When you imagine a romantic vacation, what probably comes to mind are images of you and your significant other reclining on an anchored yacht in the blue waters of the French Riviera, or perhaps toasting with fine wine as you opulently dine on grand, marble patios that overlook delicate Argentinian gardens. For traveling couples who seek affordability instead of luxury, their realities often look very different. Whether it is the hours spent bouncing about on foul-smelling buses, the hostel’s thin walls or the cheap meals from lunch trucks, maintaining that special spark can sometimes take a backseat when traveling abroad; this is entirely unnecessary, as there are simple ways to keep the romance alive while on the road.
Keep It Short
If this is your first time traveling together as a couple, don’t brashly commit to your first exertion together being a lengthy one. Even if you two see each other on a daily basis, you are also juggling friends, jobs, hobbies and chores. When on the road together, you will be with each other almost 24-hours-a-day and will be fully exposed to their habitual upset stomachs, their anxious foot tapping, their crankiness when hungry and their fondness for cheesy puns. Quirks that you once found enduring have the potential to drive you crazy when you experience them on overload, so do a shorter “test-run” of each other before signing off on two months together in the Brazilian rainforest.
Add In Down Time
Many travelers make the mistake of over-stuffing their itineraries, determined to make the most out of the destination. Trust me when I say that continuously sprinting across the city while checking your watch every five minutes does not leave much time to cherish your experience with one another. Make sure to occasionally allot a few hours to simply being together as you leisurely commence upon a spontaneous adventure; strolling hand-in-hand as you point out to one another interesting scenic details will not only fuel rich conversations, but will also allow you to savor the intricacies of your new locale.
Romance Isn’t Always Expensive
Romantic meals don’t have to be expensive – one of my most dreamy dinners consisted of a loaf of bread, an apple, a lump of cheese and a few mouthfuls of chocolate – what made it special was that we happened to be sitting right along a canal in Bruges that mirrored the evening glowing lights. It is important to find those breathtaking backdrops through both research and consulting with the locals. If fancy sit-down meals are more your style, remember that lunch menus are reliably cheaper than their dinner counterparts.
Hostels Can Be Intimate
Traveling can entail long days of physical activities followed by an evening shower in conditions that are sometimes less than ideal, but this is no excuse to let yourself go. It’s okay for the beauty regime for both men and women to become lax when journeying, but avoid the temptation to skip grooming entirely, even if you’re exploring the great outdoors. Additionally, splurge for a private room every once in a while. Yes, there are ways to indulge in a little hanky-panky in the dorm rooms of hostels — I suggest returning in the early afternoon, a time when most guests are out — hurriedly fumbling about in a linen closet isn’t quite as romantic as having your own reserved area.
Alone Time Is A Good Thing
Sometimes, traveling can be taxing and, while it can bring out the best in people, it can also bring out the worst. If the two of you are touring long enough together, there will be a time in which both of you will become overly stressed. To avoid taking it out on one another, insist on having some alone time – a few hours on your own will greatly defuse most situations. In the scenario that this is not a viable option and heated words are exchanged, I have four suggestions, the first being to apologize if you are in the wrong. As the expression goes, would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?
Secondly, for your own peace of mind and the sake of the relationship, don’t hold grudges; even though his/her directions might have gotten the two of you lost today, perhaps the next day you’ll forget the bus tickets in the other jacket and will want to be a shown a little compassion.
Thirdly, don’t forget to compromise. Considering that this a team effort, sometimes you’re going to have to comply to the other person’s wants, and hopefully they’ll eagerly return the favor. Nothing is more miserable than spending time with a person who is miserable, so enter new situations with an open mind; who knows, you might be surprised that you have more fun than you originally thought you would.
Fourthly, sit down and have a bite to eat. With a whirlwind of excitement going on, sometimes travelers can forget to do basic things like eat and sleep; addressing these very rudimentary needs can considerably brighten your mood.
Exploring the world together is an unparalleled adventure for any couple; you work together as a team and share life changing voyages with one another. Just like the journey has the ability to expose our true strength or spirit, it has the ability to reveal the strength of a couple’s bond. If you ask me, that’s pretty darn romantic.
This has been a guest post by Rachel Lowe