How to Have Your Best Holiday Romance

It’s official… summer is here! It feels like winter went on for far longer than it should have, and we can’t blame you if a bit of time off in the sun is at the forefront of your mind right now.

If you have holidays on the brain or you’re counting down the days until your next trip down the plane aisle, we’ve come up with some of our top tips just in case you meet someone who tickles your fancy…

1. Be realistic about your expectations

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and swept away in the undeniable romance of meeting someone new and exciting in an exotic place. But try and be realistic! Are you going away looking for something long term? Does the gorgeous waitress want more than a one-night fling? As long as you’re prepared for any eventuality, and go into each situation knowing exactly what you want and being prepared to communicate that – you’re good to go! 

We asked Lydia, who is 30 and currently travelling South America, how she’d feel about a holiday romance. “Even though I’m looking for something more long term, it doesn’t mean a holiday romance is off the table!” she says. “A chance to get caught up in the moment with a stranger and have some fun can be liberating, exciting and a great way to learn more about your wants and needs both sexually and in a relationship”.

2. Remember - consent comes first, always

A friendly reminder – consent is an enthusiastic ‘yes’. Anything less than this should be called into question. We’ve all been intoxicated by holiday excitement or one too many fruity cocktails, but that’s no excuse to forget the most basic ground rules when it comes to sex. If you’re unsure whether your partner or partners are enjoying themselves, take the time to stop and check in. If you find yourself uncomfortable or in a position where you’re not enjoying yourself, take a step back and let that be known. You never have to do anything you don’t want to do.

3. Don’t have sex on the beach

Don’t get us wrong – it sounds great, right? Watching the sun set over the crashing waves, feeling the evening chill as you snuggle together… but however romantic the theory behind sex on the beach is, the reality is not always the same. Nina is 28 and works in social media and, when asked, told us all about her up close and personal beach encounter. “I was really up for having sex in the sand, and thought it sounded great… but I can confirm that it was pretty uncomfortable and in the end, quite un-sexy! Without a rug or anything underneath us we couldn’t stay in one position for long and inevitably gave up and went back to my hotel instead” she said.

Nobody wants sand in their genitals and if you’re getting down to it on the beach, that might be quite hard to avoid. The presence of any unwanted sand could cause irritation or even infection. And don’t forget to read up on the indecency laws in the area you’re visiting (for example, sex in a public place is punishable in France by one year in prison and a hefty fine)! Nothing kills the mood quite like being interrupted by the police… Best to avoid, we think!

4. Be prepared!

Flip flops… check! Passport… check! Emergency contraception, just in case… double check! That’s right, you can pre-purchase ellaOne® online so you’ve got it on hand in case the condom breaks, you accidentally miss a contraceptive pill (condoms and contraceptive pills can also be bought and packed in advance) or you just get carried away. If you forget to buy ellaOne® in advance, you may be able to access it abroad.

It’s also worth noting that we think holiday preparations should also be extended to whatever kind of holiday you’re taking – bug spray, sun cream, bear repellent – make sure all of your bases are covered!

5. Get tested when you get home

If you’ve had unprotected sex, or if you just want peace of mind, we’d recommend getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) when you’re back home to be on the safe side. How soon after sex do you think you need to get tested? We spoke to Kelly, a junior doctor*, about the best time to go for an STI test. 

“Depending on what you’re testing for, symptoms and test results can show up after varying lengths of time,” says Kelly. “My advice would be to get yourself tested a few weeks after getting back from your trip, and then again another few weeks down the line. This should mean you’re covered for everything as the likes of chlamydia and gonorrhoea would show up after a few weeks, but syphilis and HIV might not show up until around seven to twelve weeks after intercourse”. 

We’re also big advocates for getting tested regularly (every few months) to ensure you’re being as conscious and safe as possible – especially if you’re enjoying multiple or new partners. Remember that you may be able to order an STI test kit online for free if you’d prefer not to go to a clinic in person.

Above all else, enjoy yourself!


*Kelly does not endorse any products or brands


ellaOne® 30mg film-coated tablet contains ulipristal acetate and is indicated for emergency contraception within 120 hours (5 days) of unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. Always read the label.