Thinking of setting off with your other half on a Round the World trip? What a potentially great shared experience it could be. On the other hand, you could well find yourself parting company both on the road and in life� here are some things to bear in mind before deciding to set off together.

Taking off with a boyfriend or girlfriend shares much of the pros and cons that I discussed in travelling with a friend, but to a more amplified degree. As a couple you're even more likely to be with each other 24/7. That includes the good times � watching the sun set hand-in-hand � and the not so good times, when the stresses and strains of travel take their toll and spill over into arguments. Rather aptly, as I write this in bed at 4:30am in a Bangkok guesthouse, the couple in the next room are having a drunken and very public shouting match � which woke most of the floor, including me - about losing each other at a bar, claiming each abandoned the other.

Essentially, travelling as a couple is a great litmus test for a relationship. All your habits, moods, and facets of your personality will come to the surface. If you can survive a long period of travel together, then you have a great chance at a long and lasting relationship.

No-one wants the pain of a break-up, so what can you do to lessen the chances of things going pear-shaped? Firstly, think carefully before deciding to travel long-term with your partner. Do you know each other well enough to be in each other�s pockets 24/7 for a year? If your relationship is still relatively new, think about taking a shorter trip first to test the water, or delaying plans for a longer trip until you feel the time is right.

Secondly, don�t cause yourself undue stress which could lead to flare-ups. Make sure you want roughly the same thing out of your trip. Plan well ahead to avoid potentially sticky situations such as arriving in town with no accommodation available, or missing flights � fingers will be pointed and arguments can result. Discuss in advance how you will travel together; will you be bound at the hip, or will you allow yourselves more freedom? If the latter � which is recommended, as everyone needs their personal space occasionally � are you both OK with the idea and confident enough on your own to each break off for a day to explore a location independently? Will you or your partner feel offended or rejected if one of you wants to spend some "me" time?

As with relationships in general � although I am hardly an expert myself! � consideration, communication and openness are key. Be upfront about how you each imagine your travelling to pan out. If you both have the same kind of thing in mind, you�re well on your way to a great trip together � and hopefully a happy life beyond.

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