I have said it before and I will say it again. Before every couple settles down and gets married they should experience couples travel together for at least six months.
And I don’t mean just going somewhere relaxing and romantic.
I mean that you have to really travel together. You have to step outside your comfort zones together to see if you are going to go be able to go the distance.
While we may not be married, we do know what 3+ years of couples travel will do to a relationship. There is nothing that will strengthen, or break, those intimate bonds of a couple in love quicker than couples travel.
Travelling as a couple can be one of the most rewarding experiences of any couples lives. It can also be one of the greatest challenges you will ever face.
Living out of each others back pockets for months on end in foreign countries can be tough work. You might not be able to speak the local language fluently which means that you often have only one another to talk to for a few days.
Or you might be driving 18,000 km across North America in a tiny car that is also your bedroom, kitchen and living room. There is no escape and nowhere to hide if you fight.
The silent treatment for 8 hours tends to get quite boring.
You have to be able to make it work.
Yes we lived in that for 8 weeks.
So why should you travel as a couple before marriage?
Getting to know one another
During couples travel you quickly learn what makes another person tick. We have learnt a lot of life lessons while travelling as a couple and the ones that we stick to the most, are the ones that keep us both sane.
For example, I know that if Adela goes without a decent amount of sleep for a few days then she will be extremely cranky. And if I don’t get food on a regular basis then I am going to turn into something resembling the incredible hulk, just without the green tinge and muscles.
It is being able to spot those little changes in one another quickly that will help you overcome much larger hurdles later in life.
Good sleep + food = Happy couple
Facing your fears
Fears. We all have them. Whether it is a fear of heights or perhaps you suffer from claustrophobia, your partner can help you face those fears and overcome them.
We have a series on here about facing my fears where we deliberately put ourselves in situations that we are not 100% comfortable in. We think it helps us grow as individuals. But it also helps us grow as a couple.
When I suggested an adventure to go caving in Budapest, I knew that Adela would struggle with going underground. But she was willing to give it a crack. After we had walked just 50m underground, the door slammed shut behind us and Adela freaked out.
But knowing I was there to comfort her and help her out kept her calm until she got back to the surface. It of course didn’t stop me from carrying on afterwards and having an awesome adventure either!
Being stripped bare
Being stripped bare in front of someone you love is not the same as facing your fears. It is much worse than that. It is allowing someone to become so close to you that they see you at your most vulnerable.
Couples travel will open up your most vulnerable sides.
One of you falls victim to a sneaky snake charmer throwing his pet snake around your neck. 12 hours later you can’t control the liquids coming out of either end of your body because of salmonella poisoning.
Not only do you wish that en-suite bathrooms with cowboy saloon style doors had never been invented. But this is also one time you don’t want to be alone.
For two weeks I was horrendously sick and lost a frightening 10 kgs. So far from home and without the support of my family I had only one person to rely on. Adela. Luckily she put up with the sounds, smells and stress, and supported me through it all.
For that I am so thankful because I will never forget how vulnerable I was and how she never exploited my vulnerability.
Perspective: It’s not all bad
Travelling as a couple is all about putting perspective on different events.
While you may become vulnerable, sick, frightened or angry, being there for one another is what counts to get you both through each situation. Because at the end of the day the good always outweighs the bad.
We never have to think too hard to remember the good times.
Sitting on a beach together watching the sunset. Drinking a coffee in a cute cafe in Paris or mountain biking in Canada. All of these experiences were made special because we did them together. They are treasured memories that we will share together forever.
Plus the bad can always be laughed at in the future.
In my opinion, if you can survive couples travel, you can survive anything. Including marriage.
Have you travelled as a couple? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.
How To Keep Yourself Occupied When Travelling
Many of us find ourselves constantly in and out of airports, for business or pleasure or whatever the reason may be, and would like to make better use of that dead time, of which there can be a lot, especially on long multi-segment trips overseas, for example. Here are some quick suggestions to ponder:
Travel time is actually excellent for absorbing a couple really good books, and it’s a great time to catch up on some much-needed reading. You have so many options for ebooks I don’t think it’s even necessary to list them here. You also have your preference of audio books or regular text books; it’s completely up to you. Text is a lot faster if you’re a reasonably good reader, but audio books allow you to do things like walk around and eat while still getting the book “read to you”
Online casinos are an excellent way to kill time on those long layovers. In fact, the hours can go by in a blur when you’re gaming in this way; make sure you have an alarm set so you remember to get to the gate on time for your connection:
Guts online casino with mobile games is a prime example of a great casino site where you can keep yourself occupied for hours on end. One of the nice things about Guts is how comprehensive it is. This allows you to get all your online casino fun in on one app only, thereby avoiding having to spam separate apps on your phone for poker, slots, blackjack, etc.
