Here's the right way to split expenses when you're traveling with a partner

It can be very rewarding to travel with a romantic partner. However, traveling with a partner who earns significantly more than you can be disastrous if you don't prepare for awkwardness and have an honest budget discussion.Reddit's AITA subreddit has a post about travel finances. His girlfriend of two years, an IT consultant who makes $150,000, went on a family vacation with him. His girlfriend is a teacher who makes $45,000. He describes his family as being quite affluent. This seems to be true from the perspective of a writer not from such a background. He doesn't say where the trip was taken, but it is clear that the trip was planned by those very wealthy people.The IT consultant wanted his girlfriend to split the trip expenses 50-50. To pay for these predictable expenses, she took on a second job as a waitress for a few months. It didn't work out. Because she couldn't afford another, she only ate two meals per day and took half the trips. This presumably means that she was left to entertain herself while everyone else had fun. He replied: It's a shame that I didn't pick up on her discomfort sooner. We did however agree to split everything 50/50. I don't know why she came if it was a cost issue.Everyone on the AITA subreddit confirmed that the IT consultant who wrote the story was nothing but a scumbag. Commenters responded with words like "My heart breaks for this girl" and suggested that he should be smarter and see that his budget is not as important as hers.Matador's editorial team had a similar response to the lack of communication.It is important to discuss travel expenses. Although it may seem that money talk can ruin the excitement of trip planning and make things more difficult, it is possible to have a conversation about who will pay for what ahead of time. This makes for a smoother, more enjoyable trip, as well as avoiding conflict. My 12 year-old fiance is a dentist. I am a freelance writer and editor. You don't need to be an expert in either industry to see the wide gap in pay. While our incomes may vary from one year to the next and month to month, I earn three times as much as my fiance. It is important that we talk about money to make our travels smooth.Our lives are dominated by travel. While we tend to be more spenders than savers when booking travel arrangements, a recent home purchase that she paid the majority of, has reduced our ability to spend. Our money conversations when we travel remain the same. I am thankful that she covers costs like kayak trips through Frances Calanques National Park. She also offers to pay for some of the expenses. We always check in before making any joint money decisions.No matter where we are going, there is an agreement that has become so common over the past decade that it almost goes without saying. We share the things that we can afford and one pays for what the other person can't afford or is more keen to do. We were also open about what we could afford and what we could do before booking anything.Sometimes, this can lead to some concessions from her. Sometimes she will buy my plane ticket, pay for gas for a car trip, or settle for a hotel that is less expensive than the ones dentists usually choose. She will pay for anything she wants to do, even if it isn't something I am interested in. Same goes for the other side. We are both food-lovers so we often split the bill at restaurants. However, I will pay the full bar tab and/or the cannabis dispensaries because those activities fall under the same category as mine.This is where open communication is crucial. The IT consultant had no questions at all when his girlfriend went hungry. His family prefers high-end places, and he only realized that she was suffering from an eating disorder. He didn't think about the pressure she might feel to agree to a trip that she couldnt afford and how she didn't feel comfortable confiding in someone who was so obsessed with money.Before booking a trip, it is important for a couple to have an honest discussion about money. My fiance and I are not surprised when we have the need to pay for something. She also knows my financial situation in terms of how much money I have available. When it comes to planning for a trip, we share our thoughts and plan accordingly. The AITA post shows that there is not enough planning and knowledge. This is why the girlfriend had to take on another job in order to plan. It's the knowledge that if either of us want to do something and we both want to do it together, then a plan must be in place to cover the cost. Sometimes it works out to be a 50-50 split. Other times it doesn't. We always discuss our expectations before we go.Without communication, we wouldn't have been able to travel the world for a dozen years as a couple. If the couple communicates openly, an income gap and savings gap does not have to keep a couple from traveling.Maybe the IT consultant knew what he was like before he took up his position. After all, he did admit to her that she wasn't sure if their relationship would last long if she was required to take and pay for vacations she couldn't afford. Travel is one of the best experiences to bond a couple. However, if there's no communication, understanding or empathy it's time to move on.