About 1/3 of travelers I’v met throughout the world are traveling solo or with a partner. During my backpacking trip through Central America, I traveled with my friend and met an array of people with different marital statuses; single, with their boyfriend/girlfriend, newlyweds or those who’ve been married for 10 years! I love hearing stories of couples who travel together and also tales of the solo female traveler. Both sets bring on different opportunities and obstacles and each have different stories to share.
In a recent blog post of mine, I shared “How to Survive a Long Distance Relationship.” In this article I shared the story of how my boyfriend and I met (a fascinating one!) and my advice for couples doing long distance. Although traveling while in a long distance relationship can be tough, so can couples travel.
Today I’d like to present Jeanette with FitGirlTravels, a wellness travel blogger and future nutrition coach who loves active living, beaches and people. Jeanette works and travels with her husband and is an amazing writer and wife. I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeanette on her life and love of travel with her husband, the challenges, luxuries and advice they have for couples who plan to travel together. Check it out!
- How did you and your husband meet?
Our “how me met” story is kind of amazing! I first met Todd (my now husband) when his best friend moved into the apartment next door to me. I thought Todd was cute from the moment I saw him. I didn’t know it at the time, but he had a crush on me too. We were both pretty shy, so neither of us said anything about it. My neighbor eventually moved out and I lost touch with Todd. Fast forward to a few years later, I received a message from Todd on Match.com – just a few days before my membership was set to cancel – asking me if I remembered him. Of course, I did! We went on our first date a few days later, and the rest is history!
- Where did you have your wedding and how long have you been married?
We were married in Laguna Beach, California in June 2013 – it was a very small ceremony with just the two of us, our Chihuahua (Mishka – named after the Hawaiian reggae singer of the same name), the officiant and a photographer. Our first year of marriage has been incredible and we’re looking forward to many more adventures together.
- What are the biggest challenges traveling together and how do you overcome them?
The stresses of traveling – waiting in airports, arranging transportation, being in unknown places -can sometimes be challenging. If you’re under a lot of stress, it’s easy to get frustrated with the people around you (even if you don’t mean to), so remember to relax, go with the flow and have FUN. Enjoy each other’s company (even if it is waiting in a long security line or running to catch a flight) and don’t forget to laugh at the little things!
- Where is the most memorable place you and your husband traveled to and why?
The most memorable trip we’ve taken so far was our honeymoon to Mexico – we got to visit Puerto Aventuras, Cozumel and Cancun. It was especially fun for me because I’d never been to Mexico and Todd had been several times, so he was able to show me all the best places and share stories about his previous adventures there. And, since it was our honeymoon, we went all out and stayed at some of the nicest resorts. Several of the rooms we booked were giant suites with beautiful beach views (one of them even had a Jacuzzi on the balcony!) and 24-hour room service. The customer service was so top notch, we felt like royalty. We also got to try some amazing activities together – like zip lining and swimming with whale sharks – that we’ll look back on and remember for the rest of our lives. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip!
- What are the easiest things about traveling with your husband?
My husband loves to travel and he loves to research in advance. He does a lot of work before booking a hotel so he can make sure we get the best possible location – and for that, I am very grateful because location can make or break your trip. The must-haves he usually looks for are – nice hotel with an ocean view, easy access to amenities and activities (scuba diving is a must for him), culture (so we can get a real feel for the local area), and a good coffee shop nearby for me. He always seems to book the best rooms – he could have a very successful career as a travel agent!
6. Have you ever had to do long distance and if so, how was that?
Thankfully, no. In college, I dated someone who was in the Army and stationed in Iraq for a long period of time. It was so challenging and scary to wonder when I would get to see that person again – if I would get to see them again. I have the greatest respect for people who are able to make sacrifices like that and go without seeing their significant other for long periods of time.
- What’s one thing you and your husband always do on your travels? (This can be serious or silly)
We always go out for at least one really nice dinner at a local restaurant to celebrate. My husband also collects shells for me from each of the destinations we visit – so I have a unique collection of shells from Mexico, Hawaii, and other places around the globe. I’d love to make them into jewelry someday!
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Oh, we have so many places we’d like to go! We love tropical destinations, so anywhere with beautiful beaches and a relaxing atmosphere – Turks & Caicos, Maldives, Tahiti, Fiji – you name it, we’ll go there!
- What advice do you have for couples traveling together?
My biggest advice is to set clear expectations for the trip in advance so you can plan accordingly. Is it a work trip? A celebration? Family vacation? Will you have lots of obligations or is your calendar completely free? Identifying that in advance will help set the tone for the trip so each of you knows what to expect. I’d also recommend each having your own ideas for activities that you want to do for YOU – and ideas for activities that you want to do together. My husband likes to spend several days scuba diving on his trips, and I like to go running on the beach, do yoga, or go get a massage. It’s great to be able to do things that make you feel fulfilled and happy as an individual, and still have time to enjoy adventures together. To make time together a priority, one idea is to take turns planning surprise dates for each other – book a table at a nice restaurant for an evening out, or plan a unique adventure that your significant other will never forget! And, most importantly, don’t forget to laugh and have a good time!
- Where do you plan on traveling next?
We’re headed to Bali in November to celebrate Todd’s 30th birthday – can’t wait to share our adventures there!
[icon icon=icon-heart size=7px color=#000 ] Thanks Jeanette for your time and for sharing your advice on couples travel! You can leave her a comment or follow her social media below!
Follow Jeanette on her travels throughout the world!
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