Getting your non-travel-obsessed partner to enjoy traveling takes some work, finesse, and thoughtfulness. It’s not easy figuring out how to convince your partner to travel with you. But, take it from me, as I feel like I’m kind of an expert in this realm. My, now husband as of Dec 2021 (woot!) but partner since May of 2012 did not much care for traveling when we started dating. Like, at all. Would rather not, it’s not his thing. Now, seeing as I have a whole damn blog dedicated to traveling one could say that I would rather and it is my thing. So, knowing that I’m very much in love with a man who doesn’t prioritize exploring like I do, I had to figure out how I was going to get him to like traveling.
Throughout this blog I’ll probably say husband or partner a lot as that’s what I have, but every time I say “husband” just swap that out for your wife, your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your whatever! These tips will apply to them all, they’re not gender or relationship-specific.
SO, why should you trust me and my tips? Well, because my husband, when we first started dating, said he didn’t really like traveling. And in the last few years alone I’ve warmed him up to it and we’ve done the following trips:
- 8 days in Thailand
- 1 week in Kauai
- Mardi Gras in New Orleans
- 1 week in Costa Rica
- 2 week national parks road trip
- 1 month in Arizona
- 8 days in Australia
- 1 week in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula road trip
- 1 week in Colorado
- Destination wedding in New Orleans
It’s safe to say that I know a thing or two about how to convince your partner to travel with you. And I also want to say it’s important to genuinely want your partner to enjoy traveling, not just go somewhere you really want to go. There’s a big difference between getting your way and paving the way.
The Short Version of How to Convince Your Partner to Like Travel With You
After ~10 years of convincing my husband to go on multiple trips with me, big and small, I’ve fine tuned my process and identified how I’ve convinced him. The following 5 tips are how to convince your partner / husband / wife / spouse / boyfriend / girlfriend / whomever to travel with you.
- Go places that are specific to their interests
- Always choose lodging they’re comfortable with
- Cater to their method of travel
- Anticipate what might make them nervous about your proposed trip
- Know their limits and don’t exceed them
The Long Version of How to Get Your Partner to Like Traveling
You read the quick hit above, now let’s dig into why these things help ease your partner’s mind and convince them to like travel.
It may seem like these tips on how to get your partner to travel with you are catering to them a lot. And that’s okay! Relationships are full of compromise. Hell, they’re compromising with you by going on a trip with you in the first place! So in order to build a love within them for travel, you’ve got to warm them up to it with things they love more than things you love. Consider it travel foreplay if you will, ha!
Go Places With Activities or Sites That Interest Them, Specifically
This seems basic but is very much not. A lot of times we want to travel because we want to go somewhere cool that we like. Well, if you’re dating or married to someone who doesn’t like traveling much, they probably don’t have that same pull. SO, what you do to convince your partner to like travel with you is bring up places with things that THEY love.
For example, my husband’s favorite animal in the world is a sloth. Like, Kristen Bell-level sloth love but with a few less tears. So, knowing this, I started bringing up the fact that we should go to Costa Rica because that’s where they’re found in the wild. For birthday/holiday gifts, I asked family for flight credits for myself and then offered to use those gifts to fly us both to Costa Rica so he could see sloths.
This worked tremendously, and it became our first big trip abroad together, his first ever. I was able to attach a trip to something that he loved and wanted to see too. This is my number one tip on how to convince your husband to travel with you for a reason, because I think it’s the best.
Prioritize their desires over your own. Was Costa Rica high on my list of places to visit at the time? Not necessarily (though it should have been because it’s stunning). But knowing that this was the first place he ever really got excited about traveling to because it had his most favorite animal ever, made it easier for him to decide to go.
Also, did I use this exact same logic to get him to go to Australia? Yes, yes I did.
Stay in Lodging That They’re Comfortable With
Convincing your partner to travel with you can be as easy as showing them pictures of a badass resort or homestay. Being able to truly visualize something can help people’s imaginations run wild with ideas, and he can start to see himself there.
However, as a huge fan of homestays (Airbnb and VRBO are my shit) sometimes I need to give that up and go the hotel route to make my husband a little more comfortable with traveling. If he’s more unfamiliar or nervous about a destination, sometimes a hotel will make him more comfortable. Having staff around might make your partner feel safer, both in terms of potential crime but also navigation purposes. It’s a lot easier for a taxi who doesn’t speak your language to get to a hotel than an individual house.
So making yourself easy to find while you’re on your trip might make your partner more comfortable traveling with you there.
Travel the Way Your Partner Prefers
Is your boyfriend uncomfortable on long flights? Does your husband love trains? Does your wife hate road trips? Take all of that into account and plan a trip based on how they would prefer to travel. This is all about prioritizing them.
My husband loves a good road trip. So the last few years I have planned road trips to destinations that I know he would like as well as me (because let’s face it I’m not picky). We spent my 30th birthday in Wyoming and my 31st in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! Both of these places are absolutely stunning and I knew he would enjoy them both for different reasons. So, would I have liked to have gone to Greece over Michigan? Sure. But did we go to Michigan because I knew my husband would have a better, more relaxed time in the UP and I can go to Greece with friends any old time? Hell yeah.
Sometimes long flights are big no-gos for our partners who don’t like traveling. Understanding and accommodating how they prefer to vacation is a great way to convince them to travel with you.
Get Ahead of the Things You Know Will Make Your Partner Nervous
There’s a reason your partner doesn’t love to travel. Find out that reason and figure out how to plan trips where that won’t be as much of a concern. A popular concern for many people who don’t prioritize travel is cost. A way to get ahead of this is finding budget travel examples for places you want to go! Preemptively show how travel doesn’t have to be expensive!
My personal example here is my husband likes to be very aware of his surroundings. He is always paying attention to what crime happens and where. He’s very protective of his people and is always aiming for us to be safe, which we cannot fault him for in the least. So, when we go somewhere new, he’s simply not familiar with that place so doesn’t know as much about it. It’s harder to relax for him like this.
So what I do before even pitching a destination to him is look up crime rates and what areas are the safest. I will often compare the crime rate to St. Louis (where we currently live) to cite to him we have nothing to fear as St. Louis almost always wins the “who’s more dangerous” debate, ha. You could compare against cities or other places you’ve been if you live in a low crime area.
But, I preemptively do research on the things I know make him nervous about travel. That way when I bring up this new place as a trip idea, I can lead with “it’s so safe” or “look how cheap this place is” or “the public transit is outstanding” or whatever the example is. Easing your partner’s concern out the gate is a great method to convince them to travel with you.
Know Their Limits & Respect Them
This is a super important one. If you know your boyfriend is afraid of heights, don’t try to make them go bungee jumping. If you know your wife hates hiking, don’t try to get her to climb Everest. Simple, right? Well, you’d be surprised by how many people I know dragging their husbands on snorkeling trips knowing damn well they’re afraid of the open ocean.
There is a difference between a trampling a limit and broadening a horizon. Travel makes us all expand beyond what we thought we knew and that’s part of the beauty of it. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of feeling safe and supported. You’ll never convince your partner to travel with you if every time they do so, they’re doing something they dislike seemingly against their will, just to appease you.
Romantic Getaways to Inspire Their Excitement
So there you have it, my top 5 tips on how to convince your partner to travel with you. Start small if you have to. Do a little staycation, drive a couple hours for a weekend getaway, and test some of these tips. Then you can gradually start going bigger. But if you put your partner first, and they’re willing to try for you as well, you’re going to end up super happy traveling together. And isn’t that just the best?