Lately I’ve come across numerous posts about why travelling solo is the best way to do it. Whilst I accept that everyone works differently, I can’t personally imagine travelling without my boyfriend, Nathan, and I couldn’t think of a better time (having just celebrated Valentine’s Day) to vouch for the concept of travelling with your partner.
I have noticed that certain backpackers do sometimes project a negative stereotype onto ‘couples’, for example, I have seen house adverts that specify ‘no couples’ for no apparent reason. Maybe they think a couple might be boring, only involved in each other, or not interested in making other friends- but in my experience this stereotype is far from the truth.
Positives I have read for travelling alone include finding freedom, trusting your intuition and realising that home can be anywhere. I appreciate that these are all definitely things that you can gain from travelling- however, I feel that I’ve gained them just as well whilst being in the comforting and loving presence of my partner.
Of course I’m not saying that these points would all apply to any relationship as if your boyfriend isn’t too great at home, he’s certainly not going to be any nicer at the other side of the world. But if, like me, you have a good egg- then travelling together can solidify and strengthen your relationship more than ever.
1. You’ll have memories to share forever
Sharing once in a lifetime experiences with someone who you can turn to in ten years time and reminisce on how disgusting the toilets in Bali were, or the time you thought your boat was going to capsize is priceless. Yes, you can meet lots of new people to live the experiences with in the moment but a lot of those people won’t still be in your life in a few years time to keep the memories alive forever, the way that the right partner can.
2. You can share the boring jobs
Does anyone really enjoy booking flights, pricing up hotel rooms, or finding out how the local bus system works? A huge logical advantage of travelling in a pair is that you can split the boring jobs between the two of you equalling half the stress.
3. It’s more economical
A double room split between two is often considerably cheaper than getting a private single room to yourself (if you’re not about that hostel life). Sharing the food bill, hiring a car, renting a flat, paying bills- all will save you money if you can split the cost.
4. You’ll have stronger financial security
Although it’s more economical to split the cost of everything- life isn’t always so straightforward. If you’re alone and you struggle to find a job for a while, this could seriously jeopardise your whole plan. Being part of a couple means that you can rely on each other financially if the situation arises.
5. You can’t be lonely
Personally I need to feel like I have a support network and although you meet a lot of people when you’re travelling- it can still sometimes feel lonely when these people don’t really know who you are. The benefit of having your partner means that you can never truly feel alone, even if all you can afford to do is walk around the city- it’s more fun to do it together.
6. You will feel more physically secure
When you’re walking around an Australian beach on a lovely summers day, you probably wouldn’t feel any more or less safe if you were by yourself. However, if you’re walking home in the dark after a few drinks in Bali, then your security can really come into question. There’s always safety in numbers and having a partner means there’s always someone to walk with you and just make you feel that little bit safer (something that my mum is so grateful for).
7. You will always have someone to lean on
I actually mean this one in more than one way. Physically, there’s no better pillow on a long-haul flight than a boyfriend. Emotionally, travelling can be very mentally exhausting at times and it feels so lovely to know that if you are having a difficult day, there’s someone there who knows exactly how to handle you and will always have your best interests at heart. Never underestimate the power of that.
8. They make you realise that home is where the heart is
‘Home is where the heart is’ is something I try remind myself a lot, especially on tougher days, and having your partner with you proves this all the time. Special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas can be particularly difficult to face without your usual family traditions. Having a partner who you truly love and care for makes the time so much happier and more special.
If I think about it too much, I’ll literally be here all day as I can think of hundreds of reasons why travelling with my boyfriend is the best decision for me- logically, physically and emotionally. Admittedly, travelling together is a huge test and there is always going to be minor arguments along the way but the benefits of having someone who genuinely loves and cares for you are countless and I would recommend travelling as a couple to anyone (anyone whose partner is nice, anyway).
Also, I can’t physically lift my suitcase so I really do need him.