Holidays are good for relationships, it’s official. The magic of a couple's holiday or short break and the sense of adventure you share – together - can help you to feel closer. A romantic getaway is a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest, to think without distraction, try new things and communicate effectively. It’s time to have fun!
Holidays offer a sense of freedom and for most of us, that’s delicious. For couples in long-term relationships, even the activities that used to be fun can sometimes start to feel less exciting. It’s part and parcel of feeling so familiar with each other that there are fewer surprises. Perhaps you expect to go on the same type of holiday each year because that’s what you both agree on, even if one of you would rather try something new. Is it time to shake things up a little and swap your usual holiday cottage for a glamping safari lodge or your traditional caravan for a cosy shepherd’s hut? A new place to explore together and relax in can be very romantic.
Intimacy and romance can blossom when there’s more time to devote to each other without distraction. You don’t have to be in a swanky hotel or an exotic country to feel romantic, sometimes it’s enough just to be together. You could get close in a pretty holiday cottage with inspiring countryside views or a little beach hut with a wood-fired hot tub and wonderful sea views. You might be excited by a more unusual holiday home with a history like a lovingly converted Edwardian Railway Signal Box or WW2 Listening Station, or this fairytale tower with a private hot tub overlooking mountains and the stunning still waters of Loch Tay in the Scottish Highlands.
There’s a school of thought in relationships that if you experience new things together it can bond you. Some call it ‘making memories’; indeed, we always remember our first times simply because they were new, and our senses were heightened. Learning something new together can bring back some of the excitement of the heady early days of a relationship. You could try surfing or kayaking, horse riding or mountain biking or something altogether more relaxing like watercolour painting of the landscapes in front of you.
We love the little darlings, of course, but with children around it can be hard to find time alone. And even when you do get away, you’re likely to have to book a family-friendly break which may not be your first choice of holiday. If it’s not possible for extended family to look after the children while you get away, just the two of you, it is still possible to spend time together - on a family-friendly holiday at holiday resorts that run children’s clubs and activities. Children’s clubs are brilliant at keeping children of school ages entertained and wearing them out so they sleep well at night, giving you some time together during the day and peace at night. The children will love it and so will you – it’s a win-win!
What is the Best Holiday for Your Relationship?
When cash is tight, options can be limited and spontaneity rare but there’s a short break or a long holiday that’s right for everyone. If you’re looking for something new or want to strengthen your relationship, then ask yourselves these questions:
1. Do you prefer an active holiday (think surfing or mountain biking) or more of a relaxing break (think wellness spas and hot tubs), or a holiday that offers both action and relaxation?
2. Is your dream holiday home near the beach, in the woods, overlooking the countryside, at a holiday park or in the city? Do you feel moved by mountain-views, lake-views or sea-views?
3. Are you interested in trying water sports activities such as windsurfing or do you prefer gentler countryside walks or cycling, or perhaps a combination?
5. Do you enjoy sightseeing local attractions and if so, are you more interested in historical places of interest and culture or theme parks, or a mix?
6. Are luxury holidays your ideal, or would you like to go glamping, stay in a traditional holiday cottage, or somewhere unusual like a lighthouse?
7. Do you consider yourselves ‘foodies’ who love food festivals, cooking together and fine dining and if so, is it important to you to be near great restaurants even when you’re self-catering?
8. Are you more of a vintage style lover who enjoys history and would love to stay in a period property (with all mod cons) or do you prefer modern style and eco-holiday-homes?
Use these questions as a starting point for discussions about your next holiday. Every couple’s (as indeed every individual’s) needs and wants are slightly different so what’s right for one couple might not be right for another. You don’t have to do everything together, of course. If one of you wants to bungee jump and the other would rather not, they can be there to video the moment.
Once you have booked your holiday, the countdown to fun and freedom begins and you can start to plan and book your chosen activities for days out and consider how you will spend your time together.
How to Make the Most of Your Time Away Together
1. Switch off your phones if you can, or have an agreed phone-free period. Disconnecting from work and everyday life can help you to feel more connected to each other. If you really can’t switch your phone off then try to be mindful of how that may affect your relationship. Your partner may be very understanding but if they’re not, try to understand their point of view.
2. Try something new together, whether that’s glamping for the first time or an adrenaline sport. Consider learning something new together that you can do when you get home, like yoga or cookery. Rick Stein’s cookery school in the gorgeous town of Padstow in Cornwall offers amazing half-day to four-day workshops where you can learn to cook like a professional chef!
3. Take photos and print them out to frame after you return rather than just posting on social media. You could have the best ones made into large canvases for your home to help you relive the happy moments of your holiday.
One of the ways a short break or holiday can strengthen your relationship is that travelling together makes you work as a team. When you set off on an adventure, you have to work out how to get there, whether it’s a road trip or a boat, coach or train journey – or a combination of all of these – and you’re in it together. You could take the sleeper train from London to Scotland for an overnight journey or pack the day before and head off first thing in the morning. The beauty of a UK holiday is you won’t have to argue about who’s going to have to drive on the other side of the road!
All good things must come to an end, as they say, and once the holiday is over, there is often a sense of afterglow that follows. Happy memories and photographs help to ensure those good feelings live on for some time after – until you book your next holiday together when the excitement starts all over again!