There’s a saying that couples who travel together, stay together. It’s a sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with. After all, if you can’t make it through last-minute flight cancellations, a mysterious stomach thing, or a sweaty bus ride that challenges preconceived notions of personal space without chewing each other out and calling it off, then maybe it’s not meant to be.
That said, there will be the proverbial bump in the road no matter who you are. To help mitigate those twists and turns as much as possible, we checked in with some of the happiest couples we know to share their hotel habits and travel tips for couples.
Hotel Habits & Travel Tips for Couples from the World’s Happiest Couples
Mike & Anne — Pennsylvania & California
When we set out on our around-the-world honeymoon in 2012, we decided to pack our full-size pillows. This is undoubtedly a space splurge, but when something can ensure a good night’s sleep, it’s worth every square inch. Even when a five-star resort offers sumptuous goose down, we’ll store them in the closet. Our pillows make any hotel feel like home.
Favorite Hotel: Pacuare Lodge — Turrialba, Costa Rica
Vanessa & Roger — Spain
Even though we don’t consider ourselves very picky or fusspot with cleaning and much less when we are traveling, the truth is that the first thing we do when we get to a new accommodation is check if it is in good condition and sweep the floor. Right after, we proceed to do the same thing in the bathroom. In the past years, we have also added to this ritual the task of checking every room to spot where the plugs are.
Favorite Hotel: Hotel Las Torres Patagonia — Torres del Paine, Chile
Blog: Viajeros Callejeros
Stefan & Sebastien — London, UK
Our hotel habit is to first start with the awkward “please can we have the double bed we ordered” at the reception. Once out of the way and we’ve entered our room, we always leave the bags by the door and take loads of photos, then dive right in, carefully dodging the romantic swan-shaped towel display on the bed. Then it’s straight to the pool!
Favorite Hotel: Mandala Spa & Villas Boracay — Balabag, Philippines
Blog: Nomadic Boys
Yeison & Samantha — Costa Rica & Washington
One of our favorite things to do in a hotel when traveling is to chat with the front desk receptionist. Since most of the time the receptionist is a local, we like to get to know their favorite places in the area and what it’s like to live there. We always get great recommendations for food that way.
Favorite Hotel: SO Sofitel Bangkok — Bangkok, Thailand
Blog: My Tan Feet
Rubén & Lucía — Spain
Since we usually go on very long journeys lasting more than seven months, the first thing we do when we arrive in our hotel room is try to make it feel as if we are not just stopping by. We like to make it a little bit our home. We put all our clothes in the drawers, keep our suitcase in the closet, prepare a coffee, plug the portable speaker to our smartphones, and listen to some of our favorite music.
Favorite Hotel: Casona de Santo Domingo — Güímar, Spain
Blog: Algo Que Recordar
Ashray & Zara — India & Portugal
Even though we don’t normally watch TV, we do like tuning into the local channels if we’re staying at a hotel in a new country. The style of advertising can tell you a lot about the society in a given place. For instance, in the USA, we were shocked with the number of ads for meds, while in Seoul we discovered that Koreans seem to have a thing for high tech fridges. We love to comment on these ads and their related social quirks.
Favorite Hotel: Hotel Boutique Don Pepe — Santa Marta, Colombia
Blog: Backpack Me
Angela & Tino — The Netherlands
We love to transform new places into our home during full-time traveling. When we arrive at a hotel, we store our belongings neatly, we place flowers on the table, and we order a delicious coffee. The scent of flowers and coffee gives us a feeling of being at home.
Favorite Hotel: Nomade Tulum — Tulum, Mexico
Blog: Dutch Nomad Couple
María José & Manuel — Mexico
We have developed our own hacks, like asking for a hotel room without a carpet (normally these are the recently renovated ones) and having an early breakfast, so that we can get back to our room to get ready in peace while everybody else is fighting downstairs at the buffet.
Favorite Hotel: Hotel Ariston — Dubrovnik, Croatia
Lauren & Justin — Canada
We love to stay at hotels, apartments, or cottages that have their own kitchens so we can cook dinner together. It’s even better when our hotel comes with a balcony or an incredible view. There’s nothing like watching the sunset from our new temporary “home” with a delicious meal that we prepared ourselves using ingredients from the local market.
Favorite Hotel: Ytri Vik — Hauganes, Iceland
Blog: Justin Plus Lauren
Mollie & Nico — Kansas & Germany
Even though I work in the hotel industry, I always let Nico surprise me with our hotels. When we arrive, he insists on going into the room first to make sure it’s perfect and then lets me in. If it’s not right, he’ll go back to reception and ask for a different room. There’s nothing more adorable than seeing him get all proud when he knows he’s impressed me with his choice.
Favorite Hotel: Lawrence’s — Sintra, Portugal
Katherine & Jan — United Kingdom & Germany
Jan is obsessed with tall buildings and anywhere with a good view. Wherever we travel we always book somewhere with a rooftop bar, pool, or terrace so we can enjoy looking out across the city, whether it’s New York or just York.
Favorite Hotel: citizenM Tower Of London — London, United Kingdom
Emma & Gytis — Florida
When traveling to a country where we don’t speak the language, we always curl up in bed late one night, order a decadent dessert from room service and then try to guess what the television commercials are about. I’ll never forget the image of Gytis with cannoli cream in his beard trying to speak like an Italian car salesman.
Favorite Hotel: Thompson Nashville — Nashville, Tennessee
Joe & Melanie — Ohio
Melanie and I like to find locally-owned hotels where you can chat with the hoteliers and learn more about the destination through their eyes. In El Salvador alone, we had dinner with one hotelier who served as the Salvadoran ambassador to the European Union and at another we were introduced to in-laws who lived through the civil war, sharing stories while splitting a six-pack of Salvadoran craft beer.
