Connect with us

Travel Tips

Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage

We think that every couple should experience couples travel before marriage. It will make you stronger by helping you learn more about each other.

Published

on

Romance in San Sebastian Cole and Adela

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.

Romance in San Sebastian Cole and Adela

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.

Couples Travel

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.

Campervan, Couples Travel Tips, Cole, Camping

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.

Cole and Adela, Couples Travel, Scooter in Tuscany

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!

Couples Travel - Caving in Budapest

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.

Imagine this…

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.

Marrakech Snake Charmer, Morocco, Cole, Couples Travel Tips

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.

Indonesia Sunset Grim Lab

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.

Check out these Couples Travel Tips to learn how to survive travelling together. And if you want a “unique” Euro-trip adventure, you can always consider a holiday in Amsterdam to spice things up.

Have you travelled as a couple? Tell us about your experiences in the comments.

Continue Reading
98 Comments

98 Comments

  1. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey

    December 13, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    100% agreed. Eric and I spent 4 years backpacking in through South Asia together starting just a few months after we met. We came back from that trip having spent more time together than most married couples do in their entire relationship. Traveling as a couple isn’t all romance and fairy dust, as you rightly point out, but it is illuminating and since married life is also noteably devoid of romance and fairy dust most of the time we concur: test drive your serious relationship out on the road before you sign on the dotted line.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM

      Thanks Karen! I can’t imagine what it must be like to drive together as long as you guys have 😉

  2. Kirsten

    December 13, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Hey guys. Firstly your blog is awesome and i have used your website loads over the last few.months. great for tips and ideas! this blog post is sooooooo true. i have been travelling with my fiance since april and it has definitely taught us loads more about each other even though we had been together for years already. we also did 8 weeks in a van and wow does that really test your personal space!!! Ultimately this trip has been fantastic and we still have few more months to go…..such good times and great memories that we will have forever.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      Hey Kirsten thanks for leaving a comment 🙂 So glad you have been reading our blog. Awesome to hear that you guys are enjoying your travels together. It can be VERY testing but well worth it in the end!

  3. Mich

    December 13, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Awwwwwww that is cayuuute cole 🙂

  4. T-Dog

    December 13, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Cole,
    Great article. What is the feedback from Steph and Bron?
    Tristan

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      Thanks Tristan! Mum actually just commented at the same time as you haha. They aren’t putting too much pressure on though 😉

  5. bronwen

    December 13, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Whoa yes I can totally relate to your blog and words of wisdom! I remember some of those silent treatment episodes (from me) and on a couple occasions overseas it did spoil our sightseeing. We have also spent 10 months in a 6m bus in NZ – brought us very close. Good luck together with your continued travels, love and friendship.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 13, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Hahaha the silent game is pretty boring after a while! The best thing you can do is laugh about it, which we are pretty good at. Sometimes…

  6. EurotripTips

    December 13, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while, you just took the words out of my mouth! I’ve been with my partner for 6 years now, and we lived as expats for the better part of it. And we got married last year! We survived a whole year in a 18m2 studio flat in London – we always said that if we got through that, we’d get through ANYTHING 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 3:20 AM

      We have been lucky that we have been based in Edinburgh so our room is actually massive and probably half the price of those in London 😉 Congrats on the marriage last year and well done sticking together through it all!

  7. Edna

    December 13, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Well said Cole! My fiancé and I met as roommates then immediately started traveling around Southeast Asia for a year while keeping Singapore as our base, so it was sink or swim right off the bat. We knew after we happily navigated through all the travel and living together that we could make it no matter what (including now being in a long-distance relationship that’s lasted over a year and might last a few more)!

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 3:22 AM

      Cheers Edna 🙂 Congrats on sticking at it over long distance! It is always hard. Adela and I did it for our first year too BEFORE we started travelling. So must be doing something right haha.

  8. Vera

    December 14, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Love your article – and agree very much!! Although, admittedly, Loz is naturally happy, while it’s always and only me who gets cranky when sleep-deprivated or hungry. Or loads of other things. Someone has to wear the grumpy-pants in the relation-ship, and I sacrificed myself and committed to it a 100%! Oh yes. Anyway, great article, and LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED:)! Apart from sleep and food, maybe;).

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 8:03 AM

      Loz is only happy because he has you though 😉 And its not our fault if we get cranky when we are hungry, it is a natural reaction haha.

