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Planning a Romantic Getaway? Learn From My Epic Mistakes

Avoid the baggage when traveling with your Bae.

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Trust me, it’s not always easy traveling with your partner. My husband and I have experienced it all: a major meltdown on an anniversary trip to Buenos Aires, a quarrel on New Year’s Eve on a Caribbean cruise, and a road trip when I demanded he drop me off at the airport. Our excursions give new meaning to the phrase “fight or flight.”

Fortunately, after a dozen years of matrimony, we’ve finally learned how to travel together and still be together at the end of the trip! So as you plan your long weekend, borrow our hard-won strategies and keep the “bae” in your next baecation

  1. FLY RIGHT. When we were first dating, I surprised Harrison with a weekend trip to my hometown in Jamaica, booking a 7 a.m. flight so we could get to the beach in time for a fish-and-festival breakfast. But what I didn’t know then was that my beloved is most definitely not a morning person, and we fought before we’d even boarded the plane! So be sure to plan around your partner’s preferences when you book — particularly if the trip is a surprise. Sure, people advise you to book the first flight of the day to minimize the chance of delays, but those people aren’t traveling with your don’t-wake-me-before-daylight significant other.
  2. LAUGH. A LOT. Hubby and I had saved for our Argentina anniversary trip for months, plotting the romantic getaway to beat them all. And it was. Until it wasn’t. Somehow a dinner reservation mix-up, frayed nerves and hunger led to a sidewalk flare-up that was definitely not on our itinerary. Since then, we’ve had fights (both large and small) on almost every trip we’ve taken. But now we make light of them. We call them our “travel tiffs” and make a game of predicting on which day of the vacay they’ll occur.
  3. MAKE ROOM. After countless trips I know Harrison won’t get up before dawn to run with me. And I have zero interest in accompanying him on brewery tours. And that’s OK. Give your partner some breathing room and incorporate a few solo activities into your plans.
  4. START SMALL. Remember my bright idea of a surprise Jamaica trip and learn from my rookie mistake. Start small with a staycation or, say, a three-night cruise from a port you can drive to instead of a pricey two-week voyage that starts in Europe. Save the bucket list trip for when you’re seasoned dual travelers. The emotional stakes are so much higher when you’re paying a lot of money or traveling long haul.
  5. GET COMFORTABLE. If I had a dollar for every spat that started when I was hungry, tired or stressed, I’d finally take that trip to Zanzibar I’ve been fantasizing about ever since its cameo on Scandal. The importance of being hydrated, refreshed and relaxed can’t be overstated. I’m certain that if I’d been able to recline my seat, if the AC worked and if I wasn’t hungry and just sliiiightly hungover from the night before, the argument that led to me demanding that Harrison pull over so I could Uber to the Charleston airport would never have happened. So, if you’re road trippin’ this weekend, upgrade to the premium car and bring snacks. If you’re flying, book the aisle and window seat.


Happy travels!



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