How to Travel With Your Partner (Without Going Crazy)

Two people tearing world map apart
Jason Hoffman / Thrillist

Traveling abroad with a significant other is a huge perk of being in a healthy relationship (even better than my other favorite perk: being able to justify leaving a noisy bar to go home early). Along with having a built-in romantic partner, you get to visit exotic lands with someone you trust, significantly decreasing the chance of being left alone in a hotel room in Rome with your heart replaced with that of a baboon.

Like planning a trip with anyone, there are a number of precautions you have to take with your SO to ensure you don't accidentally sign up for a week-long, jet lag-fueled fight.

Talk about expenses

Money starts to become a complicated issue when you enter into a relationship that outlasts the fuzzy gray period between a hookup, WELP, or a friend with benefits. You start to expect certain gestures of kindness from your significant other, like paying for meals or movies, that may get lost in translation when traveling together.

So before you buy anything, just talk about who's going to pay for what. The easiest thing is to split everything 50/50 to ensure no one gets screwed or gets stuck with paying the astronomically high fee it costs to get into a couples brothel in Berlin. They have that, right? Of course they do. Keep track of your expenses with Venmo, split everything evenly with Splitwise, or just go the old-fashioned route of writing shit down. I don't have to include a link to a pen and paper, do I?

Plan everything in advance -- including downtime

Yeah, this is important. If you're going to a country where neither of you speak the native language, you're going to want to make sure you don't end up in a confused tizzy the entire time.

First of all, learn some of the language basics, so you can get around. Key phrases like "where is the nearest hostel?" or "please show me the way to that kinky couples brothel" will keep you from getting lost and ending up in that other hostel where they eat people.

Along with deciding if you want to make your vacation about sightseeing or getting lost within the culture of the country, you should always plan some downtime. This is especially true if you're visiting a country with a huge time difference. You may think you can stay up all night when you're jet lagged, but your body is going to tell a far different tale.

There's nothing wrong with lying down and recharging on vacation.

Get outside your comfort zone

Maybe it's my chronic apathy and distaste for youths talking, but visiting a historic landmark has become infinitely less exciting with the inventions of Google, Snapchat, and Instagram. At this point, everyone knows what Times Square looks like and shouldn't waste their time navigating the cluttered streets and expensive restaurants when they can just watch their friends do it on their phones.

That being said, go off the grid and go somewhere different. Don't just sign up for the first all-inclusive resort you find online, try staying with the locals and dining at a restaurant that's in the middle of a forgotten building sandwiched between two bowling alleys. This is why people keep public travel blogs.

Mind your surroundings

While journeying on the road less traveled, just make sure that you don't accidentally put both of your lives in danger while in pursuit of the perfect. Did you know that even cuddling in public in Singapore can cost you a hefty fine? Then again, most things in Singapore are illegal.

Always make sure to brush up on a country's fine print before taking chances like trying to smuggle weed into Windsor Castle. Also frowned upon.

Don't be afraid to spend time apart

While a vacation with your SO is very different from life at home, there will always be aspects of it that mimic your typical day together. For example, you probably won't want to spend every hour of every day together for a full week straight.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking some time by yourselves to explore the country and buy each other presents in the process. As long as you both know where you're going, where to meet up, and how to get in contact with one another, then there shouldn't be an issue with getting some meaningful alone time abroad.

Take pictures, but get off your damn phone

I'm not here to remind you that this generation spends way too much time on their phones. In fact, you're probably reading this on a phone right now. So, why not break the trend and use your phones for only the important stuff? Directions, transportation, Yelp, and your camera. As far as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat: do yourself a favor and disconnect. Are you really going to browse through the Imgur app while in Costa Rica? Disclaimer: I did this.

Make sure you can afford it

The millennial pitch deck is all about travel. Everybody's tapped into all the best flight-deal websites (pro tip: The Flight Deal) and can finally budget out a vacation in the middle of the week.

So, take advantage of the resources at hand and maybe choose that $300 flight to Honduras as opposed to the $900 one to Rome. The less money you can spend on airfare, the more you can spend on local cuisine and exotic beach dates. Also, don't have sex on the beach.

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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and eats out of an oat bag.