A new year is around the corner, and for many people, that comes with the prospect of planning new and exciting trips abroad. Whether it’s a short escape to somewhere nearby, like the Philippines, or a weeks-long jaunt around Europe, travel takes a fair bit of planning – and for some, it brings up questions about what you might want out of your time away. Specifically, when you look at folks considering group travel with a brand like Contiki, the question may be raised of whether you’d prefer to be single or attached during your trip.
To tackle this controversial issue, we’ve chatted with Contiki Tour Manager Jayde Robinson, consulted public opinions on Reddit and reviewed expert advice online, too. So, if you’re wrestling with the question of whether or not you should break up with your S.O. before taking a tour overseas, here is a little bit of advice for you.
Should you break up before you travel?
Speaking with Lifehacker Australia over email, Robinson explained that her time working with Contiki has left her an expert in many fields.
“I know the best places to eat in no less than 17 capital cities; I can pack a suitcase like nobody’s business, and, believe it or not, I’m basically an unofficial dating coach. I’ve seen breakups, make-ups and even a few Contiki proposals,” she shared.
In a nutshell, Robinson explained that there are some pretty damn obvious clues as to what you should do when it comes to dating and travel. If you’re very happily coupled up and share a strong, trusting bond with your partner, there is absolutely no reason to rip that up before a holiday – you could even bring them along if you like.
However, “if you are noticing a few salmon-coloured flags that are slowly looking more crimson”, it may be worth thinking about what is right for you ahead of your Contiki tour (or whatever kind of trip it may be). Maybe it is better for you both to decide to travel single?
To be frank, if you’re wondering whether or not you want to break up with your partner before a holiday, you’re probably not in the greatest place. A little reflection is surely warranted.
But, in any case, here are some clear signs to pay attention to on either side of the spectrum.
You’re dreaming of a holiday fling:
Fantasies are one thing, but if you’re genuinely hoping to get swept up in a holiday romance while away, you’re probably not feeling very connected in your relationship. Don’t risk hurting your partner in this case, and have an honest discussion.
If you’re approaching this experience from a place of honesty, then, as Robinson shared, you’re free to live up the “great joy” of a holiday fling.
You want ‘you’ time:
If you’re considering splitting with your partner and taking a Contiki trip solo because you want some alone time, there is a chance that indicates you’re not feeling so hot about your partnership. But that’s not always going to be the case. There are times when people need time on their own (whether that involves travel or not), and that’s okay.
Maybe have a think about whether what you really want is to end things or just to look after number one for a little while. Shan Boodram, a sexologist and author of The Game of Desire told CBC that a good gauge of the health of your partnership is the 80-20 rule.
“80 per cent of the relationship should be joy, unity, expansion, sex, love… the fun part of what it is to partner with someone else. 20 per cent can be disagreement, misalignment, misunderstanding, and difference,” she said.
If you’re sitting in this 80-20 split, you’re probably doing okay.
You know you want to end things, but booked the trip already:
Reddit seems to love a discussion about the question of “do I break up with them before or after the trip”. In general, the consensus is pretty clear: do not take a trip with someone just to break up with them when you come home.
As slamare247 wrote, “Break up now, let her have all the information she needs to decide what she wants to do – it’s unfair to do anything else, stringing her along.”
Bratttney added that your trip probably won’t be all that great, either:
“The sooner the better IMO, I’ve been down this road before too and just ended with one terrible vacation and then a terrible break up.”
If you’re genuinely undecided, still have a discussion about your problems, and then you can both make an informed decision together. You don’t want to end up on a Contiki tour of Paris just to break up mid-holiday. You’ll end up travelling single, but in the shittiest possible way.
Things are good, but you’ve never travelled together before:
In the case of travelling together, Robinson shared that it can be a great way to see how well-suited you are as a couple.
“The best way to get to know someone, like really know them, is to travel with them. Whether you’ve been together for four months or four years, the ultimate road test is to take your partner on the road,” she said.
You may discover that your bond is stronger than you thought or that you’re absolutely not fit for the long term. Either way, it’s a learning experience you can both take something from – as long as you’re open and honest throughout.
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