There are many solo travel blogs out there that talk about how traveling is solo is great and we admire the people that travel alone. It takes a strong person of a certain breed that can go out into the world solo and explore.We are not those people.
Travel as a Couple
Couples Travel is all we know. Having been together since we were in college, Dave and I have only ever traveled together and we have made it work for each other.
Over the years we have developed a system and have found traveling as a couple provides a lot of benefits as opposed to going it alone.
Here are the things that we have found made our life easier because we travel as a couple.
Why Travel as a Couple is Better than Solo Travel
1. Good cop bad cop – When traveling in a third world country everything involves bartering. Hotel rooms, taxi’s, shopping, tours… everything involves working out a bargain. Dave is great at playing hardball and if he were a solo traveler people might find him a little too hard and probably wouldn’t get his deals. But traveling as a couple is easier for Dave by having a woman (me) with him smiling as he works his magic helps to smooth the rough edges. When they are stating a price and he is saying no, they look to me for support. I smile and laugh and they give in a bit while Dave gives in a bit and we all go home happy and having a good time.
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2. TLC – Tender Loving Care. It is inevitable. Everyone is bound to fall ill during travels. It could be travelers diarrhea, the flu, headache or fatigue. Having a person take care of you makes everything better. Being sick while traveling is not fun, but being sick alone in your hotel room is even worse. Having your other half there to give you sympathy, tell you everything will get better, give you a back rub or bring you some water makes being ill just a little easier to take.
3. Sounding Board- Bartering can be exhausting and sometimes we just don’t know how much to pay for something. All we can do is discuss it with each other and see if it is a price that we are happy with. We can sound off on each other to see if a person is ripping us off and we can slow each other down before buying too impulsively. It helps out the budget a lot. Traveling alone you have to go with your instincts and hope for the best. Traveling as a couple, you can discuss things rationally first and then make an informed decision.
4. Strengths – We each have our own strengths in the relationship and can divide the workload. I am very good at packing and organizing and Dave is very good at planning and researching. If we had to rely on me to plan a trip, we wouldn’t see anything. If Dave were in charge of packing, we would have the entire house including the kitchen sink. I don’t have the attention span to do research, but Dave is great at checking out what there is to do in a place. When traveling as a couple we can use each others strengths to make things run smoothly. I putter around the room organizing, washing the clothes and packing up the bags while Dave reads up on the place. He runs it by me after he has thoroughly explored what we should do and we are both happy. Dave and I are a little anomaly, we like the same things, feel the same about places and situations and have the same interests. It can be annoying to other people, but it makes travel very easy for this adventure couple.
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5. Sharing the Experience – Couples that Travel together get to share the experience together. It is admirable that people are self-sufficient and fulfilled enough to enjoy a place on their own. We however need someone to share it with. There is nothing better than enjoying a beautiful sunrise, conquering a great peak or witnessing a rare site with the person that you love. We have built memories together to talk about for years to come.
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6. Inspiration – Traveling as a couple can open each other up to new opportunities. We can inspire each other to try new things. If one of us is a little wary of something, we can be each others cheerleaders. We love telling each other just how great we are 😛
Enjoy our India Travel Couples Survival Guide
7. Safety – Traveling together offers a little more safety than traveling solo. Getting into a rickshaw or taxi feels a lot better when there are two of you as opposed to being alone. Safety in numbers we always say. We can watch each others backs and not feel threatened. Many times I say to Dave, “I don’t know how people can do this alone.” But they can and do and they are a stronger person than me. I will stick to traveling with Dave.
8. Care for our Gear –We can keep an eye on our packs and gear when one of us has to go to the bathroom or buy some tickets. Someone can stay with the packs while another gets in line. As a couple, our gear is never left alone on a train or bus or anywhere. Someone is always there to keep an eye on it and we don’t have to worry about bringing our bags into nasty bathrooms to keep an eye on it. I can even give Dave my scarf and purse when I have to go into a scary toilet. You don’t want to take the chance of anything falling in, so having someone to hold onto your things eliminates that problem.
9. Company – We see a lot of solo travelers at dinner. While I tend to be a chatty one and strike up a conversation with them, (most times they are happy to talk) I see many people just reading a book or sitting silently. I know, I know, a lot of people like being alone. We just aren’t those people. We love talking at dinner, playing travel scrabble or cards, we love to talk talk about the days events and we just never seem to get bored. Even on a long train ride, we have company. When we hook up with other travelers or people on the road it is even better. We are a couple that loves have company, the more the merrier on our journey we say.
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10. Support – Travel can be exhausting. People hassle you daily for rickshaw rides, tours and any other sale they can think of. Sometimes you just don’t want to talk to anyone. Traveling as a couple can allow each of us to have a break when we need it. When one of us is having an off day, the other can take over. They can field the questions and shelter the other person. When one of us is feeling stronger than the other, we can take over the duties of inspecting hotel rooms to make sure they are livable, deciding on a price or simply answering the questions of a curious local. The other person can sit and wallow for a couple of hours or for the day and not have to deal with a thing or talk to anyone. It works out very well having a support system. We also have each other to vent to so that we don’t have to take our frustrations out on the poor receptionist or vendor. We couldn’t travel if we didn’t have each other for support.
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While we admire all the solo travelers out there, we are very happy to be able to travel with the person that we love. Maybe one day some of you solo travelers will find that certain someone to allow you to give traveling as a couple a shot! It can be an adjustment to have someone around every day, but we think traveling as a couple is a very rewarding experience.