5 Vacation Rules for Couples – Use Them If You Want to Have Fun Together

BY: - 10 Apr '17 | Marriage

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I have traveled alone for years…which I highly recommend you try to do at least once in life.) I’ve also traveled with friends, in groups, with family, and with my boyfriend (now husband) and each type of travel experience has its challenges and benefits.  However, the one that is often the most delicate is traveling with your spouse or significant other.

Many couples go into their travel plans with the best of intentions…but they find themselves in arguments, feeling tense and frustrated.  And they don’t end up enjoying themselves as much as they could; which of course nearly defeats the purpose of taking the trip in the first place.

Here are some tips based on my own travel experiences and those of my well-traveled and married (or in a serious committed relationship) friends that can help you put your “issues” aside and simply enjoy each other and the experience.

5 Vacation Rules for Couples


Rule #1: Plan the Trip Together

Rule number one, never go on a trip that you both don’t cosign.  Right from the gate, you will be dealing with direct resentment or passive-aggressive resentment (albeit in some cases sub-consciously) from the person whose trip idea wasn’t chosen.

A suggestion I have in terms of picking a trip you both want to take is that you each write down a list of 10 destinations you are interested in, then see if you have any destinations in common.  If you do jackpot! If you don’t, find a place that has the greatest number of options available that will keep you both happy and fulfilled.

Or, one of my favorite thing to do is to pick a destination at random, throw a dart at a map, or close your eyes and spin a globe and see where your finger lands.  The bottom line is you need to go somewhere that you both want to go to.

Rule #2: Vow Not to Bring “Baggage” With You

I don’t mean this in the literal sense. Of course you need to bring luggage.  What I mean is don’t bring “baggage”.  Don’t bring work, stress, worries about the kids, bills, or anything else with you.

Come with the intention of focusing on and spending time with each other.  Make a pact to keep your cell phones off and only turn them on when you want to check in on the kids or some other equally important reason.  But other than that, turn em off.

Leave your problems on the shelf and use this time to release, relax, recharge, and reconnect, so that you when you return to “reality” you are stronger team and can tackle whatever issues you may have together.

Rule #3: Take Time for Yourself

As counterintuitive as it sounds, making time for yourself while you’re on vacation with your spouse can actually make the time spent together much sweeter.  For example, on one trip I took with the hubby to Jamaica, I went to the spa and got the full treatment while he went charter fishing.

That night was especially fun because we both got to do what we wanted to do during the day and felt satisfied and in a place where we could just focus on one another.  I felt like a million bucks and he was happy he got to do what he loved on his terms, which meant we were able to concentrate only on each over dinner and into the evening.


Rule #4: Do Things Together

In contrast to my last point, do things together.  On a trip we took to Thailand, we got a couples massage and spa treatment, went river fishing (clearly you can see a trend to our travels — going to the spa and fishing are two of our favorite things. We rode an elephant together, went to a snake farm and had a boa constrictor wrap itself around our legs to see how tight it could squeeze.  We ate out every night, went parasailing, did sightseeing,  and chilled on the beach, among other activities.  The idea is when you are traveling together do things together and engage actively with one another.

Rule #5: Be Flexible

One of the biggest argument starters in any relationship, whether you’re on vacation or at home, is inflexibility.  One person wants to have things their way, or is only willing to do things they want to do, as opposed to compromising and giving a little to get a little.

In a vacation situation where much is left to chance and outside of your control (or even on cruises where literally everything is planned down to the minute), flexibility is key.  Be willing to do what your partner wants to do and expect that they are willing to do the same for you.

The key to it all is to be flexible and have fun!

When we took a trip to Egypt, we decided that we would take turns planning our daily activities. I would take Monday, he took Tuesday, and on and on throughout the week.  It made for an interesting and fun trip because we ended up doing things that we otherwise wouldn’t have if only one of us had taken the lead on trip planning or one of us had been inflexible and unwilling to go along with the plan.  The key to it all is to be flexible and have fun!

Travel in any form can be a challenge without preparation and flexibility, but when you travel as a couple these tips can truly help make your trip the most enjoyable it can keep.  Happy Travels!

About the author

Lia Miller wrote 23 articles on this blog.

Lia Miller is an every woman, in that she does and is interested in a lot of things. Lia is a wife and mother, ambitious/career focused individual, writer and award winning blogger, do-it-yourself loc’d naturalista, foodie, avid reader, movie buff, sports enthusiast, passionate about music, dance, and the arts, news junkie, advocate for the underdog/under-represented, with an incurable bug for traveling and exploring the world. Lia is also a clinical social worker with a concentration in children, relationships, and family dynamics. Lia’s focus is to find and share how to get the best out of life by living fully, loving hard, and always learning.


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I Love My Fiancé, But I Feel Trapped: What Should I Do?

BY: - 11 Apr '17 | Marriage

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Dr. Buckingham,

I am a 21-year-old single female and I recently got engaged to my high school sweet heart. We are fairly young, but believe that we where meant to be together forever. Our relationship has been rocky for years, mainly because we where trying to find ourselves while also trying to maintain a relationship. My fiancé has a temper and does not express himself very well. As a matter of fact, he is verbally abusive at times. His abuse bothers me, but I give him a pass because I know that he has unresolved childhood issues. His father abandoned him and his mother when you was five years old. At times I think about leaving him, but I know that would destroy him. I love him, but I feel trapped. I feel responsible for him. I love my fiancé, but feel trapped: what should I do? Please help.


Trapped in Love


Dear Trapped in Love,

I highly recommend that you seek professional help. I start with this recommendation because you are in an abusive relationship and have become an enabler. Also, you have become a victim yourself. Whenever I speak with women who are in similar situations, I tell them to never become a victim of someone else’s unresolved pain. Addressing your fiancé’s pain should not be your primary objective in the relationship.

Sometimes you have to step back so others can step up. You cannot want something for someone more than they want it for themselves. If you continue on this path of enabling your fiancé to play the victim role you will live a life trying to carry a load that is not yours to carry.

Sometimes you have to step back so others can step up.

Tell him that you want to be present in his life, but not responsible for it. Let him know that your love in unwavering, but your peace of mind is not. This means that sometimes loving others from afar is the best kind of love. He might not understand this, but he has to learn how not to push people away because his father ran away. I admire you for sticking with him and not kicking him when he is down, but I do not want you to get kicked either.

Let him know that your love in unwavering, but your peace of mind is not.

Once again, I remind you that you should never become a victim of someone else’s unresolved pain. With this in mind, seek premarital counseling and let your counselor know how you feel. Feeling trapped is not a healthy emotion. Whatever you do please do not make excuses for abusive behavior. If you make excuses while it is verbal, you will also make excuses when it becomes physical. Get the help that you need and hopefully your fiancé might be willing to get help as well.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 216 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.


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