I discovered that going on holidays with the person you love has the ability to take the relationship to a whole new place as well…

 

As you unpack your suitcase after a well-deserved vacation, it’s time to face the fact that just as some clothes just don’t travel well, neither do some relationships.

Sure that adorable suit may look chic and be perfectly charming on date night at your neighborhood restaurant, but it’s not until you take it on the road (which includes walks through labyrinth-like airports and sitting in the same cramped position for a 14-hour flight) that you discover what your clothes (and your relationship) are really made of.

 

When it comes to relationships, nothing has the capacity to bring a couple closer together, or pull them further apart, quite like a holiday for two.

 

Without the creature comforts of home and the distractions of work, friends and family- you get a crash course in how you really function as a couple. It’s literally the two of you against the world. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re staying in 5 star luxury, or camping beside a mosquito infested lake, if you’re with the right person you’re going to have a good time. If you’re not, luxury may help make it bearable, but it will never be blissful. Never.

 

The thing about sharing a romantic holiday is the most loving experiences often occur when you least expect them. The true test of a relationship’s mettle isn’t staring lovingly into each other’s eyes at a romantic dinner in Udaipur, it’s sharing a bout of holiday food poisoning akin to a scene from The Exorcist in the hotel room afterwards. If, after such an episode, your man can still look you in the eyes and tell you you’re beautiful over a bottle of Gatorade, it means infinitely more than if he were to say the same thing sipping champagne.

James Allen once said, “Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.” And few moments in life are ripe with more ‘circumstances’ than when you’re on vacation. Indeed, it’s the ultimate testing ground for love; Is he the kind of man offering to schlep your excess baggage, or the lad complaining about you being overweight (in the luggage department, that is)? Can the two of you have fun even if we’re grounded on the tarmac for four hours, or are you ready to fake a heart attack to get off the plane? Do you even share a similar concept of what constitutes a fun day? (Note: even Mr. Right will object to 5 hour-long shopping days).

 

While paradise has a funny way of testing a relationship, it also has the ability to take your love to a whole new level. By physically removing you both from your comfort zone, it has the potential to weave the two of you closer together than those regrettable braids you got in Bali. With no boss, parent or friend to tell you how to be, you are free to be who you are. At liberty to explore new places together, taste new foods, (some of which may have the aforementioned side effects) and to operate as a team. So when you finally do go travelling with the right guy, you’re reminded that no matter where in the world you may be, you’re at home when you’re together.

 

Holiday survival tips for couples:

  1. Pack light. It takes away the hassles of lugging around cumbersome suitcases and prevents your hotel room from turning into a ‘thrift store’ with clothes splattered across every surface. Not sexy. Plus it leaves room for a few new acquisitions!
  2. Confirm all travel arrangements and hotel bookings two weeks before departing. If there’s no bedroom, there’s no sex.
  3. List it. Have both of you write a wishlist of the top 5 things you’d like to achieve on the holiday (it could be sky diving, or lying by the pool sipping a cocktail). Then draw up a rough schedule that ensures all the key activities are covered. That way neither of you will leave feeling cheated.
  4. Plan around your period. Being hormonal, bloated and having to don a bikini are not the makings of a sexy holiday.
  5. Turn your iPhones, Androids and BlackBerry’s off. There is nothing more annoying than being on holidays with someone who’s still at work.
  6. Get a good night’s sleep the night before you leave. Travel + new bed + time difference = cranky. So rest up before you depart.
  7. Plan a few romantic moments. It could be a surprise dinner on the beach, or a swim at a waterfall.
  8. Take a camera. How else will you remember the moments if you can’t publish them on Facebook later!

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