Let’s face it, we obviously love our spouse/significant other, but sometimes we can have too much of a good thing. After years of traveling with Jason, I have learned a few tricks of the trade to keep my sanity and avoid upsets while we travel. Considering I’m the one who normally needs a bit more space and personal time, these tips have helped me significantly.
No matter the dynamics of your relationship, these tips should help you realize what you can do to diffuse a situation when you’ve might have had just a bit too much of each other.
1. BE FLEXIBLE
Wherever we go, we normally like to plan one day without any activities to either recover from jet lag or just relax from sightseeing. Occasionally this backfires and we have more energy than we thought and feel stuck in a hotel room; this complacency can lead to meaningless arguments or frustrations.
Occasionally this backfires and we have more energy than we thought and feel stuck in a hotel room; this complacency can lead to meaningless arguments or frustrations.
When you’re bouncing off the walls, I highly recommend to take a walk and be open for anything that comes your way. Agree to walk into the first local bar you see and have a drink, have lunch/dinner somewhere you never would have tried, sit in a local park and people watch, jump in on a tour… basically, get out and do something!
2. PLAN PERSONAL TIME
If you’re in a situation where you can’t immerse yourself in local activities (like a full sea day on a cruise) then it’s time to grab a book, music, or movie and park yourself at the pool/beach/garden.
Jason and I have gone hours sitting by the pool not saying one word to each other; it’s personal time but with your S/O right there (to take turns grabbing drinks). During our first cruise, I was completely stir crazy by the second full sea day and couldn’t spend one more hour in our cabin watching movies; and thus I discovered the miracle of lounge chairs and thriller novels.
Obviously, cruise ships offer a variety of activities as well, so take advantage of those when you’re feeling cooped up.
3. SPEAK UP
This is for all you silent brooders out there who expect your partner to read your mind. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your partner, the best thing you can do is express you need some time and/or space.
There have been some instances where I’m stressed out with our vacation not going as planned (missing a tour, running late, going on our millionth hour together) but I make sure to tell Jason what I need at that moment.
Jason is the laid back one in this marriage, but even on occasion, he will tell me he needs some space.
4. RESPECT EACH OTHER
Since tip three is all about speaking up when you need space, it’s also the opposite partner’s responsibility to respect that request.
The main thing is to realize that every person has different levels of personal space. Don’t get your feelings hurt if you are the type of person who wants to spend every waking minute with your partner, but they don’t reciprocate.
5. MAKE FRIENDS.
Always be open to striking up a conversation with some of the locals and other travelers.
On one of our cruises, we were seated with another couple at a comedy show. It turns out that they got engaged on the same day as us (two days prior), had a similar engagement story, and we’re also on the cruise to celebrate their dating anniversary.
We ran into this couple throughout our cruise and it was nice to have others to have a drink or a swim with. Most people traveling are in a great mood (how could you not be, you’re on vacation!) so it’s easy to make new friends.
Hopefully, these tips help you and your partner on your next adventure! Let me know if you have any advice that has worked for you and your honey; I’d love to hear it!