Traveling Together – taking the plunge with a partner

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Planning on going travelling with your partner? Don’t let money divide you.

The count down has begun.

It seems like years ago that I booked my ticket to go travelling, in fact it was 5 months ago. After an eternity of deliberating, my boyfriend and I finally picked up the phone and within 5 minutes we had spent £1300 and we were going to South America.

In the days that followed I couldn’t hide my excitement and in hindsight the adrenelin I felt at having made such a huge decision must have appeared as smugness to friends and family.

Recently though, with one month to go my excitement has more or less evaporated. There is so much to do and plan yet the humdrum of working life seems to have taken its toll. Working two jobs is a good way of earning extra cash but it also eats up all your time and I find that I am constantly stressed – not the way I should be feeling on the verge of a trip of a lifetime.

My long-suffering boyfriend has put up with my tears and tantrums and assured me that it will all be worth it when we get away but I’m not sure who he’s been trying to convince – him or me. Over the last few months we’ve argued more than throughout the whole of our two and a half year relationship and I know I am mostly to blame.

Last week after blubbering on a friends shoulder and having another stormy row I vowed to curb my nightmarish behaviour. I sat down with my boyfriend and we discussed why we have been arguing so much.

It was no surprise to find that money was at the root of all our problems – he has it, I don’t. While I have been working two jobs he has been working irregularly and this has seemed unfair but in truth it isn’t. I am an independent woman and that means I feel the need to earn my own money, it’s not his fault that he earns more than me.

After much discussion we resolved our problems and reasoned that all these jealousies and concerns will disappear as soon as we set off. We are both on track to have the equal amount of money and once we are on the road our resources will be pooled which should alleviate any “you can afford to do that but I can’t” issues.

Money or lack of it can potentially be a huge burden when you are travelling as you have to make it last but it can also make your trip more rewarding.

By living on a budget you think about the decisions you make more carefully and often experience things that you never would at home.

Staying in hostels and working in bizarre surroundings are good ways to meet people and are things that the more discerning traveler may miss out on. Sleeping on a hammock in the open air may not be as comfortable as snoozing in a king size bed but it is certainly more liberating and think of all the beautiful scenery you can enjoy by taking the bus instead of splashing out on a flight.

Since our little chat last week I am now feeling very positive about our plans again. The travel insurance is now booked, I’ve almost had all my jabs and things generally seem to be falling into place.

Money is no longer such a burning issue in our relationship – as far as we’re concerned it will last as long as it lasts. My boyfriend seems more focused on our plans and work is no longer stressing me out as I’ve suddenly realized I’m flying to Venezuela in a month and nothing can get me down.

Unfortunately for friends and family the smugness has returned and this time it shows no sign of evaporating.

Sally Coffey