Travel plays a huge role in maintaining a relationship. They create new shared experiences. They overcome challenges together and enjoy wonderful new things
Here’s the good news. According to one report, there won’t be a second epidemic – an epidemic of broken relationships.
The Marriage Foundation report says far fewer couples than expected are planning a divorce once this crisis is over.
The Marriage Foundation is an advocate for marriage (name includes a hint). Family lawyers – not exactly for divorce, but certainly not against the fees they earn if this unfortunate event occurs – are not convinced by the results. One told the Mail that she had seen an “explosion” in divorce cases up to and including Christmas.
In any case, most couples will admit that the past year has been a strain. And a big part of the burden is that there is no immediate prospect of escape. Travel plays a huge role in maintaining a relationship. They create new shared experiences. They overcome challenges together and enjoy wonderful new things.
On vacation you are on a romantic adventure and are freed from everyday life. So you almost become a different couple, ”says life coach Carole Ann Rice. So the first trip after lockdown should be a good one for everyone involved. So no pressure.
Here are a few ideas. First a warning. After nearly a year of lockdown, the last thing you need to do is lie around a week to do nothing or drink cocktails and stare at each other over a bottle or two of wine …
HAND IN HAND
There is no place like Japan where you crave something different on vacation. The picture shows the Ginkaku-ji Silver Pavilion in Kyoto
If you’re craving something different, there is nowhere else like Japan. Nothing is like everything you are used to: food, language, landscape. From subtropical Okinawa to frozen Hokkaido, there is a continental variety in this ancient, modern, and very long country.
The Japanese Way To Wellbeing is an interesting and high quality new tour from Art of Travel. It’s a thorough immersion in Japanese culture, from the metropolis to islands to temples and gardens. And after all the excitement and friction of the past year, a spell in the most polite country on earth can be just what a fragile relationship needs.
Good to know: For a more down-to-earth option, try Walk Japan, a company that offers guided walking tours between temples and traditional Japanese inns (walkjapan.com).
How it goes: A Japanese Path to Wellness vacation costs around £ 10,875 per person for 11 days, including ANA Premium Economy round-trip flights (theartoftravel.net/jic-wellness).
SECURITY IN NUMBERS
One thing that couples have missed is the company of other couples (and singles). So let’s go – to Arcadia, the region in Greece that was synonymous with rural bliss in ancient times. Modern Arcadia, only two hours from Athens, is still happy. The Villa Vager is located on a mountain village.
When it comes to activities, forget about the boring beaches: they have mountains, lakes, monuments, pine forests, walks, winery tours and cooking classes. You will be too tired to argue about anything, even the price.
Good to know: Make sure you get the Secret Suite.
How it goes: Seven nights at Villa Vager (hotelvager.gr) with Original Travel from £ 2,025 per person based on two people. Includes flights, rental cars, and rafting, hiking and excursions (originaltravel.co.uk).
Northern Ireland’s magical Antrim coast with beautiful, spacious bays and a rugged coastline
Northern Ireland’s magical Antrim coast is often overlooked. A stroll along the wide bays and the rugged coastline is exciting enough.
But how much better is it to trot or gallop through the waves on an Irish cob or, as Danny McKinley of Sheans Horse Farm puts it, “something with a little more zipper”.
Good to know: At the Bushmills Inn you can compare stories over a good whiskey and empathize with sore thighs and buttocks.
How it goes: Aptly named Rediscover the World offers a four-night trip. Flights to Belfast, one night on the town, three nights at the Bushmills Inn (including dinner on arrival) and a day with the horses at Whitepark Bay, £ 785 per person (rediscover.co.uk).
Sweden’s west coast has beautiful islands, fishing villages, cute harbor hotels and endless daylight. Pictured is a couple on a cycling holiday in the city of Gothenburg in western Sweden
If you and your partner enjoy Nordic Noir, head to Fjällbacka (picture), the Swedish city featured in the thrillers by author Camilla Läckberg
California may be the classic road trip, but the traffic is bad and the cities too flashy these days. Instead, try the Swedish west coast with its charming islands, fishing villages, cute harbor hotels and endless daylight.
The Nordic countries suffer their own kind of lockdown each year during the dark winter months so they really know how to enjoy the summer. Expect grilling, swimming, beaches and the joy of being outside all day. If this doesn’t cure the couple lockdown blues, nothing will.
Good to know: If you have a common taste for Nordic noir, be sure to visit Fjällbacka, the city featured in the thrillers of author Camilla Läckberg.
How it goes: A six-day, one-night fly-drive package at the Salt & Sill eco-floating hotel from £ 1,325 per person (regent-holidays.co.uk).
