10 Tips for Traveling as a Couple
We've been so grateful for our opportunity to explore and adventure together over the years as a couple. It continues to make for experiences that deepen our bond and broaden our outlook on life. We thought we'd work together to create a list of some helpful tips for anyone else traveling as a couple (though many of these would be applicable no matter who your travel partners are)!
1. Adding 5 minutes on to your navigation to take the scenic route is never a bad idea. So often in life we're in a rush to get to our destination, but traveling is truly about the journey. This is always a sweet reminder to us and something we'd love to incorporate more into our everyday life.
2. Rely on reviews for finding great restaurants but ask locals about hidden gems. We search blogs, TripAdvisor, Zomato, and hunt through Instagram and Pinterest before traveling to a new place. It's nice to have a starting place of potential spots for dinner or a good cup of coffee on your first day. Though technology is so helpful when planning an itinerary, nothing beats striking up a conversation with friendly locals to get their advice!
3. Pack snacks like granola bars for fruit gummies on hand in a backpack or tote. No one likes a "hangry" traveler! We also typically bring a refillable water bottle with us to save on buying plastic water bottles & keep drinks cold (though obviously this depends on where you're traveling to)
4. Always be kind to the people you meet. Having a pleasant encounter with people when you're traveling makes a lasting impression. If there's a language barrier be patient and grateful that someone who may not speak English as their first language is going out of their way to help you! We try to be good ambassadors for Wisconsin and the Midwest wherever we go. Even when we were traveling abroad most people knew that we had good cheese, beer & the Green Bay Packers in our home state!
5. Take back memories & experiences rather than souvenirs. When we were on our honeymoon in Italy we took a cooking class and vineyard tour of Tuscany. Those opportunities were among our favorite things we did while traveling. Viator is a great option for exploring a different side of a city and Airbnb now offers local guides and classes all over the world. We always take tons of photos when we travel. I've been working on narrowing down my favorites for an Artifact Uprising album.
6. Pack light whenever possible. Especially if you're traveling abroad where you have to lug your suitcase around public transportation or down cobblestone streets (been there!). We searched for a while and read lots of reviews before buying our carry-on bags and they've been amazing and worth the investment. Compression packing cubes are also a huge space saver (we both have a set of these) when you're only traveling with a carry on. We use the konmari method to neatly fold everything and it's easy to see everything you have at a glance and keep it organized if you place into a dresser.
Side note- we love traveling Southwest, because of their affordable fares and perks like 2 free checked bags (in the event you come home with unexpected goodies)!
7. Be flexible. Some things will inevitably not go as planned. Maybe you'll get sick while traveling (yup, been there!), maybe traveling off season will mean some restaurants are closed (been there too!), maybe you will take the train in the wrong direction in Cinque Terre (mmmhm.. if only we spoke Italian!). Getting angry or frustrated with each other does not change the situation. Take a few deep breaths, figure out how to resolve things and take it as a lesson in learning to go with the flow.
8. Invest in a remote & mini tripod for your camera or phone! One of the most disappointing things from our honeymoon is how few of photos we have together. While you can definitely ask strangers to snap a photo, sometimes it's just easier and more convenient to have a way to do it yourself. I have a remote for my DSLR and have been eyeing up this tripod for my nice camera & this one for my phone!
9. Keep a travel journal. We find there's so much stimulus when you're traveling. A new piece of history to look at, a unique dish on the menu to try, and cool building found while wandering the streets. It's so easy to forget everything that you're doing and seeing, so we're big proponent of writing it all down. For some people this may be digital, for some it may be an actual paper journal (like this gorgeous one from Wayfaren!). If you're documenting digitally on Instagram, it's fun to create a unique hashtag to track your travels with (ours is #anderventures .. yes, we're dorks)!
10. Unplug When You're Away. This one is a biggie for us. Other than a few Instagram posts and a facetime with our parents when we arrive, we really try to unplug. Try to make sure you can truly leave your work behind and don't feel the need to obsessively check in to make sure all is well without you in the office. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to enjoy a beautiful evening out together while someone's on their phone trying to handle a work crisis. It's amazing how much more focused and relaxed you are when you aren't worrying about work and technology during your trip!