10 Red Flags To Look Out For When Traveling As A Couple

Don't let these common couples differences derail your next vacation.

Couple arguing on the beach

Travel with a sweetheart always sounds rosy and romantic but the truth is, trading in your king bed at home for a hotel queen, picking where to dine and deciding who is getting up with a morning hangover to help the kids, can all wreak havoc on your idyllic getaway. What to Know Before Traveling with a New Beau

Below are the most common red flags to watch out for when traveling together:

1. Operating on different time zones. Everyone has a different internal clock. On vacation, it's important to match up activities with times when you have the stamina to do them. Ask yourself: Which time of day is each of your high focus times? Do you thrive before noon? Does he need an afternoon nap? Do you like to sleep late and party till dawn? Does he turn into a pumpkin at midnight? Talk about what will be the most refreshing for you both and plan ahead so you both get what you need.


2. Disagreeing on what to eat. How many times will you have fine dining? Will you picnic? What is your ideal? His? Plan for specific things and leave the rest to the natural unfolding of the vacation. Sharing your expectations will make adjusting easier on the trip.

3. Shopping. Opposite shopping styles can be frustrating to all. If you are a browser and he is a buyer, it is definitely a problem. Minimize the amount of time that you spend doing incongruous activities; while it's good to be together, if your browsing makes him grumpy, perhaps you can speed things up and take an afternoon alone to really "get your browse on" while he does something more to his liking.


4. You want wine; he wants coffee. What do you expect in terms of drinking and other indulgent behaviors? If your idea of a trip is wine with dinner and his is a cocktail poolside at noon, you could have a problem. When it comes to a vacation, you want to try and be on the same page related to indulgences and knowing ahead of time what his expectations are will help you to manage yours.

5. Mood swings. Irritability in even the most loving couples can run high when traveling, due to extra stress and confined areas—car, train, stateroom or plane. Arrange for some alone time every day so you can, literally, get some space. 

6. Disrupted sleep. If one of you is a snorer or you are used to sleeping separately, sleep arrangements should be thought out in advance, especially if your trip spans more than two nights. Arguments over the expense of hotel rooms are common, but remember that sleep deprivation can breed nastiness. Make sure you don't sacrifice too much nighttime comfort to save a few bucks—it will backfire ten-fold and won't be worth it. If your honey starts snapping at you due to sleep issues, be compassionate. If two separate beds and earplugs or a white noise machine won't handle the issue, book a suite if you can manage it. If children waking at night is the issue, take turns getting up with them. 5 Tips For Better Sleep and Sex

7. Traveling with family. Traveling with extended family has its pluses, but can ruin a vacation if you're not careful. Cross words often fly when one partner feels obligated to please a relative and the other partner disagrees with the plan. If that happens, let your partner know you understand their feelings and try not to judge them. Keep breathing, discuss the topic rationally and be willing to compromise in a big way. When a person feels heard and understood, he or she is much more likely to hear you, too.


8. Misaligned expectations. Everyone enters a vacation with grand thoughts of how they're going to "feel" both on the trip and when it ends. Talk about those expectations before you step on the plane so you can figure out where your thinking meets up and what adjustments need to be made so you both get the vacation you want. How To Choose The Best Trip For Your Relationship

9. Money. The root of so many problems doesn't cease to be an issue when you're traveling, in fact it can get worse. Before you book a flight or rent a car, sit down with your sweetie and have a talk about your vacation budget. Do you have the funds outright to take the trip? Are you OK incurring a little debt so you have a great time? Can you agree on what you want to spend, who is paying and what kind of "mad money" you'll have on the road? Talking this through before you go will save hours of headaches when you return and your next credit card bill comes in!

10. Vacation let-down. The sad fact is that all good things come to an end and your vacation will too. Be prepared for the feelings that come up on the trip as you anticipate returning to work, responsibilities, schedules and other people. If you sense your disappointment rising or notice it happening to your partner, take a few minutes to meditate on your surroundings. Yes, you do have to go home. But for this moment, you're still in paradise. 8 Best Travel Destinations For Couples Who Can't Agree Where To Go


While every vacation has its ups and downs, most of the downs are avoidable. Keep a sense of humor and lots of hugs handy for your trip. These two ingredients will help you avoid (or at least cut short!) any issues that may arise. And remember, you're on vacation; have FUN!