4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing

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What do you think of when you think of a holiday romance?

I conjure up visions of walking hand in hand along a sandy beach while watching the most brilliant pink sunset I’ve ever seen with a hot guy with a sexy accent and winning smile.  If you are so inclined to imbibe in a holiday romance (and 58% of Brits are), enjoy the moment! Ultimately 93% of holiday romances break up and 75% are over by the time the plane has landed back in your home country (all stats from TripAdvisor). I am happy to report that I am one of the 7%.  I met J.P. on a shark diving trip in Costa Rica.  The odds were against us, with 8000 km separating us – I’m Canadian, and he is German, both living in our respective countries,  but after doing 2 years of long distance (read How to Keep a Holiday Romance Going to see how we did it), we’re now happily married living in Germany.

how to make a holiday romance last

Here are 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing:

1.  You’ve Spent Time Together:  In order to create a foundation for a real romance, you’re going to need to spend time quality time together getting to know each other.  Whooping it up intoxicated on the dance floor, may be fun, but it doesn’t exactly count as quality time, since you’re not really getting to know each other.  Similarly if you meet someone on your last day of vacation, it will be more difficult to turn it into a lasting romance as you just haven’t had the time to get to know each other.

On the other hand, if you meet someone near the beginning of your vacation, you will have more time to get to know them.  See if you share the same sense of humor, if you click, all while making for an even more memorable holiday.   I met J.P. on a dive boat in Cocos, an island 300km from mainland Costa Rica.  We dove 4 times a day, but had lots of free time in between.  It was during these times, that we talked and got to know each other.  After dinner we would go up to the upper deck of the boat and star watch for hours.  After doing this for 7 days on the boat, we got to know each other fairly well. Then after enjoying each others company so much, we decided to spent the last few days of our vacation exploring Costa Rica together.  I firmly believe that this time together provided us with a strong foundation to weather the currents of a long distance romance, plus it was fun and made for my most memorable vacation ever!

should you turn your holiday romance into a relationship

2.  You’ve Talked About Your Real Lives At Home: People are often much different people on vacation than they are at home.  Someone in their regular life may be a workaholic who doesn’t go out much, but becomes the life of the party on vacation.   It’s important to ask questions and find out what that person is like at home.  For example, how do they spend their free time?  What does a  typical weekend look like?  What type of hours do they work?  Listen carefully and see if their lifestyle is one that would gel with yours.  It doesn’t have to be identical to yours, but it should sound appealing to you.

3.  You Have Holidays And Some Cash for Traveling: Unfortunately this is the harsh reality. One or preferably both of you, has to have the money to travel to see each other and you need the time to do so.  If you only have 2 weeks vacation a year, and you’ve used it up on this holiday, it will be impossible to sustain a long distance relationship (unless it’s somewhere close where you can see each on weekends), when  you can’t see each other.  On the other hand, if you do have some time and money for traveling, you can get creative and have a lot of fun exploring the world together or finding creative ways to travel on the cheap.

from holiday romance to relationship

J.P. and I were very fortunate in this regard.  We both had 6 weeks of holiday and good jobs.  We met up in Canada and Germany of course, (where you can considerably reduce costs by staying and eating at home), and explored each others countries. But we also used this time to explore diving destinations together.  Over the course of our long distance relationship, we met in the Galapagos to dive with hammerhead sharks, and also went diving in  the Red Sea and Palau.  We saw each other four times a year for two years, until I made the move to Germany.  I found it difficult only seeing him four times a year. And that was still a considerable amount, considering the distance.  We made each other a priority and invested both time and money (for traveling) in the relationship all while hitting our diving hot spots and creating memories together!

4.  You’re in Love and Have Never Met Anyone Like This:  After the buzz has worn off a few weeks after the vacation, if you still find yourself thinking about the other person, you may be on to something and it may be worth pursuing.  Yes, long distance relationships are tough.  There will likely be times where you don’t see each other for months at a time, different time zones can make it difficult to talk, celebrating birthdays alone, etc….. but all the hassle can be worth it.

J.P. and I both knew within a couple of months that we loved each other.  He actually knew while we were on vacation!  I had never met anyone like J.P.  We are different enough but similar in many ways. We also share many of the same hobbies – traveling, diving, hiking,  which we love doing together and it enriches our relationship by doing these things together.  As difficult as the two years of long distance were, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world, even if I had known we only had a 7% chance of making it work!

What do you think about holiday romances?

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About Author

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Laurel
Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their hiking, cycling and wildlife vacations in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Munich, Germany. You can find her hiking in the mountains on most weekends.