  9. Lane

    December 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    We have said the same thing. If you cannot take off six months, at least take several trips — long weekends, road trips, cruises or whatever. Mix it up. Nothing tests a relationship like traveling together, rolling with the unexpected and seeing how each other reacts in various situations.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      Good point Lane! You have to be in different situations to test what works and what doesn’t in a relationship. Just going to luxury resorts together for 6 months probably won’t test you much 😉

  10. Pete

    December 15, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    We did it backwards, as we married young and then found out we both had the passion to see the world. You’re right that it will either strengthen or create serious challenges. For us it has only brought us closer. Sure there are days where we annoy eachother, but that is expected when you’re with the other person 24/7. We’ve been together 13 years and it still feels like our honeymoon. Keep it strong you guys, hopefully to finally meet you at ITB?

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:02 PM

      Not sure about ITB yet because we are spending the winter in the French Alps. Hopefully we get to see you guys! Congrats on going for 13 years too. You guys prove that long term travel definitely works.

  11. D.J. - The World of Deej

    December 16, 2012 at 3:58 AM

    This might be your best advice yet:) When MJ and I were about 4 months into our relationship, I took her to Europe to test how well we could travel together. It was a deal breaker if it didn’t work so I got it out of the way early. Thankfully, she passed the test, although she would say I did the same:)

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Pretty stoked with the post to be honest 😉 Congrats on getting through Europe together and now you get to share a passion for travelling!

  12. Cheryl

    December 16, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    You guys are awesome! Such a wonderful post and wishing you many more years on the road together. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      Thanks Cheryl 🙂 We have been lucky at times but there have been some blood, sweat and tears on our 3+ years on the road.

  13. Kate - CanuckiwiKate

    December 17, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    I whole-heartedly agree! My boyfriend and I have been together 2 years now, and have taken two trips together (to Rarotonga and Thailand) and next year start our longterm journey of driving across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax together. I can completely agree, especially with the vulnerability and being stripped bare while traveling – I got food poisoning in Thailand the night before we left, and that was the kind of situation that taught me Thom and I could handle anything curveball life will throw at us.

    Awesome work 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:07 PM

      I really want to visit Rarotonga! And Thailand but without the food poisoning! Hopefully get to both in late 2013 or early 2014. Congrats on the 2 years together too 🙂

  14. Jade - OurOyster.com

    December 17, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    haha I have had many a relationship dissolve after travelling with them for extended periods of time… luckily I eventually found a person I can stand for long periods of time 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM

      Glad you found that special someone in the end! You guys have done some fantastic trips together.

  15. Rachel

    December 17, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    What you’re going to experience with your partner when you get married are the same or almost the same, or worse things you could experience when you travel together. Because living outside of your comfort zone will truly show the real you. If you’re able to accept and lived thru your bad times when traveling, you’re in doubt will get to do the same when you bind yourselves together for the rest of your lives. I’m not married yet, but this is also what I’m trying to do

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM

      Totally agree with you Rachel! Travelling can be VERY stressful and lots of people don’t realise that when they first set out together. Good luck with looking in that special someone 🙂

  16. Ray Waruhari

    December 17, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    Hi Cole, Traveling together before marriage is healthy for the mental outlook of young people? It also makes couples to know each other better.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:12 PM

      Definitely agree Ray! Getting to know each other, especially what makes each person tick, is very important in our opinion.

  17. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    December 18, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Traveling together is the ultimate test.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      It is a tough one that’s for sure. And one that is constantly evolving!

  18. Jennifer

    December 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Tim and I were on the verge of divorce back in 2007. We stuck it out and moved to Europe in 2009. I was so scared to make the move because once we got to Italy, we would literally have no one but each other. Travel has taught us so much about ourselves, each other, and our marriage. It has brought us closer together and the constant tests of dealing with things outside of comfort zones has only taught us how to better communicate, have more patience, and compromise.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 18, 2012 at 5:24 PM

      So glad to hear that travel brought you guys closer together Jennifer. Wonderful story and definitely encourages us to keep at it when we are going through the tough times too!

  19. Amanda

    December 19, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Yeah, forget pre-marriage counseling or living together first – traveling together is the real test for a relationship! It’s definitely going to be a requirement in any future long-term relationships I find myself in.

    I’m glad it’s only strengthened your relationship – that seems to be the case for a lot of traveling couples, which is so nice to hear about.

    • Cole Burmester

      December 19, 2012 at 5:44 PM

      I haven’t heard of too many break ups from the road to be honest. But that is definitely a good thing!

