As most of us eventually learn (sometimes unhappily), an excellent test of a friendship or romance is to travel with that person. Based upon their many journeys together, Bill and Babe Paley easily passed this test. He was an avid photographer, and their travels are well documented in photographs, most of which have never been published. They frequently took photographs of each other, and the below photo of Bill suggests Babe was as comfortable behind the camera as she was in front of it.
After they married in July 1947, the Paleys boarded the Queen Mary and sailed to Europe (Cary Grant was a fellow passenger and frequent dining companion). They visited England, France, Italy, and Switzerland on an extended honeymoon, which set the template for a lifetime of glamorous travel. In subsequent trips, they typically journeyed with friends like Leland and Slim Hayward, Loel and Gloria Guinness, or Michael and Lady Anne Tree. [Michael Tree was the stepson of Babe's friend Marietta Tree, and Lady Anne was sister-in-law to both Deborah, Duchess of Devonshire (née Mitford) and Kick Kennedy, John F. Kennedy's favorite sister.]
In 1952, Babe's sister Minnie and Minnie's then-husband Vincent Astor accompanied the Paleys on a visit to a French chateau that Babe's friend Susan Mary Patten (later Alsop) had rented. Vincent and Minnie would divorce the following year, but in the photograph below, they appear relaxed and happy.