We know that people who go on vacations are more productive at work and more likely to get promoted, but are they also happier in their romantic relationships? A study review published in the Journal of Travel Research found that travel has several benefits for families, relationships, and individuals. Holidays are a reminder of the fact that although some things change when you have been married for many years, your enjoyment of each other and your love, can be stronger than ever if you just take the time to enjoy each other with no pressures of work or other commitments. If you and your partner could use a few days away, discovering new sights and learning more about each other, learning about just a few benefits of holidays may inspire you. Does booking a week away to one of the world’s most romantic cities appeal?
Building Beautiful Memories
When you think back on the highs and lows of your relationships, the best moments are probably centered on travel. As noted in a Study by Shaw, Havitz, and Delemere, holidays build tighter bonds because they provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and create memories that are cherished years later. As noted by one participant to their study, investing in a holiday makes sense because you are in essence buying into beautiful memories, not just material things that don’t mean as much when you look back on meaningful moments of your life.
The Effect of Holidays on Relationships
Research by Newman and Newman has found that spending more leisure time together is linked to a lower probability of divorce. Another study by Gilbert and Abdullah, undertaken on over 6,000 people, found that those who took at least four consecutive days off to travel, enjoyed greater wellbeing and happiness. A third study by Hoopes and Lounsbury found that going on holiday increased a couple’s satisfaction once they were back home. Some countries have taken notice of the psychological importance of vacations. Malaysia, for instance, introduced a Second Honeymoon Program in 2010, offering couples who were considering divorce an island getaway where they would enjoy counselling as well as enough time to enjoy the paradisiacal setting together. People argue less and enjoy greater intimacy when they are on their vacation, than in daily life.
Holidays Reduce Stress and Promote Peace in a Relationship
Many studies have shown that holidays are important, particularly when you have a high-stress lifestyle or when, as a couple, you have been through the stress of illness. A study conducted recently by the American Psychological Association found that vacations significantly lower stress levels because they take remove us from the activities and environments that cause worry and anxiety. Holidays ensure we have less headaches and backaches, which puts us into ‘the mood for love’. They also enable us to sleep better, so we feel more alert and are better able to give our full attention to our partner. Simply sleeping poorly or tossing and turning frequently at night can increase our stress levels, so a holiday is a good way to cut both stress and poor sleep hygiene in the bud.
Choosing a Romantic Getaway
Paradisiacal islands and mountainside resorts often spring to mind when we think of a romantic holiday, but if you are a city lover at heart, a buzzing city like New York, with its romantic nightclubs, rooftop terrace restaurants, and meaningful monuments (does the Empire State ring any bells?), has all the ingredients it takes to wine and dine your partner in style. Because New York is so expansive, it offers a plethora of romantic activities, including a picnic at Central Park, a visit to the Hayden Planetarium, or a visit to the Diamond District. Other cities on the top of the romance list include Paris, Sydney, and Venice. Whether you are catching a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, walking along the beach in Sydney, or taking a gondola ride in Venice, chances are, you will feel fortunate that you are enjoying all these sites with someone you love.
Making Time for a Nature Escape
If you do choose a city escape, try to find a beautiful green area or seaside part of the area you are visiting, to add a little dose of romance to what will undoubtedly already be an unforgettable trip. Researchers in Finland (Liisa Tyrvainen of the Finnish Forest Institute) recently measured people’s wellbeing in three different environments: busy city parks, urban streetscapes, and wild forests. In their study, participants were asked to take a 15-break in these areas. They found that those who had visited the city parks and forests, felt psychologically restored. These feelings were slightly heightened in a forest setting but interestingly, even being in an urban green area had powerful restorative effects. Another study by scientists at Stanford University, meanwhile, found that walking in a city park lifted the mood, working memory, and attention. Once again, it is evident that by working on our own stress levels, we can give our best self to our partner. Therefore, if you do opt for a city break, consider giving priority to cities with a beach, nearby forests, or numerous green areas in which to relax after a hectic day sightseeing.
If you would love to surprise your partner or spouse with a special gift, a holiday may just be one of the best investments you can make. As mentioned above, material things (a designer outfit, killer pair of shoes, or even an elegant piece of jewellery) don’t really form part of our memory when we recall special moments with our loved one. Holidays don’t have to be expensive, or involve a plane ride and fancy hotels. You don’t even have to leave your city or state to disconnect with your partner. Taking a quick city or nature break for a weekend can help reduce stress and arguments, improve your mood, and make you more aware of/attentive to your loved one.