"Never go on trips with anyone you do not love." -- Ernest Hemingway
Those immortal words ring especially true for any person who has attempted travel with a significant other. The chips fall one of two ways: you return hating every fiber of their being; or you're convinced this is the person you're going to marry. Couples who can travel together, stay together. Here's why.
Planning trips ain't easy
One in six millennials prefers to travel with friends over lovers, according to a recent survey by Topdeck Travel. And one in 10 of those surveyed said it's just easier to plan a trip with friends.
It's so true -- travel is stressful. It takes planning, purpose, and patience. Dealing with another person's emotions, quirks, and constitution (or lack thereof) while sharing a confined hotel room in a foreign land is about as real as shit can get. It's the true test of any relationship.
Which is why, on the first trip I took with my boyfriend, I could instantly tell I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I get overwhelmed by details, and he knew that. So he booked us an Airbnb in Ithaca, found amazing waterfall hikes for us to go on, and drove the entire way there (I'm a very nervous driver). His ability to take charge of the trip was totally romantic and made everything just click into place. The trip was seamless and chill -- more so than any trip I've been on with friends.
Travel helps you sort out feelings quickly
Travel forms a bond between two people or drives them apart -- solidifying any on-the-fence feelings you might have. They will either become your very best friend or your sworn enemy in the course of a long weekend.
In fact, if you're wondering if you want a future with your boyfriend or girlfriend, travel with them immediately. Sometimes it takes being in a new place to really put things in perspective. (Although I would suggest keeping that first (last?) trip within driving distance so you have an escape if necessary.)
True colors can't hide on vacation
Unless you book separate rooms, traveling with your S.O. basically means spending 24 hours a day together. That, paired with the unpredictable factors of any trip, means there's no place to hide. You're about to learn quickly whether your boo can read a situation, problem-solve, and handle his or her shit in any circumstance.
If they can, this person is a keeper.
Communication will be tried and tested
Communication is essential to the health of any relationship. And nowhere will these skills be tested quite like while traveling together. If you can talk through disagreements while far away from what you know and your daily routine, you are on solid footing as a couple.
Traveling together forces you to either accept and work within the context of another person's limitations and expectations, or come to terms with being unable to handle them.
The sex is better if you can travel together
If you're compatible travelers, you're going to have better sex. Think about it: if you just had a fabulous day sightseeing and didn't wind up in a huge fight, aren't you going to want to get it in once you're back at the hotel?
If you are in tune with a person to the level where you can handle their eccentricities during a high-stress travel situation, you know you're going to be in tune with their pleasure points in the bedroom. That is just logical. It's science, too: of couples who travel together, 77% report having a great sex life, according to a 2013 study. That's compared to 63% of couples who don't travel together saying they were satisfied with their sex lives.
If you're wondering if you and your partner have the stuff to make it to old age, take a trip together. Should you return from your travels even more obsessed with him or her than when you left, marry the shit out of your S.O. immediately, and never, ever let them go.