Luke Armstrong | Mar 1, 2022
On the road there are plenty of single twenty and thirty-somethings who view marriage as traveling's kiss of death. They have a point, especially when talking about long-term backpacking. After all, aren't married people supposed to know the answers to
the questions the rest of us are still trying to figure out on our coming-of-age trips? Won't my husband or wife cramp my free spirit’s style on the road? In spite of the bad PR some single travelers give it, relationships and the road can go
In this article I'll outline 3 advantages of traveling as a couple and share 2 anecdotes of inspiring and intrepid couples I´ve met on the road.
Avoid the Hangovers and See the Sunrise
In a relationship, bedtimes seem to come sooner and alarms sound earlier. When I was single, I always found myself out late in bars. Traveling with my significant other, I find that we are more often than not calling it an early night in order to embark on some early morning adventure. Even if it's merely a mission for some coffee, the mundane can become an exciting mission when it's with someone you love.
Many people go to the bar to find love, so when you already have it, you can get to bed early and share that sunrise and early morning hike with someone you love instead of sharing a rum with someone you just met.
Cut Vacation Costs in Half with the One You Love
When two incomes are paying for one trip you can either save or upgrade. Hotel suites are typically priced lower than two standard room costs, so you don't need to feel bad about splurging — especially when you have that special someone to enjoy it with.
When dining, you can share meals and try two things off the menu rather than being limited to one. Everything from rental cars, cabanas, boat rentals, etc., can be had at a 50% rate when you and your loved one go in on a trip together.
Traveling can Strengthen and Foster Relationship Growth
We travel to spice up our lives, and married people can travel to spice up their relationship. We learn about ourselves when we travel so when we travel with someone else, we learn about them in ways we wouldn't by staying at home.
Divorce rates would probably decrease if couples went on a honeymoon before they tied the knot. One road proverb goes, "If you can't travel with someone, don't marry them."
So if you haven't tied the knot yet, or haven't popped the question, and are looking for some discernment or a sign, I recommend booking a trip and really learn who’s listening at the other end of your "I love you."
Couple Travel Case Study 1: The Nutty Professors
I met Carl and Roberta in Cuba. They were a British couple in their 50’s who both taught at the same London University. Since they married in their late 20’s, they have made a point of traveling together for at least four weeks out of the year. Every year! The long school breaks involved in their academic careers certainly help make this possible. They even traveled with their two sons when they were growing up.
When Carl reflected on that experience he exclaimed, “Those buggers [remember he´s British] got the best bloody education out there on the road. I wish I had had me for a father!" Carl then took a sip of his Cuban Libre and made the light conversation a bit uncomfortable when he added, “But my father was an alcoholic, so the only thing I could count on him for was a good beating.” Awkward Carl . . . real awkward.
Couple Travel Case Study 2: Franz and Christine
Ask the 22-year-old me, and he would tell you that hitchhiking was wonderful and awesome! Except when it was not. In Costa Rica my hitchhiking took a turn to a dead end, but I was rescued by travel couple extraordinaire Franz and Christine.
I was hitchhiking through Costa Rica on a certain stretch of highway past the surf town Dominical where the hot highway did not hum. I was 15 kilometers from the nearest town, exhausted, out of water, and was being weighed down by 80 pounds of gear. It
seemed that no one wanted to pick up a sweaty gringo that day . . . until the coolest traveling couple ever came and picked me up!
To save me from my self-imposed misery, Christine and Franz came to my rescue. The middle-aged French/Spanish couple picked me up with their rental car, bought me a beer, shared their cookies with me, and even took me out to lunch before we parted ways. Neither spoke English, and we communicated via shaky Spanish.
This couple made it seem fun to be middle-aged and married. They had been cruising around the country in their Geo Tracker for a month and were youthfully enjoying every moment of it, adventurous enough to pick up a hitchhiker like me.
They left me with a full stomach and 132 km of distance traveled. But what they instilled in me was a small seed of hope that one day, wherever I ended up and whomever I ended up with, we would be a couple like this — in a rented Geo Tracker traveling across Central America, open and adventurous enough to pick up a hitchhiker and kind enough to make his day.
***It’s never too late to pack your bags, book a couple of plane tickets, and find your new adventure. But you don’t want to leave home without travel accident insurance. Many times your health insurance doesn’t cover you if the unforeseen happens overseas. It’s a good idea to cover yourself with travel insurance and have that extra security.