Dear Avi and Adele:
My girlfriend and I have been dating for 9 months and have begun discussing taking a vacation together. I’m overdue for a getaway, but not sure I’m prepared to travel with her. How do I know if we’re ready for this big step?
– Got Shpilkes
Dear Got Shpilkes:
So you like a girl, you’ve been dating her, and now you’re shying away from the opportunity for a little R&R with a side of whoopee? Perhaps your concerns are bigger than your carry-on luggage restrictions.
Couples setting out for their first travel adventure together benefit from the careful consideration that you seem to want to give this matter. Proper planning includes not only getting the best deal on airfare and connecting with your cousin Sal who owns that hotel in Miami. Planning for your first trip also includes considering how you’re going to handle nonstop time with your love so that you come back feeling even better about your bashert (soul mate).
Travel reveals a lot about a person: your gal may say she’s low-key, but you find out she’s truly high maintenance. Talking beforehand about your expectations for the trip is critical: who’s paying for what? How much are you going out, and how do you fairly decide what you’re going to do with your time? Are you packing Scrabble or your dancing shoes? And speaking of packing, do you both travel lightly or is it a problem for you if she must have shoes (and purse) to match each outfit? Do either of you have any dietary restrictions? What if she wants ice cream but you want steak? Talking about these things in advance can minimize frustration during the trip.
Traveling together can be like a trial-run for future living arrangements, so proceed with caution, and don’t be shy about speaking up for the time you each need to yourself during the trip.
And while you’re away, don’t forget to shop for a chotchke (trinket) or two you can bring home for the whole mishpocheh (extended family), especially hers. If you’re a potential future son-in-law, this should help endear you to her family.
Livin’ and Lovin’,
Avi and Adele
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