When you're in the midst of a blossoming romance, going on your first holiday together as a couple is a very exciting milestone - but it's also a great test of your relationship.
“A first holiday together is a real indicator, not just of the level of commitment within a relationship, but also what the future together might look like”, says relationship expert and behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings, who has partnered with Forest Holidays.
“You’ll notice aspects of each other, that you might not have recognised before and you’ll see each other at your best and your worst.”
But fear not, our handy guide of the ultimate dos and don’ts will help to ensure your break is the first of many to come.
1. Talk about your expectations from a holiday
It won’t help if you get to your destination and find that you want to do completely different things.
2. Discuss your budget before you go away
Approaches to spending are a common cause of rows amongst couples, and if one is a saver and one a spender, these attitudes can get magnified when on holiday, casting greater problems.
3. Spend some time apart
There is no rule that says you have to be together 24/7. It’s perfectly acceptable to spend a little time apart, doing something that pleases you as an individual rather than together as a couple.
4. Some journey prep
A lot of holidays don’t get off on the right foot, simply because routes or timings haven’t been planned, passports can’t be found or the suitcase won’t close as one of you has packed way too much. Your holiday starts the moment you book it, so enjoy the anticipation and avoid the stress of not planning ahead.
5. Pamper yourselves
Holidays are the time to be self-indulgent and leave any worries at home or work firmly behind you. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourselves!
6. Travel anywhere you have been with an ex
This is bound to trigger memories and potentially arguments. Discover somewhere new together.
7. Spend your break on the phone
Holidays are precious time together. If you have to use your phone, either fix a pre-arranged hour when your partner won’t feel neglected or decide together that checking emails/social media is off menu.
8. Overplan your trip
If you pack your break with a finely-tuned schedule, it can feel pressurised. Allow yourselves to be spontaneous, adventurous and improvise where necessary. And no morning alarms!
9. Be too unrealistic
Holiday ads would have us believe that every moment together will be complete perfection. You might have the odd row, drink too much, get sunburn or a dodgy tummy. It happens to every couple, so don’t get too disappointed if it happens to you. Just move on from it and enjoy.
10. Abandon your partner
Spending a little time alone can be healthy, but if you make new holiday friends don’t feel you have to do everything with them, it’s your romantic holiday and you need some quality alone time together.