The art of compromise

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Most couples know each other pretty well by the time they get married, so are used to making compromises in their daily lives. But travelling together is different. Out of your comfort zones you discover new things about each other. You might share ideals about everyday life but have very different ideas when it comes to adventure. So what do you do?

Compromise, don’t sacrifice
If you love adrenalin sports while your partner is more head over heels for architecture, don’t pre-empt an argument by suggesting a beach holiday that neither of you will truly enjoy. Better you’re both honest about what will make you happy, then work together to plan a honeymoon that takes into account both your passions.

Take time to listen
Discuss your travel wish lists, taking time to listen to each other’s feelings and ambitions. Then remind yourselves that your honeymoon won’t be your only chance to see the world: you’ve got a lifetime to explore together. This trip is just the beginning.

Narrow down your options
Write down a list of potential destinations, then review and refine your options. Look at logistical constraints: if you live in Europe and have just a week for your honeymoon, New Zealand won’t work. Allow each other a veto: maybe your partner loves skiing but the mere mention of slopes causes you flashbacks and cold sweats. It’s all good: New Zealand goes on your bucket list of future trips for when you have more time. And skiing gets marked down as ‘a weekend with mates’, along with your shopping trip to New York.

Be creative with your solutions
If there are a few destinations on your shortlist you’d both like to explore, budget might be the decider. If you can’t agree on a continent let alone a country, you’ll need to get creative.

Mix and match
If you’ve got your hearts set on different destinations, take a look at popular flight paths and stop overs. If you want to see the bright lights of Tokyo and your partner wants to backpack around a tropical island or two, you can do both. Coming from Europe, stopping off in Japan on the way to Bali (or vice versa) can be cheaper than going direct. From North America, you can do Japan and Hawaii as a stop-over duo. And you’ll get two honeymoons – and two vastly different experiences – for the price of one.

Find a destination that offers extremes
If you want a North American honeymoon while your partner dreams of Brazil, ask why? If you’re looking for an epic road trip and your partner wants to explore lush rainforests, Argentina offers both.

Do what you love
If your travel styles just don’t match, think about the things you enjoy doing together at home. A shared love of bikes, wine or music could lead to a cycling honeymoon in the south of France, a vineyard tour of South Africa or a culture trip to New Orleans.

Take the rough with the smooth
If you want to be pampered in paradise while your partner wants to pitch a tent, indulge each other. Roughing it for a few days will make you appreciate your luxury suite and you’ll have saved enough money to splash out on some extra spa treatments.

Be okay with the roles you play
Is one of you a control freak while the other is more mañana? Or are you both equally interested in planning your trip? Compromise doesn’t necessarily mean equal responsibility, but you do need to be comfortable in your roles. If you insist on organising everything alone, don’t complain that it’s tough. If you don’t want to be involved, don’t be disappointed if decisions are made without you.

Enjoy the journey
Planning your honeymoon isn’t just about agreeing a destination and sorting logistics, it’s about beginning your journey into married life. Of course you’ll want that journey to be filled with love and laughter. But don’t over-romanticise – it might also come with delayed flights, rainy days and tummy bugs. The important thing is to enjoy your journey together. Bumps included.

Extract taken from The Honeymoon Handbook (£12.99; out now) – Lonely Planet’s first dedicated honeymoon guide

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