Here’s Why People Hate Travelling With Their Partners

Here’s Why People Hate Travelling With Their Partners

Romantic getaways, dinner by the sea, kissing under the stars… How can things possibly go wrong on a couple’s vacation?

If you’ve never travelled with your significant other before, then you’ve probably lurked on Instagram and seen hundreds of #couplegoals vacation posts wondering if that’s really what it’s like to travel with your partner. Although it can be an experience to look back on and fondly remember, travelling with your partner can also be a total nightmare. Here’s why, and how you can beat the odds.

Different Travel Styles

Everyone has their own travel style. Some are spontaneous, some plan months ahead, some want adventure, some want a relaxing vacation. When the opposites meet, it can be hard to achieve a compromise because your ideas of a vacation are different.

For my partner Eddie, he loves to explore every nook and cranny of the city and make the best out of it. I prefer to sleep in and start my day after lunch because I believe vacations are meant for relaxing. When planning our itinerary, we set aside some days to do things the other person wants to do, and on other days, we do things that we both love doing together, like eating street food or going to amusement parks.

If you can’t compromise in instances like these, you’re going to be fighting a lot during the trip and it can put a strain on your relationship.

TIP: Talk about your travel styles beforehand and lay down ground rules for the trip. Most importantly, set realistic expectations for each other.

Annoying habits and accepting true colours

Image credit: Manan Chhabra

What if he leaves his dirty clothes all over the place? What if she snores? What if he farts excessively? What if she kicks in her sleep? Travelling with your partner also means spending 24 hours a day together. Sleeping and housekeeping habits aside, how they handle unexpected situations or behave in a foreign land can either irk you or make the relationship for you. Imagine if these little things bother you on your weekend trip, how are you going to put up with it for the rest of your life?

TIP: Compromising is key but if at the end of the trip you feel like your soul has been sucked dry, maybe you’re not suitable travel companions (and life companions) after all.

Money woes and financial dilemmas

Image credit: 401k 2012

They say money is the root of all evil. It’s also the root of your travel-related arguments. From how much your flight and accommodation should cost to whether or not hipster cafes and souvenirs are worth spending on, you’re going to be arguing a lot, especially if you are on a budget. Some people can survive with the little budget that they have, while others crave a certain level of luxury and prefer to splurge more.

Before every trip, Eddie and I will discuss how much money to set aside for flights and accommodation, then leave the rest for food and activities based on our financial means. While I usually give most of my money to Eddie when we travel (for safe-keeping and budget control), I keep a separate amount in my debit card so we don’t argue over what I shouldn’t spend money on since we both agree that the money in his hands should be prioritised on our shared expenses before my mindless shopping.

TIP: Discuss your expectations on how much to spend for the trip so you both are on the same page about how “luxurious” it will be. If you and your partner have different spending habits, go dutch. That way, both of you can spend without feeling guilty.

Lack of personal space

Image credit: Right: Pxhere

When you’re with a person 24 hours a day for so many days in a row, a tiny part of you will crave for personal space. Every little thing your significant other does will start getting on your nerves. Usually, if arguments get out of hand, both parties can simply return home and cool down until the next time you meet. On vacation, you’re forced to see that annoying face for the next couple days whether you like it or not.

TIP: Make it a point to spend some time apart while on vacation to do things you like without your partner and give yourself some personal time for self-love and self-discovery. If you’re not keen on wandering far from your partner, take some time to chill in a corner or at the hotel lobby.

The countless Instagram portraits

Imagine this: you have a day planned at the beach, you’re thinking of doing water sports before sun tanning, enjoying fresh coconuts and breathing in the fresh ocean breeze. Just then… “Babe, can you help me take a photo?” And instead of getting to enjoy like you thought you could, you spend the next couple of hours taking hundreds of photos for your significant other’s Instagram feed.

How about when you’re absolutely famished, and all you want to do is devour the huge spread in front of you. “Wait! I haven’t taken a picture for Instagram yet!” Then your partner spends the next 30 minutes arranging the food for that perfect flatlay, and by the time you get to eat, your food is cold and soggy. What a nightmare. At the end of the trip, you would probably realise that what was supposed to be a rejuvenating getaway, ended up as bragging rights for your significant other’s Instagram profile.

Take this time to disconnect from the superficial world on social media and get to know your partner better. Contrary to popular belief, even if you’ve been with your significant other for years, there’s bound to be things you don’t know about each other. What better time to discover them than while on vacation.

TIP: If you know your partner is going to make you take a million photos, talk to him/her before the trip and let them know that you would like to spend more time immersed in the sights and sounds, rather than snapping away for Instagram.

Though the above may deter you from travelling with your partner, I still recommend you to do so at least once! Bad habits will show, lame arguments will ensue, but at the end of it all, you will understand your partner better and know if this person is someone you can tolerate for life.

When Eddie and I spent 10 days in Seoul, we were at each other’s throats almost every other day. Yet, despite being angry at each other, Eddie would still hold my hand when we crossed the road or buy me food that I like to cheer me up. There was even once when we were both high off Soju, and he forced himself to sober up so he could look after me and get us back to the Airbnb safely. It’s all these little things that made the trip so memorable and makes me want to travel with him again because I know that no matter how much we hate each other in the spur of the moment, we got each other’s backs.

This is something you can experience only when you travel with your partner. It’s an opportunity to find out how much you’re willing to do for each other despite the odds. You get to see your partner for who they truly are, and learn to embrace it all despite their flaws. It’s seeing them at their most vulnerable moments and deciding that you will still be there for them. It’s seeing their strengths, the way they treat others kindly and thinking “I’m such a lucky person” while smiling to yourself. Above all, it’s creating precious memories you will never be able to recreate back home, and looking back years later realising how much you’ve both learnt and grown from your travel adventures together.

About Author

Cheryl Teng
Cheryl Teng

When Guan Yin Ma was blessing others with the gift of height, she left Cheryl out because she realised that great things should come in tiny packages, so she gifted Cheryl with endless energy, sass, and a huge smile to top it all off. Most days, she can be found planning her world domination, reading up on war and conspiracy theories, or sniffing around for cheap travel deals because she spends all her money on food.


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