Traveling For Two, Please!
(Successful Travel Planning For Couples)[caption id="attachment_117" align="alignright" width="284" caption="Traveling with your SO can be fun...learn how!"][/caption] It's that time of year, when couples start thinking of winter getaways, summer vacations and lazy days spent on beaches while their honey rubs them down with sun screen/tanning oil. All of this is great for memory lane, but most people don't realize that vacationing with your sweetie can end up being a disaster, showing you just what you're dealing with in your relationship. Before you jump ahead and start going down a memory lane that hasn't happened yet, you need to make a few important decisions pre your vacation. For starters, one member in the couple needs to be the planner. It won't do for both partners to be non-planners flying by the seat of their pants. Delegate one of you as the planner and stick to this choice for the duration of the vacation. Decide what your budget is in advance and who's paying for what. Whether you're splitting down the middle or one person is treating, it's best not to assume and spring financials on someone at the last minute. Tell your honey in advance what the rough estimate will be. With sites like Orbitz, there's no reason for you to not have a rough estimate! Once you've researched the financial particulars, budget with your honey to make sure that you're both on the same page on your travel expenses. If you wanted to go to Italy for shopping and he only wanted to go to look at the statues, it's unfair for him to pay extensively for your shopping spree if it wasn't something he was interested in doing initially. In addition, once you make a budget-stick to it. Nothing's worse than planning x amount of money for tickets but never setting it aside for the actual purchase. Don't forget to set aside money for nightlife. Be prepared for the currency exchange if you're traveling abroad. Note: Be aware of the new passport laws enacted by the US Travel Department. Visit the US Travel Department at www.travel.state.gov for the latest information. Pick vacation spots that give both members the best experience. Don't pick a mountain vacation if your honey abhors the mountains, hates camping and refuses to rough it. You have to find a happy medium, where both couples can have most of their vacation needs met. A great option: island locales are perfect for couples where one loves lazing by the beach and being pampered while the other wants to enjoy mountain hikes and every nook and cranny that the island has to offer. Remember the word compromise, and enact it. If one of you is King I-Love-Every-Island-Tour-And-Activity, and the other is Queen Laze-By-The-Beach, compromise. Maybe you plan a day or two where you two become the ultimate tourists, going on every guided sight seeing tour your spot offers. Then, you agree to bum around for another day or two. Both partners are happy that they got what they wanted out of the vacation, and their honey bunny shared experiences that were important to them. Now that you've bought your tickets and are about to begin your vacation, here's another essential to remember: nothing is perfect. I know, it's a downer to mention, but if you go into your vacation assuming that it's going to be a dream with Fabio fanning you poolside, you're probably setting yourself up for disaster! Things happen, plans go amuck and you and your honey can't possibly always agree. Take it from a pro, even at the happiest place on earth, Disney World, a couple can get a bit snarky from time to time. If you go into your relationship with realistic expectations, you'll be more likely to laugh it off when the little snafus do arise. Although vacations are a great way to peel back another relationship layer, putting too much pressure to achieve perfection can also give you an unnecessary negative view of your relationship and ruin the vacation. Remember, it is a vacation and the whole point is to relax and bond at a natural flow, not force connections at gun point. Be prepared for things to go wrong because nothing is perfect. But as long as your flights in and out of town aren't cancelled, your hotel reservation is recognized and it doesn't rain for your entire vacation, there's no need to create drama where none existed. Count your blessings that none of the above occurred and relax! You should be in the company of the one you love with a romantic backdrop, who could ask for more?