How-to Do Couples Trips the Right Way
January 13, 2021
Couple’s trips are the best way to spend time with your partner, best friends, explore new locations, and make new connections along the way. Sometimes this could be exactly what your relationship or marriage needs to get back on track. Or maybe you are the couple that will inspire another to do and be better.
According to a survey of 1,000 couples, 63% stated that traveling has helped them stay together. A vacation is not the answer to every couple’s problems, and if you are in a challenging moment in your relationship, a trip is the last thing you need.
Here are some tips for planning the next couple’s trip.
Rent a house
We are past the days of getting hotel rooms for group trips. Home rentals are the only way to go. Homes provide more time for connection and in-home activities, bonding over early morning coffee or late-night conversations. Plus, this makes it easier for time management and scheduling activities. You know where everyone is.
Here are some of the best home rental websites.
The size of the group matters
Couples trips are different than group trips—the size of the group matters. You want the group to be large enough to get a variety of connections and small enough for intimate conversations and relationship forming.
If a group is too large, people can get lost trying to keep up versus spending time with their partner and leaning into the experience. Couples trips are not to be treated as individual trips. You don’t arrive with your partner and then see them at night. The goal is to connect with your spouse, form new friendships, and learn and grow from the experience.
If the group is too big, this will impact the experience.
Pick a destination that allows for exploration
Vegas, Miami, Cancun, New York City, Houston, Atlanta, DC, Chicago…you see where I am going here. Drop those from your list. These are not couple-trip locations. There is no exploration needed to navigate these cities. If you haven’t visited, it’s better to do it with your partner one on one.
Pick locations that you typically wouldn’t visit. Places that have been on your list, but you’ve never made it. Think outside the box.
Here are some state-wide destinations to get your brain thinking:
- Denver, Colorado – a great place to be outside with views for days
- Lake Tahoe, NV [Or California side] – works for any season.
- Niagra Falls, NY – there is much more to do than look at the falls.
- Key West, FL – if you need a beach, go to a place that isn’t as mainstream.
- Park City, UT – a beautiful snow globe. Great winter trip.
- Portland, ME – you would be surprised by this small NE town.
- Idaho – Visit the hot springs and the Oregon trail!
- Hilton Head Island, SC – summer lasts longer, and the homes can fit 25+ people.
- Asheville, NC – anyone like craft beer? Home of some of the best breweries.
Consider these two things:
- Outdoor activities. And not just the beach. Pick a destination that allows for a new outside experience.
- Scenery. There is nothing like great views. Morning coffee and sunsets are much more romantic when you can step outside and see nature smiling at you.
Our group loves winter trips. So we pick cold places and do things we typically wouldn’t. Everyone does summer travel; why not be different and choose a cooler temperature excursion.
Activity Planning – Group, Women & Men, and Couple-time
There needs to be an itinerary for a trip like this. It needs to include group activities, time for the women and men to be together, separately, and alone time for the couple.
Here is a good formula to spend for activity planning. 60% – group activities, 20% women & men activities, 20% couple activities.
The purpose of the trip is to spend time with couples; most of your time is dedicated to that. The remaining time is split between your partner and time with the girls (or guys).
Guy and girl time is great on couples trips. It gets each spouse time to miss each other, chat about their significant other, and of course, to do the things your partner might not want to do. If you haven’t scheduled activities like this in previous years, do it next time.
Time with your spouse does not mean bedroom time. It means leaving the group for a brunch date, to take a walk around the neighborhood, or explore the local town and city.
Schedule time at the house.
Don’t rent this beautiful home and don’t spend any time inside. Its purpose is beyond sleeping and bathing. Pick one night to stay indoors. Here are some activities you can do.
Fishbowl talk— Each person writes a question and places it into a pile. Every couple picks a card to answer the question individually. Ex. 10 couples equal 20 questions. Each person will answer two questions, but both [couple] have to answer when one person picks a card.
Game night— Pick something everyone can play. Taboo, Pictionary, Heads-Up, For the Culture, are some great group games. Limit the number of games that only require a fraction of the guest—Uno, Spades, etc. The goal is to include everyone.—play smaller-sized games during other times.
Hire a chef— Our first couples trip, we hired a chef for our stay-at-home night, and now it’s a staple event. Having a 3-course meal, cooked, served, and cleaned up is a dream. Treat yourselves! Include this next time.
Binge a short series or watch a movie— Why would you travel across the country to sit at the house and watch a movie or TV with your friends? Easy answer, you probably get most of your recommendations from friends, so why not enjoy this experience together. It also provides for great discussion afterward.
Pick a short series (no more than six episodes) or a good movie that everyone would enjoy. A thriller/mystery or a Black film [comedy or drama] are great options. Romcoms or horror flicks are not for everyone. Be sure to pick something the entire group would enjoy.
Invite a couple that doesn’t know everyone
This trick will always add spice to every trip. Start to include couples who only know one or two couples. Yes, traveling with the same pairs every year can be fun, but life happens and things come up. So have a running list of couples that you would love to invite in the future.
The best way to get others excited about trips with strangers is by sharing how fun the trip was, and not through a social media post. Pick up the phone, call, get personal.
Couples trips are fun and exciting already, but for your next group destination, be creative and go one step further. You will enjoy doing something you haven’t done before.