Has traveling together ever ruined your relationship?

By Keith Still

Last week, we looked into great places around the southeast to spend Valentine’s Day with your special someone. Traveling together can really help couples re-connect and fall in love all over again. OR, it can tear some couples apart.

As I was scanning the news yesterday, this article, entitled “5 travel relationship killers: have any ruined your vacation?” flashed up. I have had vacations ruined by various factors over the years, but my relationship with my travel companion was never one of them. It helps, I’m sure, that my travel companion has been the same person for the past 16 years. If you can live with someone for that long, surely you can survive any kind of situation a vacation throws at you.

If I reach back into fog that is my distant memory – the one before my husband came into the picture – however, I can see how traveling with the wrong person could make a dream vacation a nightmare.

The article lists five major problems couples can face while traveling. The first is that they end up spending too much time together – with nowhere to go when the flight starts feeling a little too long, the conversation has stalled or the hotel room doesn’t exactly live up to the website’s photo or description.

The second is that two different people often have two different sets of expectations for the same trip. One may see the trip as an opportunity for adventure — to see, breathe, eat and experience everything the way the locals do. The other may simply want to see the sights in a manner that is most comfortable – without worrying about eating something foreign or taking part in the customs and habits of the people who live there.

The article also suggests that a traveler’s interaction with others and their personal comfort in a new situation can result in upsetting behavior or an unwelcome “neediness” that can be off-putting for their travel companion.

Finally, the little pressures and problems that can occur when people travel can build up and turn the excitement over their travel partner and their vacation sour. A connecting flight might be delayed. The tour may be overbooked. The hotel room might not be ready. Those can be annoying in and of themselves, but when one or both in the couple are tired, cranky or just want to do different things to while away the wait for the plane/tour/room, those little annoyances can lead to big arguments – and potentially ruined vacations.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, many couples may be looking to take that first vacation together. Gadling.com offers these tips to make sure the trip itself isn’t the reason it becomes the last vacation they take together.

Those who want to use their next getaway as a chance to strengthen or heal their relationship with their partner can also check out couples therapy destinations – aka “couples retreats” – that provide couples therapy in beautiful vacation spots.

Has a dream vacation ever turned into a break-up nightmare for you? What are your best tips for traveling with others?

Where’s the best “couples destination” in the South?

Would you consider taking a trip specifically designed to repair your relationship – i.e. a real-life “couples retreat”? If you have taken a couples retreat, did the location of the retreat play any role in your decision to attend?

3 comments Add your comment


January 26th, 2011
2:12 pm

surprised no one else has commented. yes, if you truly want to know if you are compatible with someone then take an extended trip with them.
i spent a week in maine with someone i was involved in a long distance relationship with, and that was enough time for us to realize that a full time, same place relationship would not work.
also spent a week traveling in the U.K. with (at the time) a couple of good friends. i now spend much more time with one than the other.
neediness, unflexibility, and a lack of an open mind while traveling seems to be a sign that i am not going to enjoy being around that person when not traveling.


January 27th, 2011
4:42 pm

John Rocker(former Braves pitcher)

January 29th, 2011
3:20 pm