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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.

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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?

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64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. Laurence

    February 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Travelling 24/7 with someone is a serious test of a relationship 🙂 Still.. if your relationship survives it.. you’re pretty much ready for anything!

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      I think it is the ultimate test for sure Laurence! Going pretty well after over 2 years on the road 🙂

  2. Trudy Florence

    February 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    I really liked this. It’s a lot of the things that my boyfriend and I did while we were travelling. We both love meeting other people and would sometimes spend every night with groups of people. Occasionally we would just pull each other aside and say, hey lets just have dinner by ourselves tonight. Looking after each other is also one of our key motto’s. He’s great at helping me with my bag, carrying some of my heavier things while I like getting up and making or buying him breakfast because he’s a later sleeper than me. Travelling together made our trip so nice because we always had each other to talk to and help with everything. I wouldn’t give up our travel adventures for anything!!

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Totally agree with you on all your points Trudy and we are the same! It’s funny the roles that you assume on the road just to help each other out a little bit 🙂 It’s amazing how much we rely on each other all the time actually!

  3. D.J. - The World of Deej

    February 13, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    Great tips you guys…We learned many of these the hard way, but tend to stick to most of what you’ve listed. Our biggest is the alone or quiet time…It’s good for us to venture apart for a few hours and recharge the batteries…

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      Totally need that space D.J! Admittedly we are still learning as we travel but I am sure no couple is perfect 😉

  4. Sam

    February 13, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Nice article. Good ideas. Relationships do need work and travel can create some pretty big ups and downs. Knowing there will be times when your relationship isn’t the happiest can certainly help you move past it faster and reduce the frequency and severity of the downers.

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      Thanks Sam. It is good when travelling as a couple because when the going gets tough you can learn on your other half.

  5. Andrew

    February 13, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    Are you eating the ears first? So they can’t hear the rest?

    We have done some travel together. Actually a lot of our time together has been in travel mode for one or the other of us. We are learning alot about each other doing it. We push each other and support each other. We are also learning that we travel much better together than apart.

    I like the list. Especially the part about spending time alone as well as with other people and not just the 2 of you 100% of the time.

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 10:26 PM

      Hahahaha definitely ate the ears first for that reason. It was too cruel otherwise! Love that you guys travel better together rather than apart.

  6. Jade - Ouroyster.com

    February 14, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    Great article! I think james and I need to try to “date night” idea 😀

    • Cole

      February 14, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Just a little bit of time out on a “date night” works wonders Jade 🙂

  7. Nomadic Samuel

    February 14, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Nice tips for couples. As a solo backpacker I can barely take care of myself 😛

    • Cole

      February 14, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Haha yea I struggle with most things while Adela goes around behind me sorting it out 🙂

  8. Steph

    February 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I definitely agree with these! Taking some alone time is always really important for me. I’m a pretty independent, solitary person so it can be rough for me to spend 24 hours a day with someone else. It helps sometimes just to go out for a walk alone or spend some time reading.

    Another one we’ve learned? Never fight on an empty stomach!

    • Cole

      February 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      Hahaha I am terrible at being hangry! Hungry and Angry if that didn’t make sense haha 🙂

  9. thetravelchica

    February 17, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    I’ve never traveled with a significant other, but I’ll keep these tips in mind when I do.

    • Cole

      February 17, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      Thanks Stephanie!

  10. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures

    February 17, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Great tips even if you aren’t on the road!

    • Cole

      February 18, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Thanks Andi 🙂

  11. sharon

    February 23, 2012 at 3:32 AM

    Hi there. I read your blog / adventures with interest. You are quite the duo 🙂

    I decided to nominate you for the versatile blogger award today. Here is the link
    http://abumptothehead.wordpress.com/2012/02/23/920/

    Cheers

    • Cole

      February 23, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Wow thanks Sharon! Will get on to that 🙂

  12. nomadwayoflife

    February 23, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Oh, puppy love. It warms my heart and gives me warm fuzzies inside. Well, you two certainly seem to have it all worked out (love the part about being one of the locals). Congrats. If only I wasn’t stuck on the lone ranger bit I would definitely follow the same path. My story is a little different. James Bond. I ride alone 😉

    • Cole

      February 24, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      Hahaha well Bond does get quite a few chicks!

  13. cheryl

    February 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Great tips! And glad to see you two manage to keep your romance alive. 🙂

    • Cole

      February 27, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      Cheers Cheryl we try our best. Definitely not always the role model couple though 😉

  14. Pingback: The best travel articles for the week ending 02/19/2012. — LandingStanding

  15. Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    March 5, 2012 at 9:31 PM

    Great tips! I’ve been traveling as a couple now for a year and eight months. Funny thing is-we’ve been a couple for that long haha. You really do get to know a person when traveling with him or her, but a significant other even more. It’s amazing having someone to share your adventures with, but it’s important to remember that not every day will be perfect. Hope you guys had a great Valentine’s Day!

    • Cole

      March 6, 2012 at 5:19 PM

      Thanks Bobbi. We are not too big on Valentines Day and our anniversary is the week before (lucky for me, not so lucky for Adela haha). Glad you are enjoying couples travel!

  16. Asia

    March 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Love this article- thanks a ton you two!! My husband and I have been country-hopping since November and so far we’ve been in the craziest situations that have not only tested our comfort levels to some pretty high points, but also our marriage in ways we never could’ve imagined! It’s a crazy, fun, scary, insane game- taking your relationship on a ride like this. But like Laurence said, and we totally agree, if our relationship can survive this…then bring it on!!

    Great post and happy travels!

