Sitting on the plane, wine in hand, and basking in the glow of relaxation is the way that most couples like to start their holiday. With little to think about other than the perfect holiday in the perfect location with the perfect partner, there’s simply nothing to stress about. Or is there?
But travelling as a couple is not all it is cracked up to be according to Judith Hards, manager of Singles Travel Connections, a company that specialises in finding holidays for solo travellers. “Over the years I have witnessed an increase in couples who are choosing to holiday separately,” says Hards, who insists that out of every tour group of 12-15 people, at least 2-3 are clients who are leaving a partner behind.
“Some people are just not interested in travelling overseas or outside the confines of their neighbourhood, whereas their partner may have always harboured a dream of seeing the world,” explains Hards. “Some couples have different needs or expectations of what a holiday should be, and others have the belief that as holiday time is precious, it shouldn’t involve too many compromises as to the destination choice.”
Some couples have different needs or expectations of what a holiday should be.
The 2012 Female and Lifestyle Report by Lastminute.com.au revealed that 46% of women had holidayed alone in the past 12 months, with reasons for doing so sited as wanting more ‘Me’ time (64%), to learn about themselves (53%), and to have a break from the kids (11%). So in light of these statistics, would it be fair to assume that there is a trend towards women and men choosing to holiday separately, rather than together?
“Women are independent and it shows in their travel choices,” says LastMinute’s Kirsty La Bruniy. “There are countless reasons why women venture off alone. Some want to indulge in girly things a male partner may not enjoy, some may be looking for the chance to nab some precious ‘me’ time; a very rare treat these days as our lives get more and more frantic.”
“And, of course,” adds La Bruniy, “there’s always the possibility that women are looking to escape their partners for a few days.”
A fact of which she says is reflected in the survey results revealing that 16 per cent of women are worried they will get on their partner’s nerves (or their partner will get on theirs) when on holidays.
As someone who travels without her husband on an annual basis, Jennifer Morton, a writer from Western Australia, can relate to the survey findings. “In 2007 my husband went to Kuala Lumpur for their annual Tower BASE jumping event and has attended every second year since,” says Morton. This is something that totally consumes him and I have little interest in it as a holiday. I have watched it for a day but I certainly wouldn’t be interested in two weeks of it, so he goes on his own while I stay home with our son.”
Morton admits that she used to feel resentful for being the one to stay home, but now believes that she is benefiting because, as her child is older, she is able to go away on her own holidays. “I am most interested in yoga/wellness/health type trips,” she says “I love lazing by the pool or on the beach for days on end, whereas my hubby would not be interested in doing “nothing” for more than a day or two!”
Whilst some couples may find it hard to get their head around holidaying separately, Morton feels that it has actually attributed to the success of their relationship and marriage. “We are both happy to let the other spread their wings a little, and in our 13 year relationship we’ve spent a lot of time apart.”
So will this continue for the Mortons as way of holidaying? “We will still have family holidays together too, as we are big travellers,” says Morton, “but my husband will continue to go on his BASE jumping holidays alone, and I am now planning an annual solo trip to Bali for ‘me’ time, and a trip for just my son and I to Queensland in January.”
What do you think? Would you take a holiday away from your partner? Let us know in the comments section below.