My husband and I are no strangers to road trips. Back when we were just dating, we took a three-week road trip across America together…immediately after completing a year and a half of long distance. Talk about going from zero to sixty in two seconds! Miraculously, we returned home without breaking up. We even scheduled another road trip a year later, this time across Southern Iceland for our honeymoon.
Don’t get me wrong, taking a road trip as a couple is a rewarding experience. You experience everything together and visit a bunch of must-see destinations in a short amount of time. Road trips can be taxing on a relationship, though. Here are a few tips on how to return home a stronger couple rather than a divided couple.
TAKE TIME APART
When you’re spending eight hours per day in the car together, visiting the same sights, and staying in the same hotel room…you might get a smidgen sick of each other. Don’t worry, that’s natural. I don’t think I could be around anyone that much without getting a little agitated. Give yourself permission to have some alone time. On our American road trip, we stopped at cafes every once in a while. We sat at separate tables and tended to our own tasks for a couple hours.
DON’T ARGUE WHILE SITTING IN TRAFFIC
Just make this a rule. Traffic jams (I’m looking at you, Los Angeles!) can bring out the worst in us, so don’t take it out on your significant other. The only time on the American road trip that we got close to breaking up was during a traffic jam. If you catch yourself getting snippy with each other, stop and turn on some music.
Related: Family Travel Ideas
Take turns driving, buying food, and pumping gas. By making a conscious effort to share responsibilities and costs, no one resents the other person. Both of you can feel that you truly have a partner you can lean on in this adventure.
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BE FINANCIALLY PREPARED
My husband and I meant to pack a ton of food and snacks so we wouldn’t have to eat out too much. But we didn’t. We meant to do more grocery shopping in Iceland, but we love trying local restaurants! We meant to pack enough winter clothing and gear, but it fell by the wayside. As a result, we spent more money than planned on both of our big road trips, which put stress on our relationship. Make a budget and a plan, then do your best to stick to them.