Backpacking as a Couple: Making the Most of it without Losing Your Mind
Why is backpacking supposed to be a fun way to travel? Because it is packed with adventure and you get to see and experience much more for a lot less as compared to going on a run of the mill vacation.
If you and your partner love the outdoors, and look forward to mingling with other people and knowing about different cultures, backpacking could be just the right thing for you. Wouldn't it be simply great to be with your partner 24/7, see the world on a budget, enjoy local food and drinks, and do just about anything you want to?
Sounds good but it can all blow up in your face and have you wondering why you thought of going backpacking at all. Long hours of traveling and waiting, hunger, exhaustion, and what not can easily take their toll on your relationship.
Don't let this scare you though. With a little patience and planning, you can learn to love backpacking with your partner and also remain in love with him/her once you're back home.
Plan the Trip Well
If you aren’t the types to take on a journey just as it comes, be sure to plan the trip well. Perhaps you would like to see something or do something at a particular place. Note down the things that interest you and let your partner know of them. Don’t forget to ask your partner what he/she would like to do.
Be sure to include all the essentials in your budget- meals, transportation, hotel/hostel bills, shopping, and activities. Round up the numbers and ensure that you have extra funds just in case you need them.
Compromise without Sulking
It may be easy to compromise on some things when you’re spending just a week together. When it comes to backpacking, know what your comfort zone is and keep in mind the comforts of your partner too. Realize that both of you will have to compromise on something or the other to make the trip a success.
If your partner has to have the comfort of a plush room and a soft bed, there isn’t much you can do. If your partner doesn’t adore pets but you can’t stay a day without snuggling up to your pooch, take it along. Be sure to give your partner the attention they deserve!
Carry Your Own Burden
Especially for the girls: pack light so you can carry your own backpack and not bother your partner with it.
Apart from the backpack, decide beforehand who will be leading the trip, who will be navigating, and everything that is important to you, to your partner, and for the success of the trip. Don’t pass on tasks to your partner that you had promised you would undertake.
For example, if you take along your pooch saying that you’ll take care of it, don’t expect your partner to groom it or take it out for a dump. You can have your partner carry some lightweight dog toys or accessories, but don’t expect him/her to do anything more than that.
Separate Ways Once in a While
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. If staying together for days on end gets too overwhelming for both of you, split ways to do different things and get back together later. This will be your ‘me time’ and will be a welcome and refreshing change.
Going separate ways allows you both to do things you want to that the other person doesn’t fancy. You’ll always have stories to tell and snaps to show each other at the end of the day. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself missing your partner’s company soon after you part ways.
Befriend Fellow Travelers
There’ll be plenty of other backpackers around you; be friendly with them and willing to strike up a conversation. They may be from different countries and you might get a chance to learn more about them and their way of living. Avoid excess PDA so you come across as approachable to other tourists.
Know That It’s Going to Be a Long Trip
Backpacking is a lot different than a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation. You are probably going to be away for weeks or months. There will be times when you’ll feel crappy and vent out your anger on your partner. You may be at the receiving end on other days!
You might also come face to face with your partner’s weird or annoying habits that you never knew existed. Know that you have flaws too and your partner is putting up with them. If you do mention your partner’s flaws to him/her make sure you’re putting the point across mildly.
Remember that you’re in this together and have to take both the good and the bad. Avoid arguments, discuss things without shouting at each other, and sort out problems and work as a team instead of competing with each other.
Try listening to your favorite music to help get you back in a good mood.
Backpacking can be a fun ride whether done alone, with a partner or with friends and loved ones. Backpacking is often seen as a rite of passage for youngsters from Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and Europe. But those from other countries are taking an interest in backpacking too.
If you are planning to go backpacking with your partner, do keep the above points in mind. If you’re unsure about whether you’d be able to pull it off, you may want to go on small trips first before you go backpacking.
Couples who emerge winners after a rough and draining backpacking trip are often able to face a lot tougher things down the road in their relationships!