Imagine yourself driving your car with the camper trailer in tow. You’ve swapped out stress and the daily grind for freedom and fun.
The wind gently whips at your hair as the scenery rushes by outside the window and stunning views are replaced every few hundred kilometres by even more stunning views as you make your way along the open road.
You look over at your partner and smile as you take turns choosing the music and chatting about the amazing adventures you’ve already had along the way. You both laugh as you consider where you’ll end up that night and how much fun you’re going to pack into the next day.
You’re thinking about checking out the local farmer’s market in the area tomorrow. But the tackle box and fishing gear laid out in the back seat suggest your partner may have other plans! Ah the sweet life of freedom.
But we’re a little old for fantasies, aren’t we? That’s not to say the above isn’t typical of life on the road.
It is absolutely true, but let me tell you, it’s not always the case.
Traveling with your partner is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in a relationship.
They say couples who can travel together can do anything!
I’m sure you’ve had holidays full of joy and fun times, and when you look back it’s hard to even remember the squabble on the U-Bahn in Berlin or the time your partner got too drunk at the resort in Bali (“Ampura” is how you say sorry in Balinese for the record).
But we’re not talking about a short two weeks away are we?
Life’s daily struggles can be difficult on any relationship but travelling on the road means you can’t just sulk in the other room should things go sour.
Sometimes the mere inconvenience of having to do the dishes after a tough day at work is enough to send lovers into limbo.
So how will you go cooped up together travelling for weeks on end?
How do you get the best of both worlds? How do you manage the fun days and the frantic moments?
Well, I am qualified to tell you. I have survived several lengthy adventures in various modes of transport and in various locations. Thankfully, so has my partner! So, let me give you the break down, so your relationship doesn’t break up!
Here’s our top 20 tips so you don’t call it quits:
1. The conversation
It’s time for a change! You’ve decided. Your partner has decided. And you’re both going to make a change for the better.
But what is that change for you? What is it for her or him?
The conversation sounds ominous but it really isn’t. It’s the alignment of ideas and understanding it’s the beginning of the journey together. A journey that requires open communication.
It’s hard enough to find a soulmate, let alone the perfect travel companion. Communicate, be realistic and build this dream together.
2. Know the road is never straight
Discuss your expectations: what you want, and why; it’s important to take note that planning isn’t perfect. Because the truth is it’ll never turn out the way you expect. But that’s not a bad thing! It just means giving thought to the scenarios that could go wrong, and thinking about how you could react and rectify, will help you deal with the trickier times with a little more grace.
It sounds silly but when you’re in the moment, having discussed those responses helps to alleviate the symptoms of stress or panic. Because your partner is more aware of what is going on.
3. The Decision starts with the car
You have decided against the tent life. No more tent pegs and rods. You are living on the road! Your first port call! Many people consider a whole range of campers.
But what’s the point in having a camper if you can’t take it with you?
It’s hard to believe but couples often forget that the camper only functions if it is portable. If you can tow it. Bring it with you.
If you haven’t already chosen your camper trailer, then sit down with your partner and make the right decision with The Ultimate Camper Trailer Buying Guide.
4. Get to know your camper
This sounds even more silly but I don’t mean know where everything is. I mean experience the camper first hand with your partner. Both inhabit the space. Move about it together. Is it your vessel? Your BYO home? Potentially, your love shack?
Your relationship depends on being able to exist in a confined space.
Now like any healthy relationship, the foundation you build upon is crucial to how your dreams play out. Take the right person and the right ride and you’ll have an amazing time.
Maybe you guys are taking the kids along? Great! Make sure you have enough space and the right gear. If not, that’s fine too, just consider what the two of you will need.
5. Proximity can breed adversity
No matter how intimate or solid the relationship, you understand that you are sharing space. And when a partner stubs their tow on a rock, says they’re fine when they’re clearly not. They want to feel that pain, rage and anger by themselves, but you have nowhere to go.
You share that space.
