Do you fight or get on on holiday?

Do you fight or get on on holiday?

Over half of Brits say that their personality changes while they are on holiday. Almost half admitted that their partner’s behaviour also changed when they were away. This has a serious impact on many couple’s relationships when they away from home.

Travel supermarket says that it is down to Holiday Personality Syndrome, which alters the way we think while we are on trips away. They worked with Patricia Furness- Smith in order to find out what happens to people with this phenomenon. They found out why people are prone to feeling different while they are away and the affect it can have on their partners. From the results four personality types were born;   The Performer, The Idealist, The Inspirer and The Commander which are the most common.

68% of holiday makers go on holiday to chill out, whereas 44% want to experience new things while they are away from the daily grind. In terms of relationships 24% found that their partners were more demanding while they were on holiday than at home. 23% said that their partner was more controlling on holiday and 32% were surprised at how their partner acted on trips away compared to when they were back on home soil.

One of the contributors could be that 27% of Brits have disagreed with their partner on holiday. 31% said that this was down to them not giving into their partner’s wishes. And for 25% they felt their partners were being bossy. 23% put their foot down and would not do what was asked of them by their partners. 15% said they had argued over money problems.


Why do personality changes happen on holiday?


Patricia Furness-Smith explains, “When we go on holiday we are often venturing into unchartered territory. The rules and boundaries of everyday life no longer apply and we feel less pressured to conform to social stereotypes. As we find ourselves catapulted from our daily routines into an unknown environment, it’s only natural that our personalities change as we adapt.”

“Although you might be on the same wavelength as your holiday partner on home turf, it’s common for you to have very different opinions on what you want to get out of a holiday – your friend might see the break as a chance to relax and do absolutely nothing, but you might see it as a chance to try new things and meet different people.” 


“On some level we all believe holidays signify ‘me time’. We feel that we deserve a break from our daily lives and see our holiday as a personal reward. This leads to the majority of us feeling quite precious and entitled about our breaks – we’ve probably been saving up and looking forward to it for some time, so we’re automatically less likely to compromise than we are on our normal day-to-day activities.”


Which personality types are most likely to change?


“Those who typically project different personas to their true character in their normal daily lives tend to be most prone to having a different ‘holiday personality’ to the one we’re used to seeing. However, a raft of other factors such as an individual’s current stress levels and their tolerance to changes in levels of sleep, alcohol, diet and exertion can also have an impact.  


“Conversely, those with a rigid belief system who place a great deal of value on personal characteristics, for example being honest or brave, are the most likely to remain consistent.”


Who are the most compatible holiday partners?


“Like in any social situation, to some extent opposites attract and likes rebel. A harmonious holiday partnership would combine a decision maker with some who is glad to take a back seat – someone who gets up early to reserve the best loungers and decides where to eat with someone who is willing and grateful to be guided. There is unlikely to be an argument as both understand and are comfortable with their roles. Two dominant (Alpha) personalities would end up battling for supremacy and arguing over how they’d spend the day, while two Beta types would struggle to even book the holiday, let alone organise themselves while they’re there.


“We are complex beings and while it can be difficult to categorise our personalities into neat boxes, the Myers-Briggs classification system – a personality tool often used by psychologists – clearly identifies four types of holiday personas.”


The four holiday personalities:

The Commander, as the name suggests takes control of the holiday, to organise meals out and day trips, basically activities to fill the days with. They keep a close eye on the money, however their flaw is lacking in patience with their partner. Commanders like to be involved in group tasks, they do like to get on with everyone they can, however find a better balance with idealists who let them take charge and have their way.

The Inspirer is full of energy, optimistic and loves to laugh which makes other people gravitate towards them. They seek out adventure and as a consequence are respected by their partners. They do feel threated by those who have strong ideas and don’t like it when their actions are dissected.

They are best matched with another of their kind. They are social creatures so fit well with an idealist who is quite content in becoming involved with a little thinking outside the box! Commanders are likely to clash with them because they don’t take well to be controlled!


The Idealist cares about their partner and encourages new things. They gel well with everyone they meet and don’t like anything that rocks the boat! They are cautious when vocalizing their thoughts and so remain quiet throughout the holiday!

The performer and the commander are a little overwhelming for them, so try and prove their worth around them. They are great for going away with because together they can mingle!

The Performer takes centre stage on holiday! They aim to please and try to get their partner to have a good time. They are very humble creatures, however have no control of budgets and are quick to spend their money because they like to experience new things with their partners.

Performers get on with all of the other personalities, however they are best paired with an idealist. They like to maximize their care free spirit but beware if in close quarters with any other personality they can become irritating!


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