The idea of a ‘honeyboom’ – a second honeymoon for parents to reconnect and enjoy one another’s company – might seem like the last thing on your priorities list. But, as it turns out, it could be exactly what your relationship needs.

Research conducted by Carnival Cruise Line reveals that 30% of adults admit they haven’t had a grown-up conversation with their partner in over a year, and that one in three parents reveal that time together without the kids can be awkward at first. What’s more, when participants were asked about what would happen if they took a child-free holiday, 45% admitted that they would likely default to talking about their kids.

We chatted to relationship expert Jacqui Manning about some of the relationship issues parents should look out for, how we can inject a bit of fun back into our love lives and – most importantly – why we shouldn’t feel guilty about indulging in a ‘honeyboom’ with our partner.

What are some common issues parents tend to experience in their relationships? What should people be looking out for?
One of the biggest issues facing Aussie families is a lack of quality time. In fact, research commissioned by Carnival Cruise Line has found that 80% of Aussie dads said they’d love to spend more quality time with their partner. This isn’t surprising considering the chaotic lives we live as parents, juggling work, family life and our relationships. Sit down and think about how much time you are dedicating to your relationship and when was the last time you did this.

Communication is key to any relationship, and mistakes are usually made when couples adopt an ‘all will be fine’ mentality. This can lead to a communication breakdown, and increased tension between couples. Make sure you are actually listening to what your partner is saying and that you are having proper conversations, not just going through the motions.

While forgetting the little things can set off larger misunderstandings or arguments, small and sweet things can have the opposite effect. As we progress through our relationships, we can often forget the things we did in the beginning of our relationships. Small compliments, chatting through about the ups and down of your day. These small things are quite often left behind.

What are your tips for simple ways that couples can spring clean their relationships day-to-day?
Make time for fun! While it’s difficult to manage life as a parent, it’s natural that your kids will become more independent as they come into their teens. As this process happens it’s a great opportunity to carve out quality time with your partner and rediscover exactly why you first fell in love with each other. Set aside time to go on dates, call each other on your break at work and just have some fun! Putting aside time for intimacy might sound far from spontaneous, however it’s a really important way to ensure you stay connected romantically. Taking time out for holidays, such as a HoneyboomTM cruise, gives you the perfect opportunity to reconnect. There are so many activities onboard a cruise that can rekindle the playful side of a relationship – from live comedy shows and karaoke, to immersive cocktail bars.

Also, be sure to communicate clearly and often. It’s amazing how something as little as a loving text from your partner in the middle of the day can increase your energy. Even with negative conversations, chances are one or both of you still haven’t forgotten about something that has happened during your relationship that you’ve not talked about. Use this to trigger a positive discussion about what both of you can do to communicate more openly with each other and find an approach that works for you both.

Public displays of affection are certainly not for everyone, but being affectionate does not need to happen directly on a physical level. Complimenting your partner’s appearance, showing appreciation for little things such as cooking dinner and treating them to a night out are all excellent ways to show affection and ensure the spark stays lit.

What are the benefits of a ‘Honeyboom’, and why shouldn’t parents feel guilty about taking time out to enjoy one another’s company?
In a nutshell, a Honeyboom is a child-free holiday acting as a second honeymoon. Taking a Honeyboom is the ultimate way to reconnect with your partner, allowing you to take the time to work on your relationship.

There are numerous benefits to having a Honeyboom, all related to the above. For example, I personally love sailing on Carnival and taking a cruise holiday with my partner because it’s so easy to have fun and reconnect even if it’s just a short cruise. Honeyboom holidays really give you the opportunity to inject time back into your relationship, without the hassle of cooking, cleaning, or looking out for the kids!

Honeyboom holidays also give you the opportunity to rekindle the playful and romantic sides of your relationship. Dress up a little special one night, treat your partner to a cocktail or two, remember your signature dance moves and embrace the spirit of a Honeyboom to show your affection for your partner.

Carnival Cruise Line found during their research that over one third (37%) of Aussie couples haven’t been on a child-free holiday in over three years. Taking this time can do so much to inject the spark back into your relationship and improve your love life both on holiday, and at home!

About the research
New research into the new travel trend, HoneyboomersTM. Research carried out by Pure Profile on behalf of Carnival Cruise Line Australia. The external research was conducted online in June 2018, using a sample of 1,000 Australian couples, aged between 45 and 60 years old, with children aged 13-plus.

Anastasia White

Anastasia White  

Anastasia (‘Anny’ to her friends and family, thanks to some nickname experimentation in year 4 that unfortunately stuck) is a born-and-bred Brisbanite with a love of coffee and her cat, Olive. Having recently finished a degree in journalism, Anastasia loves being able to learn and write about so many different topics for a variety of audiences.