So I went interrailing for just under three weeks, with my boyfriend of just under 7 months. Risky move, you might say. But we survived, not only survived, but had a bloomin' great time while we were at it too. It wasn't all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, but I'm here to impart on you some wisdom I picked up over the past three weeks, in case you are thinking of heading off travelling with your partner, too.
1) Don't go into the experience naive to how challenging it could prove.
Before we left, I told people 'travelling with the other half? Nah, no worries, we'll be fine- we hardly EVER argue!' But all that soon changes when you are thrown into uncharted territories. Being together for that amount of time, all the time, and in being put into high stress situations (like missed trains, broken personal belongings and little sleep to boot) can rock even the most stable foundations.
2) But know that it's okay to argue.
It's not the sign of a broken relationship, or a bad omen for the rest of the trip, it's just a road bump. Have a cup of tea and a chill out before talking it out. It's all good.
3) Never go Hangry.
Sometimes I find myself being unreasonable, sleepy, grumpy and snappy, which can turn a day sour and cause arguments. Turns out it's more often than not, just a classic case of hanger. (Hunger + Anger = Hanger/Hangry) It's easily avoided, so don't let the munchies get in the way of a good time. Don't skip meals and pack snacks- especially if you're doing lots of walking, like we were.
4) Take time apart.
Go solo for a while, even if it's just for a day. It'll mean you both get to do the things you want to do, without compromise, and you'll have time alone which for an introverted extrovert like me, (it's totally a thing, okay?) Is important. The boy and I had one morning in Budapest where I went vintage shopping and he did some museums. We were both happy doing our own thing and then we met for lunch that afternoon.
5) For every little habit that's annoying you...
There will probably be 10 annoying habits YOU have, that will be annoying them, just as much. Spending all day, everyday in a foreign country with someone can be hard. Just remember to keep a clear head. Is that little thing they do REALLY that bad?
6) Share the blame.
Even the best laid plans can go to waste and when you're travelling abroad, mistakes can take time, effort and money to sort out. We missed a train which we'd already paid for, to a country we'd paid for a nice, unique double room in, (in an old prison! I was so excited for it) and there wasn't another train until the next day. We were stranded, with no accommodation and very heavy backpacks weighing us down. It sucked. We (okay, I) wasted time trying to assign blame, but it didn't solve the situation, nor did it make for a good atmosphere when we finally made it to our next stop. Just drop it. You both messed up somewhere.
7) Remember you aren't at home.
Abroad it's a totally different situation, than it is at home. You are relying on each other for everything from simple company, to reassurance when things go wrong, advice on everything from where to eat to conversion rates. This isn't the case at home and things won't be this intense for forever.
Outfit: Swimming Costume: ASOS, Sunglasses: Tiger Stores & Necklace: O Necklace
8) You don't have to isolate yourselves just because you're a couple.
Before you go, consider booking into some hostels without private room. Of the eight places we stayed in, four of those were in shared dorms, of between 4 and 10 people. It wasn't always fantastic (shoutout to the guys who snored like chainsaws in both Prague and Ljubljana!) but we met a few interesting people along the way and it certainly saved us money.
9)Communication is both cliched and key.
Sounds patronising and cliched but it's true- communication really does help avoid and solve any issues you may have. I found myself bottling things up at the start, so as 'not to ruin the trip.' But the inevitable arguments after one of us snapped was always worse than just dealing with it as it comes.
10) Walls can be thin, very thin...
Err, I'll just leave that there.
Well, that's pretty much the extent of my wisdom on the topic and I hope someone, somewhere found this helpful. Have you ever been travelling with your partner? Did it go well? Let me know in the comments down below!