Solo travelling is amazing, no doubt. It’s a perfect opportunity to get to know many people and to experience a great adventure. Travelling as a couple has many advantages too. There is nothing more important than shared memories in a relationship. But what should I choose? What should be compromised? Where a sacrifice needs to be made? I’ve got good news for you. There’s no need to sacrifice anything at all! I know a method that combines both ways of travelling and allows benefiting from both situations mentioned above. I call it solo travel for couples.
The best thing about the solo travelling is that it is nearly impossible not to get to know new people, locals, culture and traditions. If you want to talk about something, you simply have to find somebody to talk. If you don´t want to go for a dinner alone, again, you have to address somebody at a hostel for instance or try to meet somebody via Couchsurfing. There might be an unoccupied seat next to you while going by bus or train somewhere. Naturally, this will probably make locals wonder why you are travelling alone and they will ask you where your travel companion is…
It’s perfect both for introverts and extroverts. Extroverts might get to know as many people as possible, perhaps even make friends. Introverts might realise that it is nearly impossible to not to start a conversation with anyone. People around won’t simply let them to be occupied by their deep inner thoughts all day long.
- Getting to know locals and other travellers
- Freedom of choice about places to visit
- Easier journey planning
- Being responsible only for yourself
- Lack of the reel feelings
Travelling as a couple
We all probably feel the best when we are in arms of our beloved person. It’s unlikely to leave such a person at home while we are travelling. Thanks to travelling, couples may go through many adventures together, which could spice up their relationship. There is always somebody around to talk. In addition, costs of accommodation are significantly reduced because single rooms are often the same price as double rooms. Finally, another highlight of travelling as a couple is that it brings safe and regular sex.
What actually might be seen as an obstacle is that couples create something like a social bubble around them. A couple can simply talk any problems through together without a need of external interaction or using a foreign language. Why would they leave their comfort zone, right? Couples also don’t have any issues with spending an evening only in each other’s company. However, this way you’re losing great many opportunities to experience spontaneous social interactions.
- Shared experiences
- Emotional background
- Saving money
- Social bubble discouraging from external interaction
- Compromising between each other’s interests
Solo travelling as a couple
Because I like advantages of both situations, I’ve spent many months on finding a way to combine them and make them work. I came out with a concept of Solo travelling as a couple. What’s the secret behind this? It’s simple – set off together but allow yourself to be together as well as to be on your own. When you’re not together, enjoy the pros of solo travelling. While when you spend your time together, get the most of it too.
Who is it suitable for?
So far, I’ve spoken about couples in a sense of a relationship. However, nobody says that you can’t go and try this method with your best friend, a relative or with completely random person that you trust. It’s not set in stone that you have to benefit from all pros of travelling as a couple.
Nevertheless, I would not recommend this philosophy to one specific group of people. I’m talking about snug couples freshly in love. Don’t take me wrong, there is nothing bad about being a snug couple! It is just not ideal situation to enjoy the solo part of the journey. Especially when you think about your beloved most of the time and can’t wait to be with them. I’d suggest to wait some time until it’s possible for you two to spend your time separately and then go for it!
How much time you’re going to enjoy together and alone depends on a tactic that you choose to follow. I have three tips for you here:
X days -> 1 day/night
I think that this tactic is the best and it is actually the first one that came to my mind. It is based on travelling x days each on their own and then getting back together for some time. It’s up to you how many x days you choose and how much you decide to enjoy your solo part.
First, I would suggest agreeing on in how many days you two are going to meet again. Depending on that, arrange a destination, direction of your journey as well as how fast each of you wants to move towards the agreed point. In these x days each of you probably has many adventures so once you’re back together you’ll probably spend hours by sharing your experience with your partner. Enjoy the time spent being together and in each other’s arms, bid a farewell and for another x days carry on with your solo adventures.
The most important is that you both are in the same area and may eventually meet even during the solo part of your journey. That might be in a case of an illness or an unexpected event so that you can help each other. You may also find it useful when you’re planning a big adventure such as climbing a mountain etc.
- Maximising of the solo travelling advantages
- Suitable for friends and couples in a long term relationship
Following two tactics came up spontaneously during our journey in Indonesia with Marci. It was actually our trial of the solo travelling for couples.
Day -> night – > Day
Does either of you have different tourist ideas about the journey but you love to be together? Maybe this tactic will be the best for you. It is about spending nights together and discovering during a day separately.
Thanks to this approach, you may save some money for an accommodation. You may also spend more relaxed and actually the most intimate time of a day with your beloved. Then during a day, you can enjoy whatever is your point of interest. That could mean anything – spending a day on a beach or in a museum for one of you and for the other one for example mountain climbing or skydiving. We’ve tried travelling this way even though we have quite a lot of shared hobbies and thus we were able to recommend each other interesting places to visit or if there was anything to avoid.
- Couples with a different view of the time spent on holidays
- Couples obsessed with discovering as many new places as possible
Night -> Day -> Night
Are you party people or do you enjoy getting to know other travellers? Do you share similar travel preferences with your partner? If the answers were yes, I’d certainly recommend trying this tactic. The nights are just for you and the days for being together.
The busiest time for getting to know new people at the hostels is usually in the evening. Or you have a option to go to a party in order to meet locals, peers or the opposite sex (yes, there are actually couples that trust each other enough so that they are not mad with jealousy every time a partner looks the other way). It’s alright that one of you maybe wants to spend an evening in a calm place whilst the other prefers to socialise.
Then, time to enjoy spectacular sights and adventures together is during a day.
- Open-minded couples who are not against getting to know the opposite sex
- Couples with different ideas of spending evenings
Are you afraid that you might not be able to make the most of the solo days? Are you competitive? Do you like challenging each other? If there was yes as an answer at least once, then you should consider making challenges as a part of your journey.
You can create a list of tasks that relate to your solo travelling and try to do your best in order to complete as much of them as possible or you may even compete each other. This will definitely increase your travel motivation to 100% and give the journey an another dimension.
For instance, you could consider:
- Inviting somebody for a drink/dinner
- Taking a picture for somebody, who has no companion that could do it for them
- Eating out with locals
- Expanding your contact list
You may come up with thousands of ideas. Some of them might have one off nature but the others could be completed repetitively so that you’re maximising your own score. It is crucial to have a good feeling about fulfilling such checklist though. In addition, they should mean at least a small step out of one’s comfort zone. A shopping might not be the most challenging thing ever (unless you suffer from Agoraphobia).
The fairest of us might even publicly share their challenges (via Facebook, blog…) and therefore their seriousness rapidly increases.
Coming back together
There will be many interesting people to get to know if you travel for some time (three weeks or more). If is your place of arrival and departure the same, you can split your journey into two parts. In the first one, you may use solo travelling for couples and meet new people while you’re going further from the starting point. Before you switch to the second part of the journey, meet at some point and choose the most interesting people you’ve met. The second part of the journey you may spend together and visit chosen people one by one. That will surely blow their socks off (in a positive way) and they will never forget you – guaranteed! For you it means a lot of fun and great moments together with your partner and new acquaintances.
This concept of solo travelling as a couple is surely no revolutionary idea. It could have been invented by anybody else before I came up with it. I must admit though, that I haven’t heard of it from anyone else before. We have tested it for several weeks and I dare say that it really works and for me it is the best-known way of travelling so far. Don’t be scared of travelling on your own, take your partner or friend with you and set off towards the greatest adventures of your life!
translated by Radka