  20. Jeremy Branham

    December 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Definitely a great way to get to know strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. Nothing like being stripped bare on the road in front of your partner (I mean this travel metaphorically speaking of course)! 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:49 PM

      Haha nothing wrong with being stripped bare in both senses Jeremy 😉

  21. Josie

    December 19, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Hey Cole,
    Totally agree — to the point that travel should be required before marriage! It’s definitely a deal-breaker or deal-maker.
    Three months after meeting Conrad, my eventual husband, he asked me to go to Australia with him. We both knew the risk. What if we ended up hating each other after the first three days? We would be stuck for the next month with each other. But we took that leap of faith and soon discovered that traveling brings out the best in both of us. Now we live a house sitting lifestyle, traveling the world.
    I have traveled with girlfriends in the past and it turned into a disaster. Just because you get along with someone, doesn’t mean you travel well with them. When traveling you must have the same rhythm as your partner — the same pace, appetite, sleep needs, etc. It gets finely tuned as you travel and takes a great deal of compromise.
    You guys sound really cute and “together,” as they say. Thanks for a fun post.
    I wish you happy and safe travels always and all ways.
    ~Josie

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM

      Brilliant comment Josie! I find the same thing with some of the friends I have travelled with too. It is kind of like living with a friend I reckon. Looks good on paper and then as soon as you start being in each others back pockets all the time, it can be really hard.
      Thanks for stopping by and appreciate the nice comment 🙂

  22. Mary @ Green Global Travel

    December 19, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Great tips and insights. I 100% agree with you. I’ve traveled with two partners. The first was scared to walk around the block in India without a guide and his preferred travel destinations were all-inclusive resorts. I didn’t know it then, but that should have been a huge flashing warning light to run far and fast. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention soon enough and it ended in divorce. My second partner not only welcomes the unknown but also helps me become a better person by encouraging me to face my fear. I truly found my Mr. Love.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      It is amazing what you find out about a person when they are pushed into uncomfortable situations and out of their comfort zones. Glad you have found the Mr Right-Travel now 😉

  23. Candice

    December 21, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    I couldn’t agree more! I traveled for around 4 months with my now-husband before we got married, and it was a confirmation for me that he was the one:-)

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Better to find out before the honeymoon that you can travel together I think 🙂

  24. brandy bell

    December 21, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    what a lovely post, Cole. 🙂 Seems there’s no better test for a relationship than the test of extended travel. It’s amazing to me, still, how much one’s attitude can change towards a person on the road! Thanks for writing this, it’s good to be reminded of it.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      Glad you enjoyed the post Brandy 🙂 Even friendships get severely tested on the travel road!

  25. Matthew Karsten

    December 23, 2012 at 6:27 AM

    I’m taking notes. Any future Mrs. Karsten will have to pass the “travel test”. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Looks like she would definitely be put through her paces once you find her considering the adventures you go on Matthew 😉

  26. ieishah

    December 25, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    My partner Vin and I met in an airport, so I guess you could say we were destined to travel. In the last year we’ve traveled about 8 countries together, never a dull moment! My favorite this year has to be our epic 24 hour journey from Greece to Germany. By the 8th leg of the trip (no joke), I felt like I could jump in front of a bus. But we were laughing so much, I also knew then that we could really make it as a couple. I co-sign 1000%. Love this post!!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 14, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      That is awesome that you met in an airport! Surely a sign 🙂 Congrats on still being able to smile after your 24 hour journey. We have had a few tense moments when travelling long distances together haha. Always pull through though.

  27. Courtney Mroch

    December 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    AGREED! Great post!

  28. Tom @ Waegook Tom

    December 29, 2012 at 7:56 AM

    Loving this post, guys! My partner and I will be travelling in the US together for 1 month next March, which will be the first time we’ve spent together that hasn’t been in one of our home countries. By that point we’ll have been together for just over a couple of years so I think we have each other pretty well figured out….but I’m anticipating a few surprises (and hopefully no 8 hour silent treatments…that sounds awful!)

    You and Adela sound exactly like my partner and I in terms of being extremely cranky with no sleep (him) and the Hulk without the green tinge and bulging muscles in the absence of food (me).

