Itinerary for Your First Couples’ Vacation


You and the love of your life are planning an international holiday together. It’s special! It’s exciting! You’re calling it a “holiday” because it’s more European that way! This guide will help you make the most of your whirlwind adventure.

Planning the Trip

Lie extensively about what you enjoy doing on vacation. Say things like “I just love wandering around and taking it all in,” when the activities you really love are getting drunk in the general vicinity of a body of water and reading bad novels about sexy enemies. Book the cheapest ticket you can find on an airline whose baggage policy seems designed for minimalist schoolchildren. Pack eight times the amount of underwear that you will need and zero shoes with arch support.


Upon arrival, check into the rental home, which will be both smaller and darker than the photos online. The toilet will be separated from the bedroom by a wall the width and consistency of a Communion wafer. Consider how long the human body can go without expelling waste. Gaze out the window and indulge in a brief cinematic fantasy about what it would be like to leave everything behind and move to this city with your partner, immediately triggering your preferred attachment disorder.

Dining Out

After spending five full business days curating a list of restaurants, learn that none of them are restaurants your partner is interested in. Be totally fine with that! Try to find a restaurant you both want to eat at that isn’t too touristy, expensive, loud, or busy, but which also exists. Walk to the restaurant your partner decided on, laughing thirty per cent less than usual at their jokes to punish them. Once you sit down, receive a menu that doesn’t believe in I.B.S. Panic-order a dish with a name that you don’t fully understand. When the food arrives, learn that it is a pig’s trotter. You are both vegetarian—fill up on bread.


Go to a famous, cold museum, full of art that is both pretentious and boring. Lie sophisticatedly about how much the art speaks to you. Stare at a painting of a sad, buxom peasant next to a horse, and think about how you once puked during a screening of “Wreck-It Ralph,” and how this moment is much worse than that. Sit on a bench while your partner painstakingly reads every plaque, resenting their childlike sense of wonder, then quietly devour a granola bar in the bathroom because you are still hungry from not eating your expensive hoof.


Attempt the kind of athletic sex that you imagine people have on vacation (uncomfortable, but visually impressive). Accidentally puncture a hole in the wafer wall. Apologize to each other profusely. Realize that you packed the wrong adapter, and now must jerk each other off manually, like it’s the Middle Ages. Take a cursed nap for five hours and miss the romantic candlelit dinner that you booked two full months in advance. Wake up disoriented and spend your evening watching dubbed reruns of “Boy Meets World” while eating the local equivalent of Cheetos.


Pay more than is reasonable to walk through a building that is old, but doesn’t appear to be doing much else. Stand alone in a room where a child tyrant used to do religious persecution and wonder if you would be less anxious if you lived in ancient times and only had to worry about dying of feudal warfare. Wait on another bench while your partner reads another plaque, and get a slow and painful sunburn that you won’t notice until later because it is overcast and you never learn.

The Last Day

The last day is the perfect time to have your breakdown. Walk to the breakfast place that Instagram told you you must visit if you don’t want to be a fucking loser. It will be closed because it is a public holiday, just like every other day in this country. Burst into tears in front of a gelato stand, then have a long conversation about your parents and why it is their fault that you are not able to hold hands in front of a famous statue. Agree never to visit this city together ever again.

Returning Home

Much like a person’s body will trick them into forgetting the pain of childbirth, amnesia will set in as soon as you arrive back home. Post a story of your amazing, romantic vacation, and patiently wait for your high-school nemesis to watch it while you start preliminary research for your next couples holiday—would it be crazy to go to Paris? ♦


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