Favorite Hotel: Los Almendros De San Lorenzo — Suchitoto, El Salvador
Blog: Without A Path
Annette & Robin — Norway & France
Robin and I avoid the big chain hotels and opt for small boutique hotels. We do a lot of research together beforehand to build the excitement for the trip. We find that boutique hotels with individually designed rooms pay more attention to details, which makes the room feel more personal and special, just for us.
Favorite Hotel: Grand Hôtel Henri — L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France
Alex & Rox — Canada
Rox and I always choose B&Bs when we travel. Our first-night ritual is to try on the awesome bathrobes and just relax. In the morning, we always sit at a table with a random group of people for breakfast. You make friends, but most importantly you bring home really special memories.
Favorite Hotel: Rabbit Hill Inn — Lower Waterford, Vermont
Victoria & Terrence — Florida
Since we have usually traveled quite a long way to get to the hotel, our first move is to unwind in the hotel spa. We don’t typically do treatments, such as a massage, but instead prefer to relax in the thermal circuit which includes a series of showers, hot and cold pools, and saunas. Plus, we love the fluffy bathrobe and slippers!
Favorite Hotel: Aghadoe Heights — Killarney, Ireland
Blog: Follow Me Away
Claudio & Lux — Italy & Spain
Our travel ritual starts in the reception of the hotel. We try to get as many information flyers and guides as possible so we make sure we don’t miss the essentials of the city. The most important for us is to get a map of the place to help us find our way around before stepping one foot outside of the hotel. Also, we always chat with the staff to learn about some local, secret spots to have a drink or a meal so we discover what you can’t find in the books.
Amy & Nathan — New Hampshire
When arriving in a new destination, we always head out immediately to find the coolest coffee shops in the city. We spend time chatting or reading over delicious lattes, often watching people pass by through the windows. Back at our hotel, we always end our day wrapped in those fluffy white bathrobes, preferably after sharing a romantic bubble bath.
Favorite Hotel: The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise — Lake Louise, Canada
Blog: Two Drifters
Verónica & Jana — Spain & Germany
The first thing we do when we get to the hotel is lay down in bed for a while, the three of us, look at each other and try to feel the connection with the place. Right after, we run to the bathroom to check if there is a bathtub. If so, we fill it immediately and enjoy a warm bath together. We don’t have one at home so anytime we go to a hotel we ask for a room with a bathtub. We also love a good breakfast; a colorful and abundant buffet helps us get the energy we need to start the day off.
Favorite Hotel: Only YOU Hotel Atocha — Madrid, Spain
Camille & Niels — New Jersey & Costa Rica
We always feel closer to each other adventuring in nature, but we enjoy luxury too! During our ‘round-the-world honeymoon, we sought eco-hotels that pair luxury and nature. We lived our travel dreams climbing a 1,300-foot cliff in the Peruvian Andes to our glass hotel in the sky! I’ll never forget being tucked against Niels under starry skies, the sound of our clinking wine glasses, and shutter of our camera capturing the magic.
Favorite Hotel: Ballynahinch Castle — Clifden, Ireland
Blog: Couple A Wanderers
Sebastian & Espe — Florida
After checking in to our hotel, the last thing we do is go and see what the room looks like. Instead, we go around the property looking for the most photo-worthy moments as we plan out our content for the following nights. Often times we’re found ordering endless amounts of cappuccinos, and not drinking them, just to get the right shot.
Favorite Hotel: Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort — Nusa Dua, Indonesia
Blog: Two Trends
Dariece & Nick — Canada
We always utilize the front desk staff at hotels. For example, when we were deciding where to stay in Rome, the first thing we did was make sure the hotel was in a good location, the second was to contact the accommodation directly for directions and best mode of transport, and the cost of getting from the airport to the hotel. Finally, when we arrive and check-in, we’re sure to ask reception where the best places to eat are, which cafes have the best vibe, and of course, the top things to see and do. Having firsthand, local information is the best.
Favorite Hotel: Corfu Palma Boutique Hotel — Dassia, Greece
Blog: Goats On The Road
Alli & Bobby — California
We’re big fans of getting comfy as soon as we check into a hotel room. That means rocking the robes and the slippers, grabbing a magazine and even popping some champagne. There’s something so incredibly relaxing about staying at a nice hotel, and you better believe we take full advantage of all the perks and amenities.
Favorite Hotel: Tintswalo Atlantic — Hout Bay, South Africa
Blog: Traveling Newlyweds
Hernán & Lucía — Argentina & Spain
When we get to a hotel, the first thing we do is carefully check every little detail of the room and try to spot the cutest places to film some cool Instagram Stories. Then, I organize all my clothes in the closet while Hernán just spreads his mess all over the room. We also always check if there is a Smart TV in the room so we can watch our favorite Netflix shows when we are back from spending the whole day exploring the city.
Favorite Hotel: Aire de Bardenas — Tudela, Spain
Blog: You Don’t Love Me Yet
Sara & Jaac — Italy & Spain
We spend our lives hung up on the phone, on the camera, and on to a lot of gadgets that need power, so the first thing that we do as soon as we enter our hotel room is a quick check of every wall to spot the plugs. The next thing we do is play with every switch to try to find out the combination to turn on and off all the lights in the room. They make it harder every time with reading lamps and LED lights. When it is time to go to bed, we don’t want to lose time trying to figure it out!
Favorite Hotel: Hacienda De Abajo — Tazacorte, Spain
Blog: Salta Conmigo
Feature image courtesy of Toa Heftiba, Unsplash