You all know by now that I’m a big proponent of travel. You probably also know that my husband feels the same. Even now, as parents, we make it a priority to get out and about with our little girl at least once or twice a year.
Seeing the world, traveling to new places, and introducing all of us to experiences we could never get at home are things that are incredibly important to us.
So it should surprise no one that our passion for travel was something my husband and I bonded over early in our relationship, long before we were married with a baby. And travel we did—exploring new destinations as a couple before we had a little one to drag along with us.
Having been there, done that, I have to say: Traveling together before you have children is something I cannot possibly recommend enough.
There is No Better Way to Get to Know Each Other
Want to know how someone reacts under pressure, or when there is a change of plans, or when a hotel has lost your reservation and it’s raining outside and all your luggage has been failed to make it to your destination? Plan a trip with them: That will tell you everything you need to know.
Really, though, even if a trip goes perfectly according to plan (which… where’s the fun in that?), traveling together will tell you a lot about who your partner is. You’ll get to see how they interact in new and foreign places, you’ll get a feel for what they really enjoy doing in their downtime, and you’ll get a totally new perspective on what matters to them.
Taking someone out of their routine and comfort zone and dropping them somewhere completely new is a truly great window into who they are and what they’re made of.
It’s a Chance to Really Connect
Even in the earlier dating stages, before marriage and kids, it’s easy enough to get lulled into the routine of a relationship. You get comfortable, and with that comfort you sometimes stop connecting. You’re both used to your routine, and you spend plenty of time together, but it’s often spent doing and saying the same things you do and say every day.
Traveling together changes that. It shakes up your routine and forces both your eyes wide open.
Plus, there is absolutely something to be said for how sharing new experiences can help to solidify your bond.
Traveling as a couple is one of the most romantic things you can do together. You’re literally transporting yourselves away from all the standard distractions of your real life (the friends, co-workers, and responsibilities that tend to take up a big part of your days) and you’re entering a situation where your focus is mainly on that other person and sharing this experience together.
Traveling as a couple frees you up to have romantic dinner conversations, to hold hands at historic landmarks, break into hot tubs, and to make out wherever you damn well please.
After Kids, Everything Changes
If you’re passionate about travel, you’ll still totally do it after you have kids. But you’ll quickly discover that doing so is way more work, and a lot different from how traveling before kids used to go.
Before kids, you can go on adrenaline seeking adventures, you can meet new friends and stay out drinking all night, and you can waste entire days in bed with your partner.
After kids? Your adventures are likely to be far more low-key, and much more plan-oriented.
And that’s okay! It can absolutely still be amazing. But it won’t be the same.
So you should probably go ahead and soak up what it means to travel as a couple without kids now… while you still can!