When you hear that another couple is traveling separately, you probably think: Why would they want to travel without their partner? Whether you’re on board with separate vacays or wanting to try it out for yourself, you need to know the pros and cons of traveling separately before deciding.
Should couples travel separately? There are multiple pros and cons to traveling separately from your partner. The top 12 pros and cons include:
- Missing Each Other is a Good Thing
- You Can Do What You Want to Do
- You Can Spend Time with Friends and Family Members
- It’s a Great Option if There is No Childcare
- It’s Ideal for Conflicting Work Schedules
- It Allows for a Completely Stress-Free Vacation
- It Builds Trust
- It May Cost Less
- It Won’t Work in a Struggling Relationship
- You Might End Up Feeling Lonely
- You Could Feel Guilty
- Your Partner Might Be Upset
If you are thinking about going on an independent vacation adventure, you first need to know all the facts. Traveling separately is an excellent idea that comes with plenty of benefits. However, there are still some negatives you need to be prepared for. This article lays out the pros and cons of individual travel and can help you determine if it is right for you and your partner.
The Pros and Cons of Couples Traveling Separately
Everyone is going to have their own opinion when it comes to traveling separately. If you are thinking about planning an independent vacation, it is important to follow what you and your spouse think is best for you and your relationship. Too many times, plans fall through simply because outside sources bring hesitation and fear.
These 12 pros and cons of traveling separately will help you get a better understanding of why independent adventures can be an amazing idea. You will also find out when it might not be the best option for your relationship.
Pros of Traveling Separately
The following eight pros of traveling separately let you see how an independent vacation can be a great way to relax while also helping to strengthen your relationship.
Missing Each Other is a Good Thing
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’? Well, it’s not just a phrase. There is scientific evidence that backs this up, as explained in the blog “This Is What Happens in Your Brain When You Miss Your Partner & It’s Really Intense” by Tayi Sanusi.
Missing your partner has neurological effects on the brain. This can range from sadness to a more intense agony, and it will all depend on your relationship and how long you have been in the relationship. This brings about a type of longing that you will have for your partner.
Is all of this stress on the brain a good thing? While it might hurt to miss your partner, it will bring the two of you closer together in the long run. Think about how incredibly excited you will be when it comes time to see your love again? Reuniting after an independent vacation will be a grand experience that will strengthen your relationship.
You Can Do What You Want to Do
Perhaps the biggest benefit of traveling without your partner is that you can do what you want to do. Let’s face it: you are not clones of one another. Something that you thoroughly enjoy, such as camping outside and enjoying bonfires, might be a nightmare to your partner. She may prefer a luxurious beachside manor with plenty of primping instead.
When you decide to take separate vacations, you get to do what you enjoy doing without worrying about dragging an unhappy partner around. If you want to go bungee jumping, go bungee jumping. If you want to spend two hours in a spa, then sit back and relax.
I love getting dressed up and going to nice restaurants. That’s totally not LJ’s thing! Though he will do it because he loves me and I appreciate him for that, it is not something I want to do all the time with him since I know he doesn’t really enjoy it. So when I travel without him it’s something I enjoy guilt-free.
It’s important to remember, though, that you should always discuss your plans with your partner. Don’t assume that they won’t want to go on the trip because you think they won’t like it. Your partner might surprise you and be up for trying something new – in which case your independent plans can become a brand new experience with plenty of bonding.
You Can Spend Time with Friends and Family Members
Some people have certain traditions. Perhaps you and your family always gather in the summertime for an overnight beach trip, or maybe you all head out to Tennessee for Thanksgiving. Whatever the tradition may be, it might not be the best experience for your partner.
Maybe your current budget only allows for one person to go, maybe they don’t like your family, or their work interferes with the trip. Does that mean you should skip on the family tradition? Of course, not! Go for it.
This is also true for anyone who wants to visit a best friend who has moved away. It might be a great idea to plan a mini-vacation where you can see your bestie and make more wonderful memories – just you and your friend, of course.
It’s a Great Option if There is No Childcare
One thing that can hold couples back from traveling together is childcare. If you don’t have any family and friends who are willing to spend a few nights with your children, it can make traveling a major challenge. You want to leave your kids with someone you trust, especially if they are young, and hiring a random babysitter to watch them can be unsettling.
So, what is a family supposed to do? Traveling alone allows one adult to stay home with the children while the other parent gets a good break. Now, we’re not saying mom should fly away to Paris for three weeks and leave dad with all the stress and havoc. But a night or two away can do wonders for a parent, even if that means relaxing in a hotel hot tub until 3 AM. My sister has visited me a few times throughout the years for a mommy-cation without her husband due to limited childcare options.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to children is to let them know what is going on and make sure it is okay with your partner. Some parents have a hard time dealing with kids 24/7 by themselves, and this should be discussed beforehand. The two of you should also plan a trip for the other parent soon so that they can have a break, too.
It’s Ideal for Conflicting Work Schedules
Trying to plan a vacation when the two of you work full time (or overtime) can be stressful and seemingly impossible. It’s not likely that your days off or vacation times are going to be at the same time, which can lead to disappointment after disappointment.
If your vacation days are stacking up and you are ready to be work-free for a few days, and your partner is still stuck working 9 to 5 with no free days, then it might be the best choice to use your vacation days and go on an independent adventure. This will allow you to use those vacation days you have worked so hard for while allowing you to relax and take your mind off work for a while.
Understand that when your partner has their vacation days, they will likely want to go on a trip far away from their workplace, too.
