If you think that travel habits can make or break your relationship, you're not alone: Almost a quarter of Americans believe that one’s travel habits can be a deal breaker in today’s relationships. A Travel Trends Report that polled more than 1,000 Americans examined how travel habits affect your romantic relationships, according to liligo.com, a travel tool helping users find the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient routes possible.
Thirty-five percent of millennials felt that travel habits could determine whether a relationship would continue or not post-vacay. With the growing presence of social media and the pressure felt to portray a certain image or quality of life on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, more and more people are stressing out about travel, feeling the need to make sure every vacation is picture-perfect.
liligo's study showed that travel problems can first arrive before you even set out on your getaway, with one in 12 couples arguing over poor travel planning. One in 8 women admitted to arguing with their significant other over travel habits, while only one in 20 men identified travel habits as a source of disagreements.
And while buying a home and getting married were measures of success to previous generations, younger people today are valuing the importance of travel above these more traditional goals. In fact, 22 percent of Americans would rather save up for their next big trip instead of saving that money to put towards a home, and one in 12 would even skip a bill payment in order to go on a trip.
Before you and your partner choose your next vacation destination, you might want to get some tips for minimizing conflict when traveling with your significant other.
Travel experts Oksana and Max St. John have offered some advice that might help. Oksana and Max are the nomadic couple behind the blog Drink Tea & Travel, and are on a mission to turn their love for travel into a sustainable lifestyle. We asked Oksana for her words of wisdom on how to deal with some of the biggest issues couples face when traveling together:
How to Cope With Fights on the Road (or Avoid Them Altogether)
There is no better way to avoid fighting on the road than to put a lot of focus on improving communication. You're not mind readers, so talking things through before any trip will help you get on the same page about plans and manage expectations. Try to come to a comprise about all the little details before you go, and follow a strict rule of never assuming what the other person is thinking, how they are feeling, or what their preferences are.
Create Personal Time Without Offending Your Partner (and Why It's So Important)
Whether you and your significant other are living a nomadic lifestyle while running a business together, like Oksana and Max, or are traveling together for a shorter period of time, it is still very important to create personal time. Even if you love spending 24/7 with your partner, you're still two separate people so it's only expected that you will still have your own interests and desires that may not always match up exactly. To keep from feeling resentful about not getting to pursue your passions or interests on the road, try to agree on a few hours a day when you can each focus on your own hobbies.
Oksana may choose to read, practice yoga, and catch up with friends,while Max might spend his alone time to catch up on news, watch a big NBA game, or workout. Time apart is important to recharge and it will help value your time together even more.
Dividing Travel Responsibilities
Find out what you are good at and, as the tasks come up, you will know who naturally should take the lead. A long day of driving might be your SO's strength, while your forte might be planning a two-week trip itinerary. Dividing responsibilities in this way works out to be fair and keeps both people happy. What happens if you come across a responsibility that neither wants to do? Consider Oksana and Max's way of rock-paper-scissors for it. It's fair and square and never causes an argument—although does lead to occasional gloating.
For more advice on these topics from other traveling couples, check out Nomadic Matt's website where he has enlisted the help of his traveling couple friends. Matt is the best-selling author of How To Travel the World on $50 a Day and founder of his popular travel site.