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      As long as you can get passed the silent treatments and smile about it all at the end of the day then everything will be alright! Enjoy your trip and good luck 🙂

  29. Lianne

    December 31, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    I just read a bit on this site, and got to this page. While I do agree with many points you make, I actually have a few counterpoints. Firstly, I think it is a bit presumptuous to assume all couples can travel, particularly for six months. Not everybody has the money etc. Also, I think there are many other ways to really get to know each other and “test” your relationship. Before anyone starts saying I can’t know because I haven’t traveled as a couple, that isn’t true. My partner of 3 1/2 years and I have done a lot of travel together, actually. He is Australian and I am American, and we live together in New Zealand now. However, when we travel, those are the relaxing fun times for us. The real testing/trying times for us have been in everyday life, during which there have been many things that are far tougher than anything we have ever faced while traveling, like both our mothers dying within days of each other. I am not trying to seek out sympathy here, I simply want to demonstrate my point that every couple has a different experience and can get to know all the good, bad, wonderful, and difficult about each other in their own way.

    In short, this is an interesting read, but I think it gives a bit of an impression that this is the magic answer for every couple, when indeed I don’t think that’s true.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      Hey Lianne.
      Firstly, thanks so much for stopping by our blog and commenting. We really appreciated it. And secondly, great counterpoints! Totally agree that not everybody can travel. Let me be the first to point out that we are not rich either. We saved our butts off to travel the world and that is why we still have to work while we are travelling. It does allow us to travel slower though as we spend more time in each place we visit until we can afford to move on again. We think that lots of people do have the opportunity to travel though if they decide they want to if they cut spending etc.
      To be honest, it was a little tongue in cheek this post and we definitely agree that a lot of couples are EXTREMELY happy together and they don’t travel. Travelling is not for everyone and even my brother who is younger than me and married doesn’t have as great a desire to travel as I do. Luckily my brother found the perfect girl and they knew each other BEFORE they got married. I guess that was the point I was trying to make. It seems some people get married now before they truly know someone. And travelling is a great way to peel back those layers so to speak!
      So glad that you guys get to enjoy your holidays together and hope you have some wonderful trips this year!
      Thanks again and hope you continue reading along with us 🙂
      Regards,
      Cole and Adela

  30. Spencer

    January 2, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    I couldn’t agree with you more. If you can travel together then you are definitely marriage material!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 10:35 AM

      Thanks Spencer! I have travelled with great friends that have since fallen apart because of travel. It is one part of life that tests your patience anyway.

  31. Jane

    January 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Wonderful post! Great for anyone who wants to travel as a couple!

  32. Michael

    January 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I am totally agree with your point. Traveling can help to know more about the living behavior of each other. By the way, it’s the best time for the couple to discover more about each other as well before marriage.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Totally agree with you Michael! Thanks for your comment.

  33. ANGLO/Dale

    January 4, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Four months into it, we’re beginning to understand a little more about each other, and somethings that we can’t understand all together, so now we’d agree with you one hundred percent.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Haha yup travelling is like that! You will discover new things about each other that you originally thought you knew 😉

  34. Izy Berry - The Wrong Way Home

    January 6, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    I never thought about this type of test for a relationship 🙂 It makes sense and I think that I’ll try it. Thanks for writing it! Happy 2013!

  35. Linda McCormick

    January 11, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    So true! Years ago, I spent three nights and four days on a tiny felucca with my boyfriend of six months. He was very lucky he didn’t ‘accidentally’ drown in the Nile. That didn’t last long at all. My next boyfriend, we went travelling six weeks after getting together… 13 years later we’re still together. Definitely the best test of a relationship.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Haha I am sure the crocodiles would have enjoyed your previous boyfriends company 😉 Great to hear that you found someone you can travel the world with Linda!

  36. Turtle

    January 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Beautiful post!
    I understand completely. I have seen myself at my most vulnerable. I have supported myself through those difficult situations. I have talked to myself for days on end.
    I think I am ready to marry myself.

  37. T.W. Anderson @ Marginal Boundaries

    January 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Great insights.

    I’ve been together with Cris (she’s helping me manage Marginal Boundaries starting in February of 2013) for two years now, but we still haven’t traveled together. I’ve been hunkered down for the past couple of years growing the community and getting the social media racket going after writing all the guidebooks/etc., and now that’s the next thing on our agenda in 2014.

    Right now we are busy with the retreat in March, April and May here in Cancun, but if we end up going to Bulgaria or Colombia in the summer, that will be our first “travel together” opportunity. Otherwise, we’ll be pushing off our first “couple adventure” until 2014, at which point we’ll be going to Rio de Janeiro to run retreats and write the next “Live Like a Local” guidebook + hang out for the World Cup + Summer Olympics.

    I think more than anything else, traveling as a couple is a great way to stress-test the relationship and see if there are any hitches. It’s also a great way to get to know the other person under “out of the comfort zone” conditions, when there are things completely out of your control that you both have to deal with and overcome as a team.

