Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer. And when you do it with your significant other, you stand to learn a whole lot about them, yourself, and the two of you as a couple. Do you solve problems as a team or does one person take on the leadership role? Are you comfortable lounging by the pool all day or do you seek adventure every step of the way? If you’re not sure yet, don’t worry. One trip together, and you’ll figure these kinds of things out in no time.
Traveling forces you to step outside your comfort zone. And doing so with your partner can truly be an eye-opening experience. Here are 10 things you can learn about your relationship by traveling with your partner.
1. It’s a great way to rekindle the romance
It’s natural to go through dry spells in your relationship, but it’s important to know how to revive the spark. Traveling with your significant other can do just that, as taking a trip together is a great way to become more intimate. In fact, a study conducted by the U.S. Travel Association found “couples who travel together are significantly more satisfied with their relationships, enjoying better sex and improved romance long after the trip ends.” Although we think that’s pretty much reason enough to hit the road with your love, we have a few reasons.
2. You’ll discover your partner’s trigger points
We all have them — certain pet peeves that push us over the edge. And how your partner reacts to a stressful situation says a lot. If you haven’t figured out each other’s trigger points before now, Bustle says traveling together will give you a good idea. If your partner gets moody when he or she is angry, for instance, you’ll remember to pack plenty of snacks for the road the next time you travel together.
3. You’ll learn about your partner’s spending habits
Traveling with another person is a great way to save money. Sharing hotel rooms and splitting cab fares can all add up to some pretty significant savings. But something you will undoubtedly learn about your partner is their spending habits. Are they traveling on a budget or sparing no expense? You’ll find out pretty quickly just how much they’re willing to spend on what. Trust us.
4. You learn how important, or unimportant, planning is
Some people are planners, while others go where the wind takes them. And at no other time in life is a person’s preferred method of operational planning more evident than while traveling. Some relationships have two type-A planners, while others might not have a single one. If you didn’t already know, you’ll find out just how much or how little your partner depends on planning. He or she may be totally comfortable showing up to Cuba sans hotel reservations. Or, they could have a detailed itinerary in hand as soon as you step off the plane.
5. You learn how tolerant your partner is
You’ll learn a lot about your partner’s views toward others, especially if you’re traveling to another country. Living in your own little bubble doesn’t necessarily give a person the opportunity to show their true colors when it comes to how they feel about different cultures. When you’re forced out of your comfort zone, though, there’s no hiding how truly tolerant, or intolerant, you are. You’ll soon find out if your partner gives life to stereotypes or shuts them down.
6. You find out what they really like to do
Knowing exactly what your partner likes to do isn’t always evident when the two of you don’t have an abundance of free time together. But when you travel together, you’re forced to make decisions about how you’ll fill your time. Not being on a schedule may be a novelty for the two of you as a couple, which is why it’s imperative to take a trip in the first place. There may be a problem if you’re into hiking a volcano and going bungee jumping, while your partner plans to lounge poolside all week.
7. You learn to overcome boredom together, or how to be still together
Regardless of how hectic a trip you’ve planned, travel comes with some down time. And without your typical outside distractions, like work and family, you and your partner will be able to connect on an entirely different level. “Long bus rides and flights are more fun and entertaining when you have your favorite person sitting right next to you,” Trek Effect says. “Honestly, it is far better than reading a novel about vampires and werewolves, or playing your favorite game on your smartphone.”
8. You begin to recognize your partner’s strengths
You’re well aware of the many great qualities your partner has. After all, you have chosen to be with this person. But new strengths can come to light when you travel together. In a new setting, with new challenges, you and your significant other each have an opportunity to showcase some of your best traits. According to Fodor’s, traveling with your significant other is a great chance to recognize their true strengths, which is why you should get to planning — or not planning — ASAP.
9. You see how your partner handles tough situations, and how you handle them as a couple
Roadblocks will inevitably pop up at some point along the way. Regardless of how big the issue that arises during your travels, how you both deal with what’s been thrown your way will be telling. “The silver lining is that you can actually learn a ton about how you two will handle problems in life based on how you handle these dilemmas,” BuzzFeed says. “The point here is that, whatever the specifics, going through a crisis helps you learn where each other’s strengths lie, and how you can work together as a team to solve your problems, both now and in the future.”
10. You’ll learn if you can tolerate their shortcomings
You may really, really like your significant other. But until you have to put up with them around the clock, there’s no way to know whether you’ll be able to put up with those qualities you’d prefer they didn’t have. If there’s just no way you can get over your partner’s tipping policy when it comes to hotel staff, there may be some serious conversations in your future. However, if you’re only slightly bothered by their morning ritual, you know your love for them is stronger than your dislike for this daily habit.