Going on holiday for the first time together?
At the beginning of a relationship it’s natural to want to be with each other as much as possible. If you’re both working, or if you live far apart, the time you actually spend together may be limited to evenings and weekends. Taking a vacation together could seem like the perfect solution.
This needs to be a joint venture because you won’t yet know each other well enough to really know what the other would want from time away together. It’s a great opportunity to practice good communication and the planning process will be as important to your relationship as the actual holiday itself.
The best rule of thumb for a first holiday is to keep it simple. Somewhere close to home for a long weekend is better than a long haul flight and a month away. If you’ve never stayed overnight together this is even more important.
You may find there are lots of natural beauty spots very close to home or you could choose somewhere half way between where you both live if you are having a long distance relationship.
The important thing isn’t so much where you go but how you decide the location – it needs to be a joint decision that you are both happy with. Like a first date, a first holiday is like a trial run for time spent together in the future.
Finding a gap in the calendar that suits you both can be difficult if you both have work and family commitments. You may decide to book your holiday to coincide with a birthday or anniversary or to allow you to take advantage of a particular event like a festival.
Whether you decide to take a spontaneous trip as soon as possible, or spend lots of time on the planning and preparation, try not to put too much pressure on the experience. Just having time to really get to know each other better is what’s important.
For most new couples the main activity they’ll want to participate in on their first holiday is togetherness, but remember to plan something to do too. Choosing activities can be very revealing. It may show up any incompatibility or it may bring you closer together as you realise you have more in common than you initially realised.
If one of you is a party animal and the other likes to be up and running before breakfast it’s better to discuss this before you go.
Holding the purse
Money is often a source of anxiety and tension when it comes to holidays. First you need to decide on a budget to suit you both and then decide how you’re going to pay for things while you’re away. Will you each be paying half of every bill or will you have a joint fund? You need to be honest about what you can afford and not go along with things that you’re uncomfortable with because you’re ashamed of your lack of funds. It’s far better to have a difficult conversation now than a holiday that leaves you in debt and fills you with anxiety.
Are you going to be sharing a bedroom? One person may be assuming you will while the other thinks the relationship hasn’t developed that far yet. Will you be expected to be in each other’s company all the time or will you want to take some time out for yourself? Will you have to check in with work and family or are you having some time away from it all?
Try to let go of your expectations and enjoy the fun and excitement of your first holiday together as a couple.
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