The biggest litmus test of any new relationship is your first vacation together. Make it through a week with only each other, and you might just have found "the one." Want to bury the other person somewhere in the Everglades by day three, and you might think about separate flights home.
But travel -- in addition to making you look and feel your absolute worst -- is stressful no matter who you’re with. And since the last thing you want to be is the perpetually fighting couple on vacation, we put together 11 of the most common travel fights, and how you can avoid having them.
Looking at other people
Actually, pretty much just looking at other women. Because we’re men, and we’re on a beach, and there’s body parts on that beach we haven’t seen before. Ladies, don’t try and understand it, it’s just in our DNA.
How to avoid it: If you’re a guy, make a concerted effort to keep your gawking to a minimum. If you’re a woman, please understand that this is the price of doing business -- much like we do with watching Bravo!
To some, “vacation" means moving as little as possible, having meals delivered, and devoting all energy to perfecting your tan. To others, it means visiting sketchy neighborhoods, eating giraffe brains, and zip-lining in Puerto Rico.
How to avoid it: Take some time for yourselves. After an exhausting afternoon of learning more than you ever wanted to know about historic Sacramento, take a day to relax by... okay, bad example.
Choice of hotel
Maybe you thought booking a room at the Motel 9 next to the correctional facility was a good way to save a few dollars. After all, it did get three-stars on TripAdvisor! Your partner’s idea of a romantic getaway, however, might not have involved a panoramic view of "the yard."
How to solve it: Pick the hotel TOGETHER. Like, even if one of you says, “I don’t care,” there is a 10,000% chance you will if the hotel sucks.
Where to eat
At home, you’ve no doubt slipped into that joyful rut of going to the same P.F. Chang's every week where Ted the waiter already knows you'll be splitting the Dan Dan Noodles. Once you’re away, though, there are all kinds of frustrating new options and food decisions to disagree about, especially if you’re in a foreign country.
How to avoid it: Peruse some websites with local restaurant info (ummm, perhaps the tab above that reads “CITIES?" Just a thought.) before you take off, and plan out your most important meals ahead of time.
Amount of luggage
Theoretically, spending the weekend at the beach means packing zero pairs of shoes and even fewer pairs of pants. Or, it could mean packing 14 bathing suits and a different outfit for every possible weather scenario. You never know.
How to avoid it: Pack separate suitcases. But also, for the love of God, decide whether you’re both checking bags or carrying on. Otherwise, you’ll make about 200 new enemies at the baggage claim when you start arguing about why one of you had to check luggage when it was clearly much easier just to carry on.
Being on time
Watching your significant other get ready for a night out is kinda like watching an adult-film shoot: Much as you might love the final product, once you realize how long and boring the process is, it becomes a lot less sexy. Especially when you’ve got an 8pm dinner reservation and they're getting in the shower at 7:45pm.
How to avoid it: Ask how much time they realistically need to get ready, and then build in an extra 30 minutes to play it safe.
Spending too much time together
Nobody, not even that perfect person you’ve decided to share your Facebook profile picture with, is fun to be around for more than three days without a break. Once you find yourself legitimately getting mad at your special friend for breathing (this happens), it may be time for a short break.
How to avoid it: Plan some separate activities. Like, go to the hotel gym for a couple hours while he reads a book. Or get a spa treatment while she gets some beers at the hotel bar. You get the idea.
Spending too much money
“Splurging” for you might mean ordering an appetizer AND a drink at whichever TGI Friday’s you decide on for dinner. For her, it might mean ordering $18 Cokes from room service because she doesn’t want to walk to the vending machine.
How to avoid it: Pick your battles. And talk about it ahead of time. If eating at a famous, expensive restaurant is the highlight of your trip, make sure your partner knows this.
Overusing your phone
Some people’s idea of a vacation is being completely disconnected, avoiding the internet, and leaving their phone at home. Other people’s idea of a vacation is taking a Snapchat every 10 minutes and losing as many Instagram followers as possible ("We get it: you’re in Napa. The wine’s great. Lucky you."). And if one person is trying to enjoy the trip while the other won’t unplug, there’s a good chance you’ll be changing that profile picture before you board that flight home.
How to avoid it: Agree on set times to catch up on email, social media, etc. Then leave your phones on airplane mode when you’re actually out doing things together.
When you can’t find your wallet or keys at home, it’s a temporary inconvenience that’s either quickly solved or makes you 15 minutes late for kickboxing. On vacation, it can mean an entire day lost and an expensive, embarrassing call to Alamo. Or your consulate.
How to avoid it: Losing stuff happens. Avoid blaming each other, since that won’t make whatever you lost magically appear.
Drinking too much
Unless you’re that couple who bonds over Old Crow. Assuming you're not, but see vacation as the perfect excuse to do 2pm tequila shots, you may find yourself verbalizing every hypothetical argument you've (internally) had with your partner in front of a very-awkward-feeling busboy.
How to avoid it: We’d say moderation, but everyone tells you that. Just make sure you’re both on the same drinking schedule, and make a concerted effort not to use your decreased inhibitions to tell your partner everything he or she does wrong.