How Soon is Too Soon to Start Traveling With Your Partner?
JS editors sound off on the age-old question ...
"For me, I think it very much depends on where you are in life. My now-husband and I took our first grown-up trip to the Dominican Republic six years into our relationship—but our first four years were spent in college, and quite poor. Traveling with anyone, lover or not, shows you a person’s true colors—as well as your own. How you both handle stress, spontaneity, when plans change unexpectedly, and how you want to spend money and time are issues we not only tackle on vacation, but in everyday life. I say two to three years in is the sweet spot—you’re both committed, and well past the honeymoon phase not to overlook any warning signs!"
—Lindsey Olander, Editor
"I think it’s contingent on your comfort level, but with my current relationship, I jumped right in— in part because we’re doing long-distance, and traveling is just a part of the deal. We’ve been camping in the Redwoods, skiing in the Berkshires, did the whole Times Square thing for New Year’s Eve in NYC (we vowed to never do it again), and went free-climbing in the mountains upstate. It’s been really awesome to learn new things about one another and create shared memories!"
—Lauren Dishinger, Associate Photo Editor
"In my opinion, a couple of months of dating is a good jumping-off point (but that said…I would still consider keeping it domestic). By then, you’ve spent enough time together that a few 24/7 days shouldn’t be too much to handle, and you’ve likely already met a handful of their friends and vice versa. I bring up meeting friends first just because I’m a bit psychotic and always jump to worst case scenario-type situations – i.e. I go missing – in which case I want to make sure my friends have the full scoop on who I’m traveling with. If that makes me sound like a mom, so be it. Better safe than sorry!"
—Chelsea Stuart, Writer
"It certainly varies from person to person, but I think six months to a year is a good time to plan your first trip together. My fiancé and were about a year into our relationship when we took our first vacation. We flew to the West Coast and spent two weeks road tripping through national parks in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. When you’re in a car with another person for hours at a time (or, say, camping in less-than-glamorous conditions), you want to make sure you’re really comfortable around that person— and for us, a year was the perfect amount of time. We had so much fun exploring a different part of the country together, and learning about each other in the process."
—Gretchen Moosbrugger, Photo Editor
"I’d advise against traveling together (especially internationally) if you’re not all in commitment-wise. You don’t want to waste time or money traveling with someone who isn’t on the same page as you. When my then boyfriend (now husband) and I traveled to Bali, there was none of that early dating anxiety. We just relaxed on the beach and chilled in our jungle hut without having to worry about all the pressure and stress that comes from dating someone new."
—April Ellis, Senior Photo Editor
"One thing is for sure: If you’re on the fence about someone, taking a trip will definitely help you decide if he’s right or wrong for you. When I was younger I remember dating this guy for a month or so, who I wasn’t sure about. We decided to go to Newport, RI for a long weekend_—_and that pretty much did it. I realized we had nothing in common, he didn’t once offer to pay for dinner or even a coffee, and I couldn’t wait to get out of there. It was a painful three days. So moral of the story: go for it at your own peril."
—Clara Sedlak, Executive Editor
"I don’t think it’s ever too soon to travel as a couple. Exploring new places is such a fun (and fast) way to get to know each other, as well as find out how compatible you are together. But I’ll admit, I’m a bit biased. Two years ago, I was introduced to my now-boyfriend, and on a whim we decided to go on a three-week road trip out west—even though we had JUST met. We drove through Yellowstone, Big Sky Montana, and all the way to Washington, where we hiked the Olympic National Park, then cruised down the Pacific Northwest coastline until we hit Portland, Oregon. Call us crazy, but hey, it worked out in the end!"
—Chelsea Bengier, Editorial Assistant
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"As long as your partner seems a sane and reasonable person, I don’t see any harm in traveling early on—especially because it can test the relationship in ways that daily life doesn’t, bringing to light issues that might threaten the relationship further down the road. On a separate note, I also think it’s so important to get out of your day-to-day grind, and just be around the other person in a more relaxed, carefree environment. When my boyfriend and I went to Joshua Tree, California, we spent out days motoring down the highway in a convertible, getting lost, and doing things (i.e., hiking) we don’t typically do. It was exhilarating to be in a different element and feel so wild and spontaneous."
—Siobhan Reid, Writer
"If you get along well and the opportunity to travel together arises, I say do it! There’s no metric for this kind of thing other than the way you personally feel. My partner is a musician and because of that, we’ve been traveling since we got together. He jams, I take photos, and it’s a great balance. Aside from loving the hell out of each other, we’re also pretty similar, so we’ve thankfully never experienced any of those horror show couple’s trip moments."
—Rebecca Enis, Photo Editor Intern
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