Who Should Pay for Travel?


Airplane Travel
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, chances are that you’ve had to make room in your budget for travel costs. It might be overseas flights if you live in different countries, or it might be half a tank of gas if you’re a few hours away. Either way, someone has to cover the expense. But who?

The short answer is to keep the expenses as equal as possible between the two of you. That is, it shouldn’t always be the man who pays, and it shouldn’t always be the person who earns more who pays, or the person who does the most (or the least) traveling—such distinctions will only breed resentment in your relationship. However, I realize it’s not always quite so simple as splitting it 50/50. Although the person who earns more shouldn’t necessarily pay the full price of each plane ticket, for example, it might still be easier for that person to fit travel into their budget. A few other considerations include whether you and your partner have significant differences in:

  • Debts (such as student loan payments or medical bills)
  • Expenses (maybe one of you has a mortgage and the other shares a cheap apartment with roommates, or one of you has a car payment and the other does not)
  • Obligations (if one of you has children, for example)

If you find that the two of you fit into any of these categories, where your incomes or expenses are very different, then 50/50 is what might feel unfair. Try to find a middle ground, though, between all or nothing: consider dividing costs by a different percentage such as 60/40 or 70/30. Alternatively, you could split the costs equally, but have one person “treat” every third trip or so. And as usual, talk about it with each other—if you start feeling as though you’re shouldering too much of the cost, it’s best to clear the air soon and reach a compromise, instead of letting the resentment build.

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