Stretching your travel budget is key to making the most of your trip of a lifetime, but we have found that the occasional splurge between all the penny-pinching and weeks of hard-core travel plays an important role in keeping the spark alive for you and your partner while on the road.
Let’s face it — long-term travel means you’re dirtier than normal. You wear the same clothes multiple times between washes, good showers can be hard to come by, your hair takes on a permanent unkempt look and things like make-up and nail polish tend to take a backseat when you are out there experiencing the exciting life of long-term travel. Most couples have an unspoken understanding that these superficial factors are far less important than getting out and sharing in this amazing, life-changing experience together, but it certainly doesn’t help the love life.
Budget hotel rooms are not the sexiest of places. Mysterious spots on bedspreads and thin walls are strike two against getting busy and fanning the flame of passion. If you can hear your neighbours, they can hear you, so you don’t want to be broadcasting your naked time to the whole hotel/hostel, and if the room isn’t exactly clean, you may choose to put off the romance to another day.
Once we start traveling, we all become cheapskates. Back in your ‘real’ lives, money would magically drop in to your account each month, so going out to eat for a nice dinner was an easy way to reconnect with your partner. Now, $5 seems like a lot for dinner and you can’t justify a nice wine when there’s a special on watery beer instead. Food is a major component of the budget that you can control to keep spending down and lengthen the time you have to travel, but slurping down greasy food sitting on the curb isn’t exactly the time to be gazing into your partner’s eyes.
These little moments might seem insignificant but they all add up to a lot of unromantic time. Long-term travel is stressful and emotional and spending quality time with your partner is super important to re-connect romantically. Build into your budget time to splurge – we say once every four to six weeks. Book a nice hotel, stay in a big room with fluffy towels, take a power shower in super-hot water, spend time with your partner rolling around the big clean beds, hit the spa (if there is one) and spend quality time together enjoying the quality of the hotel and each other. For dinner, find a top restaurant or pick up that expensive bottle of wine and picnic in the park together.
You obviously value your relationship, otherwise you would both be traveling solo. So make the most of it by replenishing your energy, looking your best, and spending time with your partner; remembering all of those exciting things that got you two together in the first place. We also find that taking this sort of ‘luxury’ time out helps to keep especially the hard times of the trip in perspective. The occasional escape from what can be rough living on the road helps to soften the edges of some of the more stressful times and make you really reflect on the great things about the trip so far. Splurging doesn’t break the bank if you budget it in, and it is a key element to keeping the spark of your relationship, and maybe even your trip, alive.