Baecation! But Who Pays for What?May 9, 2020 | By Kemi Adewumi
You’ve been dating for a while, have talked about it, and have even gone as far as deciding where you’re going to first do it… Travel together that is. Time to put in your PTO and get your outfits ready. Then you start thinking about the actual travel expenses. What should I pay for, what does my partner think I have to pay for, should we talk about this or just wing it so it doesn’t get awkward?
We’ve all been there before. Traveling with your significant other for the first time can bring up money questions and the majority of people are not comfortable having those conversations.
In the past, and to some extent currently, many men and women expect the man to pay for most, if not all, of the trip. These ideals are rooted in the fact that in the past men were usually making more income in the relationship, and that if couples traveled together they were probably married. Things have changed and if you’re not discussing the specifics with your partner, you might be in for an awkward pre, during, or post baecation.
Here’s how some couples at various relationship stages are handling their collective travel finances.
Before I met my boyfriend, I always imagined that a guy would pay more of the vacation, but that was when I was younger and was also making way less money than I do now.
My boyfriend and I split all costs evenly as they come in. We’ve never talked about it [who pays for what], I guess we always just assumed it would be easier to split costs evenly so that one person doesn’t have to bear more of the burden of cost. We also prioritize what we’ll splurge on versus what we’d rather save on, so it’s easy to compromise on the areas where we do differ on spending.
–Maya, NYC, in a relationship
It sort of comes naturally for us in how we divide our expenses. Neither of us are rich…so we have an understanding of going Dutch! If I want to surprise her and make the trip extra special, I’ll cover travel and dining costs. She’ll also do the same for me when she wants to surprise me for a special occasion.
Splitting our costs is in alignment with how I anticipated things with my girlfriend. There was this natural understanding and willingness between us both to wanting to split costs.
–Mark, NYC, in a relationship
I’ll admit that in my younger, single years, I assumed and even looked forward to having a significant other who would pay for most things or the expensive parts of the trip. Looking at my friends’ relationships, it seemed to me that this is how it worked. I was probably wrong in that assumption and that’s not my reality.
We go dutch for the most part. We buy our own plane tickets. For road trips, if we take his truck then he’ll pay for the pre-trip maintenance, and I’ll pay for gas, and vice versa. He will pay if we stay in a hotel because he has hotel points. We take turns paying for food and drinks.
He usually buys tickets to any attractions we go on. And I’m usually on the hook for rideshare, probably because I have the apps on my phone and am more experienced using them. We’ve been on a lot of trips together over the past 3+ years so the only time there’s a discussion [about travel expenses] is if there’s an abnormal expense.
–Courtney, ATL, recently engaged
Take what direction you need and create your own norms for making your baecation as wonderful, stress-free, and on budget as possible.