    Team building is one of the most powerful elements of a great working/emotional relationship…and if you can work through stressful times together, there’s nothing you cannot accomplish 🙂

    Great post!

    I can also second the whole “vulnerability” thing. While it didn’t happen while traveling, I had a horrific parasite infection in 2012 that rendered me bed-ridden for 6 weeks, during which I couldn’t sleep, lost 10 kilos, was in the hospital getting tests run (thinking it was bleeding ulcers, stomach cancer or something else before we finally figured out what the issue was)…and she was there with me the entire time, taking care of me/etc.

    When someone works through that sort of event with you, as a team…it builds a bond that merely spending time together cannot compete with.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 21, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Sounds like your travel plans for 2014 will be awesome! I am sure you will be fine especially since you guys have done so much together already. I probably should have made the post read: “Travel or go into business together”! Because I am sure both are just as testing.

  38. Kristy

    January 21, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    I find this article very heart warming and interesting to read especially your struggle as a couple while travelling. I also feel very inspired to travel with my boyfriend and can’t wait what will happen to our adventure that will test our relationship through thick or thin that will curve great memories that will definitely we will cherish forever!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 21, 2013 at 9:25 AM

      I am sure you guys will be fine on your travels. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  39. Kelly

    January 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    I absolutely love this post and find your entire blog inspiring. Next month my boyfriend and I will be setting off on our travels around the world together. From one extreme to the other, we will be going from an ‘army life’ relationship where we spent most of our time apart for the last 3 years to living in each others pockets every moment of every day. I know there are going to be lots of tough moments and challenges ahead but SO many amazing moments to outweigh those and I hope that we can strive together in making our dreams come true, as you guys have.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 24, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      Glad you love it Kelly and thanks for commenting! Good luck for your travels with your boyfriend and I am sure you guys will be fine 🙂 You are definitely right that the beautiful moments will far outweigh those fights you have every now and then.

  40. Esther

    January 25, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    True, and the more difficult the trip, the best. Lol, I’m still waiting for that with my boyfriend, I think the sky trip isn’t enough 😉

    I’m a tour guide and one thing that I love is meting very different people every day, couples are the best.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 25, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Haha you must see a few fights then as a tour guide Esther 😉

  41. Emma

    February 2, 2013 at 3:46 AM

    Hi Cole and Adela, Great blog and wonderful post!!

    There is a lot of advice in there and will deftly take them into consideration.. We are going travelling for 5months very soon and I must admit I am a bit worried! Not in a bad way of course!! But my partner is a bit more “active” than me – I do like to take my time etc… I am more relaxed about things!

    Anywoo, it was good to read you guys and will deftly follow you!

    Next Stop New Zealand… 🙂
    Emma

    • Cole Burmester

      February 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      You guys will have a great time and will quickly find a balance that works for both of you when you are travelling. And who knows, you may even discover you are a lot more active than you think ;D

      Have a great time and let us know how it goes in New Zealand Emma!

  42. Antje Jordon

    February 10, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    What honestly moved you to write “Couples Travel – Why every couple should travel before marriage”? I personallyhonestly adored the post! Thanks for your effort.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Because I believe that travelling can bring couples closer together which is vital before marriage 😀

  43. Suitcase Stories - Nicole

    February 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Hi guys. Love this post. My hubby and I have been full time traveling for 12 months so far. I think traveling together is the best way to really get to know each other. Even though we have been together for 14 years, over the last 12 months our relationship has strengthened and grown beyond what we ever thought possible.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 13, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      That is so great to hear Nicole! I love how travel can cement a relationship 😀

  44. Alexandra

    February 16, 2013 at 5:15 AM

    This post rings so true to me! I met my boyfriend on the road and 1 1/2 years later we are still going strong. Although I must admit funnily enough we are better on the road than standing still. I would never imagine marrying someone I hadn’t traveled with. I firmly believe it is the true test.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 16, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      Great to hear you guys are going so well Alexandra! And if you are better on the road then you might as well travel forever 😉

  45. Shalu Sharma

    February 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    I like the idea of travelling together before marriage. Seems like a good idea. You never know what you will discover about the other half, something you like or don’t like. At the same time, you never know it might bring you closer together. Brilliant idea.

    • Cole Burmester

      February 22, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      Couldn’t say it better myself Shalu 🙂 Travelling will open up a relationship, hopefully for the better.

