Most long distance couples will spend a significant time apart, so what little time you do have to be together in person becomes very precious. We all want to make the most of that time, enjoy ourselves and make it as special as possible. So we have compiled a list of our Top 20 Activities for you to do with your long distance partner when you are able to be together in person. Of course, we realise that every couple is different and not all activities are for everyone. Chelsea and I prefer to explore the area around us, taking daytrips as often as possible (read more about that here), while still making time to visit friends and family alike. Other couples may prefer a quieter trip, just relaxing in each other’s company, or perhaps even more adventurous exploits. Either way, there is sure to be something on this list for you!
1. Celebrate a missed special occasion
Spending so much time apart, you are sure to miss a special occasion or two. Whether it is your anniversary, birthday, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve. Try to think of a creative way to celebrate it when you are both together in person; something that you will both enjoy, and is out of the usual. Chelsea and I, for example, are planning to celebrate our missed anniversary at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. So treat your partner the next time you see them, and celebrate something you missed while apart.
2. Take as many daytrips as possible
Another cornerstone of mine and Chelsea’s trips to visit each other are the daytrips we try to take. These usually involve exploring a new city, or new part of the country. We have taken daytrips to Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Lake District, Bath, Cornwall and more. Each one provides you with new activities, new things to experience, and new places to explore. Read more about mine and Chelsea’s daytrips, and why we believe they are important to long distance couples here.
3. Go on a restaurant date
Something that many couples take for granted is simply going out on a classic dinner date. Going to a restaurant and treating your partner to evening drinks and a meal is commonplace. But not in a long distance relationship. The simple act of dressing up, and going out for a meal together becomes a much more special occasion because of its rarity.
4. Take a walk together
Whether it is along the local beach, through the countryside, or around a neighbourhood park, taking a walk is a great way to slow the pace of your visit down and just enjoy quality time with your partner. If you have a dog, bring them along too for the exercise. Choose a nice spot, and just relax. Chelsea and I have been fortunate enough to walk some beautiful trails in Whatcom County, WA and seaside trails around Plymouth, UK. And we find that it provides a great setting for relaxed, and gentle conversations against a beautiful backdrop.
5. Visit family and friends
Family and friends are an important part of everyone’s life, and it is important to introduce your partner to them when possible. In many close proximity relationships this can be taken for granted. But for long distance couples, it may be a long time before you are able to meet your partner’s friends and family in person. So try to make it a special and memorable event. Whether it is an evening out, a casual dinner, or a more adventurous activity; take the time to get to know your partner’s closest family & friends and make them your own!
6. Show your partner your daily routine
This may sound pretty boring, but for your partner it can be an exciting experience to understand what you do on a daily basis. For Chelsea and I this involved touring Chelsea’s place of work in America, and watching her teach dog obedience classes. And in the UK I showed Chelsea around the campus I study at, and where my part time work is located. For every couple this will be different, but just as exciting to learn about. It will make you feel closer than you have before, and give you a deeper insight into your partner’s life.
7. Stay in a hotel together
Again, something that will sound mundane to many close proximity couples. But for those in a long distance relationship this can be quite an experience. It makes you feel as though you are on holiday together, and perhaps you are! But the experience of being on holiday together, or simply staying in a hotel together can bring you closer together. It allows you to see each other in a different scenario, and can provide some amazing memories too.
8. Play sport or exercise
If you and your partner both enjoy a particular sport or exercise, why not try it together? Whether this is a competitive game of tennis, a leisurely ice skate, or even a hard core marathon, the experience is a great way to develop a shared interest together. Not only this, but it is good for you too! Get fit and train together, and you will be able to motivate each other much better than anybody else. It is a great feeling to have your partner by your side and pushing you to become better at something you both love.
9. Watch a film or show together
Any excuse to go to the cinema is a good one. Find a film that you and your partner are both interested in watching, and book tickets to see it. Or, if you are a little more strapped for cash, find a TV show that you have a common interest in. Make a point to watch it together and enjoy each other’s company at the same time. During Chelsea’s trip to Lancaster this year we made a point to watch Game of Thrones, and a fair few cooking shows together, enjoying being entertained and at each other’s side.
10. Go shopping
This item does not refer to shopping to groceries, although if you and your partner are from different countries it can be fun to see how vastly different grocery shopping is between the two. Chelsea and I were surprised by the difference in even American and English stores. But, in general, this refers to more leisurely types of shopping. Try out new clothes to learn a bit more about your partner’s fashion sense, and what they look for. Or try out some watches & jewellery if you are feeling the urge to splurge. You can learn a surprising amount about each other just by shopping together in person!
