Is a save-cation really the panacea for a troubled relationship? Or might it simply serve to highlight the problems? Particularly after the difficult lockdown period, with many people made redundant, furloughed, under increased pressure from trying to homeschool and work, and generally finding that being cooped-up together has intensified existing relationship niggles. Is pinning everything on a holiday really the answer?
"It depends on what the issues are," says psychotherapist Hilda Burke, author of The Phone Addiction Workbook. "Some of the couples I work with have found that lockdown improved their relationship, because conflict was founded on simply not having enough downtime together," she explains. "The limited time they did have was crammed with preparation for the next day and divvying up the childcare. But once they had more freedom together, they found they could have a laugh and enjoy time that wasn’t all about management."
Often, the success of a save-cation depends on what form it takes. According to research from Zipcar UK, road-trip holidays are "more emotionally significant," with 76 per cent of people claiming to have their most meaningful conversations in cars, and a journey of just over 70 minutes apparently providing the ideal conditions for relaxing.
On the other hand, enforced time with someone you’ve fundamentally gone off with can be a hellish experience. "After a summer holiday, many couples start counselling because after spending time together without the normal routine or distractions, they’ve realised that the relationship is in trouble," says UK relationship counsellor Mig Bennett.
If you’re planning a save-cation, build in some down time, says psychologist Lee Chambers. He advises going somewhere new, devoid of happy romantic memories "and while there, take little periods of time alone to reflect".
The Daily Telegraph