Taking a vacation is a great way to unwind or recharge your life—whether taking a relaxing trip to the beach or an adventurous trip to another country—traveling is good for the soul. What about taking a vacation without your partner? Here are some thoughts on traveling solo:
Traveling by Yourself
There’s no reason not to travel alone, if that interests you. Some people really love to be by themselves and have a partner that understands their preference. It can be a great way to get some perspective on other places and cultures. You can get yourself out of the normal routine of life for a little while. This is especially relevant if you’re traveling alone to visit family or close friends that aren’t shared with your partner—getting some one-on-one time with those important people is very healthy. Vacationing alone can actually improve the quality of your relationship, since you can be certain that you’re both comfortable letting each other have time by yourself when needed.
Traveling with Friends
Traveling with friends can be a wonderful, healthy experience. It can give you some time to explore interests that you don’t share with your partner, as well as allowing you to spend time with your friends or people you don’t otherwise get to spend a lot of time with. For example, taking a yearly girls’ vacation with your friends is a great way to get some much needed socializing and relaxation time with your ladies. It may not be a good fit to bring your partner along, unless you have shared friends. You might be interested in ancient history and your partner couldn’t care less. Why not take a trip with others who share your interests and give your partner the okay to stay home? This is a great option to keep your passions alive while not simultaneously forcing them on your uninterested spouse.
Being on the Same Page
It is absolutely essential to make sure you and your partner are on the same page if you are considering traveling alone. If one person isn’t comfortable with the idea, or with the specific trip planned, it may be time to have another conversation and try to change some of the parameters. The key to a solo vacation being successful is that both parties should be comfortable with it. If someone is not comfortable with the trip, but their partner goes anyway, this can cause a major rift in the relationship that may be difficult to repair. If your partner is concerned about your solo travel, sit down and have a conversation about their concerns to figure out what is causing the issue. Is it because of the length of the trip? The planned travel budget? The vacation activities involved? Making sure that your relationship is in a good state before taking the trip will make a world of difference to both of you.
Be Reasonable with Your Plans
Along the same lines as above, it’s important that the vacation is a reasonable choice for your life and family. For example, a 3-month solo trip around the world may not be the best choice for the father of a newborn, but a 3-day weekend with friends might be just fine. As you’re planning and discussing your vacation, make sure it will work well for all parties involved. Be willing to make changes to your itinerary, if what you have in mind is not possible or reasonable for your partner or lifestyle. Your trip will be much more enjoyable if you know your partner isn’t struggling with things alone at home.
It goes without saying, but there needs to be a high level of trust involved in order for a trip without your partner to go smoothly. If either party is concerned about the other person’s behavior (e.g., potential cheating, inability to take care of oneself alone, poor decision making, etc.) taking a vacation alone is likely to cause some major relationship problems. If you’re concerned about your partner’s potential behavior when traveling alone, now is the time to sit down and discuss what measures need to be put into place to help alleviate any potential problem. The reality is, if you can’t trust your partner alone when they’re away, there’s probably bigger relationship issues that need to be addressed. Consider seeing a counselor to get these trust issues resolved, whether you go on vacation or not.
Going on vacation is wonderful thing, whether you go alone or with your partner. Take the time away to soak up the sun, go on an adventures, spend time with the people you love, and have an amazing time. Communicate with your partner throughout your trip and you will know that when you get back, you’ll still have an amazing person waiting for you at home. A foundation of trust, openness, and honest communication with your partner will mean that either one of you can take a vacation alone if you want to, and your relationship with thrive because of it. Happy traveling!