How hard can it be to plan a trip with your loved one? With your boyfriend or your BFF? In this podcast, we talk about travel planning for couples – from dreaming to getting ready to budget.

To listen, hit play below or find episode 208 in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud:

Note: The main ideas for this podcast were taken from our new book, the Art of Couples’ Travel.

Constructive dreaming

The first phase of travel planning for couples is what I like to call “constructive dreaming”. Now’s the time to talk together, find out what excites and motivates you about potential destinations, what experiences you want to have, what people you might meet or parties you might take part in.

Uluru, Australia - Great landscapes in the red centre
Uluru, Australia - A place to dream

There’s something special about sharing a lazy Sunday afternoon with each other, a bottle of wine, some coffee-table travel books and a few magazines and guides from the library, with a laptop handy for a bit of extra research. You might have some scribbled notes from a friend’s recent trip or the travel podcast you’ve been listening to as you commute to work.

Potential problems

Someone has to go first!
Part of the dreaming process is about avoiding disappointment down the road. It’s important to find out what excites and motivates you, and your partner. By figuring that out now, you can help make sure both of you have a much better trip.

If you’re imagining backpacking South East Asia while your partner doesn’t want to go near a squat toilet … you’ve got a good chance to hear your partners fears and start working together on a compromise.

Making a plan

From our creative dream, there’s four steps to actually having a trip plan:

Trip length

This one’s simple … how much time do you have available? This will influence how far you want to travel, or how deeply you want to integrate into the places you visit. If time is really short, limit your destinations and do multiple trips over multiple years.

Non-negotiable events and destinations

These are the places that really excite and motivate you to travel. You don’t see any point in doing the trip if you can’t visit them. Each of you should really have stakes in one or two places or events that you really want to do — this way, you can make sure that each of you are getting what you want out of the trip.

Other destinations

After your non-negotiables are on the map (or in the diary if they are events), then you can plot the other interesting places you’d like to go. We tend to leave these pretty loose, as we like to follow our nose, get lost, and take on advice as we travel.

Counting the cost

The last stage is creating a travel budget … which is too big a topic for one podcast!

To listen, hit play above or check in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

Your thoughts on "Planning travel as a couple podcast"

  • You mention something that "Flicked your Bic" in the podcast, and that it was a reference to pens. I remember the ad campaign, and it was actually referring to Bic lighters, not their pens. Makes a bit more sense that way...

    on September 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm Reply

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