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Planning your first vacation together

Do your watch the TV show "Amazing Race?" Do you see what happens to those lovely-dovey couples who have been dating a while or those newly married ones when they are doing some heavy-duty traveling? They throw hissy fits, have temper tantrums, threaten to break up, resort to name calling, and sulk. You might not be traveling to win one million dollars and you probably won't be going from Istanbul to Alaska in a day, but there's bound to be some trying times. This article is meant to help you be aware of as you plan this first vacation so as to avoid major problems.

Travel takes a toll on even the most mature relationships. Your nerves begin to wear thin, as you pick up the squeezed out toothpaste tube from the bathroom floor in the too small hotel bathroom. It can be wild and wooly depending on where you're going and how much money you plan on spending. Don't let your first vacation be your last.

First of all, make sure you both 100 percent agree wholeheartedly on the destination. Otherwise if anything does go sour the person who didn't really want to go there will throw it up in the other one's face; e.g., "You're the one who wanted to come here in the first place. It's all your fault." No one wants to hear that. Be certain you agree on the place.

Finances: Decide how much you can budget for a vacation and stick to it. If you bring credit cards with you, don't get carried away buying stuff you won't want later.

Next, work together on the itinerary for the same reason as above. If you end up at a one-star hotel that doesn't have running water you can laugh about it later instead of not speaking to your spouse because he/she picked it.

Naturally you don't both want to do the same things and go to the same places. Compromise now in focused peace of your living room. It's too hard to decide where to go and what to do when you're at the place and ten different attractions are available to you that day. Talk them over carefully, read the guidebooks, do some Googling and take your time deciding what are fair compromises in terms of what you will visit on day trips and nights out.

Assume now that your flight will not go as scheduled. It's just the way of the world of transportation. If you are prepared to sit around and wait at the airport, you can do so patiently and without picking a fight with each other about who chose the airline. It is very unattractive to cause a scene over the everyday hassles of flight.

Use your guidebooks and the Internet to try to pick out some reasonable sounding restaurants ahead of time. There's nothing worse than fighting on some street corner about where to eat when you're both hungry, tired, hot and don't want to walk another foot. There may be some interesting restaurants that sound really good to you when you home with no pressure on you. And, again, no one needs to fight over "who chose this lousy restaurant?"

Do yourselves a favor and plan to spend at least one full day doing something you want to do off by yourself while your partner goes and does what they want to do. Not only does he, for example, get to play golf all day, she gets to see most of the local art museum without being hurried through it. And at the end of the day you will find your spirits are refreshed and you are genuinely glad to see each other again.

Treat each other with your best manners--be polite as you would for company. It helps to be civil when you're under a strain. Forgive what the stress causes in your own true love, and be quick to say you're sorry too. And, finally, have a wonderful time that you will want to repeat again next year.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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