After you engage in a heated argument with your partner, you may decide to vent to your friends, or blow off steam at the bar. However, what would you do if you were on an international vacation with your partner, and confined to your hotel room? When traveling, the two of you need to put the issue to bed before you can sleep yourselves. This is the main reason why psychologists are convinced that trips together enhance relationships.
When you are on a trip, you are forced to view your relationship under a microscope. You see and feel your partner’s every little change of tone and annoyed look. You need to resolve matters so that you can have a good time on your trip like you were supposed to. If both partners can do this with empathy and efficiency, it can create a strong relationship.
Let us take a deeper dive to understand which aspects of your relationship can be enhanced by traveling, according to psychologists.
You Get a Much-Needed Break from Reality
Relationships can start to feel mundane and lifeless if both partners are stuck in a rut in their routine lives. There is more to a relationship than having dinner while completely exhausted at the end of the day, and saying goodbye before leaving for work the next morning. When compounded with the daily stresses of road traffic, an angry boss, and paying bills, this routine can put people in a bitter mood which harms their relationships even further.
Travel can serve as the perfect form of stress relief. Just planning a trip lifts your mood. Vacations are seen as the best idea for taking a break from the banal reality of everyday life and focusing on your relationship.
It Allows You to Work as a Team
Psychotherapist and counselor Amanda Clayman, who has counseled over 500 couples, says mismanagement of money is the primary mistake that ruins relationships. Since money is one of the key building blocks of our lives, financial disagreements and different money management styles are detrimental to people who are looking to make a life together. Planning a trip forces couples to set a budget and make a financial plan.
This is where financial compatibility comes in. If both partners take an equal part in this, they can develop financial compatibility as they learn how to reach a middle ground while respecting each other’s opinions. After all, that is how the finest teams are created.
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It Creates a Spark in the Relationship
Which would you find more fun – chopping vegetables as your partner starts cooking dinner, or paragliding for the first time together? You already know it’s the latter. The biggest reason you fall in love with someone is that they make you happy. Laughing together creates bonds like nothing else. But as time passes and you have been together long enough to know each other’s quirks, there remains less to laugh about in everyday life.
Traveling is your introduction to fresh adventures, from river rafting, to trying octopus for dinner for the first time. Small or big, adventures have a way of bringing people closer as they enjoy the ride and explore each other’s quirks all over again.
Creating Memories Together Strengthens Your Bond
You are going to remember that weekend in Bali when you witnessed a beautiful sunset on the beach together far more vividly than the months and years you have spent watching TV in your apartment. Time has a way of expanding and contracting itself in our minds. We remember almost every single detail of a wonderful memory, but the normal days just seem to form a blur in hindsight.
This is why it is important to experience unique and pleasant moments. They will be the memories you cherish when you are older. There is no better way to create these memories than by traveling; you can experience some of the best moments of your life with your favorite person.
Travel Teaches You to Handle Stress Together
A great many things can go wrong while traveling. You might miss your connecting flight, get food poisoning after eating something questionable on the street, or lose your wallet. Traveling can be stressful. What matters is how both of you handle this stress. Do you lose your mind and start lashing out at each other, or do you figure out a solution calmly?
Buying travel medical insurance or travel insurance can save you a lot of stress, especially when it comes to protecting your finances during unexpected situations. Besides, prolonged travel can teach couples how to regulate stress efficiently instead of turning on each other. This skill then translates to many other areas of life, and can be the difference between a couple succeeding or not.
You Get to Know Each Other Better
Whether you have been together for eight months or eight years, the prospect of learning something new about each other never gets old. It’s natural to lose the drive to learn new things about your partner as your relationship matures. You see the same side of them every day, and think you know all there is to know about them. Traveling forces you both out of your comfort zones, which allows you to see each other in a different light, under unique circumstances.
Who knows? Maybe the introverted person you thought you knew so well could turn out to be an excellent dancer. You never would have found out if you hadn’t visited that nightclub in Vegas. When you travel, the scope of exploration goes beyond just your surroundings. You can also explore the different sides of each other.
You Develop a Habit of Healthy Communication
Traveling is interspersed with multiple decisions. From crucial decisions like where to go and which hotel to book, to minor concerns like what to eat for lunch and when to use the restroom, you need to decide everything mutually. This is impossible to do if partners don’t communicate their feelings and basic needs with each other.
Healthy and transparent communication is at the heart of successful relationships. Research by two scholars from the University of Massachusetts Amherst shows that travel can be a means to improve communication within a relationship, thus reducing the possibility of divorce, and strengthening lifelong family bonds in individuals.
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Travel Builds Trust in Partners
No one can be expected to be good at everything. When it comes to traveling, you need to divide responsibilities based on what each person can be trusted with. One person packs the luggage while the other books the flight; one person manages the financial records while the other decides which route to take to the next destination.
The ability to let your partner handle an important aspect of your trip, given that they’ve proven they can do the job well, builds a deep level of trust that you can carry home. Life and relationships are easier when you know you can trust your partner to do their part.
Travel Deepens Intimacy
The spark that burns so brightly early in relationships can dwindle over time. Years later, it can become difficult to get excited about going to the same movie theatre or restaurant again. Engaging in exciting and novel activities with your partner increases passion and romance, but you can’t find that novelty in routine life. In a survey by the U.S. Travel Association, couples stated that travel together is a more effective way to spark romance in their relationship than giving gifts.
In addition, travel gives couples the opportunity to spend time with each other exclusively, and see each other at their best and worst. In another survey by the U.S. Travel Association, couples who answered that they are highly satisfied with their relationships also rate leisure trips as important ways to improve romance and physical intimacy. At the end of a good trip, you might find that you have become best friends with your partner. And there is no better service travel can do for any relationship.
Couples who travel together are more attuned to each other, and develop a lot of healthy habits which they carry into their day-to-day lives. Apart from that, there is ample research that shows travel in itself can improve a person’s physical and mental health drastically. Healthier people are happier, and happy people make happy relationships. So, plan your next big trip, pack your bags and get going.
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