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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

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I need your help: Tips for Couples Traveling Together

Uploaded: Dec 1, 2017
Hey Readers,

What are your three tips for traveling together as a couple? Please provide practical as well as emotional tips. For example, how do you two handle it when things go awry?

Other readers and I look forward to hearing from you.
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Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton,
on Dec 1, 2017 at 11:22 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Divide up the responsibilities and don't have both people trying to do the same task - like making the reservations or doing the check in.

Posted by ElaineB, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Dec 3, 2017 at 12:04 am

ElaineB is a registered user.

1. We consider our trips as chapters in our Family Adventures. When we have problems or stresses during the trips, we remind each other that this is just another chapter in our Family Adventures.
2. When I get stressed, he takes over. When he gets stressed, I take over. We help each other this way.
3. We have a concept called "Trip Treps." These are the trepidations that happen before or during a trip. When they come up, we have this as shorthand to talk about what we are feeling. It also helps to label the "treps", takes the sting out of them. It also helps to dissipate them by talking about them.
4. When I get really stressed out or tired, I get pretty non-functional. I have learned to let my husband decide EVERYTHING when I get that way. But I have to tell him that's what's happening.
5. Communication is the key to resolving all the issues between us. And for me, sometimes it means just shutting my mouth.
6. And finally, we put things into perspective. Perhaps it is "First World Problems." Or, considering the worst that could happen: does it *really* matter if we miss our plane/train? So we lose a day.

Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Dec 3, 2017 at 11:35 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi Peter and Elaine, Great tips for all couples. Thanks!

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Old Mountain View,
on Dec 4, 2017 at 10:58 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

The answer of course is 'It depends'. It depends on whether or not one or both of you are familiar with the place you are going to, as well as what your strengths and weaknesses are.

For example, when we go to Italy, my wife is in charge because she's Italian. When we go to Germany, I take the lead because I speak German.

If one has much more experience travelling by plane, more than the other, then it might make sense to have the more experienced air traveler deal with any problems that arise. The same goes for hotels.

Also, make sure that you have a sensible budget for your trip, then double it. The second half is your reserve. That way if anything goes wrong like cancelled flights, overbooked hotels, reserved rental car not available, etc, you will have the extra cash/credit needed to deal with it. You may not enjoy shelling out the extra money, but at least you will be far less likely to be caught short and it will be far less stressful. Afterward, you can see about getting reimbursed for any extra expenses you had for things that were not your fault.

Treat the trip like and adventure. Unless you are travelling for something like a funeral, you should commit to enjoying your time together, even if, or especially if things go wrong. By acting as a team when there is a problem, you will not only become a stronger couple, but will have built a good memory of something you faced together as well as probably having a great story to tell friends and family later.

Lastly, if things did go wrong, sit down together (and without blaming one another) try to figure out what happened and how to avoid it in the future if possible. I think that if people follow these simple steps, it can turn even the worst vacation scenarios into something that brings you closer.


Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Almanac Online blogger,
on Dec 4, 2017 at 8:07 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Thanks Jim!

Posted by travelisbeautiful, a resident of Los Altos,
on Dec 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm

travelisbeautiful is a registered user.

Most important is for a couple to understand what each wants from travel. If your idea of travel is vastly different from your partner, I suggest giving each other permission to travel (or not) without the other. I'm surprised that many of our couple friends have 1 person who travels and the other for a variety of reasons, prefers to stay home. If that is your situation, let your partner do what works for them.

Also, have a realistic budget. Know what your comfort level is and then research how much this costs. And, for goodness sake, remember 2017 is not 1997. Things cost more.

Planning is vital and as well as having a sense of humor. Do your research or pay someone to organize your trip and when things go awry because they inevitably do, relax and enjoy the journey.

Even though we are in good health, I always take every medicine I have found helpful in the recent past. (Can't imagine searching for Imodium at 2am in a country where I don't speak the language!)

Posted by ClevelandGuy, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 9:45 am

ClevelandGuy is a registered user.

I don't have any specific advice other than to consider each other's feelings and interests when traveling. Traveling can be stressful at times, especially at airports and when things don't go according to plan, so be patient with your traveling partner.

Posted by IowaHawkeye, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 11:02 am

IowaHawkeye is a registered user.

Agree with travelisbeautiful about expectations. Some like to relax by the beach or the pool while others would despise that wanting to be active. This is sage advice and if discussed in advance can save a lot of heartache.

Posted by Jim Neal, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Dec 21, 2017 at 11:04 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

You may want to discuss travel plans and itinerary well in advance in order to avoid a mismatch in expectations.

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