by Carmen Allan-Petale
Today is our first wedding anniversary.
I can’t believe it’s been a year! It’s absolutely flown by. One year ago we were saying our vows and about to leave for our sunny honeymoon in Margaret River and yet it feels like it was yesterday.
They say that the first year of marriage is the hardest but if our first 12 months are anything to go by then our marriage is going to be a breeze.
What do you think is the key to a successful marriage?
Some say you should live with your partner before you tie the knot to see whether you can put up with each other’s living habits.
I think this is important, but just as equally I think you need to travel with your other half to see whether you get along glued to the hip 24-7. Travelling can bring out the best and the worst in us and it’s good to check whether you both have similar travelling styles before you decide to spend the rest of your lives together. And trust me, it’ll be a true test to see just how strong your relationship is!
Dave and I have been travelling together for nearly five years now and during that time we’ve learnt a lot about how best to travel together as a couple.
So I thought I’d share my top five tips with you below.
1. Decide on the itinerary together
It’s a good idea for both of you to get involved in planning your itinerary before your travel. Not only will this ensure you’re both happy about your plans but it’ll also get you excited about your trip.
Dave and I like to sit down and map out where we’re going and how long we’ll stay in each town before we book our accommodation.
I normally research each bed and breakfast, hotel or hostel I think would be nice to stay at but will always send Dave a link to see whether he likes it too.
Decide early on what you’re hoping to get out of the trip together. If you’re keen on laying on the beach all day but your partner would rather being hiking in the mountains make sure you’re aware about your differences so you can take it in turns to do something each of you enjoy.
Dave loves anything to do with military and war, like going to the Duxford Air Museum, but that stuff doesn’t really tickle my fancy.
I prefer shopping.
So when we travel together I often agree to go to another war museum if he promises to go to the beach with me afterwards. Or he says he’ll come shopping with me if we only go into a maximum of four shops.
So compromising is important. (And not just for travelling – for any relationship to work well!)
3. Give each other space
Spending 24 hours a day with someone can be tedious, no matter how much you love each other. Set aside some time each day to do your own thing, even if it means taking some time off to read a book or write an email.
Make sure you respect your partner’s time out as well.
If they’re relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book, try and cease your chatter for awhile so they can take the time to truly chill out.
Sometimes this can be difficult for me, the ultimate chatterbox, but I’ve learnt to respect Dave’s space over time. Dave also likes to go for a run every now and again and while we’re on holiday and I take the time to do some writing. A good chance to have some alone time.
4. Motivate each other
If you’re on a long trip, sometimes you can start to feel a little lazy and want to spend your whole time relaxing by the pool.
That’s fine if that’s all you want to do.
But if you went on holiday to see the sights and then can’t be bothered getting out of bed in the morning then you might regret it later.
Dave and I normally spend each night over dinner discussing what we plan to do the next day.
We also say what time we’re going to wake up in the morning and then encourage each other to get out of bed at that time. It also helps if you book an early tour or some place you need to be – that’ll help you stop being so lazy and help you to make the most of your holiday.
5. Agree on how to handle your finances
It’s a good idea to decide who’ll be buying what before you travel. The last thing you want to have happen is for one of you to run out of money and have to ask to borrow some funds. But make sure you have more than one bank account between you and a number of bank cards. There’s been times when my bank card has been eaten by a foreign ATM and if it wasn’t for Dave’s card I would’ve been stranded.
But as a whole, Dave and I share all our finances so we’ve never really had to worry about talking about money. There have been times when I’ve earned more and times (significantly more time) that Dave’s earned more. But as Dave likes to say, ‘it all comes out in the wash!’
However, we do budget and save money ahead of a trip.
We also talk about how much money we should spend during a holiday and try as best we can to stick to it. And so far we’ve never had a debt so something must be working!