  46. Pingback: Why you do not need to travel together before marriage | Keep My Lover

  47. ryoawesome

    May 6, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    i love this post. i so can relate! and it is true, couples should travel together before getting married. i was the other half of a traveling couple last year and i am now a solo traveler. no, we didn’t break up, we just have 2 different destinations this year and we’ll catch up with each other in a month. traveling together does put a lot of test in the relationship and it will either bring out the best or the worst in the partnership. and every couple will have the chance to get to know each other better on the road. all the best to traveling couples!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Sounds like our relationship at the moment. We are taking a break as well because we both wanted slightly different things. I am in Africa and Adela is in Edinburgh still. Hopefully crossing paths in SE Asia in the middle of the year 🙂

  48. Samantha

    May 31, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    This is a great post! And I agree 100%, traveling with your partner teaches plenty about yourself and your significant other. My boyfriend and I aren’t married yet but we planning to soon in the future and we have gone on many trips together. We were long distance for two years so the only way to see each other was to travel! It makes you realize very fast if you can truly get along with that person or not. It’s interesting how some travel pairs can work well together but not romantically and vice versa.
    Just found your blog by googling “top travel blogs to look for in 2013” so keep up the good work! Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

  49. Nicole @ Green Global Travel

    July 25, 2013 at 1:44 PM

    Traveling as a couple does make it quicker to find out if you are compatible. In 6 months on the road you will know someone better (for better or worse) than you would in 10 years of ‘normal’ married life.

    I remember in our past life we would only spend one full day together a week. The other days we would spend a few hours together. Now it’s completely opposite. 24/7!

    • Cole Burmester

      July 31, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Completely agree Nicole. It is definitely make or break when on the road. Although when I settled down, that was actually when the issues began…

  50. Jane

    March 17, 2015 at 3:27 AM

    Yes, that is a good point and in my case we did the same, but now after the marriage we travel less.
    So maybe is better to travel a lot before marriage because anyway, after that you will travel less.

  51. Micheal A

    September 3, 2016 at 9:13 PM

    Yeah… its cool. Most times after marriage, you have less time to travel as couple.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Travel Tips

Tips for Couples Travel: Keeping Romance alive

Travelling as a couple on the road can be extremely hard. Use our tips for couples travel to help your travels especially in time for Valentines Day.

Published

on

When you are travelling as a couple it is really important to remember to keep romance alive. These tips for couples travel will hopefully help.

You have to take great care to not only keep each other happy but also to celebrate special events such as anniversaries and other romantic moments in your lives.

Why?

Because travelling can take it’s toll on even the strongest relationships.

A lack of sleep while crossing different time zones will leave nerves frayed. While the stress of navigating your way around a foreign country will rattle tensions further. And to top it off you will be in each others faces through the good times and the bad 24/7.

Hospital Broken Collarbone Marmot Basin Ski Area

Adela in hospital after breaking her collarbone

Considering that with most budget travel, your savings will not usually allow for extra expenses such as romantic dinners which can help to recharge those relationship batteries. Instead you will find yourself arguing over whose turn it is to cook the spaghetti on toast!

With Valentines Day nearly upon us it might be worthwhile sharing some of our own little secrets of how we travel as a couple.

So how do we find the energy while on the road keep from tearing each others heads off every second day?

It’s easy!

Think outside the box

You shouldn’t have to look very far from where you are at that moment to gain just a little bit of inspiration. Travelling is romantic in it’s very nature!

Valentines Day in Paris

Sure you may not be in one of the most romantic cities of the world like Paris or having an epic Hawaii holiday on the beach. But, you are likely to be somewhere that isn’t home! That is what makes it special.

Stop being a tourist and slow down

I don’t mean for the entire time you travel but you can definitely spare a day or even an hour to slow down. For that short period you need to stop, think and act like a local.

What do locals do to keep their romance alive wherever you are? I am sure that they don’t wake up at the crack of dawn to be the first in line at the local attractions! No, they sleep in and savour each others company. Or they just stroll hand in hand through a park.

By slowing down you will enjoy those moments of madness as you run to make your train travel trip because you know you can chill out sometime soon.

Samoa waterfalls

Don’t be selfish

Travelling as a couple is all about compromise. If you have chosen the last 2 places to eat at or the last activity then it is time to hand over the reins. There is nothing worse than just getting to enjoy what you want while the other grins and bears it.

Other selfishness acts can be as simple as showing a little bit of courtesy. All it may take is to help her put on her backpack after a long day of hauling it around a dusty city and the romance will be kept alive.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

You need to let the small things slide. You know that really cute chewing sound she makes when she is eating her food? Well that kind of starts to grind on your nerves when it is just the two off you.

