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Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have made many of us put our wanderlust on hold.
It’s also been tough for many relationships, with couples stuck in tight quarters together, unable to get out and experience new things. One of the reasons we may feel this so keenly is that travel and new experiences are really important for maintaining a good relationship.
It doesn’t have to be a backpacking trip around Asia—even enjoying day trips or weekends away with your partner is good for your relationship’s health.
Relationships thrive on novelty and shared experience, and travel gives us this. So, if you’re in a relationship, it might be time to start planning your next post-pandemic trip.
Here are five reasons why you need to travel with your partner:
1. Test your communication and resilience.
Even before you set off, travel takes a lot of organization and communication. We need to make sure our transport lines up, our accommodation is suitable, and that we’ve got the right documents and travel insurance. Observing how we organize ourselves during this period can help strengthen our communication as a couple.
For example, was one partner always contacting the travel agency and booking flights, or did you split things equally? Could you rely on each other to solve problems that came up, or did one party feel more in charge? Figuring out how we cope with stressful tasks can help us to notice weak spots in our relationship and help us learn how to communicate more clearly.
Now to the fun part—when you’re actually traveling. It is a test of resilience for many couples. While there can be amazing experiences, there can also be lots of ups and downs. How will you bounce back when it’s midnight, and one of you has lost the key to the hotel?
Believe it or not, these moments where our resilience is tested are great for relationships. They teach us that we can bounce back from fights and work together when we need to. In situations where the pressure is really on, most strong couples will find a way to reconnect—even if this comes after a fight or a few hours of sulking.
2. Share new experiences together.
Novelty is really important in relationships because they are generally so routine. This is part of what makes them comfortable and fulfilling, but too much stability can become stagnant. Basically, without new experiences to share as a couple, we might find ourselves growing bored.
Travel offers tons of opportunities for new experiences. Whether it’s trying a new food or spending a few weeks touring around in travel trailers, we’ll certainly be out of our routine. This can give our relationship a new lease on life and help us fall for our partner all over again.
3. Make memories.
One of the great things about traveling in a couple, rather than traveling alone, is the memories we share together. Relationships are built on shared experience, and fond memories of a wonderful trip can keep our relationship strong through difficult times.
Don’t be afraid of getting out of your comfort zone when you travel with your partner. It’s a great chance to try something different, and the stories will keep your friends entertained for years to come!
4. To reconnect.
Travel can be a great way to understand another person’s point of view. This can be experiencing a different culture or doing something our partner has always wanted to do, but that isn’t really us. Maybe our partner has always wanted to hike into the jungle, but we’re put off by the thought of creepy crawlies. Or our partner has been looking up travel trailers for sale and wants to make a classic van life road trip.
Whatever the case, try to embrace their travel plan. One travel tip is to create a backup or get-out plans for any trip where we feel slightly unsure. It will take the pressure off if we know we can check into a hotel at any time or catch a boat to a nearby resort. Try to set your inhibitions aside and focus on taking on a new challenge.
So long as it is safe and your plans meet any travel advisory recommendations, you might find that you discover a whole new side to yourself. Don’t shy away from trying new things. After all, relationships are built on growth.
5. Develop trust.
Trust is super important in all relationships. With trust, most couples can survive many things. Without trust, even the most compatible pairs can struggle. Traveling with a partner requires a great deal of trust on both sides.
If we can successfully travel together, this means that we trust each other to be dependable and responsible. We’ll also find out if we can rely on each other in tough situations and when things don’t go to plan. Believe me, even the best-laid travel plans do not always go according to schedule.
How we react to these challenges can provide a valuable blueprint for our future relationship. We can learn about each other’s limits, red lines, each other’s flexibility, and willingness to compromise or go off-book. This can help us to determine whether we will work as a couple or how we can improve aspects of our relationship.
Travel sites can’t always tell us about the amazing interpersonal benefits of travel with our partner. Traveling is a highly personalized experience in general, and some people will get a lot out of what others find routine or boring. You might be a born adventurer or prefer tame, short holidays closer to home.
Whatever the case for you, traveling with your significant other is definitely something you should consider from time to time. It can help strengthen your bond, build your resilience as a couple, and create happy memories together. So, if you have the time, travel.
Final call: do you and your partner travel together? Has the experience strengthened your relationship? What is your favorite travel memory? Share your tips in the comments!