WALK AND TALK
Walking is a proven way to get your brain and muscles working after too long hibernation. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is ideal – just challenging enough but you have enough breath to talk about it. A couple of happy, sunny days from the cliff over the bay to the pub and B&B along the glorious West Wales coast is a great stress reliever.
Good to know: You can add extra days off for a little extra money.
How it goes: The Celtic Trails Walk is located in historic St. Davids. Three nights from £ 320 per person (celtictrailswalkingholidays.co.uk).
The spectacular rice fields in Ubud, Bali. The island is a great place to relieve the pains of a relationship
Couples massages: Who decided that if you lie face down next to your loved one for an hour listening to grunting and squeaking noises accompanied by the singing of whales, your relationship will deepen? Forget it.
Rooms with jacuzzis: Sounds great until you start thinking about all of the other people who shared intimate moments in those glorified washing machines.
Party places: Ibiza, Ayia Napa and Mykonos are great at some point in your romantic development – i. H. At the beginning. When you go back, you just feel headache and old.
The Maldives: Sure, your vacation island is beautiful. But do you really want to stare at the same view and sit in the same room and eat at the same table for two weeks? It’s just a lock with snorkeling.
Honeymoon Suites: Often fussy, invariably overpriced – and if you are really unlucky, they will turn your bath towel into a heart.
Bali is a great place to heal, including training the pains of a relationship. Avoid the party beaches of Kuta and head inland to bohemian Ubud.
Why not learn a new skill together, such as cooking Asian food? There is a good selection of cooking schools in and around Ubud, including the Paon Bali Cooking Class. They shop, learn, hike through the rice fields, cook and eat.
Good to know: Combine a day or two at the beach with an inland expedition north via Ubud. Plan time – roads are congested.
How it goes: Hayes & Jarvis offers ten days in Bali from £ 2,960 per person. This includes round-trip flights, four nights in Ubud and six in Sanur. In addition to the cooking class, they offer a hot air balloon ride and a discovery tour of ancient Ubud (hayesandjarvis.co.uk).
GET BACK ON TRACK
“We’re interrailing!” Hearing these words could immediately evoke images of bulging backpacks and sleepless nights at hard banquets somewhere in the middle of Belgium. But think again. As an adult, you can afford the little (and bigger) luxuries that your younger you couldn’t. And sharing the logistical challenge of finding your way around the continent is going to be a great experience, isn’t it?
Good to know: You can choose between 33 countries with one ticket.
How it goes: A single ticket costs £ 587 and gives you seven days of travel that you can extend over a month (interrail.eu).
CLIMB ANY MOUNTAIN
Perhaps you used lockdown to acquire a new hobby or interest. If not, there will be plenty of time to choose one. How about yodelling? You can learn how in Austria Tyrol.
Once you’ve stood on a mountain top and said “Tri-dul jo-i jod-i ri-dul jo-i jo!” For the cows in a distant valley, all these worries and trifles will magically disappear. And the wild flower carpets will tempt you to start over.
Good to know: The Königsleitner yodel trail is free. All you have to do is get to the mountain station of the Dorfbahn in good time for one of the regular tours.
How it goes: Inghams offers seven nights half board at the Elisabeth Hotel for adults only in Austria, Tyrol, Mayrhofen, from £ 1129 per person (inghams.co.uk/destinations/austria/austrian-tyrol).
YOU NEED SOME SPACE
On a trip to Mongolia, stock up on cashmere sweaters in Ulaanbaatar and then go to a wilderness camp and spend the night in a depicted Mongolian ger
There may have been times when you wished your loved one was elsewhere. Outer Mongolia, for example. But it’s much nicer to go together. Nowhere is nature bigger.
Take a day or two in Ulaanbaatar, fill yourself up with cashmere sweaters, then head to one of the gers-strewn wilderness camps – the Mongolian version of yurts. After a few days in the Gobi, you will appreciate the garden lawn at home even more.
Good to know: Get there before October when the steppes get a little brisk.
How it goes: Regent Holidays (regent-holidays.co.uk) offers a 10-day 4WD Gobi adventure in Mongolia from £ 3,444 per person, including flights to Ulaanbaatar. The price includes nine nights of accommodation in traditional German camps and hotels, most meals, all-wheel transport, private driver, guide and sightseeing tours.
Love birds in a nest
Visit the pristine forests and beaches of Dominica in the Caribbean. At Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski you can do the usual spa and relax. But much better to have a mission.
Are you going on a guided tour into the forest in search of Dominica’s national bird, the elusive and colorful Sisserou parrot? It certainly gives you more to tell than the number of rum cocktails you consumed before dinner.
Good to know: Bird watching can be enjoyed year-round, but the peak of breeding for most species is between March and August.
How it goes: Carib Tours offers a seven-night stay at the Kempinski starting at £ 1,499 per person including flights, transfers and room only nights (caribtours.co.uk).