Other Games on your Phone:
There are obviously tons of possibilities here. Once again, to avoid that dreaded app spam on your phone, pick a couple of really good games that you like a lot and aim for complete and total domination and mastery of them. This will also keep you focused and help with your mental hygiene.
It’s a good idea, actually, to have at least one game available on your phone that does not require an internet connection. This is for both being on the plane itself, and also for being in strange towns where there is no roaming, no wi-fi and no SIM card available for you. You will be grateful to have that one reliable game to pass the time during those gaps in the internet service.
Take A Look Around Town:
This is a final option, but can be a really good one. There are several factors that need to be in play for this option to be viable and workable.
-The security check-in process can’t be overly complicated or slow
-The time of the layover must be enough and must be at a time when there is actually something going on in the town you are in for the layover. Some major cities are closer to being 24 hour towns than others.
-The airport must be reasonably near to the interesting parts of town in that city, unless you don’t mind spending big bucks on transportation. Rideshare has, however, mitigated this quite a bit. Be realistic about your travel times. Remember traffic can be hell in some cities, hell like you wouldn’t believe.
Honestly, the best way for this strategy to work is to know what you want to see beforehand and just go there. Wandering around is usually a waste of time. Do your research online beforehand to make sure you get a positive experience out of this.
Layovers don’t have to be purgatory for you. There are options to make the experience better and more edifying.
Do you have another way you spend your time travelling productively that you’d like to share with us? Please feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Top ways to keep yourself entertained while traveling
Traveling can sometimes be a boring time. Long waits in airports. Traffic jams. Ferry crossings with nothing but water for scenery. No matter whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or ferry, there will always be times when you’ll wish that you had something to occupy you.
Thankfully, in today’s fast-moving world, there are plenty of options to keep your mind occupied when you’re on the road, in the air, or at sea. Here are some great ways to entertain yourself while traveling.
Read a good book
Don’t waste your time with glossy magazines. Most of them will rot your brain and you’ll be done reading them before you’ve even made a dent in your journey. They also take up as much space in your travel bags as a good book, which will occupy you for far longer.
Many people also find that reading a book helps them get to sleep. If you’re one of the unlucky people who finds it difficult to sleep on planes and in cars, a book can help you doze off naturally.
If you’re one of the super-unlucky people whose motion sickness can be exacerbated by reading, there’s a great alternative: audiobooks. Downloading audiobooks to an audio device such as an iPod takes up very little space and frees up luggage room. It means that you can take a whole collection of books with you on your travels so that you’ll never get bored!
iPad or tablet
Don’t rely on airlines, bus terminals, or ferries to provide high-quality visual entertainment. Loading up an iPad or tablet with the latest movies puts the ability to occupy your mind in your own hands. Also, bring an iPad charging station just in case your iPad, smartphone, and other devices need some power, and charge them simultaneously in public charging stations.
iTunes is a great place to download the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies, as well as fun games and eBooks.
As many public places now offer free Wi-Fi, a tablet is also a great way to stay in touch with friends and family while you travel. Best of all, using a tablet to entertain yourself instead of a smartphone means that you won’t drain your phone’s battery. This is important as charging points can be scarce on the road and you may need phone access in case of an emergency.
Play the lotto
Playing the lotto can be a fun way to pass the time while traveling. Firstly, there’s the welcome break of pulling over at a rest stop – or dipping into a terminal convenience store – to pick your lottery numbers. Many people play the lotto using numbers with personal significance, such as birthdays, so the mere act of deciding on the numbers that will make you rich can be enough to while away some downtime.
Then comes the best part – daydreaming of what you’d spend the jackpot money on. This is by far the best way to while away the hours of a long journey. Whether you’d buy a house, a car, or simply want to fantasize about traveling somewhere far more thrilling, you can let your imagination run free. Before you know it, you’ll be at your destination!
Once you get there, you can check your numbers on the Mega Millions numbers CA website to see if you’re a winner!
