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Squabbles Supersede Sunshine Smooching, Says Survey


78% of couples have at least two major bust ups on a fortnight’s holiday, according to new research from, with Beachside Barneys topping the list.

UK Relationship Coach of The Year 2012, Alex Santoro-Emmerson explains why and offers top advice on how to have a harmonious holiday
The annual summer holiday is supposed to be an opportunity for couples to spend some quality time together, enjoy an escape from the stresses of the daily grind and reconnect over a series of romantic dinners and poolside drinks.
However, it seems the reality is far removed from this picturesque ideal, with almost 80% of couples having at least two major arguments and 62% admitting to bickering up to three times a day when on holiday.
The study, by travel website, which specialises in selling last minute package holidays (8 weeks or less) from brands including Thomson, First Choice, Airtours, Thomas Cook and Cosmos, researched nearly 2,000 holidaymakers to find out what the biggest holiday bugbears for couples are.
The research revealed that by the beach or pool are the most common areas where disagreements occur, with ladies getting irritated with their men for refusing to put enough sun cream on or ogling bikini-clad females. 
Pre-dinner is also a tetchy time, with men getting frustrated about how long it’s taking their other half to get ready. The amount of booze people consume also adds to holiday frictions.
The top ten biggest holiday bugbears that threaten holiday harmony are:

  • Arguments over packing – men packing too little, women packing too much
  • What time to get to the airport
  • Men checking out other females by the pool / on the beach
  • Drinking too much
  • Women taking too long to get ready for dinner
  • Disagreements over activities: men wanting to be active, women wanting to lie on sun lounger
  • Disagreements over spending too much money
  • Arguments over driving in a foreign country: in particular map reading
  • Where to eat and choice of food
  • Disagreements over currency and what £ equivalent is’s online marketing manager Calum Macdonald says:
“Everybody has their own idea of what makes the perfect break and when you clash on these ideals arguments can break out, however, it’s shocking to discover how much couples actually do argue when abroad.“
“6% of couples surveyed even admitted that they had asked for separate rooms at some point during their holiday, due to unresolved tensions.“
“Choose a holiday that suits you both, as this can help reduce stress levels. For example, if one of you wants to be active and the other wants to flop on a sun lounger, try and find a resort where both are available. Our site offers hundreds of different holiday options to suit all needs and tastes – and hopefully help ensure holiday wars are kept to a minimum” Macdonald says.
How to have a Harmonious Holiday
UK Relationship Coach of The Year 2012, Alex Santoro-Emmerson ( said: 
“One of the 7 Master Skills of relationships tells us we need to align our visions. 

To create a fulfilling lost lasting relationship we need to have matching goals and want the same stuff. And holidays are no different.“
“If one of you wants a rest and relaxation holiday, whilst the other wants to go sightseeing every day and clubbing every night, you can see why tension would arise.
 To avoid conflict, step number one is always clearly stating what each person is hoping to get out of the holiday and, if the two goals don’t match, coming up with a plan with compromise in mind.“
“It’s not about telling the other person why your way would be best; be flexible and remind yourself that we go to a relationship to give and not just to take.” 

Alex added: “Another issue is the fact that women can get quite controlling whilst on holiday. Your partner is a big boy, he really doesn’t need you to tell him how much sun cream he should be putting on, or what factor it should be, or how often he needs to re-apply.“
“Telling your man what to do is a sure way to make him feel disrespected. When men feel disrespected they withdraw. Add to this the odd look at other bikini-clad females (which is not a crime, and should not alarm you unless you have unresolved trust issues) and you have a recipe for disaster.“ 

“What men could do to help minimize beachside barneys”, says Alex, “is remind themselves of what makes them feel truly masculine. My experience is that men feel the most satisfied and most in touch with their purpose when they “protect” their woman or when they see her truly happy, especially if they feel they have had a part to play in this,“ said Alex.
“So, if men can focus on this point, and on how much more confident and happy their partner will feel after those extra 15 minutes getting ready, that extra time could actually be associated with pleasure rather than pain.”


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