It Allows for a Completely Stress-Free Vacation
There are so many reasons for couples to decide to take separate vacations, as outlined clearly in the blog ‘You’re Happily Married So Why Take Separate Vacations?’ by Sheri Stritof. Whether it might be due to childcare issues or work schedule conflicts, one of the simpler reasons for independent adventures is simply because it’s 100% stress-free.
Think about it: even the happiest couple in the world is going to hit a snag along the way in their vacation. Perhaps you are craving tacos you saw at the Mexican restaurant down the street, but your partner needs a juicy cheeseburger. You’re stuck with one person not being completely satisfied.
But on an independent vacation, you can do whatever you want, worry-free. You won’t need to worry about what they want to do or eat. You won’t have to hear anyone complaining. It’s just you, maybe a few friends, and everything you want to eat, drink, and think for a few days.
If you are a parent and looking for solo travel inspiration, check out this blog post by Monet Hambricks, creator of The Traveling Child.
It Builds Trust
You and your significant other probably see lots of each other day in and day out. This is especially true if you live together or work together. While this bonding is wonderful, and you likely have all the trust in the world for your partner, traveling independently can strengthen your relationship and build trust.
It is probably a big step, for most relationships, to travel without the other person. And that’s okay! As long as there is plenty of communication during the trip, you can be at ease while being happy and supportive of your significant other during their travels.
The important thing to remember is that communication is key. Tell your partner what you are going to be doing on your trip and stick to it. Don’t engage in any ‘risky’ behavior that can ultimately break trust, such as traveling with a person of a different gender, drinking so much alcohol you can’t remember what you did, or going places that would make your partner unhappy.
It May Cost Less
Another major benefit of traveling alone is that you will be able to save some money! Instead of buying two margaritas at the bar, you only need one. Instead of purchasing tickets for two, you’re only buying for one. All of these little expenses can certainly add up by the end of your trip. Only buying things for a single person will save money on your trip.
Of course, finances should be discussed with your partner before your vacation. You should both know what to expect in terms of cost. Doing so will avoid any potential financial pitfalls in which your partner becomes upset that you spent half of the mortgage money on a snorkeling session off the coast. Set a budget and stick to it!
Cons of Traveling Separately
While there are many pros to traveling without your partner, there are a few cons that are important to consider before booking your solo trip.
It Won’t Work in a Struggling Relationship
As described perfectly in the blog ‘The Truth About Taking Separate Vacations’ by Laura Seldon from GalTime, separate vacations are never going to work in a struggling relationship. If you are thinking that you ‘need a break’ from your partner and are going on an independent vacation to get away from them, then your relationship may have serious, deeper issues that will not be fixed by a separate vacation.
Taking a break from your partner never works. You need to sit down and find the root of the problem and work on fixing that issue. Running away from your partner on an independent vacation when your relationship is struggling is only going to make things worse.
Therefore, happy couples must be the only couples taking separate vacations. This avoids fears, worries, and the possibility of the relationship failing while the other one is ‘taking a break’ on their vacay.
You Might End Up Feeling Lonely
When you’re taking an independent vacation, you have the chance to sit back and relax without worrying about anyone else. Sure, you are going to think of your love and your children while on your vacation, but after that thought and a quick phone call, you are back to being completely alone.
It’s good to have some alone time. This allows you to relax and be at one with your thoughts. You might come to terms with something or find out something new about yourself, which is great. But too much alone time can be a bad thing for some people.
While some people have no problem with spending days alone with their thoughts and doing what they enjoy the most, other people might end up feeling lonely on their independent trip. Keep this in mind when you’re planning a solo trip.
One way to combat severe loneliness during an independent trip is to keep the trip short and close to home. If you want to take a break while you have the time off from work, book a room for a night or two in a city that is relatively close to where you live. This can give you the comfort of knowing that your loved ones aren’t too far away while allowing you a couple of nights to unwind alone.
You Could Feel Guilty
When you plan a trip without your partner, you should never feel guilty. But unfortunately, many people end up feeling bad because they didn’t bring their loved ones along for the adventure. This is why it is so important to communicate before and during the trip.
If you have a good, long talk with your partner about why you want to take this trip and you are both on board with it, then there should be no feelings of guilt. If you are feeling guilty, it may point to an underlying issue that you have with your partner that needs to be discussed.
Remember: you are taking an independent trip for a reason, whether it’s big or small. Your relationship should be strong enough that you can do this without the other person feeling sad, left out, or nervous.
Your Partner Might Be Upset
Whether you can take an independent vacation comes down to your relationship and how strong it is. A happy, strong relationship should have no problem with traveling separately. Of course, some couples choose never to do this, and that is okay, too. It will all come down to your relationship and what the two of you are comfortable with.
So, if your partner expresses they will be upset if you go on an independent vacation, you probably shouldn’t go. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t trust you. Some people do not like to spend time by themselves and won’t be happy that you’re leaving.
Or maybe they feel like you aren’t prioritizing time with them. A while back my friend was dating a guy who didn’t want her traveling without him since they hadn’t been anywhere together recently. So for my bachelorette weekend in Miami and Bahamas, she flew out and spent one day with us girls and spent the rest of the time with her boyfriend and his family who lived in the city. This compromise worked for them and she still got to get in some solo/girl time.
The best thing to do is to talk about taking separate vacations and listen to everything your significant other has to say. If they are on board, then great – you have much more communicating and planning to do. If they are not okay with it, then find out why. It could be something as simple as they are afraid to be alone at night or something deeper such as them not having any trust you.
Best of wishes planning your trip, whatever you decide!
You might also find this blog post, Travel Luxe for Less, helpful.