All the extra shifts at work have finally paid off and you’re jetting off to some foreign place for a much-needed break with the one you love.
But here’s the catch: You’ve never traveled together before, and the stress of train routes, hotels, and dinner costs is almost making you forget what an amazing experience it will be to travel with your man. So here are some handy dos and don’ts that will prevent you from you going to bed angry and instead make this trip the first of many happy holidays.
Do Have an Itinerary
Okay, so I know that we all don’t want to turn into our mothers, but for once, you have to hand it to her for the professional timekeeping and organizational perks. The best way to explore a new city is to plan.
Bear in mind the average city break is three days, so timing is a must when you’re trying to immerse yourself in all that the city has to offer. Try to section days off into areas. For example, Paris is easy to organize into an Eiffel Tower day, surrounded by delicious restaurants and breathtaking views all in the same vicinity. Then the next day can be spent on the hill and surrounding area of Sacré Coeur Basilica, filled with a different culture and landscapes. Planning allows you to get your fix of a place effectively and hassle-free.
An itinerary is also a key aspect of a couple’s holiday because you can compromise before you even step foot into the country. If your man is sports mad and wants to do that football tour, then it can go into the plan, so no angry arguments pop up unexpectedly. You’re prepared and any tensions concerning plans should be at bay, creating a calm and enjoyable city break.
Do Have a Budget in Mind
Now, this might come as a no-brainer to most readers, but several arguments between couples can be focused around or triggered by money. Understandably, it can take a lot of hard-earned cash to even get to the location of choice, so the added money spent on food, excursions, and transport is usually not met with a smiling face. So before the awkwardness of having different spending preferences hits, have a conversation about money. This can be like pulling teeth with your man, but it’s important to be on the same page. It may even bring the two of you closer together! By creating a budget, both yourself and your man can avoid overspending or feeling guilty about saving money as you have already had the conversation.
Set out a spending budget for when you’re away for practical reasons as well. Many European cities, such as Berlin, only take cash payments; therefore, getting out cash before you enter the country, and that pesky exchange rate, is a must! Other places, like London, primarily use contactless payment, which means using Apple Pay – no swiping your credit card!
Don’t Get Public Transport Everywhere
I’m not writing off public transport for the whole trip, because trust me, there are some evenings when sightseeing all day can take it out of you completely. When traipsing around the streets of Spain is followed by a family sized paella, it’s probably a good idea to catch a train or a taxi back to the hotel to call it a night. But during the day, ditch the hot and sweaty metro and embrace the beautiful parks and walking paths that are so accessible and beautiful to skip along in the sunlight hand in hand.
One of the best holiday memories that I personally have with my boyfriend is stumbling into a botanical garden filled with pristine fountains, which we would have otherwise missed if we had taken the quicker option of jumping onto a bus. Not only is walking better for your health, it’s also better for your wallet. There are some good transport deals in Europe; however, the ticket prices can quickly add up.
Now this one I know is as old as time itself, but seriously, it’s imperative when you’re traveling as a couple. Although you may want to pack three changes of clothes for each day and eight different sun hats, the fact of the matter is, you’ll have a much easier time if you cut down on the extra baggage.
In my experience, not overpacking has reduced the stress of what to wear each day, cut down the time spent in the hotel room, and most importantly, allowed me to pack more into our trip. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to put in effort for yourself and your man, but to reduce any stress about timings or arguments about how heavy your bag is, leave the extra clothes at home. Another thing I learned the hard way: If you’re going on a European city break, try to fit your clothes into a rucksack or a gym bag – the cobbled streets of Berlin caused my boyfriend and me a lot of aggravation about the small suitcase I had decided to drag around from the train station to the hotel.
Don’t Try To Please Anyone Else
What I mean by this is really focus on the two of you together. Even if you don’t go somewhere like the City of Love or the romantic fountains of Rome, make sure you both listen to one another and make it a trip in which you both come away stronger and more in love than ever. Make sure you effectively use your time and communicate how you’re feeling. Sometimes a coffee on a bench could seem more romantic to your partner than a candle-lit dinner, so communication can be so helpful on these trips.
Also, trust me when I say that your family and friends would rather see pictures of the two of you enjoying yourselves doing exactly what you want to do than receive a tacky keyring or box of chocolates that you trudged around looking for and wasting a whole day.
I hope this list of tips and tricks helps you on your next trip with your man. It could be applied to friends or even solo travel. Avoiding heated arguments makes the adventures you embark on so much more fun. Most of my happiest memories with my boyfriend have been on our vacations, and through learning the hard way on some of these points, I think these are the answer to having a harmonious, enjoyable trip that you will remember for a lifetime.
Readers make our world go round. Make your voice heard in the official Evie reader survey.