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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.
With work commitments, busy social lives, and kids running around the place, many of us don’t get to spend as much quality time with our other halves as we’d like – that’s why taking a romantic getaway, just the two of you, is so important for relationships. Whether it’s a well planned out foreign holiday or a spontaneous weekend trip, romantic getaways can help reignite that spark, and they can also be great for new couples who want to discover more about each other. Take a look at our handy guide, which will help you plan and prepare a perfect romantic getaway that’s straight from the movies:
Deciding on a location and hotel for your loved up holiday can be tricky – there are so many places you might choose for your intimate getaway. Paris, of course, is considered to be the romance capital of the world, but there are plenty of other romantic destinations to consider – a long weekend in New York City, a sunny beach break in Spain and, believe it or not, there are plenty of romantic destinations in the UK, too! The Lake District, Cornwall, and the Cotswolds have been voted some of the most romantic destinations in the UK, perfect for couples looking to spend some relaxing quality time together without the kids, or for new couples wanting to get to know each other better. Look out for all inclusive holidays, where food, drinks, and activities are all a part of the deal, are also great choices, offering the ultimate in indulgence.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your upcoming trip, but don’t forget to keep at least one foot firmly on the floor – while you may have butterflies floating around your tummy, there’s still housework that needs to be done. If you’re rushing out the door on Friday evening after work it’s very tempting to leave the dirty dishes and the smelly laundry until you come back – we’ve all done it – but walking into a messy, dirty house is a real buzzkill after such a romantic, chilled out getaway. Taking just a bit of time to get things straight at home can make a huge difference. You don’t need to spend hours making everything spotless, but there are plenty of housekeeping tips for your holidays available to help you clear up fast before you go. Your future self will thank you!
One of the last things to do before heading off on your relaxing holiday with your loved one is pack for the occasion. You’ll want to make sure that you have all the travel essentials, plus a few little extras that you wouldn’t normally take on a regular sightseeing trip. Romantic music to help set the mood is an absolute must, along with candles (or LED candles if you’ve decided to go glamping – you don’t want to set the tent on fire!), some fragrant massage oil, and a few aphrodisiac snacks like chocolate, red wine, and walnuts that you can nibble in the evenings. If you’re travelling by plane and have to stick to a strict luggage allowance, don’t bother packing too many outfits – you might not even make it out of the room some days!
Now that you’re all ready to travel, there’s just one final thing to do – relax! Romantic getaways are the perfect excuse to forget about work, take a deep breath, and just unwind with your loved one. For the next few days, it’s just the two of you. Bon Voyage!