First dates are awkward, but a first date that also happens to be out-of-state, maybe even out of the country… could be really, really awkward. Here are a few things you can do to make sure things go smoothly with your travel companion, right out of the gate.
Make sure the first conversation you two have, is not at first sight. Once you have decided to travel together, take your chatter off MissTravel and start talking face to face, or at least over the phone. Take advantage of free video messaging services such as SKYPE and start getting to know each other. Make sure you cover enough general topics to be able to plan a fun trip accordingly, and definitely make sure you cover all expectations up front.
The easiest way to break the ice at first sight, is bearing gifts. Find out your date’s favorite candy/wine/etc and thank him/her in advance for their generosity by presenting them with a gift upon arrival. Make light of the situation, no matter how strange it may be to be traveling on someone else’s dime. Be grateful without feeling indebted, and be generous without strings attached. Laughter is always the best ice breaker.
Plan an activity right off the bat, that you know you both will enjoy. An easy, comfortable setting to get to know each other like grabbing dinner or drinks in a neutral location. The fastest way to make your date uncomfortable is by showing her to your hotel room upon arrival, or immediately taking her out of her comfort zone.
The first day of your travel-date will set the whole tone of the trip. So avoid confrontation, and only engage in easy conversation in the beginning. Don’t make a move on the first night, let friendship be your main goal for the first day. Friendship is the basic foundation for a romantic relationship, and if there isn’t a connection, you will at least have friendship to fall back on for the remainder of your trip.
Your first travel-date will always be the most difficult to navigate. The expectations and end-results are completely unlike a typical date, but the reward is an experience unlike any other. Do yourself a favor and lower your expectations and just have fun. You never know when or where you will fall in love.