All couples should travel together before marriage. Mark Twain has an infamous quote that says there is no better way to find out whether you like someone or hate someone than to travel together with them. Travelling is a great prelude to your wedding vows since it tests a lot of the same situations you will go through in your marriage: fun, stress, and compromise.
Do you want to put your relationship through the ultimate test? If you and your spouse can get through stressful airport checks, long road trips without air conditioning, or overseas travel and come out with a smile on your face, you know you were meant to be.
If you’re really looking to test and strengthen your relationship, your travel should be more than a weekend getaway or an extended cruise. It should mean going cross country, backpacking, exploring a brand new country. Something that will test your love, your patience, and your communication skills.
Broaden your minds together.
You may not think that travelling can change you as a person, but the more you immerse yourselves in a new culture the more your minds will expand. By travelling to a new country as a couple you experience new cultures, immerse yourselves in history, eat different foods, and gain a new outlook on what is important in life.
By delving into other societies you broaden your mind and grow as a person. Who better to share this experience with than the same partner you want to spend the rest of your life with?
Is there anything better than building a small arsenal of private jokes with your partner? Nothing will get you there faster quite like travelling together before marriage. Inside jokes aside, travelling together will build a wonderful collection of memories that you can look back on with fondness for the rest of your life.
Travelling pre-marriage is also great for couples looking to make memories around the world before settling down and starting a family together. Not that you can’t travel after you’ve had children, but it sure takes backpacking off the table for the next couple of years.
Travelling before marriage builds trust.
Couples who travel together before marriage already have a leg up on other couples heading down the aisle. On top of building wonderful memories and sharing new experiences, travel can be also a scary, stressful time. This makes relying on your partner through stressful or awkward situations a must, especially when going the route of backpacking or travelling to a country where you don’t speak the language.
Finding directions through complicated subway systems, having food poising, missing your bus, or camping outdoors all call for absolute trust and reliance on your partner. For couples who are ready to head to the altar, travelling the world together is great building-block for honing those essential qualities of trust and reliability.
Just be sure to follow air-travel etiquette, OK? (Post continues below.)
Putting your partner first is a great part of marriage. When both parties endeavour to put the other’s needs ahead of their own they’ll always be in a loving, giving relationship. Learning to compromise is just another great benefit of travelling before marriage.
For example, you only have six hours in your stopover in Paris, so how do you spend them? Your partner wants to head up the world famous Louvre, but you want to take a bus tour around the city to see the main sights. Who wins? Traveling as a couple is all about compromise. You learn to make sacrifices in order to make your partner happy.
Handling money matters.
Budgeting for travel, transportation, accommodation, food, and fun all while trying to remember the exchange rate in a new country isn’t for the light-hearted. In fact, it is often cited that one of the biggest issues married couples fight about is money. This is another avenue of travelling as a couple that will teach you a lot about the person you’re vowing forever and ever to.
Divvying up your moneys during your trip is a great way to prepare you for budgeting as a married couple. With a set cap in mind, travelling as a couple helps you handle your finances and budget for day to day needs. It also teaches you a lot about your partner’s spending habits, their ability to hold back, and shows you how responsible they will be when you two merge your finances.
Reveal your true colours.
Travelling together lets you remove those rose coloured glasses and see one another for who you really are. You will see how your mate handles stress, how they celebrate, and how they treat other people you meet along the way.
Adventuring can bring out the best and the worst of every couple. You see one another in full have-fun-happy-mode. You also see each other tired, stressed, ‘hungry’, and irritated. How will you treat each other in each of these situations? Travelling affords you both the opportunity to see what life will be like when you are living together.
Travelling as a couple will also help you see how you deal with problems and issues along the way. Many couples do not argue while on vacation together, but others may give in to stress-induced squabbles. This can help you both see how you handle conflict, especially when all you have to rely on during travel is one another.
Will your partner endeavour to make you laugh or smile when you are feeling upset? Will they apologies if they’ve snipped at you? How will you kiss and make up when you still have a full week of travel time to spend with each other?
One of the most important parts of travelling together before marriage is how darn fun it is. You’re meeting new characters, learning world history, and eating some of the best foods and experiencing them solely with the one you love. These travels will provide you with endless joy for years to come. Travelling as a couple will help you learn about one another on a deeper level while allowing you the opportunity to refine yourself along the way.
Rachel Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organisations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.