Discover new music and podcasts
When was the last time that you discovered a new band or artist that you really loved? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably got your favorites that you’ve stuck with for the past few years. Now that you’ve got some downtime on your journey, you have a great opportunity to find your next favorite band.
Audio services such as Spotify provide recommendations for new artists based on your existing preferences – so if you really dig Led Zeppelin, Spotify will find out if an emerging band from Israel fits the bill. Best of all, the Spotify paid subscription service now allows you to download songs and playlists to your phone – so even if you’re out of cellphone range or you don’t want to drain your data allowances, you can still get inspired by some fresh sounds. Simply load up your device with songs and playlists before you leave and you’ll have no shortage of new material to help you pass the time on your journey.
In fact, you could even choose a road trip playlist based on the route that you’re traveling – there are thousands of songs about places all around the world! The same goes for podcasts – why not search for and load up some podcasts about your destination? Not only will you whittle away the hours of your journey, but you’ll also be armed with a ton of new knowledge about your destination.
How Tourism Can Keep Up With Modern Technology
There is no denying we live in a digital world, as nearly every aspect of our modern lives involves some level of technology. Advanced technology and consumer electronics impact the way we interact with one another, do business, stay safe, learn and take in most of the relevant information that our brains see on a daily basis.
It should come as no surprise that travel and tourism industries have also felt a major impact from the ongoing technological revolution. With the ever-increasing pace of advancements in smartphones, social media, GPS and the other tools we use to travel safely and efficiently, it can be easy for traditional hospitality, travel and tourism businesses to fall behind.
Fortunately, those in and around these industries are just as innovative and pragmatic as anyone, and technological advancements have also had major positive impacts on tourism. As is the case in any industry, it largely comes down to the willingness to adapt and the ability to utilize modern, efficient tools and applications to your advantage.
Our Global Community
Perhaps the most meaningful impact of all major advancements in the last two decades deals with the interconnectivity of the new global community. Through the internet, social media, advanced networks, global economies and other innovations, anyone can be immediately connected to anyone else or anywhere else in the world. We have the ability to close immense physical distance and do what was once impossible with devices that are constantly at our fingertips.
Although there have been challenges presented to traditional tourism by modern technology, there are also countless opportunities for tourism to flourish. No matter how advanced we may become, the basic concept behind tourism has been and always will be true and consistent: People want to visit new places, and they require help and accommodation to do so.
Modern technology encourages exploration and travel, and the tourism industry can benefit greatly from this. One of the key elements of embracing travel technology and using it to your advantage is understanding why people would want to travel. While pictures and souvenirs are nice, travel is always about the experience, and those in tourism would benefit from taking any necessary steps to improve the visitor experience.
It is important to understand that a traveller’s experience does not begin once he or she arrives at the destination; modern technology has allowed the travel experience to begin from the very moment the person decides to go somewhere. All of the planning, booking, researching and reviewing that goes into a successful modern vacation means that travellers are already in the midst of their travel experience well before the bags are packed and the plane arrives.
Hotels, travel companies, amusement parks and anyone in the various branches of the tourism industry should take any necessary steps to make this pre-experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. If you sell tickets for an NYC tour, is your eCommerce site simple and user-friendly? If you manage a hotel, can guests easily locate your establishment through a search engine?
Understanding what it takes to help travellers before arrival is half the battle, and it is the half that is most largely influenced by modern technology. No matter what service or products you provide within tourism, there are some simple steps any tourism business should take to ensure their service is up to tech-savvy visitors’ expectations.
- Make your website is easy to locate from search engines and related sources.
- Ensure your site can easily be navigated from a computer or mobile device.
- Get visitors excited about the trip with beautiful images and helpful blog posts.
- Make booking/reserving as simple and easy as possible.
- Ensure visitors will have a platform to share their experiences with friends, family and potential future visitors.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
- Adventure Travel5 years ago
2012 Travel Adventures in Photos
- Europe10 months ago
Travel Tip: Train to Pisa from Florence
- Travel Blogging Tips6 months ago
Our Experience of Starting a Travel Blog
- Adventure Travel8 months ago
Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos
- Personal Musings7 months ago
From Four Jandals to Two Jandals
- Asia5 years ago
The Best of Istanbul – Photo Essay
- Travel Tips3 months ago
Tips for Couples Travel: Keeping Romance alive
- Europe5 years ago
Photo Essay from around Costa Brava