Expert Tips to Survive Your First Holiday With Your Partner
Is 2023 your year of romance? Whether you’re booking a vacation or a staycation, the first holiday is a serious step in any relationship. Find out how to create a memorable first trip together - for all the right reasons.
Here at Queensmith, we've teamed up with relationship experts Hope Flynn, founder of FeedMeFemale, and Mairead Molloy, Relationship Psychologist and Global Director at Berkeley International, to reveal the do’s and don’ts of navigating your first holiday as a couple.
Vacation or staycation?
The first challenge is deciding and agreeing on the best location for your romantic getaway. Somewhere hot with a beach? Or a shepherd’s hut in the mountains? We asked the experts whether couples should stay closer to home or jet off to a destination outside of the UK.
Hope said: “This is entirely up to the couple and their personal preferences. If one of you is afraid of flying for example you could look at staying in the country for a long weekend.
“I would suggest for a first holiday if you want to go abroad, don’t go too far, maybe choose a destination in Europe just in case for any reason you have to go home, it wouldn’t be as far."
Mairead suggests: “I'd start small in the beginning, for example, consider booking a long weekend away together. It doesn’t matter if you decide to go somewhere close to home or abroad really – it is the length of time that matters.
“If three months is the benchmark for your first couple's holiday – up to four days is the best starting point for your mini break. Always make sure you have money with you in case things don't go to plan and you have to get away.”
Prioritising “me” time
Spending every second of the day with someone can be tricky whether it's holiday number 1 or 10. It can be tough finding the time to rest and have a moment to yourself when navigating so much time with another person.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed allocate some personal time during the holiday for individual interests or relaxation. It's healthy to have space and independence even when on a trip with your partner.
Hope comments: “Couples should absolutely factor in time apart. I believe this is super important, it’s healthy to have some space especially when it’s your first trip together.
“I would ensure to factor in some solo time to read a book, go to the gym or go for a walk.
“I’m not saying to spend the whole day alone or to do an activity without your partner but you should make a little bit of time in the day just for you."
Communication is key
From where you’re going to eat dinner that night, to the activities you want to do during your time away, both collaboration and communication whilst planning are essential to ensuring both of your needs and interests are being met during the trip.
Effective communication is also crucial during the holiday. Discuss any concerns, preferences, or needs you may have. Be open and honest about your feelings, ensuring both of you are comfortable and able to enjoy the experience.
Mairead adds: “Communication is the key – find out what each other likes ahead of the trip. I'm sure you'd rather know in advance if one of you likes to go for an early morning run at 6am while the other lounges until 11am!"
Navigating private spaces
For a lot of couples, going on holiday together means sharing certain quarters more closely than usual. Sharing a bathroom can be daunting, especially during the honeymoon stages of the relationship.
Hope said: “The toilet is such a big deal sometimes and it really shouldn’t be. I would ensure to give each other some space and privacy when it comes to the bathroom.
“You need to communicate with each other on how you use the space. For example, do you do your makeup in the bathroom mirror, who takes longer in the bath or shower and figure out a routine that works for you both."
If you feel anxious about sharing a bathroom in the early stages of a relationship, consider the following:
Figure out a time to use the bathroom without feeling rushed
Get up earlier than your partner to give you and your body time to relax and just go to the loo
Keep the bathroom tidy to maintain a harmonious environment
Potentially have a backup plan in case there’s only one bathroom available
Simply say it to each other with humour
Save the big talks for home
It’s easy to get swept up in the magic of the moment when you’re on holiday, but be cautious about getting too carried away.
Hold off on having deep and meaningful conversations until you’re back home. Holidays can create additional pressure and if your heart-to-heart doesn’t go as planned, it can put a dampener on those precious few days.
Set your intentions before the trip, and have an open and honest conversation about what you both expect from the holiday to avoid any hiccups during your precious time together.
Above all, savour every moment! As a new couple, holidays offer not only a chance to unwind but also a unique opportunity to strengthen your bond. Embrace shared moments, forge lasting memories, and maximise the precious one-on-one time you have together.