I’m not pulling a specific incident out of experience… An experience that had a roll-on effect for the next three days… But if I was, would say that we learned more about each other by being patient and open in a camper than we learned from years of living together in an apartment. Proximity can breed adversity.
But it can also bring you closer.
6. Take moments out to just be
Move out of the city, where there is no light pollution. Turn off all the lights. Stand in the dark, and look up…
See every star. The rippled curvature of the milky way. Feel just how big our country and the world are and be humbled by that fact.
7. Play to your strengths
You’re the planner. The coordinator. The brains behind the brawn. But left alone to cook dinner you fall to pieces. Let your partner do the things they are good at and you take care of your strengths too.
Sometimes you will find yourself pleasantly surprised as you discover things you never knew you were good at, and you’ll love finding out you’ve partnered up with your very own croc Dundee. Where did your partner go, the one you used to beg to do the dishes? Oh, there he is, throwing together the perfect fire. Where did she go, your shy wife who used to dread speaking to wait staff? There she is, life of the party, sharing a beer with other visitors at the campgrounds!
8.Consider your weaknesses
No one’s perfect. One of you is likely to prefer sleeping in, the other wants to walk along the beach every day in the AM. These aren’t necessarily weaknesses, but how you handle them may be. Compromise. Be tolerant. Try and exit your camper quietly as the early rise and be considerate if you’re the last to bed!
If he snores at home and it drives you nuts at home, just think about being alone in a silent camper for a second.
Worst comes to worst, if you need to splurge on a night in a larger space the opportunity may arise. But to be honest, most people consider it but never have to in the end.
9. It’s never going to be perfect.
Life isn’t perfect. Some days it rains when you just need some sun. Sometimes the journey is rough, you can’t find your sunnies and the place you’d researched for days on end and finally made a 300km drive to is closed and hasn’t been open for year. People get sick, fall ill or just wake up grumpy. We romanticise travel and we have every right to, it’s amazing! But this is still life, and life is full of surprises. Just remember it is what it is. Just because you can’t take the perfect picture or visit the remote winery you’d hoped to, doesn’t mean the day is ruined, it’s what you make it. So you can’t go to the winery? Grab a wine and enjoy nature because in your camper trailer the whole world is your winery.
10. Time out.
Ok you’ve tried your best but now you’re fighting. Your partner stares daggers at you as you’re trying to find the right road to get to your next destination.
We had a rule. If voices started to be raised, we pulled over and if one of us wanted some space they’d go for a walk. If you’re losing your cool, stop for a minute. You’re already out in nature, take a moment to appreciate what you have and the experience your having. The good and the bad. Put some rules in place for when times get tough because when we get mad our brains switch off and we are all emotion so stop. Separate and switch gears.
Then once it’s all over you can laugh over it over a drink later at the campsite and trust me, it’s almost always laughable later.
11.Give them what they need.
Relationships are give and take. Compromise as we’ve mentioned. My partner needed to have the option of having a hot shower every day. Me? Well, I think I’m bear Grylls but I probably looked homeless. And smelled even worse. Obviously, you can’t be a complete diva on the road but if you get ‘hangry’, make sure there’s always muesli bars on board. If your partner is pedantic about cleanliness, do your best to keep things tidy when you can. All the joy and fun of adventure is amplified when you’re out on your journey, but so are the needs you have too. Look after them and they’ll look after you.
12. Be a team.
Ok so your partner is annoying you or you’ve just been the one to wake up grumpy. You’re not quite feeling it but you’re still getting things done. Help out, help them read the maps, help them talk to the ranger, help arrange where you’re stopping for the night or jump in and cook dinner before you’re asked. You’re a team. One team on dream. To live the dream you’ve gotta live as a team.
13. Change it up.
So you’ve got your roles down pat. He grabs the firewood, you prepare dinner. He sets up, you pack up. Every now and then surprise each other. Do his chores before he has to. Get out her toothbrush when you grab yours. Clean the mud off their boots. Whatever it is, when you’re travelling you can’t really buy flowers, well you could but they don’t travel well! You’ll be surprised how little you’ll write cute notes too. So let your actions do the talking and do a little extra to show love.
