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travel tip newsletter

75 Realistic Tips for Traveling with a Partner

Travel with hubby...

He hates to pick restaurants
My husband and I have it all worked out – he hates to make reservations and pick restaurants, I hate to drive. I take care of the reservations and restaurants, he drives (I sleep and arrive refreshed in time to check us in), and we’re both happy!
Jeannie, Dover, USA
Take turns deciding
When my husband and I are exploring a new city by walking, we take turns at each street corner deciding which direction to go. That way we aren't forever having to consult each other.
Marilyn, Portland, USA
No backseat driving
When taking a road trip with a husband or friend and sharing driving duties, the passenger vows not to 'backseat drive' unless a truly dangerous situation occurs that the driver appears to be totally oblivious to. And the driver vows not to second-guess the navigator without a truly valid reason.
Ellen, California, USA
Planning stage is important
Here's my suggestions for making travel with a partner more joyous. Happy travel begins in the planning stages - before each trip, my husband and I independently list our top three 'must do' sites or experiences plus a few extra 'maybe' stops. These sites form the basis of the trip itself and both of our interests are accommodated. Often times, we have at least one stop on both our lists.
Vanessa, Halifax, Canada
One couple, one journal
Travel journals are always a good idea but even better when both travellers record their experiences, feelings and anecdotes in the same journal. Looking back on past trips, it's always intriguing to see how each of us perceived the same sites in different ways. Happy travels and keep up the good work!
Vanessa, Halifax, Canada

Travel with strangers...

Exchange email games
I often travel with strangers - travel buddies with like destination goals whom I hook up with through travel sites. Since these are women I have never met, we exchange lots of emails prior to a trip to get to know one another as much as possible. But it really is difficult to guess what may annoy your travel pal, and not knowing means that you may inadvertently do exactly those annoying things that you are so used to doing without a clue as to how it may infringe on another's peace of mind or comfort.

One sort of game I incorporate into our email exchanges is called 'My Travel Pet Peeves / My Travel Pet Comforts' in which we each list five things that annoy us most when traveling with a travel chum, along with a possible solution for each annoyance. We then list five things we love most about traveling with a travel chum. This pre-trip exchange really helps me to plan around the things that most annoy my travel buddy (like packing ear plugs if I like to go to bed early & she is a night owl). This game also gives me the comfort of knowing that my travel buddy will also be doing the same.
Sylver, Morris County, USA

Talk about your allergies
With organized group travel, be sure to inform those at the tour company about your personal preferences for a travel partner. I have lots of allergies and always ask in advance if my roommate will be using hairspray, perfumes etc. If they plan to use them, I request another roommie.
Melody, San Francisco, USA
Create a signal word.
I've gone on several trips with women I didn't know well when we started. I've learned that some conflict will always come up and it can get tense. I now talk with my traveling companion ahead of time and we agree on a signal word (something goofy, like "swordfish"). When we're traveling and one of us feels like conflict is beginning to get uncomfortable we exclaim "Swordfish" and that's our cue to stop action, take a deep breath, and talk. Believe it or not, it works.
Naomi, Massachusetts, USA
I'm an Australian who recently went on a road trip in the USA with a friend from Canada. We met for the first time on that trip though we'd been friends for a few years via e-mail and regular post. We learnt a number of new things about each other, but the two that stick in my mind were (1) I drink a lot of peppermint tea and she is allergic to it, and (2) We were both driving in unfamiliar territory and she is very nervous about driving. We solved these problems by my packing away my tea at the very bottom of my bag and drinking green tea for the duration and, after one very nerve-racking attempt at driving, I did all the driving and she did the map-reading, keeping me on the right side of the road, and organising accommodation. It worked out very well and we enjoyed a wonderful time whizzing around New Mexico and Colorado.
Tes, Melbourne, Australia
Morning rhythms are different
I know that morning rhythms are different for different people. When rooming with other women on a trip it never takes me long to get ready in the morning. So I just get up first, quickly get ready, and then let my roommate know that I'll go up to the restaurant to have breakfast with the others. This gives the other person privacy, plus, I don't have to just sit there waiting for her. We meet up when she is ready and comes for breakfast.
Brenda, Hebron, USA
We share our skills
I have travelled and shared a room with a friend from a nearby city on three hiking trips. We met on a walking trip to Bermuda in 2000 and have been friends ever since. We are a good fit for a couple of reasons. I am usually more together in the morning so it is my job to make sure we have our room key, that we don't leave our hiking sticks behind when we stop to buy water or food for lunch, etc. etc. She is more adventurous than I am, maybe because she had the opportunity to backpack around the world in her younger years. So she often gets me to do things that I would not attempt on my own. Sometimes we get nervous when we are about to embark on a trip; we can acknowledge this in ourselves. In fact, we call ourselves "Nervous Nellie 1" and "Nervous Nellie 2"; that is the code word to share our anxieties and we have a laugh over it. P.S. I look forward to many more adventures with my pal, as long as our hips and knees hold out! (we are in our 60s)
Linda, Toronto, Canada
Look for someone with similar habits
I have the best travel partner. My travel buddy and I met 20+ years ago at a Club Med. She is a very early morning person and I am more of a late night person. She gets up at 5:30 or 6 am and makes coffee and reads. That is her quiet time. My time is in the evening and I will read with my glass of wine after she goes to bed. We are both very easy going, so if one of us wants to do something, the other one says fine. We will do it. We have similar eating habits and shopping habits, so we get along well.
Lynn, California, USA
When I was widowed
I found a travel friend after my husband died. When I was widowed I thought my traveling days were over as a two-some. Luckily I found another woman in my bereavement group -- five children each and lots of grandchildren. Both still working because we enjoy people. We have visited a lot of places together and sharing a room has not been a problem cause we show respect for each others space and private time. We've gone to Ireland, Hawaii, China, Las Vegas and other fun places. I've been so lucky to have found a travel friend. P.S. Thanks for Journeywoman.
Betty, Palm Desert, USA
I need more rest stops
My back acts up if I stay on my feet too long. I advise my new travel partner to go ahead and do her thing while I find a cafe to sit down, have a cup of coffee and people watch. We agree on a time to meet up again and continue as before.
Barb, Chicago, USA

Speak your mind...

talking dogs - are you hungry

"Don't use the phrase 'whatever you want to do' when making planning decisions. If I wanted complete indifference/compliance, I would have traveled with myself. If you want something out of travel, and from your traveling companion, you have to put something in. 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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