how to survive your first holiday as a couple

by - July 22, 2015

Come Sunday, my boyfriend and I will be setting off on our first ever overseas holiday as a couple. Sure, we've travelled domestically together for the odd long weekend getaway but this will be the first time we've pulled out our passports and tackled that great leveller together - the international departures queue.

All the relationship experts out there say holidaying with someone for the first time can be an eye-opening experience and can bring out the best (or the worst) in someone. They also say going on vacation together can offer a valuable insight into how your partner copes with the unexpected.

Travel - especially international travel - can be a stressful experience. We're often tired after a long flight and dealing with a new place, trying to work out directions, currency, language and just getting your bearings can mean tempers get short and arguments start easily.

But that's all the bad stuff - travelling with a partner (new or long term) can be a wonderful experience creating memories that last a lifetime. To make sure you and your love fit into the latter category rather than the former, follow these tips for a holiday to remember for all the right reasons.

Start small

All the experts agree your first holiday as a couple should a short, no-pressure getaway. "That way, if you end up having arguments, you won’t have a week’s worth of awkwardness to battle through before you’re homeward bound," says an article on My boyfriend and I started with an extended weekend in Melbourne about a month into our relationship which was the perfect non-holiday holiday if you know what I mean. This time round we're heading to Queenstown, New Zealand for four nights so although we're going international, it's not a long-haul flight so jet-lag induced crankiness won't be a problem.

Queenstown, New Zealand

Discuss your budget

"Although you shouldn’t plan your holiday rigidly you should have a bit of an idea of your budget, and how much you plan to spend," advises an article on the Durex website. Make sure that you and your SO both agree on the kind of cash you’ll be spending and how you will pay for things while you’re away. If it’s a new relationship, this can seem awkward but you need to be honest about what you can afford to avoid stress and financial difficulties.

Be flexible

Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm a planner. Lists and spreadsheets are my go-to tools when planning a holiday but I've been making a big effort lately to be a little more flexible in my approach. While it might be a good idea to have a rough plan of what you’ll do and the things you want to try while you're away, it's important that you’re not too rigid with your plans. Scrap the itinerary and treat each day as it comes. Decide what you want to do each morning and keep your plans fairly loose.

Get over it

Relax! You're on holidays! "Yes, she might pack too much; yes, he might have hideous swimming trunks…but that’s life, so have a laugh about it," says "If you get on well and stay together, you’ll enjoy reliving these fun memories in the years to come."

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