Whether you’ve been in a relationship for 7 years or just one, it’s likely that you’ll look back fondly on your first 6 months. Why? It’s when everything was playing along nicely, there were no external pressures or to put it simply – both parties were happily skipping along in the honeymoon phase.
Every couple experiences ups and downs in their relationship, but wouldn’t it be incredible if you could go back in time and recreate that blissed out feeling of the first 6 months? According to relationship expert and best-selling author Marina Jacoby-Leonard it might be time to book your next holiday.
Jacoby-Leonard teamed up with HotelsCombined to look at ways you can use a holiday to bring back that va va voom. Whether it’s switching off from the outside world and focusing on each other, or finding a destination that forces you both to relax, a holiday just might be the thing the relationship doctor ordered.
Here Jacoby-Leonard shares her top ways to positively impact a relationship through holiday making.
CHOOSE A DESTINATION THAT’S VASTLY DIFFERENT FROM YOUR HOME LIFE
The more the destination differs from your home life, the bigger the pause on daily responsibilities and routine. Specifically, Jacoby-Leonard recommends lovers look for differences in the culture, environment, pace of life and climate. Destinations such as the Pacific Islands or South-East Asia can provide the experiences that feel worlds away from home.
STAY: The Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island in the French Polynesia.
TAKE OFF TWO WEEKS MINIMUM
The first part of any holiday is ‘the fallout’, where busy holidayers often feel ill-at-ease as they adjust to the sudden change of pace and wind down. That’s why Jacoby-Leonard says two-week holidays are the sweet spot as a minimum, and recommends lovers help the wind-down process by forcing themselves to relax (hello day spas and hotel pools). Topping HotelsCombined’s destination list for loved up couples is Bali, the perfect destination that can offer relaxation at every turn (if you choose).
STAY: The ONE in Legian, Bali (it has a rooftop pool)!
TRAVEL FOR NO MORE THAN 9 HOURS
International travel is exciting but that feeling can wear off pretty quickly. Jacoby-Leonard suggests choosing a place that is far enough from home so that you’re less likely to think about responsibilities and routines but close enough so that you don’t have to deal with the frustration of long layovers and jet lag. International travel under 9 hours? Try New Zealand, Fiji, Bali or Thailand.
STAY: Hilton Pattaya in Thailand – it features a jacuzzi, sauna and infinity pool.
BOOK THE HOLIDAY TOGETHER
Nothing beats that exciting holiday feeling which we all know can start the moment you press book. That’s why Jacoby-Leonard suggests booking your trip with your partner over a glass of wine (or two) as this will help create feelings of togetherness and fun. It’s also important to have a clear idea of your destination, budget and hotel type in order to avoid any unnecessary disagreements. Finding the best price across multiple websites can be daunting, so be smart about your research. Use websites such as HotelsCombined or Sky Scanner to compares prices from all the top booking sites. These sites allow you to refine your search according to budget, class or star ratings.
DITCH THE TO-DO LIST
When couples are escaping stress, sightseeing can sometimes feel like another chore, so Jacoby-Leonard advises to forget to-do lists and start a ‘pleasure list’ instead. Mark down those things that you’re looking forward to, whether it’s a beachfront dinner, or the simple pleasure of reading a book. “Start the sightseeing when you’re feeling well rested,” she says.
STAY: The Mantra French Quarter in Noosa is the perfect balance of relaxation and activities.
LIMIT TECHNOLOGY TO TWO HOURS A DAY
It has been proven that technology can kill intimacy so limit these devices to two hours a day (enough to do holiday research, make necessary calls or boast about your trip on Instagram). “Technology kills intimacy, especially at the dinner table, so give your partner eye contact and really listen to them. If you’re serious about reigniting your relationship, book a remote destination that forces you to switch off,” she says.
STAY: Choose a place like Heron Island at the Great Barrier Reef which no mobile phone coverage. Heron Island Resort has a tennis court, pool and a private beach – enough to keep you busy without needing the distraction of your phone.
TRY A NEW EXPERIENCE EVERYDAY
With new experiences comes of the feeling of childlike fun, which can bring your relationship closer together. It could be something as simple as staying at a new destination, or trying a new food. You both might love Bali but in the spirit of trying new things, why not choose to somewhere different?
STAY: InterContinental Hanoi Westlake in Vietnam (Vietnam is becoming a hugely popular romantic romantic destination according to a study by HotelsCombined, which saw couple bookings increase by 71 per cent year on year).
FUN IS A MUST
Fun is most likely the ingredient that brought you together in the first place. Go back to where it all began and engage in those things that make you laugh. Whether it’s movies, live music, cooking classes, golf, diving, winery visits or salsa dancing, fun is always awaiting when you travel.
STAY: Choose a destination that is perched on the doorstep of a fun adventure spot, such as Hawaii, which combines contemporary Honolulu with its adventurous surroundings. The Hilton Waikoloa Village in Hawaii’s Waikoloa Village offers never ending possibilities when it comes to fun.
CATER FOR THE KIDS
Sometimes there is no choice but to bring the kids on your holiday (and sometimes you may prefer it that way). If that’s the case, it’s still important to escape from routine. For small kids, it’s best to choose child-friendly accommodation that offer crèche services and kids’ playgrounds. New parents should look for especially comfortable beds, pillow options and bassinets to help kids sleep. If you have teen children, consider letting them invite a friend for company.
STAY: Hamilton Island on the Whitsundays for those who have little kids, and Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast for those who have teen kids. Choose the Reef View Hotel at Hamilton Island and Hilton Surfers Paradise Residences.