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Going on vacation with your new boyfriend can bond you two—it takes you out of your comfort zone, lets you enjoy some alone time away from real-life stress and obligations, and allows you to experience new things together. But, for some couples, all that can be the death of their relationship. Don’t let that happen to you! Follow these rules.

 

Pick the right place

What do you want from this trip? Adventure or relaxation? Decide together how high or low energy you want the trip to be because if you were hoping for zip lining and end up going to a resort that caters to people seeking serenity, you’ll be disappointed. And if you wanted peace and romance, an activities-driven resort will drive you crazy.

 

Don’t worry about “romantic destinations”

Don’t fixate on whether or not the view from your room is romantic, or if the restaurant has ambiance, or if your table is romantic. If you put too much pressure on romance during the trip, the awkward mishaps that are bound to happen will leave you disappointed. Romance comes from how the two of you face any type of situation.

 

Make decisions together

Don’t book tickets to a show or a couple’s massage, without consulting your partner. You’ll have to be super conscious of this if it’s your tendency to be the “planner” or “decision maker” of the two of you, back in your hometown. Your partner took time off from work and spent money to be there too and he’ll feel you’re stepping on his toes if you make decisions without him.

If you have different interests, go 50/50

Maybe the priority for one of you is drinking your way through every city’s bar, and for the other it’s visiting all the historical sites. Set up a plan where you both get what you want: maybe one day is dedicated to bar hopping, the next to site seeing, and back and forth throughout the trip.

Make sacrifices

If you try to do it all, you’ll be stressed. Write down all the things you want to do/see/experience, be realistic about how long each of those will take—leaving plenty of time for naps (and sex—duh!) and mealtime—and cross out the items you could survive without doing.

Put your pride aside

One of you may get sick to your stomach, and that’s never pretty. Maybe you’ll have to wear your scarf around him to keep your hair right. You’ll get more up close and personal than you ever have, so if you haven’t given up on the idea of seeming like a perfect specimen to your guy yet, do so now.

 

Remember, you’re on vacation

Having to decide between eating at the steakhouse or at the Italian restaurant is not a problem. So don’t act like it is by getting moody and stressed out. If you keep in mind you could be back at home, working, you’ll keep a grateful attitude throughout the trip, and that makes everything more fun.

Know it’s okay to take time apart

You don’t have to spend every single second together on vacation. If you did this at home, you’d drive each other crazy. And that’s no different just because you’re in another city/country.

Budget ahead of time

So you don’t have to argue on the spot whether you’re splurging on room service, or if you’re seeing any shows on your trip, talk about how much money you each have to spend on the trip, and what’s worth spending that on for you.

 

Go Dutch OR pick and choose what you pay for

Usually the easiest thing is splitting the cost of everything or choosing certain categories you’re both respectively responsible for: one person covers the airfare, the other the hotel room, one covers food, the other covers alcohol, one covers shopping, the other covers entertainment etc.

 

Be flexible

Reservations and luggage might be lost. The room might be half the size than it appeared on the website. The weather might turn bad. Be ready to make game-time decisions on how you can still have fun, because that’s what you’re there for. Enjoy being cozy in the small room. Consider the rainy weather romantic. Look for the best in things.

Don’t forget to relax

Don’t go-go-go the whole time! You could end up feeling like you spent no time together if a tour guide, speedboat captain, Zumba instructor or personal chef was there every step of the way. Have down time: just you and him.

 

Ditch your usual beauty routine

Men get antsy on vacation—they want to get out of the room and see/do things. He’ll pick on you and resent you if you take longer than thirty minutes to get ready for the day.

Ditch your diet

You’re in a new place with the opportunity to try foods you may never get to try at home. And since eating together is bonding—and eating new foods together is an aphrodisiac—do both of you a favor and leave your diet at home.

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