Look back over the years and if you’re lucky, you’ll have clocked up a fair few holidays. Sun-soaked beaches, less-than-perfect campsites, city wanderings. The fact is that simply having a break from routine provides us with the memories that stand out most in our life.

Where do you find those memorable holiday moments now? Not surprisingly, as we age, so our tastes and demands change.

The camping holiday that seemed distinctly uncool in our teens somehow morphed into the favourite go-to family holiday, and the prospect of a stress-free cruise which may have horrified us in our 30s may seem quite appealing now.

The good news is that after decades of family holidays, you can now be deliciously selfish! You may look back with nostalgia at the holidays when babies and toddlers left you hankering for a romantic break à deux, but there’s more to be gained by moving on from this and looking to the future.

For most of us, much of the attraction of a holiday is in being somewhere new, together with the pleasure of stepping off the treadmill and forgetting about everyday demands on our time. Many of us also like learning about new things and get a kick out of meeting new people.

But we may also need time just to be with our favourite people, to re-connect and enjoy the simple pleasure of spending time together. So, what are the different options available and how do we find the right one for each of us?

What About a Solo Holiday?

Remember, no-one ever demanded that you share the same interests as your partner forever, so even if you’ve lived happily with someone for 30 years plus, there’s nothing to say that separate holidays won’t do you both good!

If you’re not keen on setting off completely solo, perhaps consider joining forces with a friend or do some research into joining a small organised group tour.

Of the 16 or so guests on our escorted walking tours to Italy, at least a third are usually solo holidaymakers and many return year after year to discover a new part of Italy together.

Should We Join a Group Tour?

If you thought group tours were just for solos, think again. Holidaying with your partner within a group is a great way of making new friends, following existing interests, and, better still, trying new activities together.

The best bit, of course, is that linking up with a guided group means that someone else takes care of all the arrangements and organisation, leaving you free to relax and get on with your holiday.

So, for example, if you both enjoy walking, signing up to an escorted hiking holiday can be a great option. Enjoy the luxury of having someone else to plan and lead your routes, track down the best restaurants in the area, or even pack (and carry!) a picnic.

Hedonistic Hiking, for example, lead gastronomic hiking holidays to most regions in Italy, mixing in cultural visits with foodie-related activities and wine-tasting.

Better still, if you choose to follow a particular interest, such as hiking or wine-tasting, there’s a good chance that you’ll find yourself amongst like-minded people.

Should We Holiday with Friends?

Holidaying with long-standing friends can be great fun, particularly when the friendship extends over many years. Enjoy discovering new places together, lingering over lunches in the sun and having the time to sit and chat about the things that really matter to you.

It’s wise, however, to set some ground rules before you go, particularly if you’re sharing accommodation.

Will you spend every day together, or are you all happy to go your separate ways on some days? Will you self-cater or eat out? Remember that if you’ve each brought up your own family, you’ll have your own way of doing things on holiday.

How often do you and your partner take separate holidays? How much do you enjoy meeting new people on holiday? Do you ever take a holiday with one or more of your grown-up children but without your partner? Please share your stories with our sisters!

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