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How To Travel Together & Stay Together

In his recent Reddit AMA, Bill Murray shared these wise, wise words: “I tell people, if you want to get married, travel around the world first. Cause then you get to know people better. It’s a test of wills to travel.” He’s totally right. Of course he is. Travelling calls on all your skills whether you like it or not. Whether road tripping, backpacking or a just fancy vacay, the experience will make or break you. Because if a trip to IKEA is a relationship test, then travelling across the world is the difference between the real deal and no deal. Follow these simple steps and you'll land on your feet.

Take photos. Both of you.

Don’t be the dick that doesn’t take photos. Sure, it’s encouraged to cast your gadgets aside, forget about work and lose yourself in the moment, but come on! It’s hardly fair for one of you to return home with a million potential profile pictures in front of various monuments/sunsets/waterfalls/whale sharks when all the other has as proof they even left the country is that one crap selfie you took together on the plane. Maybe we should all just endeavour to date photographers? Because requesting that perhaps, occasionally, your significant other could please take a photo of you once in a while, makes that photo the most awkward thing ever. Well, you asked for it.
Do your bit.
Don’t suggest that they sort accommodation for the whole trip, and you, the day-to-day schedule, because you may well end up with what during the planning process seemed to be a brilliant list of activities but on reflection is just a list of places that do good coffee. Research together and plan in advance. Or just download Foursquare.

Take it in turns to sit by the window.

Unless one of you is insanely good at sleeping sitting up and not falling asleep on the stranger next to you (in which case you’re always next to the stranger – always) then you should take it in turns getting the window seat. If you’re the lucky one, make sure you gaze out of the window every now and then, both to check up on what you’re flying over/zooming past, and really drive home how much you appreciate having the seat. Having said that, I let my boyfriend take the window seat of the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka the other week and he slept through the entire two hours and twenty-two minutes of awesome views. Uncalled for.
Don’t argue in public.
Not just because it’s mad awkward for those around you, but also because if you’re the kind of person that storms off during a heated debate (guilty!) you should first weigh up how well you know the area and whether or not you want to spend the rest of the day lost and alone. I didn’t follow my own advice and recently stormed off across Shibuya crossing – literally the busiest place in Tokyo – and instantly regretted my decision. You win some (arguments), you lose some (despairing boyfriends). Do your best to keep your cool.


Same deal as IRL. If your bank balances aren’t exactly balanced, learn to find a happy medium. Fancy hotel one night, cheap Air BnB the next. Unfortunately, while money can’t buy happiness, it can buy something better than a £29 a night airbed that creaks when you breathe, so maybe the teammate with the fatter wallet should treat the other every once in a while. After all, sharing is caring.
Don’t be the Lonely Planet couple.
The ones who sit at dinner reading guidebooks in silence, looking like they’re having the absolute worst time. You’re on holiday! Talk to each other! If, however, extraneous variables come into play here and your hangover has left you unable to form actual words, you should at least interact. Need inspiration? Force your special someone to stare at your face and draw you as you eat foreign fast food. If they love you, they will.

Get a room!
See above. But also, hold off on all the PDA because a) snogging in front of strangers on the train may well be going against local customs and offending those around you, and b) overly coupley couples are annoying, so you’re probably offending the rest of the world too.

Having said that, be intimate.

Less in a sexy way, more in a, ‘I wouldn’t go in there for a while,’ sort of way. Spending day and night together in close quarters and unfamiliar places, you’ll inevitably bond the shit out of each other. A few trips deep and you’ll soon be daydreaming of that scene in Babel where Brad Pitt helps a blood-covered Cate Blanchett wee in a pan and think: yeah… we could totally do that.

Congrats, you’ve made it!