    • Cole

      March 20, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      No problem! Travel is the hardest thing for a relationship in our opinion. Super hard but it is all worth it 🙂

  17. desert safari dubai

    March 26, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Lovely posts by Cole& Adela

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  19. Megan Jones

    August 7, 2012 at 4:18 AM

    What great advice. I think that you could take all the advice out of the context of travelling and it would be just good relationship advice! I particularly liked your advice about not sweating the small stuff. I think we often get caught up in minutiae and lose perspective. Just take a step back and take a breath and I bet the fight will melt away!

    • Cole Burmester

      August 7, 2012 at 10:10 AM

      Totally agree with you Megan. A little bit of space works wonders for us. The only problem is in the heat of the moment you often forget that!

  20. Kieu ~ GQ trippin

    February 25, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Agree on all points!

  21. Jewel

    December 1, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Two Jandals missing from the bikini shot buddy!!

  22. Adam Burton

    December 3, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Love all these tips. I have learned a lot on this post, will apply these on our next romantic trip next year.

  23. Jeff

    December 4, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Great tips man. I do agree with you a little space works wonders. It has been working to us very well. It gives us the opportunity to reflect back and to face the situation squarely.

  24. Hannah

    December 5, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    Awesome tips while traveling. Especially now that I have been traveling with my husband for almost half a year already.

  25. Ivana

    December 5, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Lovely… Time spent alone helps, indeed.
    We just started our journey, so most probably we will need some tips 🙂

  26. Carlene Lowe

    December 6, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Haha! I can really relate to this. My husband and I been traveling since 2010 and I couldn’t count the argument, debate and cold war but it ended up to a deeper bond and love. Such a great site you have! Keep the love burning.

  27. Renuka

    December 8, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Great tips! Yes, travel in itself is romantic. 🙂

  28. Jade Adele

    December 11, 2013 at 6:33 AM

    Great tips 🙂

    It definitely isn’t always easy to stay cool and collected, but remembering that you guys are made for each other always helps!!

    Looks like you guys are doing a good job of it too 🙂

    Yeay for happy couples!

  29. Doula Training by Doula

    December 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Thanks for all this lovely tips. They are so sweet. 🙂 Keep posting.

  30. Rashad Pharaon

    December 16, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Love these tips and think a lot of them apply to solo travelers too! Being willing to slow down, take in a new place like a local, talk and interact with other travelers and locals, and be willing to push yourself outside your comfort zone – everyone can benefit from these tips for couples.

  31. Ashley Johnson

    December 17, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Superb Tips!.I use to travel a lot with my wife and we always enjoy our trip where ever we go.Keep on posting such a lovely tips.

  32. Zara @ Backpack ME

    December 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    Traveling as a couple is “the ultimate test of true love”. After traveling full-time long term with my partner I knew this is the man I would marry and have a family with! I can’t recommend it enough for couples.. even if it is to travel for a shorter period of time, you learn SO MUCH of one another!

  33. Susan

    December 28, 2013 at 4:19 AM

    Hi Cole,
    Can’t agree more..This is basically a summary of the life of an ideal couple..Great read and worth sharing.

    Thanks
    Susan

  34. Adam

    December 28, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    We personally love to travel but we never considered most of these things, and they are all great advice so they will help make our trips much better.Thanks For sharing good Points

  35. Julio Moreno

    December 28, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Oh date night… truer words were never spoken. Great tips!

  36. ethanbrown

    December 30, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Really great post…Thanks to share your great advice and experience..

  37. Jonathan Look, Jr.

    December 30, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    As someone that has been there/done that and has the scars to prove it, I think this very good advice. Especially the not sweating the small stuff. Good advice for life too!

  38. Adrian Tanase

    January 11, 2014 at 4:25 AM

    Lack of sleep always makes you nervous, so sleep more.

  39. Katie

    January 23, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    Giving each other space is vital, as most people don’t spend time in each other’s company 24/7 all the time … we all need our alone time!

  40. The Runaway Guide

    January 27, 2014 at 6:25 AM

    Silently driving across the US sounds familiar haha.
    I would definitely say laughing is key. If you can laugh about anything and everything you’ll be in good shape. Nice tips Cole.

  41. Melisa Lissa

    February 5, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I’m not sure about the Martin Luther’s quote, or how relevant it is in our modern society; But I love likening marriage to a garden. Sometime you just can’t sum up the energy or enthusiasm, but when you do…. it is well worth the effort

  42. Julie Danes

    February 5, 2014 at 7:32 PM

    Honestly, I think that a beautiful holiday, even on the lowest budget, can help any relationship. We all need that “alone time” in two. 🙂

  43. Tom

    July 6, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Trust and space, both are the most important components that help to keep any relation alive. If you cant trust your mate, you will always find yourself alone.

  44. Tom Miller

    June 15, 2015 at 2:51 AM

    Hey,

    Thanks for this, I’ll definitely use this in my next Dubai Tour with my wife.

  45. Robert SSteven

    July 2, 2016 at 7:57 AM

    Nice Post. Blog Entry give satisfactory fixation. The offer effects on various standard stresses of your mind.

  46. Kelvin Gary

    September 29, 2016 at 3:04 AM

    A great read. Every couple can relate to this.

  47. Smith Johnson Singapore

    October 9, 2016 at 5:47 PM

    Aww. Such a romantic experience. Where is my boyfriend? ehe should see where we are headed next…haha

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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.

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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.

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Travel Tips

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

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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.

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Travel Tips

Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

Top Travel Tips and Tricks for First Time Travelers to Tokyo

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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!

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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...

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