How to Survive a Vacation with Your Significant Other

There's a very specific art to it.

Taking a vacation with your S.O. isn’t just a great way to see the world with your partner-in-crime, but also makes for great bonding moments, too. You get to explore places you’ve never been, find yourself in situations totally foreign to you (zip line through the Costa Rican forest, anyone?), and in doing so you get to see each other in a different light. You finally get to know how your partner might react when being bombarded by Moroccan proprietors to buy things in the markets of Marrakesh. It’s exciting, new, and I don’t think I need to use the cliché, but I will: “You’ll make memories to last a lifetime.”

But vacationing with anyone, even the one you love, can be trying. Unless you’re a Vanderbilt, you’re stuck in hotel rooms that aren’t exactly huge, you’re trying to figure out metro maps in languages you don’t understand, and because of all this, tensions can run high. If you don’t take a breather and play it cool, you can end up standing on a sidewalk in some beautiful European city yelling about, well, a myriad of different trivial things.

Since that’s the case, it’s important to go into a vacation with your S.O. with your eyes open and the realization that patience, and allowing for a give and take, are essential. Here’s the only way you’re going to survive it.

1. Set a budget.

Statistically, the number one that every couple fights about most is money , and because vacations are pretty much all about spending money, not having a budget is just setting yourself up for disaster. After you’ve purchased plane tickets and a hotel within your budget, then decide how much you’ll spend a day and stick to it. Make a compromise that certain days you’ll roll cheap and other days you’ll splurge a bit. If you think you’ll stray from your budget, then make a spreadsheet. You want to avoid, as much as possible, fighting over what you usually fight over at home.

2. Don’t let inconveniences ruin your day.

So, your plane was delayed? Don’t worry; there will be another one. The Moulin Rouge is packed the night you wanted to go? You still have tomorrow. There’s a line wrapped around La Sagrada Familia with an estimated two-hour wait? Shrug it off. When you’re traveling, and doing touristy things especially, there will be lines, not everything will go your way, and yes, someone is likely to accidentally step on your foot as you’re all crowded around the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. It happens. If you realize that before you even leave the airport for your trip, you and your S.O. can avoid getting testy about all these silly inconveniences that are really just part of the experience.

3. Never go anywhere without water and a snack pack.

We all know that there’s nothing quite like being “hangry” to totally piss all over a perfectly lovely afternoon. Combine that with the thirst that comes with being 130-degree heat in some North African dessert, and there’s a good chance you might just kill your partner and eat them for lunch. Even if it’s just a couple of granola bars, always have a little something on you to eat and never go anywhere without water, especially in countries where drinking their water is likely to give you Montezuma’s revenge.

4. Don’t let one person do all the planning.

Your vacation with your S.O. is about the both of you getting the most out of the experience. The vacation doesn’t belong more to one person than the other, so speak up about what you want you see and where you want to go. There’s nothing worse than being dragged around to places you have zero interest in, because your itinerary wasn’t planned by both of you.

5. Take time to roll solo.

Although you’re taking this vacation together, you also need time apart. Not only do you need to give each other space, just as you would when you’re not on vacation, but discovering pieces of the world on your own is really exciting. When you’re alone you’re forced to talk to people, people who might also be taking a little break from their partner, and it makes for a really fun experience. Besides, spending time apart is going to make the next leg of your vacation together that much better.

6. Get off Facebook.

Yes, you want everyone on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever other social media platform you use to know that you’re having this fancy vacation in Thailand while they’re busting their asses at their jobs they hate. That’s totally understandable, but the problem here is that you’re not being present in the moment. If you’re too busy giving a play-by-play to your 34 followers on Twitter, you’re not really fully experiencing your vacation. It’s one thing to check in on social media from time to time, but don’t let it run your vacation. Instead, decide ahead of time, if you’re both social media junkies, that you’ll specified times to upload all those braggy photos.

7. Have fun!

Vacations are about fun and relaxation! They’re about adventure and bonding! So go into it with that in mind and don’t let you or your S.O. sweat the small stuff. You know, because you’re making memories to last a lifetime. (Sorry. Just had to say it one more time, in case it was missed the first time around.)