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Love across borders: The UKs best holiday romances revealed

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Love across borders: The UKs best holiday romances revealed

We all love that feeling of booking a holiday, but when planning a trip, have you ever considered that you could be about to meet the love of your life? 

Holiday romances don’t always have the best rep, but they can often turn into a beautiful, long-lasting relationship – as we’ve recently discovered. 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, we wanted to get into the spirit of the season. We put out a competition, challenging loved-up Brits to submit their best tales of a holiday romance. We received so many great entries, proving that true love really can appear when you least expect it! 

Here are our top ten stories of holiday romance…  

 

 

1. A whirlwind with a waiter 

The language barrier wasn’t going to get in the way of our winning entry, which went to Tracy Barbero. On holiday in Menorca, she met the love of her life in a restaurant. Tracy told us: 

“On the second night of my holiday, I noticed the waiter. We seemed to be looking at each other at the same time; in fact, the looks got more frequent as the night went on. Next thing, a jug of sangria was sent over to our table! After his shift, he came over and introduced himself as Antonio. He was working a season in Menorca but was actually from Cordoba.  He hardly spoke any English and I didn’t speak Spanish, but somehow, we connected.   

“We had a wonderful week together – he took me to some beautiful beaches and lovely restaurants. It was a true holiday romance! When we said goodbye, I was heartbroken I’d never see him again. 

“I couldn’t stop thinking about him, so I took a massive chance and returned to Menorca a couple of days later. When I arrived at the restaurant, he immediately rushed over and hugged me. We had another amazing week together. When I returned to the UK, we stayed in contact and he planned a visit. He arrived on November 2nd 2001, and has never left! We married three years later and are still together to this day! It just shows, taking chances does work sometimes.” 

 

2. Northern boy meets southern girl 

We didn’t just receive stories from people who found an international soulmate living in other countries – for many of our loved-up couples, it took a holiday abroad to meet their fellow UK-based partner. One of these stories came from Joanne Redfern, from London, who met Matt, from Leeds, in a burger bar in Gran Canaria. Joanne explains: 

Matt’s chat-up line was, “every northern boy needs a southern girl!” (I was from London). It was ironic meeting him in a burger bar because I was vegetarian – it must have been fate! 

“We kept in touch and met again at home. Matt was just so funny and kind – gorgeous too! We went on to have three daughters, got married in 2007, and bought our first house together in Nottingham. I always think about how we met, the months of travelling every weekend between London and Leeds, crying when it was time to say goodbye and sending love letters through the post. My daughter found the letters recently and laughed her head off; I wrote him a love song in one of them – she thought it was hilarious!” 

 

3. A happy accident 

Sometimes, a disastrous event can have an unexpectedly happy outcome. This is what Niki Lancaster found when she met her future husband Tom while travelling in Goa, India. They crossed paths after Tom crashed his moped into a moped repair shop – the irony! Niki says: 

“After we met, we travelled most of Goa’s coast together. When we parted ways, we agreed to meet again in Thailand for Christmas and then again a few months later in Australia. In Australia, we knew there were no future points we’d be able to meet, as I was leaving to go back to the UK. In a leap of faith, Tom asked me if I wanted to stay in Australia with him as his girlfriend – and I decided to give it go. We spent the next year travelling Australia together. We settled down together in the UK in 2011, got married in June 2015, and now we’re expecting our first baby together!” 

 

4. The life-changing bus journey 

There are little moments in life that can have huge consequences. For Jessica Leason, one of these little moments was boarding a bus! When skiing in Chamonix, France, she ended up packed into a bus and squashed against a guy. They met later that night and shared a drunken kiss – the rest is history! Jessica says: 

“After we kissed, we pretty much didn’t leave each other’s side. When we came home, I went back to Surrey and him to Essex. We lived with our parents and visited every other weekend. We saved for a year, and then we packed our jobs in and went travelling to Australia, New Zealand and Bali. We came home and I moved to Essex to be with him. December this year will be our 10-year anniversary, and we are expecting baby number two in April! Who knew getting a bus would be so life-changing?” 

 

5. A blossoming friendship 

Occasionally, true love is actually right in front of you – it just takes that one perfect holiday to realise it! This is exactly what Lydia Houghton experienced when she shared a holiday to Tunisia with long-time friend Darren. Lydia tells us: 

“As we spent more time together, I began to see Darren in a different light. His sense of humour, kindness, and adventurous spirit made me realise how much I truly cared for him. By the end of the trip, we were inseparable and our feelings for each other had deepened. We returned home as a couple, ready to start a new chapter in our lives together. Our holiday to Tunisia will always be a special memory, the place where our friendship blossomed into something more. That holiday was thirty years ago, and we have been sharing our life journey together ever since.” 