Comments

Laurel
January 14, 2011
Please note this post had 19 comments that were lost in the transition from Blogger to this post. My apologies for the omission, transferring the comments from Intense Debate to WP turned out to be beyond my technical capabilities.
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Below are some of the comments I had saved from an email notification: budgettravelsac commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: I've met others while traveling and there is a unique connection you share by just connecting with someone on the other side of the world. I think those shared experiences of traveling are strong and the excitement of the holidays makes that shared experience even stronger. However, I love Todd's comment and think that's a winner. Meet in a war torn area so you get married and move - to a war torn area :)
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Migrationology commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Hey, Excellent advice and congratulations! I am working out things with my girlfrriend now and trying to balance longterm adventure excursions to middle of no-wheres and her lifestyle. We have quite a few differences, but I think our diversity is what keeps us strong and together. Never met anyone like this! Site/Blog URL: http://migrationology.com
January 15, 2011
I'd better leave a comment then Laurel... sad to see that's happened.
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Thanks Jim - at least it was only for 3 posts. Oh well, one of the joys of converting a blog from Blogger to Wordpress with an external comment system I guess.
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Andrea commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: John and I met while travelling and took a leap of faith to make it work. We're married now and even though it wasn't easy, we wouldn't change the last six years for the world. Site/Blog URL: http://inspiringtravellers.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Caz Makepeace commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: That is so great that you are a travel romantic success story. Some great tips here for those looking to take things further. Holiday romance can be fun and if it can turn into something more than even better. You'll have a strong foundation of happy memories to get you through the rough times. Site/Blog URL: http://www.ytravelblog.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Tracy commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Such a great love story you have, you defied the odds of both a holiday and long distance romance! Site/Blog URL: http://www.mybestbeautybuys.blogspot.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
expatgermany commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: @Cathy - Thanks! Holidays with a wonderful husband also sounds good :) @Christy - I will be doing a post on Palau in the next month or so as I will be changing the format of my blog a bit to focus on other destinations besides Germany. Getting to Palau from Canada was ridiculously expensive (~$3000 for the flight) so I flew from Germany which was cheaper, but still expensive. Once you're there the prices aren't bad - typical of what you'd pay in the U.S. @Jamie - Glad to hear it! It's amazing how big that 7% is when you start asking around! @Caz - Thanks so much! And I agree about it helping you get through the tough times. @Andrea - Thanks for sharing. So nice to hear so many success stories! @Migrationology - Thanks so much! Diversity also makes a relationship more interesting. I sincerely hope it works out for you and your girlfriend! @Amy - Thanks and thanks for sharing. Kudos to you for taking the chance and moving in the first place though. Glad it worked out well for you in the end! @budgettravelersac - Completely agree. Our apartment is covered in enlarged photos from our travels as one way of taking us back to memories we created together. I also love Todd's story. Amazing that love can happen in a war zone! @Robin - LOL! I love your take on it, but yes relationships can be challenging at times @Ayngelina - Awww, thanks :)
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
expatgermany commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: @Todd - Thanks and fascinating story. Living in 2 war zones must have been quite the experience, although not one I'm sure that I'm up for. Sorry it didn't ultimately work out. @Sabrina - Very cool, thanks for sharing your story. I love hearing about the ones that work out to show it is possible.
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Todd commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Nice post. I had a war zone romance in East Timor and it turned out well. After two separate war zones (East Timor and Sri Lanka) we got married and decided to take a break in the post conflict zone of Kosovo ;) Site/Blog URL: http://www.toddswanderings.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
nka commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Glad you took up the theme of my hoilday romance post a while back and even gladder that it worked out so well for you. When is the wedding? Site/Blog URL: http://www.glamourgrannytravels.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
expatgermany commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Yes, holiday romance has been something I've been meaning to write about for a while now but just never got around to it and I did enjoy your post on it (see http://www.glamourgrannytravels.com/2010/12/21/sh... for Inka's post). The wedding is Aug 6, and thanks for your wishes.
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Jen commented on Food And Drink in Germany Vs. Canada - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: I hear you about the potato salad. Back home...eh. But a few weeks ago The Mann made it fresh and it was SO good! I also love the seasonal eating here - it's sometimes an adjustment when I can't get strawberries in January, but overall it makes more sense to me. Site/Blog URL: http://www.residentonearth.com/
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Christy commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: I love hearing stories like this! I had no idea that tripadvisor gave stats on how often vacation romances last. :) On a side note, I'm very interested in hearing more about your trip to Palau. We really want to make it here someday, but it seems very expensive. Maybe a post on the island? If you don't have one already. Site/Blog URL: http://www.ordinarytraveler.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Cathy Sweeney commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: What a great love story! I'm so happy for you and J.P. My holiday romances all involve my wonderful husband! Site/Blog URL: http://www.travelingwithsweeney.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Norbert commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: So glad your holiday romance worked out and turned out to be something beautiful in your life. Long distance relationships are hard, but if the feeling is there, I'm all in to go forward. I'm really happy to see that holiday romances are possible! ;) Site/Blog URL: http://www.globotreks.com
