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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 repeat it. Before every couple settles down and gets married, they should experience couples traveling 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 travel together. You have to step outside your comfort zones together to see if you will go the distance.

Couples Travel

While we may not be married, we know what 3+ years of couples travel will do to a relationship. Nothing will strengthen, or break, those intimate bonds of a couple in love quicker than couples travel.

Traveling as a couple can be one of the most rewarding experiences of any couple’s life. It can also be one of the most significant challenges you will ever face.

Living out of each other’s back pockets for months on end in foreign countries can be challenging 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 dull.

You have to be able to make it work.

Campervan, Couples Travel Tips, Cole, Camping

Yes, we lived in that for eight 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 learned a lot of life lessons while traveling 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, she will be extremely cranky. And if I don’t get food regularly, then I will turn into something resembling the incredible hulk, just without the green tinge and muscles.

It is being able to spot those minor changes in one another quickly that will help you overcome much more significant 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 have claustrophobia, your partner can help you face those fears and overcome them.

We have a series about facing my fears where we deliberately put ourselves in situations in which we are not 100% comfortable. 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 afterward and having an excellent 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 allows 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. Twelve 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.

I was horrendously sick for two weeks 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

Traveling 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

We were sitting on a beach together, watching the sunset and 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 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 traveling together. And if you want a “unique” Euro-trip adventure, you can always consider a holiday in Amsterdam to spice things up.

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

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Best Countries to Visit for Gambling

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Gambling is a popular pastime all over the world, with casinos and sports betting, in particular, being enjoyed by millions. While millions of people enjoy gambling, not every country is as open to it as others. For that reason, countries that do offer safe and legal gambling often experience greater tourism, with curious travelers keen to play at real casinos. Lots of countries around the world feature land-based casinos, and many places have online casinos now too. If you’re short of time on your trip or are taking a long train journey, playing at an online casino is a great way to enjoy some gambling. Below, we’ll look at the best countries to visit if you love to gamble.

The USA

The USA is quite a unique place in that the laws on gambling depend on which state you’re in. If you’re traveling to the US for gambling, it’s definitely recommended that you check out Atlantic City in New Jersey and Las Vegas in Nevada. These cities are home to some of the biggest and most exciting land-based casinos in the world. Las Vegas is very famous for its mega-casinos which include the MGM Grand and the Encore and the Mandalay Bay. All of these casinos are packed with tables to play games like blackjack and roulette, plus there are plenty of slots.

Atlantic City is also very popular among gamblers in the US, and New Jersey features legal online casinos too. This means that anyone over the age of twenty-one can legally sign up and play at a gambling site, enjoying a variety of games including live roulette and online slots. Online casinos make it easier than ever to enjoy casino gaming, and they’re a great way to pass the time if you’re waiting around or traveling.

Aside from the usual spots, the US has plenty of casinos throughout the country. In some states, there are tribal casinos available on tribal reservations, and many other states have legalized gambling in all areas. If you’re planning a road trip around the US, it’s definitely worth checking out a few of these on your way. You can stop off at all the major gambling states and have lots of fun along the way.

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The UK

The UK has had legal gambling throughout the country since the 2000s and offers both land-based and online gambling. Some of the oldest and most interesting casinos in the world can be found in London, with the West End being home to lots of exciting gambling spots. Aside from casinos, the UK also has a strong presence of sports betting shops, and bets can be placed on everything from the latest Premier League football to the winner of the Eurovision song contest.

Bingo is also very popular in the UK, and this game is typically played at bingo halls. If you’ve never played before, it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re traveling to the UK. All sorts of different people love to play bingo and it’s a fun way to spend an evening. Throughout the country, the legal age for gambling is eighteen, and most casinos will require you to verify your ID before you can enter.

Monaco

Monaco is a sovereign city-state located on the French Riviera. It’s one of the most glamorous destinations in Europe and frequently attracts high rollers from all over the world. As it’s not technically part of France, it sets its own laws, and gambling has been legal there for a long time.

Monte Carlo is the most famous area of Monaco due to its association with gambling, offering some of the most exciting land-based casinos. Here, gamblers can enjoy everything from blackjack and baccarat to the wheel of fortune, French roulette, and slots. When you’re not enjoying yourself at a land-based casino, you can head to the beach or take a trip out on a boat to enjoy the beautiful and warm Mediterranean sea.

