Travel and relationships normally work well together - but what happens when you and your ex-partner find yourself going ahead with a holiday?
Whatever your reason for taking the trip, from an inability to change details or unwillingness to miss a break you've been looking forward to, the new dynamic can make your trip a bit tricky unless you're prepared. Here's how to make it work and ensure you get as much out of your holiday as possible.
- Before you leave, you and your ex should have a meeting to discuss some ground rules. You need to agree on where you stand - if one of you thinks that the trip is a great opportunity to get back together and the other doesn't, expectations need to be equalled. As you're no longer a couple, you'll have to manage your own finances - you can't rely on each other any more - and you'll need to sort out what to do if you meet people who catch your eye on the trip. Get all of your concerns out the way and broach difficult subjects, even if you'd rather not - if you make a 'wrong move' on the trip due to not covering certain topics, you'll regret it.
- If you're both prone to bickering, look at ways of keeping yourselves apart until you calm down. Travel to the airport separately, sit apart on the plane and sit away from each other during the transfer. When you get to the room, relax, unpack, then hit the pool together to re-open communications.
- Be considerate and kind to each other. You'll both need to put any anger or resentment aside, and if you come across any stressful situations, remember to keep your temper in check. Don't fall back into the roles you had when you were together, and a five-hour plane trip is not the time to start discussing 'where things went wrong'.
- Look into time that you can spend apart. Are there day trips or activities that you can go on which will give you a bit of space? You can always enjoy breakfast in the morning, spend the day apart and then meet up again for dinner.
- Be careful with alcohol - it will work against you in two ways. It can either lead to drunken arguments, or you may do something you'll regret. If you can, set a two-drink maximum. and if you do any daytime trips where booze is on offer and you're drinking in the sun, take it easy, and drink plenty of water.
- Don't forget that the way you interact with each other has changed, and you'll need to work as equals. Even if your ex was relatively easygoing and you made most of the decisions while you were together, you'll need to give up some control, and vice versa. From where to eat to what to do that day, you need to respect each other's choices and make sure control is shared.
- Don't push your limits - or theirs. So, you've always wanted to visit a nudist beach - tremendous. However, this isn't the time to start making your ex feel uncomfortable or making demands of them just because you're not together or you have nothing to lose. It's important to be vocal and respectful if something goes amiss, and address problems quickly, rather than let bad feeling grow between you.
- If at all possible, make sure you have enough money to sort yourself out if things should go badly awry. You might need another hotel room or an earlier flight home, or you may decide to continue your holiday solo, but at a different hotel.
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