario, Canada
Rent a GPS
On a recent road trip we had a speaking GPS in the car. We found we never had those driver vs map-reader stresses. We sometimes both complained to the "lady" in the GPS but not with each other.
Cynthia, USA
Share the car
I’m an early riser, and I’ve often traveled with night owls. To avoid disturbing their beauty sleep, I suggested that I take the car and explore nearby ruins/museums/attractions they’re not interested in, and which may get crowded later in the day. I’m back before they’ve finished their first cup of espresso. Then the car is theirs and I can walk around to absorb the local color (read, lay on the beach, etc.)! Happy trails,
Tia, Del Mar, USA
Keep plans simple
My friend and I travelled from Ontario to British Colombia in a Toyota Echo. We then headed to Alaska by ferry, drove to the Yukon and back to Ontario. We did not have one disagreement for the entire month. We had agreed to a trip free of deadlines. The only date we had to keep was the departure of the ferry. My friend and I made no other reservations. Without a schedule, we booked into a motel when we were tired, we ate when we hungry and stopped at points of interest at leisure. I think the key is to keep it as simple as possible.
Michelle, Thunder Bay, Canada
Arrive early in a new place
When on a car trip don't let the anxiety level build between friends. Be sure to arrive early afternoon in a new destination. That gives you time to find a hotel while it's still light. Once settled you can explore surrounding areas without worrying where you will sleep that night.
Jill, Munich, Germany
Be neat
Nobody enjoys a messy car. Always dispose of your extra papers, food, etc. when you get to a stop. Your travelling companion will appreciate that. We have a rule. The driver never has to tidy because she has worked hard driving.
Mary Jane, Buffalo, USA
Share the radio
Traveling with my pre-teenage grand daughter turned out to be boon for both us. We took long road trips in New Mexico and we switched the radio station back and forth from 'her' music to 'mine' every fifty miles or so. Needless to say we both learned a lot about each other.
Diana, Orlando, Florida
Don't get frazzled
Keep your cool when the pressure goes up. Many of the worst hassles of travel are easy to anticipate — airport ring roads, parking lots, check-in and bag check, airport security, collecting baggage, picking up rental cars, checking into hotels, making sure your room is clean and everything works. During these phases, be way cool.
Wise words from

More travel for two -- tips and advice

Be Prepared
We Need Alone Time and Transportation Compromises
Handling Money and Travel for Three
Cooperation 101
Travel with Hubby and Travel with Strangers
Shared Bathroom
Wise Women Advice


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