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Europe

Visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons – Review and Giveaway

Check out our free giveaway of a family pass and review of the super spooky Edinburgh Dungeons.

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Edinburgh Dungeons Review

Edinburgh Dungeons Review

Edinburgh Dungeons Review

If you have time to kill after spending 48 hours in Edinburgh and have encountered the typical wet Scottish weather, it might be worthwhile visiting the Edinburgh Dungeons. The Dungeons were not high on our list of things to do, but one drizzly summer afternoon, we decided to head along and check out what the fuss was all about.

Located in the heart of the capital near Waverley Train station, the Edinburgh Dungeons are conveniently located so that you can tick it off your list of things to do after visiting some of the other sights in the city center as well.

The attraction is run as a tour with groups of around 40 people lasting just over an hour. All the characters and guides are dressed in period costumes and play their roles very well. We were nearly the last ones to enter the first room, which is set out like a mock courtroom, and so, of course, we had the front row seats.

Sure enough, Adela was picked out by the “judge” who made her plead guilty to her crime of dancing atop Arthur’s Seat naked. It annoys me when you visit a place like this which is all about crowd interaction, and everyone is too scared to speak up or laugh. So make sure you get involved just like we did.

All the hallways are very dimly lit, and you spend the entire hour waiting for someone to jump out and scare the bejesus out of you, which does happen from time to time. I am not sure how some of the kids on our tour handled it because even I was afraid!

You are ushered into various rooms you are given an insight into what life was like in Scotland a few hundred years ago. Including the different torture devices used, William Wallace’s beheading, meeting Sawney Bean’s family of cannibals and watching a dissection occur.

Our favorite was saved to last when we went on the “Drop Ride to Doom!” Winched up several meters to the hangman’s noose, you are dropped into the pitch blackness to answer for your crimes. It makes for some classic photos they take just as you are released.

Disclaimer: We were provided with two tickets to the Edinburgh Dungeons, but as always, our thoughts and comments are our own.

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Travel Tips

10 Dream Holiday Destinations For Couples

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Exploring new and exciting places with the person you love provides the most incredible life experiences you could ever ask for. However, while the right companion is the most critical factor, there is no doubt that the choice of destination can have a meaningful impact too.

No two couples are the same, so finding a destination that satisfies your requirements is critical. Ten perfect goals catered to different personalities, tastes, and budgets.

1| London, England

London is one of the greatest cities on the planet and is visited by millions every year. First and foremost, there are many things to see and do in London. As a tourist, though, it’s even more exciting to know that many of those attractions are near each other. The less time you spend traveling as a couple, the more time you can enjoy your break in the city.

While the attractions themselves will appeal to all, many are particularly suited to couples. Finding the romance with a walk along the Southbank, a river cruise, or meander through Hyde Park. Irrespective of the time of year you choose to visit, London is waiting to be explored by couples.

The multicultural DNA of the city ensures that finding food and entertainment that’s to your taste should be easy too.

London, Parliament, England, Ben Ben, Westminster

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2| The Seven Seas

Taking a cruise is a bucket list item for everyone. However, taking a cruise with your lover can take this incredible experience to new heights. After all, there’s nothing quite like looking out across the water. Sunrises and sunsets are particularly romantic.

Moreover, this is the perfect way to explore multiple locations and countries in a short space of time. Given that synching up your holiday time can often be very difficult, this opportunity to squeeze more into the break is beautiful indeed.

3| The Maldives

If the idea of getting away from it all to enjoy a short break of private luxury appeals, Maldives is ideal. Sun, sea, and sand are guaranteed, while the islands provide a slice of the excellent life unlike any place on earth. You’ve almost certainly seen pictures and videos. Even those images fail to do it justice.

The quiet is the perfect way to break away from the hectic nature of modern life. The food and drink are exceptional too. Combining this trip with visits to neighboring destinations such as Sri Lanka is also very possible. You will love it. This is a trendy destination for married couples, including those on their honeymoon.

This is paradise. And there’s no better way to enjoy it than with your significant other.

