Photo by Toa Heftiba

Summer is finally here. It is finally time to escape the constant stress and monotony of your everyday life.

However, the alluring holiday destinations hold unknowns, which can cause tension for both, fresh and seasoned couples.

You might be nervous about heading out on a summer adventure, these five tips will help with the challenges ahead.

Tip 1: Give Yourselves Time To Unwind And Slowly Get Into The Holiday Mindset

Even though the plane might take you far away from all the sources of your every-day stress within hours, your mind might need longer to catch up.

Switching off from a busy work mode and just relaxing, isn’t always so simple.

It can take time to unwind and slowly settle into the holiday mode.

Give yourself and your partner time to find the way into the holiday mindset. Take it easy and go easy on your boyfriend/girlfriend in the first couple of days.

I know holidays can be stressful too, after all, you ‘re probably in a new, unknown place, countless little things that don’t go according to plan. Even small things like taking a wrong turn on a highway, or getting lost in a small town might cause an argument.

In these moments try to remember: you’re on holiday, you’re together and you’ve got time.

There is no schedule you need to follow. No deadlines, no meeting to attend, etc.

So be patient and try to chill. It will become easier as the days go by and both you and your partner settle into the holiday mode.

No-one, not even your phone, can give perfect directions. Who knows, one wrong turn might just take the two of you to a way more charming and unique destination!

Tip 2: Enjoy Your Couples Holiday As Though It’s Not Going On Social Media

People love to post their holiday photos online and rake in likes. All the couples on Facebook or Instagram are madly in love and are having the time of their lives.

Food, vistas, selfies -everything is picture perfect.

Behind the scenes, however, the “perfect couples” are fighting just as much as anybody else. So don’t be fooled by all these perfect images and don’t try to uphold some imaginary standards.

Nobody is perfect and your couples holiday is not a competition.

I personally find that focusing on taking pictures and posting them online often take me out of the moment. So if you want to fully enjoy the quality time with your partner, why not take the performance pressure off?

Try to live your holiday as though you were not going to post it online.

Do it for yourselves, not for the validation. In fact, let your couples holiday be so awesome, it should be kept top secret. You wouldn’t want to send your friend and followers writing in fits of jealousy, would you? Not that that can’t be fun too…

The point being, you don’t need to prove anything to anybody. It’s about the two of you having great times together, pictures serve reliving those fond memories.

Tip 3: Don’t Compromise Right Away, Find Creative Solutions To Make The Most Of Your Couples Holiday

They say that compromise is necessary to make a relationship work. I personally think that people are often way too quick to jump into it.

Gabriel and I often find ourselves wanting two different things while on holiday. I’m sure you and your partner will have to cope with that problem too.

When faced with that kind of dilemma keep in mind that you are two individuals with particular wants and needs both equally valid. Compromising too soon can often lead to mutual dissatisfaction and silent resentment.

Instead of giving up on your preferences and trying to meet halfway, take some time to listen and understand one another. These 3 Easy Communication Hacks can help you with that.

Look for creative solutions. Figure out ways in which you both get what you want.

For example: if your partner is a tanned surfer who wants to spend all day on the beach, but you are pale skinned and love to read, get an umbrella. This way he/she can go conquer the waves, while you devour your favorite novels in the shade, all while being within eyeshot.

Couples often don’t want to buy big things like umbrellas, because they’re impossible to take with on an airplane and you’re forced to leave it behind every single time. It is true and it is a waste, however, little investments like this can make a huge difference to the quality of your time together.

If something so simple like an umbrella can save you and your partner from an unpleasant quarrel or expectations being let down, go get it! Yours and your partner’s happiness is worth it!

Deciding what and where to eat is another common source of conflict for many couples who are on a holiday together. If you’re a steak lover, but your partner is vegetarian, take the time to choose a restaurant that caters to both your appetites.

Figure it out, talk and listen. If you give up and compromise too soon, most likely neither of you will get what they want.

A solution to a seemingly hopeless dilemma may be right around the corner.

Tip 4: Being Together On A Couples Holiday Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Be Apart

Sometimes your preferences will be so different, it’s going to be impossible to find a solution for both of you to be happy.

Many couples, Gabriel and myself included, struggle with this issue. But just because you’re on a holiday as a couple, it doesn’t mean you have to be together all the time.

None of you needs to give up on your individual preferences, you can just spend some time apart instead.

For example: if one of you wants to chill by the hotel pool, and the other one is so sunburned, that the only thing he or she can do is lie flat under the air conditioner pleading for the pain to pass, spend a few hours apart.

There’s no need to be glued to the hip at all times. Give yourselves that freedom.

Needing to spend time apart might seem like a sign of a problem in your relationship. It might make you think: “Are we a good match?”, “What if we’re just too different?”.

Everybody has thoughts like that when they disagree about something important with their partner. So don’t let the doubt ruin your vacation.

All couples face this problem. There is no such thing as a “perfect match”. Even if you know couples who seemingly are in perfect harmony at all times, let me assure you, that’s not the whole picture.

Just because you need to spend time apart on a couples holiday doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your relationship.

Tip 5: You And Your Partner Are More Important Than Your Vacation

Last but not least, the pressure to make the most of your couples holiday, can sometimes become too much and ruin your quality time.

Having a dedicated week or two for exploring a location can be a lot of pressure. You might want to make the most of it by jam-packing it with interesting things to do and force yourselves to strictly follow the initial plan because you don’t want to miss out!

Fear not, this is isn’t your last vacation. Keep in mind that if you love this particular place, you can always come back.

It’s ok to miss out on planned activities.

The museum just closed, the ticket queue is too long or one of you is be too tired to go sightseeing, hiking or surfing. That’s ok, you can always do that thing you were planning on doing next time.

This happened to Gabriel and myself countless times.

During one of our road trips we drove to Venice, I really wanted to see the Architecture Biennale. Unfortunately, we completely lost track of time and arrived in Venice on a Monday thinking that it was a Sunday. The exhibition was closed (all museums in Venice are closed on Mondays).

I was quite devastated, so we bought a bottle of wine to drown my sorrow away. We ended up having a lovely walk around and the most romantic evening. Even though I didn’t get to what I planned to go to Venice for, it ended up being absolutely magical and fun.

So don’t let silly opening times ruin your couples holiday. Find a lovely restaurant, Get To Know Your Man Better with a couple of questions and take in the vistas. There are countless ways to make a vacation special. Don’t get too attached to your schedules. Main tourist attractions are often overrated anyway.

The goal of a summer holiday is to make you and your partner feel good. This vacation is here for you, not the other way around.

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Also, let me know what your struggle most with while on holiday as a couple and how you and your partner deal with it!


Karolina Bartnik