But if you cannot learn to accept those small imperfections (and face it everyone has them and I am clearly no god myself) then the bigger worries are really going to set a wedge between you.

Time outs

Travelling is all about sharing special moments together. But, and I cannot stress this enough, everyone needs space.

Whether you like to chill out by going for a run, reading your book or just pondering life’s mysteries with a beer in hand then make time for it. Just tell them upfront and trust me they will understand.

In fact they probably can’t wait to get away from you too!

Take time out when travelling as a couple

Take time out when travelling as a couple

Laugh

We have had some epic fights on our travels and have spent whole days silently driving across America not talking to one another. Do you know how hard it is to give your significant other the silent treatment for 8 hours when they are sitting next to you in the car?!

Let me tell you, it is near on impossible.

Those times are tough but as you sit in silence you will realise just how stupid the situation is. Here you are halfway around the world from your family and you only have one other person to rely on.

When you are laughing most of the time then the small arguments will bounce right off.

Four Jandals Maid of the Mist

Laugh at how ridiculous you look when acting like a tourist!

Spend time with others

Human beings are social in their very nature. Why do you think girls like to sit around with other girls and talk at a million miles an hour? It’s because we crave interaction.

I am quite happy to just chill out and be quiet. Adela on the other hand loves to talk. Early on in our travels I could not figure out how she can sometimes stand my quiet moments? Then it dawned on me.

It’s because we always find the time to interact with others on the road. If you spend your whole time abroad and only talk to one another then it is going to be one helluva boring trip.

Travel is about meeting others. When you do finally get that time alone together you will relish in it!

Date night

Most couples usually have date nights when they are at home. So why not when you are travelling?

I know I said earlier that most of the time budget travel won’t allow for you to go out for romantic dinners. But who said you have to spend $200 on a meal with a bottle of wine. Instead make a picnic and go chill out on the beach for a few hours.

Or just blow that budget and splurge! While your wallet might hate you, your relationship will thank you and the romance will be kept alive.

Splurging on chocolate in Quebec City

Splurging on delicious chocolate in Quebec City

Do you have any couples travel tips you want to share?

Continue Reading

Travel Tips

Budget Tips & Tricks: How to go on Vacation without Breaking the Bank

Published

on

A vacation does not necessarily have to be the money sink that we all fear and dread. In fact, if done properly, you can end up saving a lot more money than you can imagine.

While there are a lot of luxurious vacation packages that are being pushed by travel agencies and the words “affordable” and “accessible” are as common as water and blinking, a truly frugal traveler would know better than to fall for them.

There are ways in which you can have a proper vacation in which you relax and enjoy yourself without having to spend your hard earned money. All you need to do is be very careful while at the same time be willing to plan and choose everything yourself.

1. Choose your destination and scout out the economy

The very first thing that you have to do is decide where to go on vacation, and while we are aware of the popular destinations, the truth is that every place has something to offer so don’t be afraid to venture out into less popular and frequented destinations.

Make sure to check out their economy online by searching for the prices of various basic items such as bread, bottled water, and so on. This will give you a rough idea of what the real price of various items are, thus allowing you to avoid over-inflated prices and “tourist taxes”.

2. Set up the transportation and lodgings

First off, check and see what the cheapest way to get to and from your destination is. The cheapest train tickets, the cheapest flights, the cheapest buses, and so on.

Then check and see what accommodations you can find. You might not want to go for the very cheap ones but be sure to at least pick one or a few with decent and reasonable prices. Of course, you can always consider camping which is why we recommend taking a look at the best down sleeping bag money can buy. This will keep you warm in any situation regardless of the choice you make (cheap motel or tent).

Once this is all said and done, check and see if there are any travel agencies that can beat these prices. They usually partner up with airlines and hotels, so you might be able to get a better price that way.

3. Pack light and keep a tight budget

Only pack the essential items that you will need on your trip. Usually around 3 changes of clothes, a washroom and toiletry kit, a couple of seasonal items depending on where you are going, and one of the best outdoor watches that you can find.

A good thing to do is to set aside a decent vacation budget and an extra 10% in reserve, just in case something happens and you need access to additional funds.

In conclusion

It does not take much to plan a proper vacation, even when on a budget. As long as you are careful and take the time to weigh in your options, you will undoubtedly find quite a few ways to save a good bit of money. Just make sure to have a backup fund just in case.