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Ayngelina commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Well if that isn't inspiration, I don't know what is Site/Blog URL: http://www.baconismagic.ca
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 20, 2011
Thanks Jozef, I like to think it was fate, I mean really what are the odds?
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Sabrina commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: That's such a nice story. I met my boyfriend on a study aborad and we are still going strong 8 years later and have been living together since 6 (after the first two doing long distance) :) So, I'm definitly with you: give it a shot if you meet someone special - no matter where you met :) Site/Blog URL: http://countryskipper.com/
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Amy commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Awesome post! I met someone on vacation once and ended up moving to the UK for them. Unfortunately, I knew within a few weeks of being there that it wasn't going to work ... but it did work out in the end because I met my fiance there!
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
jamie commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: we too must be part fo that 7% after meeting on a trip and still going strong! Site/Blog URL:
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 15, 2011
Jozef commented on 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing - http://lr-expatgermany.blogspot.com/: Congratulations, sounds like an amazing way to meet as well. It must have been fate! Site/Blog URL: http://www.wherenowblog.co.uk
mike
January 20, 2011
never really considered going beyond the holiday romance, although after reading this I think I will give it a try! thanx
Laurel@ExpatGermany
January 20, 2011
I hadn't either, but it turned out pretty well for me :)
Justin
April 22, 2012
I'm crossing my finger for my own love story that is still waiting to be written. This was a very helpful post...for the heart that is. ;)
February 4, 2013
Congratulations, Laurel. Your case is certainly rare. I've had a couple of holiday romances; unfortunately, they didn't survive the return to reality. :(
February 6, 2013
@Aleah - Thank you and agreed. I've had a few previously and they didn't work out either. They're definitely not easy to sustain.
Christina
February 11, 2013
Hi Laurel, I had a holiday romance in Paris over Christmas. We spent all of 4 days walking Paris for 15 hours a day talking about everything and anything. On our last nights, we spoke about this happening for both of us, as I live in London and he lives in Morocco until July. It is incredibly hard work, but worth it. I sometimes find how difficult it is as our plans are up in the air until April when we both find out what grad schools we will get in to. I liked the fact you mentioned sacrifice and money, because it is what it takes, but everything that is completely worth it takes hard work, patience and sacrifice. We try and see each other every 4 weeks, so it's not so bad and we call in the morning, Facebook during the day and skype video call 2 to 3 hours every night without fail, so it does take a lot of time out of your day.
February 20, 2013
@Christina - Sounds absolutely lovely. Seeing each other every 4 weeks is also good, glad that you guys have been able to make it work, although agree that it does take a lot of time out of your day. Hope you guys are able to figure out a way to be together soon.
Erin
February 16, 2014
Hi Laurel, This was a great story, thanks for sharing! I've never had a travel romance till recently last Dec while traveling for 2 weeks abroad. We met at the start of the trip and went exploring together so that was indeed great fun... I'm not sure if you would have any insight given your successful travel romance/previous travel romances, but it's been 2.5 months now since we returned to reality. We never talked about it when we left but promised to keep in touch. We've texted nearly daily or every other day (skype is a bit hard because of our work schedules and time differences), and he's told me how he viewed our time together as romantic, almost like a "girlfriend" when we were traveling and most of his friends know of me now. I'm seeing him in April but i suppose slowly we've started to talk a bit less... I guess there's only so much to say if you talk every day! He's said he's excited to relive our time, but i'm not sure how i should approach the reunion. Guess my question is - has something like that happened to you before? Perhaps he thinks it's a bit unworkable now because we do live on opposite ends of the world, and i wonder if you think it might be a good idea to treat our reunion as purely platonic or to act on the fact that it has been a bit more than that (and actually try to define it)? I guess it was hard to talk about the latter at first, it seemed crazy given the distance and the fact that we had only known each other for 2 weeks! Sorry if this was a bit of a long question. I just realize that the way a travel romance develops can be very different from one that happens in "real life" where you're in the same place, and i thought to ask someone with some experience! Hope you don't mind :-)
February 21, 2014
@Erin - Thanks so much for your comment, and I'm happy to add my insight for what it's worth. I think it's important to have regular contact, not necessarily everyday, but at least several times a week. We used to talk a lot about each of our days, as it gave us an insight into each other's lives so we could see how it would work if we were actually in the same city. I was really nervous the first time I visited after our vacation, and had a back up vacation plans in the back of my head just in case it didn't work out, or if it was really awkward, but fortunately it went well. I think a few awkward moments are to be expected though. If it feels right when you're together again, definitely think it's worth having "the talk" to see if you're both on the same page. Good luck, and please keep me updated. I want to know how your meeting goes.
jj23
March 2, 2016
we met online.. after 6 month i was in holiday in his country.. we spent 48 hours together and just laughing laughing and having fun.. kissed on the last day and was magical being my first real kiss (am not young i just didn't want to waste my first kiss drunk at a party) but we both knew we going back to real life in some hours.. we kept our friendship for some days now.. it hurts me i think more than it hurts him (he is more experienced in relationship and i think stronger too) but he keeps on saying how much we miss each other and what a connection we have .. is it going anywhere? i dont know.. but i know it was a beautiful feeling and a very real one (coming from a very realistic person that never wanted a relationship) all the points mentioned are worth trying.. i think only courage is the only thing needed.
March 14, 2016
@JJ23 - Thank you for sharing your experience and agree that courage is very important. I hope your relationship turns out well, please let me know.

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