You know what you want to do on vacation – hike. The problem is how do you convince your not so eager partner? Here’s how to convince him or her that a hiking holiday is a perfect vacation for both of you.
I faced this when I suggested hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc to my then partner several years ago. He resisted with arguments like, Why would I want to wake up the same time on vacation as I wake up for work? Hiking six hours a day sounds like a lot of work on vacation.
Not only did he agree to do it within a couple of days, but he thoroughly enjoyed it, just as I knew he would. So much so, that the next year he suggested an even longer and more challenging trek. He continued to find hikes that we can do on our vacation, and that’s how we went for a long-distance trek in the Dolomites. While these tips are designed to help you convince a partner, you can use them with family and friends that need some convincing.
Here are some tips that I have used to convince my partner that a long-distance hiking trip was a perfect vacation for us.
1) Identify WHY your Partner is Resistant to the Idea of a Hiking Holiday
For example, if your partner says that he hates camping, you can find a hike like the Tour du Mont Blanc that offers more luxurious accommodations such as accommodation in mountain huts. The West Highland Way, one of the most popular hiking holidays in the UK, gives you the option to stay in hotels and quaint B&Bs. Hiking the Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre, you can base yourself in a 4-star wellness hotel and after a long day treat yourself with gelato and delicious Italian food.
If your partner is resistant to the idea of waking up early to hike, you could negotiate a slightly later start time. For example, you could start walking at 9:00 am, instead of at 8:00 am. For some people, a good vacation involves getting lots of sleep. My partner and I were in bed by 10:00 pm, most nights and up at 7:00 am for a solid 9 hours of sleep every night. This schedule worked well for both of us.
2) Identify WHAT your Partner Wants from Vacation. Then Find Ways to Include it in the Hike.
What is your partner seeking from their vacation? If they want a relaxing holiday, you can point out that hiking is an active way of relaxing. It’s been proven to increase mood and reduce stress levels. You could also suggest checking into a spa hotel following the hike as a reward.
If your partner wants to indulge in excellent food, find a tour like the Tour du Mont Blanc. It takes you through France, Italy and Switzerland, areas renown for their culinary scenes. Besides what will motivate you better than waking up to freshly baked croissants for breakfast and Swiss cheese fondue for dinner? Or how about excellent Italian food, and gelato, while hiking the Italian Riviera?
My partner wanted to relax and do nothing for several days. Our compromise was spending a couple of days in Chamonix after the trek relaxing. We then made our way to Paris for a few days, followed by a few days relaxing at home. While the latter wouldn’t have been my preference, it was a fair compromise. We both agreed it was one of the best vacations we’d ever had.
Despite the fact that we love our partners, it can be difficult to spend quality time together. Long workdays and other commitments to family and friends can leave little for our partners. Hiking is an excellent way to reconnect with hours of uninterrupted time together free from distractions.
My partner and I felt much closer both during and after the hike. We cheered each other on during tough sections. The romance level was high as we watched sunsets with a glass of wine in hand and gave each other shoulder rubs after carrying heavy packs all day. Our conversations were more interesting than what we had at home as we discussed topics other than work. The best part was how we bonded over the experience of completing something epic together. I honestly believe that hiking is one of the best ways to reconnect with someone.
4) Focus on How a Hiking Holiday Will Help You Both Reach Your Fitness Goals
There’s no better fun way than a hiking vacation to help you achieve your fitness goals. My partner and I both lost weight. My legs looked leaner than they had in years. We also noticed a dramatic increase in our cardio fitness. Back home, peaks that we had previously huffed and puffed our way up, we flew up. So many of us have fitness goals but find it difficult to take the time to achieve them in our busy day to day lives. A hiking holiday is an excellent way to get the endorphins going. It also gives you a kickstart that will make it easier to establish and keep a fitness routine once you’re back at home.
5) Be Flexible in How Long You Will Hike On Your Vacation
If your partner is resistant to the idea of hiking on vacation, it’s going to be tough to convince them to walk for 12 days of their 14-day vacation. Instead, suggest a 3 or 7-day hike. Then be open to what they want to do for the rest of your holiday. For a 3-day hike, I recommend walking part of the Wicklow Way in Ireland. A great 7-day hike is the Dolomites Trek, a 6-day hiking trip in La Gomera, the little known but beautiful Dana to Petra trek in Jordan and, of course, the Tour du Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland.
6) Don’t Force a Hiking Holiday on Your Partner
Finally, if a hiking vacation is vital to you, but it’s less than appealing to your partner, don’t force it. Instead, consider doing it alone or with a friend. You want your partner to be happy during their precious vacation time. If they really won’t enjoy it, each do your own thing for part of your vacation. Then reunite for the rest of it doing something you will both enjoy.
Partial separate holidays work well if you have separate interests that neither of you enjoys. For example, I’ve tried numerous times to convince my partner to join me for cycling trips. My partner had no interest in joining me for an 18-day cycle trip in Finland. Even when I tried to convince him to do the much shorter 3-day cycle tour along the Danube from Passau to Vienna, he also dismissed the idea. There was no convincing him.
He’s done cycling holidays in the past before he met me and didn’t enjoy them. Similarly, he can’t convince me that a lake diving trip where I’m freezing to see two or three fish if I’m lucky is a good use of my vacation time. If you find yourself in this predicament then do them separately and the reunite for something you both enjoy, which happily for me is a hiking holiday. The best part about getting a loved one to start hiking with you is that you get to spoil them with great gifts for hikers.