By now you all should know that I am a strong proponent of travelling solo. While I love the freedom I feel when grabbing my backpack and setting off to explore the world alone, there are of course those times when I want to share the experience with someone else. Few things though, test a relationship like travelling together. Whether you are travelling with a friend or a romantic partner, the challenges you'll face being on the road together 24/7 will be unlike anything you'll have ever faced at home. So here are my five tips on how to ensure that your relationship passes the travel test:
1. Communication: The key to avoiding disappointment is communication. Discuss what you both expect from the trip and from each other. Determining these things at the start will prevent you from getting into unnecessary arguments and playing the blame game later if the trip doesn't go to plan.
2. Money: Before you think of packing your bags, make sure you have an open conversation about money and your spending habits. How much money are you both taking? Will you be travelling on a shoestring, moderate or top end budget? Who will control the money? Will you split all costs, or rely on one person?
3. Time apart: Travelling in such close proximity for an extended period is bound to drive you a little stir crazy. So before cabin fever sets in, make sure you plan some time apart. Whether it's a short stroll or a quiet cup of coffee or you want to try a different activity or need a few days to go off exploring by yourself, spending some time alone is a great way to recharge your relationship batteries.
4. Sociability: You need to be clear from the start about whether you are seeking exclusive one-on-one time together or are after a more social travel experience. And if you do want company set boundaries for new friendships to avoid upsetting or betraying your partner.
5. Compromise: You're not always going to want to do the same things or go to the same places – you might want to spend the day lazing on the beach while your partner wants to go trekking in the mountains. No matter what the situation, if the travelling partnership is going to work you both need to make some compromises. The key of course is striking the right balance.