How to make your first holiday together stress-free

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By Anastasia Amour

During the summer season many of us are looking to book time off work and take a much-needed break. For some of us, this might mean taking our first holiday as a couple. This can be an exciting prospect, but a new situation can often place unexpected pressures on your relationship. That’s why it’s paramount to ensure that you and your partner have covered all bases before you book that trip.

If you’re thinking of taking your first holiday with your partner, follow these six tips to ensure smooth sailing.

1. Make sure you’re on the same page about what you want from the trip. If you want a totally luxurious pampering holiday but your partner wants an action-packed sightseeing adventure, you can guarantee whoever doesn’t get the trip they wanted is going to be a teensy bit upset. If your partner wants a totally opposite holiday to you, there’s no sense in lying that you’re happy to go along with his or her plan – be honest and try to settle on a holiday that you’re both happy with. If all goes well, there will be plenty of future opportunities for other kinds of holidays too.

2. Do the planning together. Often, one person in the relationship will end up doing most of the legwork when it comes to planning the itinerary and booking everything – and that can make them feel unappreciated. Pitch in equally and you’ll make it half as much work and twice as much fun.

3. Take on some solo projects. Your partner might want to do some solo exploration or take some time out for themselves during your break. Don’t be offended. Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean you need to spend every waking moment together. Solo time, even on a couple’s retreat, is healthy and can help prevent you from getting irritated with your loved one. If you feel yourself getting stressed, suggest doing something alone that will benefit both of you, such as venturing out to buy a surprise meal for your partner which you can share back in the hotel room.

4. Be realistic in your expectations. So many couples go into their first holiday together expecting nothing short of perfection, but the unexpected does happen. The weather might be awful for the whole trip, you might have an uncomfortable bed that you can’t sleep in, or you might even get sick. The key is to not let these little issues overtake your mindset and ruin the trip. You’re on holiday, so try and leave your stress behind before you reach your destination.

5. Be willing to compromise. Although this is your holiday too, you now need to account for the wants and needs of your partner. You might not be thrilled about something your partner wants to do, but ask yourself; is it going to put a serious dampener on the holiday if you refuse to do it? For example, let your partner know that you’re not personally that keen on the idea of fishing, but you’d be happy to give it a go if he wouldn’t mind joining you for an afternoon of kayaking.

6. Cut your partner some slack. If your partner messes up the hotel booking or forgets to pack something or gets you lost in a foreign city, try your best to cut them some slack. They’re likely nervous too, and the last thing they need on their first holiday with you is for you to get angry with them. When things go wrong, stay calm (easier said than done, I know) and try to figure out a solution together. Playing the blame game will get you nowhere, fast.

If you follow the above tips, you’ll minimise many of the potential stresses that can quickly turn a holiday sour. Above all, remember: your first couple’s trip is a time for happiness and exciting new beginnings. Take time to relish the moment and just enjoy each other’s company, and you’ll have some fond memories to look back on.

Are you preparing for your first holiday together? Got any other tips? Let us know in the comments below, or join the conversation @eHarmony_AU or on Facebook.com/eHarmonyaustralia.


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