Going backpacking together can make or break a couple. Some days you’ll be having the time of your life. Other days, you’ll want to strangle each other. Here are some tips for backpacking as a couple to keep you from going crazy on the road:
1. Realize that traveling together will be a lot less glamorous than you think.
Not every moment will be Instagram-ready with white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. At times, you’ll be hot and sweaty, dehydrated and short tempered – or straight-up tired and hangry. It’s all part of the experience – just breathe, be patient and remember that you love your partner. And drink lots of water!
2. Be prepared to be more intimate with each other than ever before. Not necessarily in a good way.
You’ve never had a true test of love until one (or both) of you is having seriously explosive moments in a toilet for hours on end. Love knows no bounds, right?
3. Constantly check in on each other.
Though you may usually be sensitive to every minute fluctuation in your partner’s mood, it’s easy to miss things when you’re being over stimulated with new places and experiences. Make sure to ask your partner how they’re doing every once in a while – sometimes, their answer may surprise you.
4. Make time for alone time.
You’ll be spending almost every waking moment (and every non-waking moment) together, which is enough to drive most people crazy in time. Every once in a while, take some time for yourself; this could be sitting and reading, going for a walk, or simply having some e-bonding time with dear old Facebook.
5. Don’t be jealous or overprotective.
You’ll be meeting all kinds of new, exciting and possibly sexy people while traveling. Relax, and realize there’s no harm in simply talking to them… just make sure no one’s going home with any strangers without permission! Being an overprotective or jealous partner will just drive your bae away.
6. Do things separately on occasion.
Plus, once you’re reunited later on, you’ll have that much more to talk about with each other.
7. Share the packing load.
Do you really need two different kinds of body wash? A separate set of deodorants? Probably not. When packing your backpacks, reduce the load by sharing necessities, such as towels or shower stuff. Just because the bottle is pink doesn’t mean a guy can’t use it, and there’s no harm in embracing the dirty backpacker stereotype.
8. … but don’t share everything! Keep your finances separate.
You’ve spent months saving up, you’ve pooled your money together and it’s finally time to embark on your grand adventure. You might as well keep your money together in one bank account, to make it easier to keep track of your spending, right?
Nobody wants to look on the negative side, but things do happen. Backpacking and traveling can be much more stressful than day-to-day life, and many a couple has broken up while on the road. If you break up while abroad and have a shared bank account, what then? You can’t open a new bank account while traveling, and you can’t storm off and leave your partner if they’re holding the bank card (not successfully, anyway).
9. Look up cultural no-nos for couples in the country you’re visiting.
In places like western Europe, it’s totally chill to PDA the day away with your significant other. However, in more conservative countries such as Iran, it’s forbidden for couples to even hold hands in public, let alone kiss. Be sure to be savvy about how you should be acting around each other when on the road.
10. Remember that this is a chance to bring you closer together than ever before.
Backpacking together is an experience like no other. If you can stick with your partner through the good times and the bad, you’ll know your love is legit!
Guest Writer – Alex
Alex is a twenty-something-year-old American girl that sold all her stuff, quit her job, and left expat life in the Netherlands to go backpacking through Central Asia with her Dutch boyfriend. This is her second backpacking adventure with him, and they’ve certainly learned a thing or two about not killing each other while on the road in the past few months. You can follow their journey at Lost With Purpose, or stalk them on their Facebook.