 

6. Love language  

The pandemic slowed down many things, but it didn’t get in the way of true love! After a whirlwind holiday romance on a summer language course in Germany, one couple had to spend a huge two years apart due to the virus – before finally reuniting in Iceland. Rylee Dolezal explains: 

“It was over two years before we saw each other again due to Covid. She booked us a three-week trip to Iceland as that was the only place we could visit on our respective green lists! We had an amazing time and it solidified that we wanted to be together! A little less than a year after we moved in together in London, where I am now studying for a Master’s. This year will be our 4th year together! We love the story of how we met on holiday, and we think it’s more fun than meeting online!” 

 

7. The first kiss 

Many of our holiday romancers ended up marrying, however, we also had many adorable tales of holiday first loves. One of these came from Amy Briscoe, who took a chance to have her first kiss with Felix, a boy she met on holiday. Amy tells us:  

“I was fifteen and on holiday in L’Escala, Spain. My aunt and uncle had a villa there, so I went every year – it was like a home from home! This year we went again with my folks and I took my best friend. This was the first year we were given the freedom to do what we liked. As fifteen-year-old girls do, we found the boys; two local boys called Enrique and Felix. Despite the language barrier, we had the best two weeks and spent most of our days with the boys. When it came to leaving, I had absolutely fallen head over heels for Felix (the blonde one). As you can imagine, being fifteen, I was in love! 

“At this point, I had never been kissed. We were leaving that afternoon and I just needed to take my chance! The poor bloke was taken by surprise. It was like the movies; I grabbed him, kissed him and then turned and walked away. I was on cloud nine… until I got on the plane, and then I cried! I will never forget my first kiss, my holiday romance! Never to be seen again!”.  

 

8. Bunk buddies 

One of the great things about an adventurous holiday is meeting like-minded people. For Celia Strainge, this is exactly what she found when she met Luke on an overland tour of southern Africa twenty years ago. She told us: 

“After meeting at the start of the tour, we travelled through Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It was lovely to connect with someone who had similar interests, and we ‘bunked up’ together in Cape Town for a few days after we finished the tour. I didn’t want to say goodbye, so left him to pack up and head home to Australia. When I got back to the room, he’d left me his jumper! I wore it constantly for months once I got back to the UK – I loved that it smelt of him! I don’t have a photo of the both of us as it was back in the world of film photos, but I do have a photo that Luke took of me during sunrise in Botswana. The photo means the world to me even now (hence it still being in a frame 20 years on!)”.  

 

 9. Sharing is caring 

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, which Joanne Heath found when she met her future husband twenty years ago in Germany. Joanne explains: 

“Aged fifteen in Germany, I met my now husband. We were competing in an athletics competition, the international youth games in Rendsburg. I couldn’t eat before my race, and his discus event was cancelled, so he had all day to eat! He asked me if I was eating my lunch and whether he could have it! I thought he was a bit cheeky, but we got talking and connected.  

“We didn’t get together, though, until we ended up at the same 6th form, where legs brushed mine under the table and a drunken 6th form ball meant we lost our shyness and finally got together. We had our first holiday abroad together to Kos in 2004 and then had a family, and finally got married in 2012 back in Kos. We have now been married a decade, together for two and have so many memories in between. I still fancy the pants off him and know that he doesn’t like missing a meal!” 

 

10. The Fuerteventura fling 

While we all love a tale of true romance, sometimes a holiday romance is simply about the whirlwind of it all. Katy Burns experienced such a romance during her teenage years in Fuerteventura. She tells us: 

“When I was eighteen, I went to Fuerteventura with my best friend. On the very first day, a boy who was there with his family caught my eye. I noticed him looking at me multiple times (they think we don’t see them doing that!), but I think we were both nervous, so we didn’t speak to each other straight away. However, we kept seeing each other in and around the hotel, and on day three, he approached my friend and me to ask our names and how we were.  

“Me and him pretty much hit it off from then until the end of the 10-day holiday, and, being a teenager, I definitely thought I was in love! We met up with him every night; he pretty much abandoned his family, and my friend fell out with me because she felt left out, but we just couldn’t stay away from each other! We planned to stay in touch and meet up after the holiday and while we did text a few times, I live in Manchester and he was from Plymouth, so the distance made it impossible for it to really go anywhere. But it was an amazing week!” 

 

 

We really enjoyed reading through all your holiday romance stories – they show that love can be found in the most unexpected places!  

Whether you’re planning a romantic trip, celebrating an anniversary, or maybe on the lookout for a fairytale holiday romance story of your own, at eShores, we can plan the holiday of your dreams. Explore our romantic holiday itineraries, or get in touch with our team for a bespoke quote! 

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