The Planning Error You Could Be Making On Your Couples Vacation

Heading off for a vacation with your sweetie sounds delightful. Imagine: just the two of you, sitting on a beach with tropical drinks in your hands, or wandering the streets of Cortona in Italy, or people-watching at a café in Prague. It sounds like a dream, but it can come with some drama if you don't plan correctly.

One of the biggest errors that you can make while planning that longed-for journey with your partner, whether you're an old married couple or just starting out, is easily preventable. That error? Letting one person do all of the planning.

Where to go, what activities to do, budget, where you're going to stay, strategies to handle any conflicts — there's a lot of planning involved in making a great trip with your partner. You'll want to make sure you do it together. We'll tell you how to split up your vacation-planning duties effectively and strategically, without any drama.

Making the most of your strengths

As a couple, you may be aligned in many areas of your life; but especially on a first trip together, you might discover you're less sympatico in your trip-planning skills. Even if you've been together for years, you might never have had a discussion about who will do what when planning a trip. The trick, according to Merlelynn Harris, clinical director emeritus for Bridge Counseling Associates, is to include your partner in planning — even if you're the detail-oriented planner in the relationship. 

Take a few moments to ask your partner what they think of the itinerary, hotel choices, room size, and activities. Ask for suggestions. Maybe your partner has always wanted to try mountain climbing. If you love that as well, great; but even if not, the open discussion can help you strategize together. Maybe you can plan an alternate activity for yourself that day, or relegate it to the next trip. 

If you both love to plan things, then you can split the duties. Maybe one of you can work on activities, like booking tours and tickets for museums, while the other finds the best flights and hotels.

Overall, the most important thing to remember is to talk to your partner and make sure you're both involved in planning. That way, you can avoid drama and disappointment and even build a closer relationship.