reverse culture shock

Travelling as a couple has its ups and downs. After travelling together for 6 years now, we have learnt a few things on how to have the best time possible and also stay strong and happy as a couple.

There are many perks to travelling as a couple but just as many perks to travelling with a family. 

Katie and Calum 2

Share responsibility

When travelling as a couple, it is important to share planning and organising responsibilities. I love to plan and research whilst Calum is in charge of the budget (and making sure we stick to it).


This one sounds obvious but talking to each is so important regardless but even more important when travelling. Be open and honest with what you want out of your time travelling and if you have any worries or problems, talk about it! On our first trip, our last stop was in NYC and I was desperate to see a broadway show. Calum, being in charge of the budget, had to be honest and stop me from planning an expensive meal followed by a show because we just didn’t have the budget for it. Because we were open and honest, we were able to decide and find cheap tickets for a broadway show and cut down on the spending during the day.

Katie and Calum 3

Don’t take things personally

It can be hard not to take things personally when travelling for so long. When we both get tired we can be grumpy and snappy. Communication can help but trying to relax and understand each others grumpy moods definitely helps. When we were in Japan, we had spent 3 months in South East Asia in the warm heat, meaning we instantly came down with a cold when we headed into a wet, cold Japan. This put us both in a bad mood so we had to focus on really motivating each other to explore the fantastic city and not take things so personally!

Have ‘me’ time

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend a day apart or explore separately but find some time throughout the day to take some ‘me’ time. For us, I have a hot relaxing bath with a kindle after a long day exploring and before our evenings out whilst Calum relaxes with his PSP or catches up with football news on the laptop.

Katie and Calum 4
Katie and Calum 5

Have date nights

When travelling the world, it can be easy to forget about romance and date nights. We love to sit in a nice restaurant or bar, have a few drinks and just chat (we are that couple that never stop talking!). So make sure you plan some romantic activities and evenings during your travels.

Manage your expectations

You are travelling in new countries. It is not going to always be fun and always romantic and always perfect. There will be times, after a 6 hour bus journey, where you have to visit the most disgusting toilet known to man kind (which is basically just a hole) and your partner will have to stand nearby incase you fall into the hole toilet! There will be times when you take a cooking course, the food is way to spicy and everything goes south! There will be times when one of you gets ill (or you’re both ill!) and the other looks after you and nurses you to health. There will be times when you are completely lost in the middle of a village in China and have to pray that stumbling around streets will eventually bring you back to your hostel driver. Yes – we talk from experience.

reverse culture shock


When you are travelling, it is so important that you talk about what you both want to get out of your trip – where you want to go, what you want to see and what experiences you want to have. You may not have identical plans, hopes and wishes but compromise and plan your trip together. When we travel, Calum can take an incredibly long time photographing everything. He also misses Chelsea football games whilst we travel, so we find local pubs and bars that show the game. I love cooking classes (although am pretty darn rubbish at the actual cooking part!) and I love watching local dance and theatre performances (which Calum is not a huge fan of) but we compromise and enjoy the time together.

Katie and Calum 6
Katie and Calum 7

Push each other to try something new

One of the best things about travel is that you can encourage, motivate and push each other. When we first went to Asia, I had just started eating meat again after being a vegetarian for ten years. I was so worried about eating meat and eating weird meals but the longer we were there, the more I started to experiment with food. I loved that I started to eat unusual foods and thank Calum for encouraging me to do so!

Take pictures

One of the best things about travelling as a couple, is the amazing memories you make together. Take a camera (or four in our case) and photograph all those amazing moments you share together.

reverse culture shock
Katie and Calum 14
Katie and Calum 10
Katie and Calum 12

Have fun!

You are with the person you love, travelling the world! It can be surprisingly easy to forget about having fun when you get bogged down with seeing everything in a short space of time and doing as much as humanly possible. Just don’t forget that travel should be fun! So have fun together and enjoy your travels!

Have fun in your couple travels! Any tips you can suggest? Share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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  1. Very fun post. I think your tips are very helpful especially to not take things personally. Traveling can be exhausting and many times we say things we don’t mean or they get taken the wrong way. “Me time” is also a great suggestion. Nice post, enjoyed reading it.

  2. Good communication and me time is such am important part of traveling as a couple for us! It is wonderful when you find someone with the same interests for traveling. In our case we are usually having so much fun we forget to take photos.

  3. You too guys would make good politicians with your planning and budgeting skills. Relaxing with a PSP is the way I choose, that’s great from Calum. Having date nights is a great idea too, that will keep your relationship healthy. Also getting pictures of yourselves together lets you remember your we there as a couple.

  4. I find that traveling can get pretty stressful if you don’t compromise. You win some you lose some. The most important part is to find common ground. Do things that you both love and enjoy.

    • Exactly!! And the same goes for picking your next destination! It is amazing how different our country preferences are!

  5. Yes! My husband and I have had to learn these things the hard way! Me time is important for myself, so I’ve had to get creative with that. Cheers!

    • Yes definitely! What type of things do you do for your ‘me’ time? A hot bath is high on the list for me or reading a book on a balcony 🙂

  6. I love that you guys are traveling as a couple. I began traveling when I started dating my husband. I feel that traveling makes you closer, because of all that time away and experiences. But I do all the work, the planning, organizing and budget. I don’t mind though.

    • Yeah I spend daaaaays travel planning too! Yeah I often do a lot of the planning but am not so good with the old budgeting!!

