Relationship Advice

The rise of the heartbreak holiday

Whether you’re the dumpee or the dumper, getting out of town post-split might just be the best new way to heal that broken heart.

By Katie Skelly
Heartbreak Holiday

We lived vicariously through Carrie when she took a Mexican sabbatical after her wedding to Mr Big turned south, and we saw it recreated when Married at First Sight’s Christie took her broken heart to Bali after parting ways with groom Mark.

Now many Aussies are following suit; instead of wallowing in trackies and smashing a pack of double-dipped Tim Tams post-split, fresh singletons are setting out on their very own heartbreak holidays.

New research from Booking.com has found that more of us are taking group vacations after a calling time on relationships, with one in 10 Australians naming a separation holiday as their most recent or next upcoming trip.

Of these, 67 per cent are setting out to find a new beginning, 47 per cent are looking to let go of their old lives, and 36 per cent are simply there to enjoy being single once more.

"The best way to help you through a break up is to head #overseas. Can you guess where I'm at?? #hardtimes #broken," the reality star penned alongside this travel snap.
"The best way to help you through a break up is to head #overseas. Can you guess where I'm at?? #hardtimes #broken," the reality star penned alongside this travel snap.

Why you should drag your broken heart to a poolside bar, stat

According to the experts, taking your heart on a anti-love vacay, away from the things that remind you of said break-up (his toothbrush, his trainers, his lack of writing back to any of your messages), can help lift a - hurtful - weight of your chest.

“It’s a change of scenery and a chance to unwind after what can be a stressful and tiring time, without the pressure of work," psychologist and relationship expert Jacqui Manning tells us.

While exploring hidden paths and enjoying a mojito (or three), not to mention chowing down on too many seafood platters to count sounds like an ideal way to wash your former numero uno outta your hair, Manning does warn of the importance of time to yourself.

“Crying and processing the break up are a really healthy part of letting go and moving on, so make sure you can get some alone time too," she says.

And even though some may say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else (does anyone actually say that?!), our expert also stresses that there is no urgency in moving on.

“Be honest with your friends – they may point out every cute guy in the place when you’re really not ready to look, so let them know that while you appreciate their care, to please stop with the holiday fling match-making.”

How to thrive (and survive) a heartbreak holiday

If like us, you’re sold on the idea, a few measures can be taken to ensure the best possible experience for you and your squad.

1. Choose friends who will support you not just in your high moments, but in your low ones too.

“Set some context for them ahead of time,” Manning says. “For example, warn them you may have some ‘blue’ moments and will want to be left alone.

“If this happens, you can simply say ‘I’m having one of those moments we discussed and need to be by myself for a little while’ - that way there is less room for misunderstandings and it will decrease your anxiety that you have to be ‘up’ all the time."

2. Avoid romantic places where you’re likely to see couples everywhere

3. And whatever you do, DON’T choose a holiday destination you previously went with your ex-partner, you know, to avoid the Forgetting Sarah Marshall experience...