Those early stages of a relationship are filled with new experiences. From learning about one another’s childhood to meeting your respective families, to sharing timid first kisses or exchanging passionate “I love you’s,” each milestone will send your hearts racing with excitement, passion, butterflies and romance. But one right-of-passage takes that feeling of togetherness to an entirely different level—your first getaway as a couple.
Traveling with your significant other has its challenges—especially when the romance is still budding—but it also creates memories, laughter, bonding and intimacy that can strengthen the relationship for years to come. So if you’re planning to vacation together for the first time, before choosing a destination, booking the flights or packing your luggage, consider these suggestions to make it an unforgettable trip with the person who might just become your adventure companion for life.
Keep the Time Frame Short and Sweet
In the eagerness of your first vacation together, it might sound romantic to escape for an entire week somewhere exotic and off-the-grid. But this often causes more stress than enjoyment, so keep this first getaway simple and manageable, so you can focus less on the logistics and more on learning each other’s rhythms and savoring one another’s company. Instead of an entire week, start with just a couple days to familiarize yourselves with traveling as a couple. Then gradually work toward an extended trip over time.
Agree on the Shared Budget in Advance
If you’re envisioning a plush Mediterranean cruise, but your wallet requires something more affordable, communicate with each other what kind of vacation is most realistic. Prioritize together which aspects of the trip are most important—lodging, food and drinks, activities or entertainment—then determine the amount of money each of you is able to contribute. Using this information, create a travel budget that you both agree upon and make a commitment to one another that you’ll adhere to it during the actual getaway.
Opt for a Relaxed and Flexible Itinerary
You probably want to fill every moment with a sightseeing excursion or thrill-seeking adventure to maximize your time, but a laidback agenda creates the much-needed space to breathe, unwind and just be together. When your schedule isn’t bursting with minute-by-minute action, you have the freedom to be spontaneous with each other—to order room service and cuddle or lounge at the pool and share cocktails without feeling the pressure of constant stimulation. Have an itinerary but allow for unplanned downtime too.
Give Each Other Alone Time if Needed
While there’s nothing more romantic than strolling the beach hand-in-hand for an entire afternoon, you can also benefit from occasional time apart. If the togetherness becomes too much for either of you, suggest taking a couple hours to decompress by yourselves, then rejoin each other once you’re feeling rejuvenated. Indulge in a massage, read a book or listen to music, organize a solo excursion the other person doesn’t have a desire in, or whatever helps you unwind. Alone time isn’t selfish—it’s vital to a healthy relationship.
Choose a Locale that Interests You Both
Depending on your schedule and budget, you can visit anywhere in the world, but make sure your first shared destination is a place that appeals to both of you. Choose a location with a wide range of amenities and entertainment options to suit your individual and joint interests alike. The most practical and economical way to achieve that is by going the route of an all-inclusive resort. These are popular in the Caribbean especially—whether you lovebirds prefer the Latin infused nightlife of Punta Cana, the lush rainforests and sugary beaches of San Juan, or the rich colonial history and premier golf courses of Montego Bay.
Vacationing with your significant other is supposed to feel romantic and thrilling. The experience should make your heart flutter and your pulse skip a beat. And when it’s your first getaway together, it should be even more exhilarating. So avoid all the tension of making it “perfect” and just focus on what truly matters—enjoying one another and creating new memories which you both just might cherish for a lifetime.