11. Take advantage of local events
Local events provide great opportunities to get involved with the community and have a good time as a couple. Events could be anything from local fairs, to food festivals, to races or open days. Take a look on your local communities website to see what will be going on while your partner is over, and then spend some time choosing together what you want to take advantage of. Usually such events are free too, providing you a great day out at minimal cost.
12. See a local band or music festival
Similar to the previous item on this list, most cities have thriving local music scenes. Take advantage of this and go see an act for an evening of free (or at the very least, cheap) entertainment and some good music. If you are lucky there may even be a local music festival happening near you while your partner are over. While it sounds unlikely, it actually is not that far fetched. While I worked as a Marketing Manager for the Old School Brewery, we would be invited to attend a local music festival every 1-2 months in the Lancashire & Cumbria area. So go see what is out there, do some research, and support local talent at the same time!
13. Tour historic sites
The UK is full of historic sites, whether it is ruined castles, grand mansions, or Roman remains. Here, we are fortunate as you do not have to travel far to find places steeped in rich and diverse history. And the same in true for most of Europe. Admittedly, Chelsea and I did find it harder to find places of such significance on our doorstep in the USA. However, that is not to say they are not there if you do not look for them; they are just spread further apart! Either way, learning the history of a place is a fantastic experience on its own, and one that is even better when shared with your partner.
14. Visit an aquarium or zoo
Spend some time with the animals! Chelsea and I have visited at least one aquarium or zoo on nearly every trip we have taken to see each other. And the reason why is simple – it is fun! Zoos and aquariums make for fantastic daytrips on their own, however can be made even more enjoyable with the presence of your partner. Learn new things together, or show off your knowledge to partner and make a whole day of it. This is a great activity for any couple, no matter what age you are.
15. Throw a party
Sounds simple enough: surround yourself with your friends & family and simply have a good time. Nothing warms your heart more than gathering everyone close to you together in one place and watching everybody enjoy themselves. Most couples in a long distance relationship will recognise the significance of this activity. Having your partner so far away will often leave you feeling empty, no matter how many people you surround yourself with, so treasure these moments while they last.
16. Try different & new foods
There can be some pretty large cultural differences in food preferences. Even between America and England, Chelsea and I have found some pretty stark differences. So, when visiting your long distance partner, push yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit. Try some of their favourite foods, and what their local area has to offer. And if there is something your partner has not tried before, share it. Have fun, learn about the local foods and about your partner at the same time.
17. See the countryside
The countryside can be beautiful in both the Summer and Winter weather, and it provides the perfect back drop for some gentle walks or hikes. Living near Dartmoor in the UK I have been fortunate enough to take Chelsea out to explore the moors when possible, walking along the banks of some of its quaint rivers, or chasing sheep up the rolling hills. Exploring the great outdoors in each other’s company is truly a wonderful experience, and something we try to do as often as possible.
18. Try water sports
If you are feeling daring, try a new water sport together. There are plenty to choose from: sailing, kayaking, coasteering, canoeing and more. Fortunately, in England we do not have to travel far to find either the sea or a lake on which Chelsea and I could try a water sport together. We have not done so yet, but it is definitely something we are looking to as soon as possible. If this is your first venture into water sports, who better to share it with than your partner. And if not, then perhaps you can support each other and learn new things along the way.
19. Visit museums and galleries
Museums and galleries are always a great option. They provide not only something to do, but a great talking point. Art is designed to provoke feelings and responses from its audience. So when visiting art galleries together you are provided with a wealth of opportunities to talk and get to know each other a little better. The same can be said for museums too; and the chances are you will learn something new along the way.
20. Take plenty of photos!
Finally, this is our most important piece of advice to long distance couples visiting each other: take plenty of photos, and cherish them dearly. It is not until you leave, and you realise that it may be months before you see your partner again, that you will really grasp how important those photos are to you. They are your memories of your time spent together, and they are what you have to cling to until you see each other again.
These are our Top 20 Activities To Do in Person for LDR Couples, but we would love to hear from you as well. Let us know what you and your partner enjoy doing together when you are together in person. Perhaps you have tried some of the suggestions on our list, or have your own ideas. Either way, let us know in the comments below and start a conversation with us! – Chris