Illustration of three people on a romantic beach at sunset

On the Road as a Throuple: What I've Learned While Traveling With Two Partners

We’re dedicating our February features to romance travel. A destination has the ability to steal our hearts, but many magical and memorable experiences abroad can be closely tied to stories of love. From traveling after a breakup to compromising trip planning with multiple partners and prioritizing individual interests on a couple’s trip, we’ve put together a collection of inspiring stories that display just how closely our romantic relationships relate to our worldwide adventures.

All vacations take work and planning—where are you going to stay, what are you going to do, what kind of trip is in your budget—but there are extra challenges when you're in a throuple. The word, which is a portmanteau of "three-person" and "couple," is a specific form of polyamory where three romantic partners are all in a relationship with one another. There are different types of throuples: I am in an open throuple, meaning that we all have other partners outside of our throuple. 

We don't include our other partners when we travel; it's just us three—and that's complicated enough. As we've traveled together, we've faced a disappointing truth: many destinations just aren't built to accommodate three lovers. It's taken some trial and error, but over our many travels together, we've finally figured out what works best. Here's what I've learned while traveling with two partners.

Theme parks aren't a great idea.

As a throuple, theme park trips like Disney World are usually out of the question for us. Many rides only have space for two passengers to sit side-by-side, meaning one person has to sit with a stranger or do the ride themselves, which is not exactly romantic. We would never do a luxury couples vacation, either, where everything is made for only two folks, including couple’s massages, tandem bicycles, and more.

My partners can't join me on business trips.

As a journalist, I sadly have to invite someone else whenever I'm asked on a press trip. Often I'm only provided accommodation for a plus one, so I couldn't take my partners with me on recent trips to Alaska, Cabo San Lucas, or Key West. I understand why press trips don't accommodate two others—it's just extra cash they're burning. And yes, it's incredible that I get the opportunity to have those experiences. But I will say, it would be even more incredible if I could do it with the two people I love.

Home sharing services beat hotels.

My partners and I always forgo traditional hotels for a home-sharing site like Airbnb. It allows us to avoid any confusion or judgment from hotel staff when you ask for one room with a king bed. I don’t want to get any side-eye from the front desk, and I don’t want to worry about potentially getting side-eye from the front desk. (In the United States, this is less of a concern, but when we start traveling outside the U.S., and they see we’re in a bisexual throuple, things can get dicey.) Besides, we are on vacation—the whole point of vacation is to relax and not worry.

You don’t have to see anyone at an Airbnb that might ask you some awkward questions. Just make sure when booking it’s one of those houses or apartments that give you a key code to get in. Some hosts like to meet and chat, and you’re trying to avoid all that. The best part? Being in a relationship comprised of three partners means we can usually afford a nicer Airbnb in a more convenient part of town since we’re splitting the cost three ways.

I don’t want to get any side-eye from the front desk, and I don’t want to worry about potentially getting side-eye from the front desk.

The great outdoors work best.

A second thing we’ve come to realize: outdoorsy vacations work best. We recently drove from New York City through New Hampshire and hiked various trails on the White Mountains. Having three people is fantastic for that. There’s no limit to the number of people who can hike, and when it comes to a road trip, it’s nice having a third person in the car to split up driving time. We typically have one person driving, the person riding shotgun helping with navigation, and the person in the back controlling the music. Then we rotate!

As we’re planning our next outdoorsy vacation, we’re thinking of somewhere we can learn and then go scuba diving. That’s another activity done as a group, where no one feels left out.

Big cities feel comfortable.

We've also kicked around ideas of traveling to more party cities, like Miami or Las Vegas, for our next trip. It never feels like anyone cares that there are three of us in those cities: big cities simply want to get us drunk and drain our wallets. Getting obliterated on the strip where we can openly make out and grope one another without judgment sounds very appealing. And after a night of partying, we know we'll feel safe while stumbling home to have sex in the privacy of our own Airbnb.