As authors and speakers, my husband and I have passed the million-mile marker on our main airline, and are on the road (by car, plane, boat or train) over 200 days a year. Suffice it to say, we have honed the skills necessary to stay in love while you travel as a couple! Here are four of the most important tips we’ve learned along the way.

1. Determine Your Trip’s Purpose

Decide together what the purpose of your trip will be. Is this for rest, restoration and recovery? Is the main goal mixing business with a little pleasure? Is this a romantic getaway? Is it a retreat to work out an issue in your relationship?

Have a conversation early in the planning about the one main goal or priority you each hope to attain on vacation. Before you book any transportation or lodging, talk through what types of experiences would be most beneficial to your relationship in this current life stage. Then, maximize your vacation by cuddling up and dreaming together about days to come!

2. Research Your Options

Once you have a budget, decide how you want to spend it. Would you prefer the lavish luxury and ultimate privacy of an upscale spa-like hotel in a romantic destination? Or would you prefer a longer time off the grid backpacking and camping? Or do you need to save funds by staying with friends and family, where privacy might be limited but where fun, fellowship and a change of pace may still be possible?

Be sure to talk through the where, what, who, and why of your trip. Once you have an idea of the when and where, look for travel deals online using reputable sites. Putting in a little extra effort to check out various options for accommodations and transportation can help you maximize your budget (and your vacation fun).

3. Give Each Other Grace

When we travel, we have a “grace space.” For us, it runs from the night before we leave through the moment we step on to the plane or pull out of the driveway. This is a time to lower expectations on your mate because often the list is longer than the time to accomplish it. Do not ruin a vacation before it begins by tossing out accusations like, “I always do the lion’s share” or “Are you kidding me? You haven’t done THAT yet!?”

Give mercy to each other, forgive and have a “teamwork” attitude. If your spouse forgets something or takes a wrong turn, keep your cool. Remember that the goal of any escape is to get away from the stressors, pressures and responsibilities of everyday life, so try not to add to an already stressful obstacle or challenge. Instead, use this as a time to stop and pray together.

4. Pack What’s Really Important

Yes, make a packing list and double check it. But remember to pack the more important items that don’t necessarily fit in your suitcase: “… compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another … Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” (Col 3:12-14)

As for the thing you can leave out? “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Col. 3:8)

Are you ready for your next getaway as a couple? Use this list to prep for a fun and fulfilling trip together.

You may also be interested in 10 Things To Put On Your First Year Of Marriage To-Do List

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