When I pitched the idea of doing a group sailing adventure in Croatia to my husband, it took under 5 seconds to convince him to join.
He nearly jumped out of his seat in excitement and asked when we were leaving. Normally an introvert, I was a little surprised how enthusiastic he was to embark on an 8-day trip with a bunch of other people. But turns out we were both equally excited for the opportunity to meet new people and explore a new country together!
I have done a few Intrepid Travel trips in the past — from Cuba to the Middle East — but I always did them when I was traveling solo, without my husband. In lieu of go-to travel buddy (who doesn’t get as much time off as I do), I always did group trips alone, as they helped make me feel comfortable and safe traveling on my own.
Traveling with a group and my husband simultaneously was a new thing for me but I am happy to report that it was an excellent experience! Here’s what it’s really like to travel on a group trip with your spouse:
Making new friends…together!
I don’t know about you, but I find that making friends as an adult is super hard. You might meet people through work or through hobbies, but building relationships can be a challenge and takes a lot of time. Thankfully on group trips like Intrepid Travel’s, it is easier to develop fast friendships with your fellow travelers and it is all the more fun when you can share those relationships with your spouse.
I was happy to have a tight-knit and friendly group of travelers during my 8-day sailing adventure in Croatia. There were other Americans like myself as well as a woman from Russia and a couple from New Zealand. I genuinely had a great time with my group, especially during our lively group dinner conversations and early morning coffees on the deck of the boat.
My husband gravitated towards certain members of the group while I gravitated towards others and it was rewarding to watch each of us develop new friendships. It’s not often that couples get to share memories AND friendships at the same time!
Balancing alone time and group time
One of the perks of doing a group travel experience with Intrepid Travel is that you are surrounded by other people throughout your travel adventures. When you travel with your spouse, you might prefer a little bit more couple time than group time but it’s important to stay engaged with your group.
For my husband and I, we loved all the group time in the morning and at night, choosing to venture off on our own most afternoons when we arrived at a new port. That way, we could get the fun feeling of traveling and discovering together, but still felt completely connected to our group. It was a great balance and provided lots of new things to talk about over dinner when we reunited with our fellow group members.
When doing a group trip with your spouse, it’s all about finding a balance that works for you and your relationship. Some people are comfortable being surrounded by new people and don’t need much alone time, while other couples might spend an extra day or two at the beginning or end of their trip for some quality alone time. Remember that you’ll typically have your own room on your group trip which is conducive to alone time, but if you’re doing a sailing adventure like us, that might mean close quarters!
Easily meshing two travel styles
Relationships are all about meshing two people, and their unique idiosyncrasies, together to create a cohesive, well-balanced team; but in that meshing, some qualities don’t always harmonize. Maybe you have different morning routines or maybe you have two different travel styles—I reference both of those because those are qualities that me and my husband don’t always mesh on!
When it comes to travel, my husband and I work together pretty well, but I tend to pack my days full of activities while he prefers a bit more relaxation. I love taking photos and could wander around for hours, while he loves checking out museums and experiencing the local history. We make this work by incorporating both of our interests into our itineraries when we plan our own vacations, but on a group trip, it’s even easier for both of us to do what we want because you have fellow travel buddies who might share the same interests.
Intrepid Travel’s flexible itineraries make it easy for both of you to get what you want! If there was something that he was really interested in (but I wanted to sit it out), there was good chance that another group member would be interested in joining him too.
Being reminded of everything that is awesome about your spouse
My husband and I have been together for nearly 12 years and know just about everything—what stresses one another out, what we love, how we will react to something—we can about one another. There aren’t that many surprises to discover about one another and when you’ve been with a person a long time, it is common to overlook all the things about your spouse that you initially fell in love with. Whether its their sense of humor or sharp intellect, you become so accustomed to their qualities that you almost forget to notice them.
Group trips shake up that balance and remind you of all the awesome things about your spouse! One of my favorite parts of our Intrepid Travel Croatia Sailing Adventure was that I got to see all my husband’s amazing characteristics through a new lens. Witnessing your spouse introduce themselves or talk about your relationship to other travelers gives you a renewed perspective and appreciation for all the things that drew you to them in the first place.
I was reminded that my husband is an extroverted introvert whose natural curiosity shines when he meets new people. He is funny, smart, and caring – characteristics that other people pick up right away. It felt so nice to have my fellow travelers compliment us and our relationship.
Would I do a group trip with my spouse again?
Absolutely 100% yes! We had a blast traveling together in Croatia and loved the opportunity to experience such an amazing destination with other people who love traveling as much as we do.
We were surrounded by kind, thoughtful travelers who enjoyed the experience of traveling as a group. For us, this made the experience all the more rewarding.
Inspired to visit Croatia, with or without a spouse? Check out Intrepid’s range of small group adventures there.
(All images courtesy of Megan Arzbaecher and taken on Intrepid’s Croatia Sailing Adventure.)