Spending quality time with your significant other somewhere unfamiliar is both fun and a little unnerving. Those emotions tend to make you lean on each other more, hence many couples see traveling as a way to strengthen their relationship. However, not all couples get the happily-ever-after they’ve wished for after globetrotting. In fact, breakups after travels are surprisingly common.
Traveling can rile you up and wear your patience thin. That’s why many couples fight in the middle of a trip. But that’s not a reason to cancel the booking you just paid for. According to relationship therapist Laurel Steinberg, Ph.D., it’s completely normal even for happy couples to fight while traveling.
Like any other argument you have with your significant other, travel fights also stem from stress, mood swings, hunger, or exhaustion. And when you’re out of the country, those fight triggers can steal over you all at once. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time couple traveler.
To make your first couple trip fun and romantic, consider these ideal destinations, and tips to avoid fighting:
Best Travel Destinations for First-time Couple Travellers
- Bali, Indonesia
Bali isn’t called the “island of the Gods” for nothing. The place features lush greenery, monkey forests, rolling rice paddies, and nightclubs. And of course, it offers opportunities for spiritual enlightenment. Bali is teeming with shrines and temples, where you can spend time reflecting or meditating after days full of indulging. And speaking of meditation, Bali also has plenty of high-end resorts and yoga classes, perfect for centering yourself.
- Safari in Tanzania
If you and your significant other love interacting with wildlife, a safari trip should be your top option. Tanzania boasts incredible wildlife conservation sites and national parks. It will open your eyes to the unfamiliar parts of the world, ticking off another “first” in you and your significant other’s milestones. You may also encounter locals from tribes.
- Tulum, Mexico
Like the safari, Tulum can also give you an exotic experience. But it’s also brimming with calmer, intimate settings. You can spend one day lounging on the beach, then swim in a natural sinkhole on the next. The Mayan ruins are also found in Tulum, so don’t miss the chance to explore the most intact sites of their kind left. And at night, toast to your first successful trip at a bar that feels more like a jungle.
- Oxford, London
A trip to England may be a little expensive, which can stress you out if you’re on a budget. To enjoy your trip without worrying about overspending, choose an affordable, high-rated accommodation. Then spoil yourselves in the cozy neighbourhood pubs of Oxford, and take tons of couple photos with the Medieval British architecture as your backdrop. You’d barely spend money exploring Oxford, as their streets are already a tourist attraction in itself.
- Hakone, Japan
Almost all experienced travellers will recommend Japan for first-time globetrotters. And once you see the country for yourself, you’d immediately see why it’s so well-loved. Hakone, in particular, offers the perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. You can relax in one of their traditional ryokans, a Japanese inn with an onsen (hot spring). And during the day, you can get close to nature by exploring natural sites, and enjoying the view of Mount Fuji’s peak as you take snapshots.
Tips to Avoid Fighting During Your Vacation
No matter how beautiful your destination is, you’ll inevitably get tired and stressed at one point during your trip. As such, your mood can become unpredictable, which can make you snap at your partner for no apparent reason.
Lack of sleep is another major factor that sparks fights. Coupled with hunger, it’s the perfect recipe for an argument. But it doesn’t have to result in such.
To avoid fighting, plan your trip together, so that you’d both know what to expect, from budget to meal options. Consider each of your vacation preferences as well. If one of you is an adventurer, they’ll naturally prefer destinations with extreme outdoor activities, so choose a place that offers those. Don’t expect them to enjoy a week-long yoga retreat unless they asked for it.
Traveling also requires compromise. If you don’t enjoy the same things, you have to find a common ground, even if that won’t completely satisfy you. Remember that you’re doing the trip as a couple, not to fulfil your individual desires. The same attitude should apply to choosing a hotel to stay in. If you’re on a budget, you have to restrict your options to affordable ones, even if you would’ve love to stay in a luxury hotel.
And as you set out on your trip, talk to each other about the things you want to achieve in every destination. This makes you more aware of your goal to avoid fighting. Be honest with each other, and always be vocal about your feelings for a particular activity. That way, your first travel can go on smoother than you anticipated, and you’ll crave for more.