A daytrip to Glasgow

Daytrips are great, everybody knows that. They can be a well deserved break from work, spent exploring a new part of your city, a new city, or even a new part of the country. Since Chelsea and I have been dating, we have made an effort to take as many daytrips as possible. Obviously, as a long distance couple that can be difficult, as we only see each other a few times a year, however, when we do we try to make as much of that time together as possible.

Right from the start, on Chelsea’s first trip to England to visit me after we started dating, we took the time to visit new areas both in and around Plymouth – Mt Edgecumbe, the National Marine Aquarium, Dartmoor and Polzeath beach. This is something we have continued through our relationship, and has become a staple of our time spent together. On Chelsea’s most recent trip to England to visit me at university in Lancaster, we visited a huge variety of places across the North of England & Scotland (a new experience for us both). We visited; Manchester, Glasgow, Warton,  Morecambe, Ullswater & Windermere in just a two week period. Each of these places was completely different, and gave us something new to experience.

Chris taking photos in Ullswater on a daytrip

Chris taking photos in Ullswater on a daytrip

Why Take Daytrips Together?

So, why do we think that taking the time to go on daytrips is an important part of a long distance relationship? Well, in part, it is because it is representative of the time you spend together. In our opinion, we have two options for any trip we make. We can stay in and enjoy each other’s company, and just try to continue life as normal. Or, we can make the time we spend together the best it can be, and try to make some amazing memories that will tide us over until the next time we can see each other in person. While there is nothing wrong with having quiet days, and spending some at home in each other’s company (we do this too), it also makes your partner feel special when you do something out of the ordinary.

One key aspect to remember, is that your partner has flown across the world to be with you. This is no ordinary time, this is time that should be special and treasured. To spend every day going about your normal daily routine, or even just hanging out with your friends, will do little to make this time feel that way, and may even make your partner feel that their trip is not special. But, with countries, continents, and maybe even oceans between you for most of the year, it is special, and deserves to be treated that way.

Not only this, but going out of your way to take these day trips creates amazing experiences for you both. There is nothing more exciting than experiencing something new together as a couple. Obviously, if you do not have a car, this can limit your options somewhat, maybe even just to places that you have visited before. But revisiting them with your partner can breathe fresh life into the experience, and it definitely will not feel the same. Plus, with the relatively well connected public transport throughout England, you can get to an amazing amount of places on a budget. Nearly all of the daytrips Chelsea and I have taken have been made possible through the use of trains or ferries (save the odd exceptions where a friend’s car came in useful).

A daytrip to the Roman Baths of England

A daytrip to the Roman Baths of England

How to Make the Most of a Day Together

Taking the time to explore a new part of the world as a couple (even if it is just a stone throw’s away from your house) can be an amazing, rewarding experience. And it will certainly provide you with an abundance of memories, that will make you look forward to the next time you and your partner spend time together in person. So, to make the most of these special days, there are a couple easy steps you can take to make sure you have the best possible time together.

The first piece of advice we would give is; try to go somewhere neither of you have been before. There is nothing more thrilling than both being lost, and figuring everything out on your own. It is fun, and a great use of your time together, and will make you work as a team (important in a strong relationship). If you aren’t able to choose somewhere neither of you have been before, at least try to choose somewhere you haven’t been in a while, or explore a new part of somewhere you have been before.

Next, remember that life does not always work out the way it is planned. But rather than sit at home and dwell on it, make the most of the situation. Get out there and do something! Be spontaneous if you have to. One of mine and Chelsea’s planned trips over Easter this year was to spend a night in Cardiff with some friends. However, when our friend became too ill to drive, the trip was cancelled. Rather than sit and think about what we could have been doing, we got on a train and spent the day in Exeter. It not only took our mind off of the cancelled trip, but gave us some new experiences along the way.

Finally, make sure you enjoy it. Daytrips bring you closer together as a couple, but it can be very easy to get lost in the details, planning out exactly where you want to be, and what you want to see when. This can detract from your overall experience, and mean you don’t have the fun that you could be having. Chelsea and I usually go to places with an open mind, ready to explore and just see what we can find, rather than having a pre-planned idea of what we want to do.

Every now and again this can backfire, however. On our daytrip to Manchester, we realised there was little in the city centre that interested us. In these kind of situations, don’t be afraid to cut your losses. Go home early, or spend time elsewhere. But don’t let it put you off. There is a big world out there, just waiting for you to explore it. One bad experience does not mean you should give up on that.

We discovered Machester's Chinatown, but little else

We discovered Machester’s Chinatown, but little else

Striking a Balance

Obviously, while I hope to have convinced you why daytrips are a great way to spend time with your partner, you must always maintain a balance. Yes, Chelsea and I may go on 4-8 daytrips per trip, but we spend roughly 12 days together each time we visit each other. It is important to keep time for other activities too; visiting friends, family and even just taking quiet moments to yourselves.

We also know that with neither of us currently working a tradition 9-5 job, we are lucky in the way that we are able to do this more often than most. A trip to see each other is a holiday. But it is not for all long distance couples, and when I graduate from university it will be the same for us. While I may be able to take some time off while Chelsea is over, we recognise that for at least part of our visits I will have to work.

This only makes daytrips more important. If you are working on a daily basis, and your partner has still taken time to fly across the world to see you, the time you do get to spend together is even more special. While weekday daytrips may not be possible, weekends should be the time you spend time exploring the world together. Your partner will most likely have seen enough of your house and city during the week. So take the opportunity to take them elsewhere. Treat them to a daytrip and grow closer to one another. I promise you, you will not regret it.

Chelsea at the Seattle Space Needle

Chelsea at the Seattle Space Needle

– Chris

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Chris Martin

CommonTime Head of Marketing. Responsible marketing advocate, avid technophile, part time consultant and full time husband.