1 February 2019

Backpacking As A Couple - The Survival Guide

Backpacking As A Couple - The Survival Guide

If you're in a long-term relationship, then you may have already been (or are planning on going) on holiday together. 

With your average holidays being between 1-2 weeks, the likelihood of the two of you falling out a lot is pretty slim, due to you being in each other's pockets for only a small amount of time. 

But what is it like to be in each other's pockets for months? Or even longer? That is the question that you'll end up asking yourself if you plan on backpacking together. 

As wonderful as long-term travel is when you are doing it with your other half, things can sometimes get tense, even to the point of make or break

You'll have probably heard that term a million and one times already, but it honestly couldn't be nearer to the truth. 

Think about this: you're going to be spending every day together, for however many months you plan on backpacking, making decisions that affect the two of you while trying to keep safe and feed yourselves. All of those things can mount up until things get tense, and that is only natural. 

However, there are some things that you can do to ensure that you come back from your trip still as a couple rather than as singletons, and these are the tips that helped me when I went backpacking for 5 months with my boyfriend in 2017. 

Backpacking As A Couple - The Survival Guide


First off, you'll get along a lot better with each other, if you are mindful about what the other person might be thinking or going through. 

Everyone reacts differently to situations, and there may be one thing that they're fine with, and another that really winds them up. 

Remember- you are practically living with them for a long period, which is pretty much the same as moving in together. This is huge, and you never know how long it will take someone to settle into that. 

If you know there is something that your other half doesn't like, then respect that just as much as you would hope they would do the same for you. 


Nothing clears the air like talking, so if there's something that is bothering you or you think might be bothering them, then talk about it!

When it's just the two of you, and there's no one else to talk things through with, then make the most of this. It can feel easier to bottle things up, especially if you think it might ruin the trip if you talk about it, but I promise you that it won't. In fact, it'll probably make it a more enjoyable trip. 

Whether it's a tiny problem or a serious matter, get it out in the open and talk it through. 


Even though you are with each other all the time, make sure you find the time to go on 'dates', just the same as you would at home. 

Be that going out for a fancy dinner, to a bar for a drink or to take a picnic to watch the sunset somewhere beautiful, make the effort to keep the romance alive, even if you're not the romantic type. 

It'll give the trip some variety, as well as creating more memories together that'll stick in your mind. 


As much as you may want to be spending every minute with each other, this isn't healthy, especially on long-term trips. Make sure you give each alone time and space to get back in touch with your own thoughts. 

You can do this by simply going into another room to do what you want, or if you're feeling brave then venture out for a couple of hours, or even the day! By doing this, you're keeping your own independence, and it also means you can get back in touch with who you are and your own interests. 

Also, if the other person feels like they need to do this when you want to spend time together, then again, respect their independence. 

When you meet up again, you'll both have lots of fresh things to talk about. 


If something goes wrong, then it can be so easy to take it out on each other, seeing as they are the first person there. 

Try to talk it through sensibility, regardless of how stressful the situation is. If they are to blame for the problem, then explain this to them calmly and let them have a chance to voice their own opinions and even to apologise. 

If they don't accept it's their fault, then just let it simmer. They may realise later on that they were in the wrong, but if they just can't accept it then there may be deeper things going on that need to be addressed. 

You're both going through the same problems as you're backpacking together, and problems will undoubtedly happen. Once you realise that, then getting over and accepting the problems will become a lot easier. 


By now, you may have thought that these tips sound like your generic relationship tips, but when they are put into the scenario of long-term travel they change quite a bit. 

For instance, as well as trusting in each other (something that hopefully is something that is already in your relationship), while backpacking you need to trust each other with things. I'm talking about who's in charge of doing the budgeting, find accommodation, directions, and looking after certain items. 

There's no point you both doing all these things as this wastes time that you could be using to go out and explore. 


Now I fully realise that you won't be completely okay if things don't work out. You may be heartbroken! But if it comes to the point where you both decide that being with each other every single day is not working, then you need to accept that. 

If this is the conclusion that is made, then it probably wouldn't have worked out if you had moved in together rather than gone backpacking. 

As horrible as it may be, living together is inevitably an important step in a relationship, and if you are struggling with that then you are both probably not best suited. 


When my boyfriend and I sat down in our seats on our plane back home, we quickly realised that we had lived with each other for 5 months and hadn't killed each other!

If this is the case, then this is a pretty good sign for your future, be it for another trip or possibly taking your relationship to a more serious level. 

Whatever you decide to do, you can look back on this trip in years to come and talk about what a special time it was that the two of you got to share together. 

Backpacking As A Couple - The Survival Guide


I'd love to hear your experiences if you've been backpacking as a couple, and how you found it. If there are any things that helped you that I've not mentioned, then pop them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading x



  1. Ahaha, I loved this post. I'm currently traveling solo, but I want to travel with my boyfriend next year We've done a lot of holidays together and lived together for 5+ years, and I can honestly say all of the above advice is great. Especially realising when you're taking your anger from a situation out on them. Also it is always important to make time for date night:) xx


    1. So glad to hear you liked it! Hope you get to travel with each other soon, it's such an amazing experience xx