If you’re thinking about traveling with a partner—a boyfriend or girlfriend, a spouse, a friend or a family member—there are several details to consider before booking your trip. You want to be sure you have a great time, but it’s just as important to ensure your travel partner also gets the most out of your adventure. Don’t pull the trigger on flights or hotel rooms until you know the answer to these four key questions:
1. Who is paying for the trip?
This is something that should be decided long before you get to your destination. If you’re the one who brought up the idea of traveling, your companion might be under the impression that you’ll be picking up the tab. Save yourself an uncomfortable conversation down the road and bring this up in the beginning stages of planning. One good way to split a trip evenly is to start a travel fund in which each of you puts in the same amount of money and you replenish it as needed, always contributing equally.
2. Where will you go?
This might have been the first thing you decided if you’re traveling to a destination for a particular reason or event, but if you and your partner are just in the mood to get out of town and explore, you’ll want to pick a spot that appeals to both of you. If your partner is leaning toward a beach vacation and you’re not a fan of water, you’ll have to compromise on a location that makes you both happy, even if it’s for different reasons.
3. How set will your itinerary be?
You might be a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants planner, meaning you’re happy to see where the vacation takes you, but your partner might have a very different idea in mind. Even if you’re the planner and your partner isn’t too concerned with the details of what you’ll see, do and eat, you’ll want to agree on how the itinerary is arranged. One of you may feel like it isn’t a vacation if your days aren’t filled with sightseeing, adventure seeking and mingling with locals, while the other would rather curl up in a hammock with a good book for days on end. Talk about your expectations and be prepared to spend some solo time on your desired activities if it turns out you have separate interests.
4. Who will be the keeper of the details?
Whether you’re taking a weekend road trip or setting off for a multi-country, month-long excursion, someone will need to be responsible for the details. Planning a trip starts with research; will both of you be looking for deals on hotels and reading reviews on local restaurants? Which one of you will book flights, hotels, rental car, dinner reservations, guided tours, etc.? Once on the road, who will carry passports and any other necessary documents? These are all questions to consider and agree upon before heading to the airport or hitting the road.
Traveling with a partner can be very rewarding. Sharing new experiences, discovering new places, meeting new people, trying new food—all of this can make for a trip of a lifetime. Just be sure you and your companion share your expectations with each other, then plan your adventure according to both of your desires and interests.