Going on holiday together
You've traded date nights out for at-home wining and dining.
And redirected your clothes fund into a savings account. Here you come, São Paulo! But while jetting across the Pacific with your best bud can be a formative experience, it can also bring up unexpected stress. Here’s our guide on what to do to make it all smooth sailing.
What to expect
A whole new set of memories (and photos) with your partner.
Some once-in-a-lifetime experiences
We hope you packed a camera because you'll sure be using it. Expect plenty of photo ops, unusual dishes, and the giddy thrill of spending so much time with your partner.
Most of all? Expect the unexpected. Whether you end up missing the rickshaw or accidentally stumbling into a secret speakeasy, holidays rarely go exactly to plan.
We'd recommend going with the flow best you can.
... and a crash-course in good communication
Out of all the relationship milestones out there, going on holidays together is a big one. Sure, we hear you say, I love my partner and I'll never fight with them. Counter-argument: when was the last time you spent two whole weeks with someone else without getting snippy?
In between planning, budgeting, and a lack of time to zone out, it's easy to lose your temper over the small things. Being able to explain what you need and why – even when you're very jet-lagged – will be important.
What's good to do
Communication. It’s the lifeblood of relationships, and good holidays.
Talk it through
Before you get caught up in the rush of itinerary-prepping, talk to each other about what you want in a break. Is your partner a bigger fan of museums or beaches, and does that influence where they want to travel? When are they free to go? This info should guide your plans.
If it happens that your availability or budgets don't line up right now, you could always scale your plans down to a weekend away. That way you'll still get the pleasure of one another's company, away from the grind – and as an added bonus, the chance to save up.
Be smart about it
Between flights, food, insurance and entertainment, you’ll probably end up spending a month or two’s salary on your holiday. You'll want to keep costs low where you can.
Once you’ve got a destination in mind, it's worth researching how you can make your holiday budget work harder. This might mean anything from researching when it's cheaper to travel to your dream destination to chatting to your travel agent for bundle deals on insurance.
And of course, don't forget to check up on the basics, like where's affordable to eat and stay.
Come up with some rules
Before you go, you'll need to discuss how you're managing your holiday finances. This means establishing how the two of you will be splitting costs, and importantly, deciding what you'll do in an emergency.
While big unexpected expenses like needing to pay for hire car damage or replacing stolen electronics are rare, they can cast a real damper on your holiday. It's good to have a plan for these incidents, like setting aside some emergency cash or taking out some travel insurance.
Set—and stick to—a budget
We’d recommend basing your budget around the income of the lower-earner in the relationship. While this might sound a little superior, it’s worth remembering that they're more likely to be affected by higher expenses.
If you're a little nervous about how you'll go with sticking to your budget, you could consider keeping track of your expenses in a budget app. That way you’ll know when you’re starting to get close to your limit – and know to slow down.
Let's put it all together.
Have you ...
Picked a place and set a budget that takes into account your current financial positions and needs?
Researched affordable options or deals that’ll help you save money on-trip?
Applied for a card or created an account that’ll help you save on international fees?
Set aside some emergency holiday cash?
Links & resources
If you're planning a trip, it's good to get travel insurance. Moneysmart breaks down the options
SkyScanner helps you search for competitive flight and holiday packages.
Know your rights here in Australia and overseas
A few things to consider before you buy travel insurance
Let’s take it from the top, and get it straight. What should healthy financial behaviour in a relationship look like?
You're willing to talk about your money
The good, the bad, and the under-the-bed cash stash: when it comes to talking about money, you're willing to bare it all. While some topics might make you squirm or others leave you searching Google for answers, you ultimately recognise that money's far too important a topic to remain silent about.
You share or understand each other's financial values
While you don't need to see eye-to-eye on every little detail, sharing or respecting each other's financial values is important. It means you'll understand each other's financial habits and how they fit into the broader picture.
You make and manage financial decisions together
Good relationships are founded on equality. That means you should have an equal say on all things, no matter whether it's where you go for dinner or when you leave, but especially when it comes to how the two of you manage your finances.
Sometimes, what looks like a fair or normal way of dealing with money together might just be the opposite. Here are three major red flags - but be warned: they're often subtler than you'd think.
Your partner shuts down every money conversation
Communication is the lifeblood of relationships. If your partner's not willing to talk to you about debts, savings or income flow, even when you're splitting the rent, it's not a positive sign.
They make you feel like a fool
No-one likes being made to feel incompetent, especially about something as important as money. If your partner makes you doubt your financial ability - or worse, openly mocks it - it could be a sign they're trying to make you rely on their support.
Money responsibilities feel unfair
While we all want to support our partners, taking on too much financial responsibility can be a burden, both logistically and emotionally speaking. Moreover, it could negatively impact your own savings and financial future.