4| Miami, Florida

The United States of America is home to many couple-friendly destinations. Miami, Florida, offers a little bit of everything. From the Everglades to Ocean Drive, every excursion is one that you’ll cherish forever. This is the ultimate holiday destination in the USA.

There are some genuinely excellent short-term rental opportunities on Airbnb too. Better still, when you travel at the right time of the year, great weather will be virtually guaranteed. If you stay a little longer, trips to Orlando’s many theme parks can take the adventures to a new level.

Miami, Cruise, Port, Florida, Ship, Skyline, Travel

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5| Paris, France

The city of love is one of the top destinations on vacation wish lists of couples around the world. Therefore, it should be on the bucket list if you’ve yet to go. Not only is it one of those things that every couple should do. More importantly, it is a romantic city blessed with great food, stunning backdrops, and cultural significance at every turn.

Paris is blessed with many attractions that everyone should see at least once. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Louvre are all significant sights. Meanwhile, Notre Dame will be a must-see after it is refurbished. The gothic architecture is also supported by a tourist-friendly city with street artists and performances. The public is very welcoming too.

The romantic venues are ideal for lovers while it’s also a great choice of venue for a proposal.

6| Riviera Maya, Mexico

Several items will be on the checklist when taking a romantic trip with your partner. If spending time in a venue exclusive to adults, saving you from screaming kids, Riviera Maya in Mexico is ideal. Many of the popular destinations’ top hotels offer this feature.

A few relaxed days can be coupled with a trip to Chichen Itza. You can take a long-haul holiday to learn how much a private jet costs to fly. Get it right, and you’ll be set for the trip of a lifetime. Seeing a Wonder of the World with your lover is a memorable experience.

Chichen Itza, Riviera Maya, Mexico

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7| Iceland

Iceland is a small country but with a big reputation. It is a welcoming destination for solo travelers, couples, and groups alike. The combination of natural beauty, friendly locals, and weather are particularly suited to a romantic holiday. This is especially true when you cozy up in a hotel pod under the stars.

The small island country boasts some truly stunning sceneries and natural features. From visiting the blue lagoons to seeing the northern lights, the experiences gained in Iceland are unique. The romantic backdrops are supported by accommodation facilities that support those sentiments. A week should be long enough to explore the island nation in style.

Frankly, every couple should visit at least once in their lifetime. It’s too beautiful to miss out.

8| Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam is known for its liberal approach to sex and drugs. However, it offers so much more. Its culture is heavily influenced by music, fashion, and sport. Meanwhile, the canals and stunning architecture provide a romantic setting for couples, especially at mealtimes.

The country’s small size means that you can easily explore other places like Eindhoven, Groningen, and Rotterdam. Even if you stay in the capital city, boredom isn’t an option. Whether you want to visit the red light district, Amsterdam has plenty for couples to enjoy.

Amsterdam, Canals, Netherlands, Holland, Water, City

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9| Kho Phangan, Thailand

Thailand is another destination that is known for liberal thoughts. While there are many beautiful places to explore across the country, Kho Phangan is one best. You can live and explore the area at a pace that suits you. So whether you’re a couple that loves the fast life or prefers a calmer vacation, this destination is ideal for starting any trip to Asia.

A quick search of things to do in Kho Phangan will open your eyes to many different ideas. While you could undoubtedly tour the whole of Thailand, this region alone will have more than enough to keep you satisfied for the duration of your stay. Exploring by foot or bicycle is very fun, while the fact that many people don’t even know about this hidden gem is vital to remember.

Whether it’s a solo destination or part of an Asian tour, this is a beautiful part of the world to visit.

The island is full of hundreds of options for accommodation, but if you’re looking for a great Koh Phangan hostel, you should check out Mad Monkey Koh Phangan.

10| Home

Life is about creating magical memories with the people you love. While traveling the globe is a great way to celebrate this, simply spending time together is the greatest gift. Modern life encourages couples to forget this, but taking time off for a staycation will change this.

By exploring the local attractions, you can rediscover a love of your hometown and your partner. It’s cheaper, involves less travel, and can genuinely promote a greater appreciation of each other. Best of all, minimal planning other than booking time off of work is required.

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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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