Travelling as a couple is arguably one of the biggest challenges any relationship can face. It will show you a side of your partner that perhaps you’ve never seen before. You’ll be tested in a way that only travelling and living abroad can test you.
We spoke to a few couples who have joined us on our Welcome to Melbourne tour and, in our opinion, are the definition of couple goals. It comes as no surprise that the remedy for success is clear communication and compromise. Although there have been some tough times, they all agree travelling as a couple has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Chloe & Tom
Chloe & Tom joined us on tour back in November 2018 and have been together since 2015.
Throughout their time in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, they have been doing a mix of work and travel all over the country. They’ve worked casual jobs at the same time as working for accommodation in hostels and with their savings, went on an unreal adventure covering the majority of Australia before continuing on to New Zealand and South East Asia!
The first major challenges that couples tend to face when backpacking are hostels and the lack of privacy. Chloe and Tom had some useful tips on how to approach and benefit from staying in hostels.
“Be prepared to have single beds but save money for private rooms along the way. It’s a nice treat.”
“Work for accommodation when you can for cheaper accommodation. We worked together during the day but had different evening jobs. It’s nice to have some time apart to do your own thing.”
“Have dates nights! Make plans together if you do end up working different jobs.”
What is your opinion on independence when travelling as a couple?
“It can be hard being together 24/7, it’s not always fun fun fun! Make friends with fellow travellers, it makes it easier being together all the time. Compromise – do things you both want to do but also what your other half wants to do as well. You don’t always have to do the same thing. Tom went skydiving and bungy jumping. I stayed at the hostel and chilled….. Nice to have that time!”
It’s clear you still learn new things about your other half even if you’ve been in a long term relationship.
Travelling teaches things about yourself and helps you to grow as a person, so it only makes sense it should have the same effect on a relationship. As long as you’re both on the same page and have an equal amount of motivation to work hard, save and make the dream happen, then you’re in for an adventure of a lifetime alongside your favourite person.
“Work as much as you can when you’re not traveling around and have a plan on where you’re going to go next…. Darryl planned our New Zealand trip! Be prepared to get to know each other’s every move! Be comfortable with each other before you go travelling… You still get to know things when travelling.”
Kathy & Jordan
Kathy & Jordan from Canada joined us on tour back in October 2019 and have been together for 7 years.
It seemed even from the start of their relationship they had the dream of someday moving abroad together.
“We started dating 7 years ago now, one of the first things she told me was like I just wanna go live in Australia.”
“I laid it down flat and said my dream is to move to Australia at one point so it’s happening. It’s been a dream of mine since I got Tumblr. Just think about how old that is.”
Kathy & Jordan are the definition of couple goals. They are both very relaxed and down to earth and it’s clear they have utmost trust and respect for one another. It was already clear in their first week on tour with us, they find it very easy to give each other space and independence while still showing constant support.
Their time in Australia has not been without its challenges. After working and saving money in Melbourne for 8 months, they became stuck in lockdown during the pandemic only weeks before they planned to head up the East Coast on the road trip of their dreams.
Despite the hurdles, they’ve stuck it out and during temporary easing of restrictions they were able to head up north and are now travelling through beautiful Queensland in a camper van.
“You’re together but you still have your own lives apart from each other. I feel like if you’re just wrapped up around your partner all the time it’s just like why are you out in another country, you can do that at home.”
“Travel has made our communication better, our communication is amazing. Take advantage of where you are and who you have around you, make the most of those experiences.”
Terri & Jamie
Terri (24) and Jamie (31) from Scotland have been together for over 4 years and joined us on our tour in August 2019.
Terri first had the idea in 2018 of heading to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa despite the couple not having travelled further than Tenerife, Spain before and Jamie was on board with the idea from the start. They both worked their butts off to save and watched plenty of Youtube videos for inspiration – especially Backpacking Bananas which is how they also found out about Welcome To Travel.
The couple lived in Phillip Island for months after falling in love with the place on our 8-Day tour and spent their time living the Australian dream and working in hospitality. Afterwards they headed up the East Coast in a camper van on an epic road trip and have only decided to head back to Scotland because of the pandemic.
“WE WISH WE STARTED EARLIER. We both regret not starting our working holiday visa YEARS ago as we would have accomplished a lot more. Jamie is now too old for a working holiday visa in most places and because of COVID19 we didn’t get to finish the last 5 months of our first year to do our second. Our main piece of advice is if you have the scratch to travel then do it while you are young and make the most of all the experiences you can with your partner!”
What is your advice for couples thinking of travelling together?
“We advise hiring a camper van for your travels. We did this for the Great Ocean Road, Grampians and the East Coast and LOVED it. We had our own personal private space away from sharing 10-person hostel dorms to catch up with sleep as well as it being your own little piece of normality like back home – bonus, you already know each other’s living habits (good and bad) unlike sharing a camper van with new people.
We also really advise planning all attractions you definitely want to see and agreeing together before travelling incase you wing it and end up having totally different ideas/ plans and have to compromise on the day because it’s last minute and missing things you really wanted to do.”
Advantages & disadvantages of travelling as a couple?
“We merged our money together to better manage our money and split everything down the middle which is a great advantage to travelling with your partner.
You are not on the other side of the world alone and have someone you have known for years by your side.
If one of you is shy then your partner can break the ice in conversations that you might not have done alone and you get to make amazing memories for life with your other half!”
The disadvantages are “just because you are in paradise doesn’t mean you don’t bicker. There’s not a lot of alone time while in hostels and it’s an odd experience while with your long term partner sleeping in bunk beds to say the least.
Because of our age once we return- WHICH WE WILL – it will have to be for the non working holiday visa so will have to save a lot of money to do all the things we want without running out of money so START WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG!”
Have you seen a change in your relationship since travelling?
“We both feel this experience has strengthened our relationship. If we can camp and share a small van for three weeks in 37 degree weather and make it out the other side or share a dorm with 10 complete strangers while in bunk beds for months at a time I think we can make it through anything.
We learned to budget every dollar together and compromise on every detail to make the experience the best it could be. It has made us want to travel so much more which at the beginning we didn’t know but now COVID19 has other plans.”