You won’t always be out hiking, fishing and exploring. Sometimes you’ll be indoors for rest, rain or just to relax. Take some cards to play, some books to read. But my number one tip? Revert to your old games: 20 Questions is a good one. Even the infamous I spy. With all the driving that touring offers and even with all the magical scenery, you sometimes need to entertain yourselves. Each of you should choose an array of music and podcasts to enjoy and take turns with them. Not everything is adventure, sometimes it leisure.
15. Speaking of indoor activities…
So, you’re not fighting anymore… it’s make-up time. The freedom of camping out in the wilderness and getting away from the rat race is enough to make any couple rekindle again. Just remember the walls are thin and you may have to face your campsite neighbours in the morning. On the same hand, some places are very remote so there’s plenty of fun to be had! And noise to be made!
Bug spray is not the sexiest of perfumes and getting dirty can be difficult if well, you’re kinda dirty, so be tolerant of some things but also maybe brave the cold campsite showers if you are hoping to warm the camper up that night!
16.Don’t be a know-it-all.
Sometimes it’s easier to say: ‘I don’t know’. Don’t try to pretend you know where you are going if you’ve lost your place on the map and there’s no need to be tour guide in a place you’ve never been. Enjoy exploring together. Exploring means not knowing. Learning together is exciting and fun! Don’t spoil it by getting yourselves lost!
Lock the doors if you go out. Drive safely. Keep it clean and maintain your vehicle and camper trailer. No couple can thrive waiting on the side of the highway in 40+ degree heat cos they didn’t have enough fuel or having to deal with being bogged cos they didn’t heed the warnings of locals. Be sensible. Be reasonable. Only part of the time. 20 minutes of reasonable caution a day will guarantee weeks of freedom and adventure in return.
18.Spice it up.
No, we already talked about getting cosy in the camper. I’m talking about the lead up. Try out a new recipe in your camper kitchen tent, the staples are great and give you more time for fun, but a simple garnish or well-presented meal is surprisingly easy to do. Maybe even just splashing out on a different dinner like prawns or a nicer cut of steak is enough to turn a Tuesday night into date-night, treat yo’selves! Maybe even a nice dessert? Or scope out a nice place in town for dinner or breakfast. Or have a fire. There’s plenty of little ways to change things up and make things feel special!
19.Hang out with others.
Chat to your campsite neighbours. Speak to fellow tourists, enjoy a night with locals at the pub in town or get connected with travelling communities online. When you hang out with others and do different things you’ll have more to talk about amongst yourselves. And even if you don’t love your neighbours, that’ll just make you love your partner even more!
One of the cool things about travelling with a partner is being able to make memories together. Make moments happen by researching cool spots and driving them up there without telling them they’re about to see the sun set over the Blue Mountains. Do a night drive out of the town to see shooting stars or take them for a waterfall they hadn’t mentioned. Or, if there’s been a lot of adventure lately, surprise them with a sneaky day off or a night at the local pub.
21. Focus on the goals.
We discussed the ‘one-team’ part, but let’s look at the ‘one-dream’ part. You’re here together for the same reason, you have the same goal. You might be different, but it works. Keep that in mind and be grateful you have someone to share these amazing moments with.
22. HAVE FUN TOGETHER!
You and your partner are doing something other couples only ever dream of. You’ve made the choice, you’ve considered the above points and you’re ready to go. Enjoy yourselves and life on the road. Appreciate one another more, enjoy being closer and feeling more connected and mostly: HAVE FUN TOGETHER! There might be rough times but you can rest assured that the good times your adventure will bring you will outweigh them a hundred times over. So, go on, get out there!
Go on, get out there. Why wait?
Check out our range of campers to find the perfect one to suit your adventure.
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