Continue Reading

Travel Tips

Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

Published

on

If you’re traveling to Tokyo, Japan anytime soon, you’re one lucky individual! It’s a fascinating country, and the culture is intriguing not to mention the breathtaking landscapes and landmarks. You’re likely to feel welcome right off the bat; however, as a first-time traveler there are major dos and don’ts you should know about when it comes to visiting Tokyo. Keep reading to find out what travel tips are most important to your trip.

Bowing

When greeting someone in Japan, bowing is the appropriate gesture. You should bow by bending your upper torso forward at a 15-degree angle. However, when you meet an elder, extend your bow as to show respect. If a native bows to you first, nod your head to replicate the acknowledgment. Japanese don’t always shake hands so don’t let this discourage you. It’s best you wait and see if they offer their hand first before extending yours.

Know the name of your hotel

In case you lose your notes or hotel keycard, you should know how to tell the taxi driver the name of the hotel and the closest subway that will take you to your destination.The English version of the hotel’s name is often not available, so knowing how to say it in the native language will help to get you back to where you need to be.

Never open your own door

Don’t get out of the taxi yourself. Your driver will come around to let you out and open the back door to let you in. It’s best you wait for this courtesy as to not offend the driver.

Put away your phone

It’s bad business to pull out your cell phone while riding on a train or bus in the city. You also should refrain from initiating conversation as well. Natives do their own, quiet thing.

Subway and train hours

The trains and subways close at 12:00 am. If you’re out after midnight, make sure you’re within walking distance to your accommodations or next destination. Taxis are still available but they can be expensive during late hours.

Meal time

Always thank the host with a bow. Do this before and after your meal as it shows good manners.  

It’s cool to slurp there!

Where slurping is rude in the States, it’s a custom in Japan! Notice the room when you eat out and you’ll find this noise to be a welcomed one.

Check, please

When you’ve finished your meal and it’s time to pay, cross your fingers to make the letter “X” and the waiter will take care of the bill.

Learn the language basics

Knowing a few of the key phrases in Japanese will help you communicate with natives. Practice saying, “excuse me,” “thank you,” “hello,” “goodbye,”—terms you may need when interacting with strangers. Oh, and “where’s the bathroom?” is another must-know phrase as you won’t be able to read their locations either.  

A nice way to say “no”

When the Japanese says something is “impossible” or mention something is “difficult,” it’s their way of saying “no.” They do not want to turn you away, however, there are times it’s necessary.  Don’t attempt to force the situation as it could end up being an unfavorable decision.  

Signs in English

Although it’s recommended, you don’t have to know many Japanese phrases as there are enough signs are in English that you can navigate through Tokyo without much difficulty. It’s when you begin to explore outside of the city that you will need to know those important Japanese phrases, as signs in English aren’t are prevalent.

Don’t tip!

In the States, tipping is mandatory, but in Japan it’s refused! Tips are not counted towards a waiter’s salary and the gesture is seen as rude and inappropriate. It doesn’t seem possible but some will get angry if you tip them.

Gifting

Giving a gift is different from tipping and it is generally well accepted. If you’re meeting someone for the first time, bring a gift! If possible, pick this up before you leave and select a gift that has meaning to your hometown.

ATMs

If you find an ATM that takes your card, take note of it because most banks won’t accept your bank card. You can find a post office that has a cash machine you could possibly use.

Suica Cards

If you’re thinking about coming back any time in the future or extending your stay because you got such as great deal on cheap business class flights to Tokyo, you should get a card to store your yen. PASMO cards are accepted so you may want to consider applying for one.  

Keep your passport with you

The passport is the best way of identifying yourself should you need identification. You can expect this to happen so don’t forget it back in the room!

BYOTP

Bring your own toilet paper! The public restrooms in Japan don’t always have them available, so you might want to have some handy when you leave the hotel. If you forget, look for a street vendor as they will offer a pack of tissue to forgetful and unaccustomed tourists.

Take your shoes off

Most of us are aware shoes are a no-no in Japanese places of business and in the home. Make sure you have a clean pair of socks that doesn’t have any holes in them. If you’re not sure when to take them off, just ask.   

Bathroom rules

The Japanese are particular people, so it’s not uncommon to wear different shoes to the bathroom. These shoes are not the same ones you’d wear around the house and are specifically worn to visit the toilet.

Refrain from blowing your nose

If you have the sniffles or a runny nose while you’re visiting Japan, absolutely do not blow your nose in public! Excuse yourself to the bathroom or into another room and quietly blow or wipe your nose.

I hope you enjoyed these top travel tips for travel in Tokyo!

Continue Reading

Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe 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...

Trending