While occasionally traveling without your partner can strengthen your relationship, vacationing with your S.O. is a magical experience. You escape the stresses of daily life in favor of unhurried time together. You catch up on sleep and stop talking about work and whether or not it’s your turn or theirs to unload the dishwasher. You get to explore new places, taste new cuisine, and maybe indulge in a cocktail or two. With spring and summer travel upon us, there’s a good chance one or both of you will come home with a tan too. Like any travel buddy, though, your S.O. can present their share of frustrations.

A couple takes a selfie in front of a river in Amsterdam

Taking a trip is an investment of both time and money, and since everyone wants to make sure that they enjoy the fruits of that investment to the fullest, it’s no wonder that conflicts about how to achieve the best vacation for all parties can easily come up. No one wants to leave an all-too-short and expensive vacation disappointed, and when expectations are high, tensions can run high as well. In the interest of making sure that your romantic travels are as close to perfect as they can be this spring and summer, we turned to the pros at Topdeck Travel. Keep scrolling for their tips on making sure that you and your special person both make the most of your trip.

1. Strike up a conversation with the locals. If you and your S.O. are slated for a romantic one-on-one getaway, you’re going to spend a lot of time talking — and listening — to each other. While we’re sure you love the sound of bae’s sweet, sultry tones 99 percent of the time, it’s totally understandable if you find yourself craving conversation with maybe, like, one other person. Don’t be afraid to strike up a discussion with people who live in the area you’re visiting! You’ll likely get some great intel on things to see and do while you’re in town, and you and your significant other will get a much-needed conversational buffer to help you defuse any tension.

2. Take turns choosing restaurants and food options each day. At home, either you or your significant other might take the lead on setting dates and planning meals, but half the fun of a vacation is shaking up the routine and trying on new roles within the relationship. Even if one of you is a serious foodie and the other has a hands-off approach to dining, take turns when it comes to planning at least a few of the meals you’ll eat over the course of the trip. You’ll both get a chance to test out the menus that look good to you, and neither person will feel like they’re wholly responsible for your collective appetite.

3. Balance indoor and outdoor activities. You and your other half probably have different thresholds for hot weather and humidity — weather conditions that can be ever-present on summer vacations — so make it a point to alternate between indoor and outdoor days, or set aside the morning to be outside before coming in for the afternoon. Establishing these kinds of boundaries ahead of time will help you avoid the awkward “Are you too hot?” “I don’t know… Are you too hot?” dance and will also ensure that you both get some healthy time away from the sun and heat.

A group of tourists look out across the waterfront

4. Explore group travel options. If you’re stressed about the idea of spending an extended period of time on vacation with your significant other only, or if you’ve struggled to get along on other trips, you might consider a group tour the next time around. You and bae will still have plenty of QT, but you’ll also have a chance to meet potential new friends and participate in an itinerary of preplanned activities that will create zero extra stress for you. Still warming up to the idea? Book a group excursion or adventure next time you’re staying at a resort so you can see if that kind of dynamic feels like the right fit.

5. Spending time alone is okay — actually, it’s encouraged. There’s no shame in needing a little time and space for yourself while you’re on vacation with your partner… And doing so isn’t an indication that you and your S.O. aren’t the perfect match. Taking a trip is all about doing whatever you need to relax — if alone time is your ultimate form of relaxation, don’t be afraid to take it. Meeting your own emotional needs will allow you to enjoy your time with your special person to the max when you are together.

6. Switch up your travel patterns. Topdeck’s travel experts note that the days when everyone went to the beach the same week every year are long gone and that it’s now easier and more affordable than ever to distribute your travel schedule throughout the calendar. Make sure that you and your S.O. are both having the types of vacations you most enjoy — beach versus mountains, adventure versus relaxation — by planning sporadic weekends instead of long weeks away. You can probably get better deals this way too!

7. Use both brains to plan the trip. Vacations should be a joint effort from the beginning. No one partner should be totally responsible for all of the details of an upcoming vacation (unless, of course, there’s a surprise involved!). When you work together on the planning process, you establish an unspoken agreement that both parties have a stake in the itinerary… and therefore can’t complain.

How do you plan to keep everyone happy on your upcoming trips? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)