  7. Aww you guys are adorable! Hope I can find someone to travel the world with! Great blog x

    • Thanks Natasha! Hope you find someone who loves travelling as much as you do! 🙂

  8. Fantastic tips! I agree that travelling as a couple is great fun, but you do need lots of your own space and time. Communication and compromise is key – it’s the same when you travel with friends!

  9. Great tips! My husband & I have been travelling for 6 years as well and we’ve learnt to adjust. I usually plan our daily activities before the trip, while he does the budgeting bit. He’s always been the responsible one (waking up early, leaving for the airport on time etc.) Somehow, at the end, everything turns out well. Luckily, we kinda share the same interests too.

  10. We too travel as a couple and definitely there are clear advantage. And then there are things to learn. I particularly agree with the share responsibility and have fun together part. Having someone always by your side while visiting strange lands is comforting.

  11. Such a lovely post. Plus you guys look so good together. I am mostly a solo traveller but when I travel with a guy someday I shall keep these things in mind.

    • Thanks for the lovely comment 🙂

  12. Completely relate to it. We also travel as a couple and have our ups and down like I love shopping, he hates shopping. He loves Museums and me find it boring. But ya after traveling with each other for a few years now we know now how to plan our itinerary,

  13. Great tips! That’s amazing that you have been travelling together for the last 6 years 🙂

    I usually travel alone – occasionally with friends so a lot of these tips are so useful even in those situations. I think making compromises is an important one (something I can definitely work on). I have a habit of focusing more on what I’d like to do than what my travel partners would like to do…
    And communicating is super important! I always tell whoever I’m with about my personality under certain situations so they are aware (aka getting hangry when I haven’t eaten for ages).

  14. Some great tips here. I agree on so many of them. We both travel and work together so having ‘me time’ is vital whether than be an extra long soak in the bath or a wander to the coffee shop there is nothing wrong with wanting some space.

  15. That’s a lovely post! Great tips, guys 🙂 We also travel as a couple all the time and would use some of your tips for the inspiration!

  16. Such a great article, and super important! I went backpacking for 4 months with my boyfriend last year and while it was amazing, it was definitely challenging too. I agree that ‘me’ time is so important – it gives you time to recharge and also gives you time to miss them!

  17. I can’t agree more; communication with your partner is very important while travelling. No one can read your mind-I know I struggle with forgetting to communicate. It’s so true about managing your expectations as well. I couldn’t help but laugh at your toilet comment. I sure hope no one fell in!

    • Thankfully I survived that toilet incident!

  18. We traveled as a couple and now as a family of four! Love your tips…taking care of each other in every way makes the memories you share even sweeter. I can totally relate to the sick on the road..we’ve taken turns taking care of each other. Not the fun part of travel!

    • Aww that is great that you look after each other on the road! There is nothing worse than getting sick! 🙁

  19. I got a lot out of reading your blog thanks – definitely got some great tips on how I can include my partner more in our travel plans and how to approach it together better.

  20. Great advice, we really got to know one another through good times and bad when we first set off and now we’re stranger than ever. Love your blog, safe travels to you

    • Haha do you mean stronger or stranger? We are stronger but also stranger than ever too! – Maybe that is what travel does to you!

  21. great post ! traveling as a couple can get difficult at times. Very useful tips! 🙂

  22. Great tips for traveling as a couple! I had been a solo traveler for so long that it was a little challenge for me to adjust to traveling with my so. Communication is fundamental when traveling with someone else (as is compromise!)

  23. […] fact, blissful as this story makes it sound, traveling as a couple is not all romantic Parisian walks and icy cocktails on tropical beaches. Like anything else in […]

  24. I love this post! I get such bad anxiety when we travel so I have to make sure that all the plans (i’m the planner!) get communicated clearly to Scott and make sure he knows when I’m struggling so he can take over! We always compromise on trips too – he loves nature and the outdoors and I’m definitely a city break kind of girl! Don’t think he’ll ever come to appreciate all the photos I take though! xx

  25. My husband and I are currently traveling full-time together, and have learned many of these lessons as well. You are so right that communication is key!

  26. So true! I do all the planning, hubby does the budget. We like to split up sometimes and do our own thing. He’s an anxious traveller and I’m super laid-back so I let him get us to the airport waaaay before we need to because it makes him happy. Good post!

  27. Wonderful Post. Will refer when the time comes 😉

  28. These tips are so great and all so important. We’ll be leaving on our round the world trip in October and honestly as much as I love spending time with my husband, I’m worried about too much time together and no stories to tell haha. I’ll definitely taking a bubble bath to read! Sounds so relaxing!

  29. Great advice guys, thank you! I travel with my girlfriend as well as my solo trips so will certainly take some of these on board (especially the ‘me time’ part heheh).

  30. Great tips for couples, we too have challenging moments and need to remember why we are doing this. One of the things we try to do are special small things, like a cup of tea in bed or popping out for fresh croissants for breakfast. Happy travels to you and thanks for the post

  31. Love to read your story through it I can read your couples story too, I’ve been travelling with my husband as always and its true there’s always ups and downs. thank you for your advices that gives us a lot of ideas to achieve a better relationship. Happy travelling to you both and keep the love on fire 🙂

  32. Love your tips, being traveling as a couple I agree with all your point and especially point 2 communication, it plays a very important role. During our trip to Georgia, Hrishi wasn’t happy much staying at Kutaisi, so we cut down our days there and instead extended our stay in Batumi & had lot of fun together

  33. Pineapple juice straight through the pineapple, that must have been yum ! Loved your fun post. We travel as one family, me and my parents, so yes a lot of adjustments goes into that. But the more we push ourselves the more fun we have together.

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