How to survive your first holiday together

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Settling on a place to go, mapping out the trip and then spending 24/7 on holiday together in a strange environment can all put a strain on a new relationship. Before you start dreaming of jetting off for a romantic city break, you need to read our essential advice. 

Walk before you can run

This is your first holiday together so it’s not the time to plan a three-week trek through Thailand. For your first trip, keep the destination simple and the schedule relaxed, with minimal planning. You’ll discover a lot of new things about each other on your first trip – some good, some bad – and you don’t want the bad things to be magnified by a badly planned trip, or just too long in each other’s company without a break.

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Keep it close

Travelling can be stressful what with having to be on time for flights, security checks and delays. To make the best of your time together, and to avoid extra stress, choose somewhere close by. A European city break is an ideal option, and if you can get there by train to avoid airport waiting times, even better. Or for optimum time together, somewhere in the UK might work even better (and no pesky currency to change).  The aim is to have a great time together, get to know each other better, and leave each other wanting more.

Make sure you’re on the same page

It may be tempting to pop into a travel agent and surprise your loved one, but in the case of first trips together, its best to be sure you know what you both want out of a holiday. You might fancy a walking holiday in the Peak District while your other half is looking forward to cultural sights in Barcelona.

At this point in your relationship, laying your cards on the table is the only thing to do – you probably don’t know each other well enough to make any assumptions. Don’t let yourself agree to something you’re not interested in either – that weekend touring whiskey distilleries might be his idea of heaven, but if you’re going to hate it there’s no point.

Scrap the itinerary

If the aim is to get to know each other better then a strict itinerary moving you from one sight or location to the next isn’t going to leave much room for that. By all means have an idea of what you’d like to do once you reach your destination, but plan things out too much and you’ll just be mimicking everyday life – totally defeating the object of a relaxing trip away.

Money, money, money

Your first trip away together will also probably be the first time you’ll have to think about a big purchase together. Get this sorted straight away so as to avoid any confusion – money has a nasty tendency to create quiet resentment between couples. Is it a treat from one of you or are you splitting everything 50-50? Is one of you going to be in charge of the money, or will you each pay for everything separately? And do you have the same expectations about how much money you want to spend? Make sure you’re not in a situation where one of you is on a tight budget and the other is expecting to eat in Michelin starred restaurants while you’re away.

The only way round this is to be completely honest before you set off on your trip. If you’re hoping to make your own lunches, or only visit the free attractions, then make sure your partner knows this before you set off. If they’re worth your time they’ll understand.

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Remember to relax

If you had a vision of the two of you driving through northern France, stopping off at lovely chateaux along the way, but the reality is you getting lost and your rental car breaking down, remember that you’re meant to be having fun. Instead of getting in a grump, hold onto the fact that these are the things you’ll laugh about in years to come, and that your time together is the most important aspect of your trip. And if you find yourselves unable to find the fun in tough situations, then when you get back you might want to reassess your partnership.


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