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First holiday together: 10 tips to make it holiday heaven

They say a first holiday can make or break a couple. You're with each other 24 hours a day, you see each other at your best, worst, sunburnt and hungover and personal space? What's that?

1. Go for a ‘trial run’

Rather than jumping in at the deep end and having a two week break together, why not have a trial run first and test the waters with a weekend trip away? Keep it simple: short flight, nice hotel, Paris? That way you’ve experienced the 24/7 company on neutral ground and you’ll have a rough idea of the things that might get on your nerves. We’ll make this one easy for you – here are some very romantic hotels in Paris.

2. Use each other’s strengths and talents when holiday planning

Rather than arguing about who does what, take a moment to think about each of your strengths and how to use them to your advantage. For example, if you’re a better organiser, you could book the holiday. If your partner has a flair for languages, let him/her be the translator. If one of you is a good navigator (this is touchy subject as it’s usually the woman!), let her be in charge of the map. That said, the top 10 iPhone and iPad apps for city breaks will make this easier.

Tips for romantic holidays

3. Research your destination before booking to see that it covers both of your interests

When you book a holiday, it’s important that it suits you both. It’s ok for someone to take the lead with the booking but do your research carefully, and be fair. For example, if one of you is a golf fanatic and the other loves sightseeing, don’t just book a week’s holiday at a golf resort. You need to run things past each other beforehand. If it’s a surprise holiday, make sure you’re considerate and not just booking what you like to do. The 7 most romantic city breaks in Europe would be a good place to start.

Romantic city breaks

4. Don’t plan too tight a schedule

If your schedule is too packed, then it could become more of a chore than a holiday. One of you may be hungover and not want the early start, then another day, you may want to chill on the beach rather than go on an excursion. It’s best to adopt a ‘go with the flow’ attitude rather than having a rigid timetable. Accept each other’s differences and you’ll get along just fine.

5. Compromise

There should be no leader on the holiday, it doesn’t matter who planned it, you’re both equal. Therefore every decision should be a joint one. If you’re a fussy eater, try and be a little bit adventurous – there must be at least one thing on the menu that you’d like. It’s always best to eat where the locals eat. Similarly, if you hate sport, but your partner is a fanatic – why not agree to one day accompany them and then maybe the next day they will do what you want.

Romantic holiday tips

6. Don’t get jealous / don’t go to the beach

If the weather’s hot and people are wearing close to nothing on the beach, then there’s a chance your partner may take long lingering looks at the body beautiful laying on the next sun lounger. This is likely to cause issues. Either, don’t get jealous at a bit of ‘window shopping’, or tell them they can look at whoever they want… on their own. Or avoid holidaying anywhere where swimwear is de rigeur.

7. Don’t get tempted to propose straight away

You’ve not been together long and with the great weather, beautiful beach, sunset and sangria – it’s easy to be carried away with the moment. Just remember, it takes time to get to know one another and there’s no rush. What seemed a good idea in the drive-through chapel in Vegas may come back to haunt you. Here are 9 other things you should probably avoid on that road trip.

8. Don’t drink every night

It’s easy to hit the bar every night – especially if it’s an all-inclusive venue. Be careful with those mojitos though as eventually the ‘holiday hangover’ will catch up with you and put you in a bad mood. It can make you feel tired, down and irritable, so if you can, have a few days break. You’ll have even more fun if you’ve got a clear head and feel fresh in the morning.

Flourescent shots lined up on a bar, pink and blue.

9. If a crisis happens – don’t blame the other person

When something bad happens (e.g something gets lost or stolen), rather than owning up, we can all be guilty of passing the blame on to someone else. Before you start moaning at your partner, stay calm and take a moment to decide how the situation can be rectified. Blaming someone else isn’t going to make things better, it’s just going to cause friction between you two. You should be a team, not rivals.

10. Make sure the ground rules are set with money

Money can be a touchy subject, especially on holidays, so you need to set the ground rules early. Is there going to be a ‘kitty’ that you put all your money into and then have a daily budget or are you going to pay for yourself? If one of you wants to share, but the other has the ‘what’s mine is mine’ attitude, you may encounter problems. It’s often best to combine money when you’re going on holiday together, or at least take it in turns to pay for meals/drinks. That way you’ll avoid one of you guzzling champagne and lobster and the other drinking tap water and eating crackers when money runs out. Set the ground rules before you leave and you’ll be well on the way to holiday heaven. Check out these 20 money saving travel tips and secrets, whilst you’re at it.

Lobster, held in hands, with black spots

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