Sun, sea and exotic locations are conditions ripe for romance, and it's easy to get caught up in the emotion of a holiday affair.
But is your summer fling the real thing, and will it work back home in Blighty?
Summer fling or real thing?
Before you start uncontrollably flirting with that cute guy at the bar, be clear in your own mind exactly what it is you're after. Are you really looking for long-term love or just a bit of fun on the beach? And if it's the latter, make sure he knows that too or you'll spend the rest of the holiday peering nervously round corners.
With their sun-kissed six-packs, the local lads might seem like a dream come true. But don't be fooled by an exotic accent and chivalrous behaviour – you might just seem like an easy target. Get involved only if you're happy with a brief fling and always, always make sure someone knows where you're going.
Be careful not to ditch your holiday gal pal too quickly – your beach beau may not be all he seems. If he's not keen to talk about his life back home, family or friends and your suspicions are aroused, trust your instinct – it's probably correct.
The chances are you'll have a few drinks on holiday but be careful not to get too relaxed. Booze too often has us hopping into bed when our sober selves would not and the holiday spirit only adds to the likelihood of passing passions. Don't get hammered and wind up with a weirdo – and above all use protection.
Love and romance are easy when the stresses and strains of real life are a distant memory. Remember that if you're a more happy-go-lucky, carefree version of yourself, the chances are he is too. Things might not look so rosy when the plane lands at Heathrow.
Once you're back in Britain and concerning yourself with day-to-day living, you will either find yourself embarrassed at the mere mention of holiday romance, or gazing into space in a daydream of loveliness. If the feeling is still strong and you have his details, give him a call – you've nothing to lose.
If you're lucky enough to find someone who wants to take things further on home soil, great... but the chances are, a little of the romance will have gone. Avoid trying to recreate those perfect sunset moments and start making new memories.
Back home without the shimmer of the sun on the sea, it might seem like the relationship has lost its shine. But take some time to find out if you are really compatible. Talk about yourselves and discover if your dreams and passions are a match. If not, cut your losses and leave the memories on the beach.
If distance separates you from your new-found love but you're both keen to keep in touch, do just that. Regular phone calls, emails, texts and love letters will mean that you stay close despite the distance.
Remember though that keeping a long-distance relationship going isn't easy. Often the passion of a holiday romance fades as quickly as your tan– move on and accept that it was a fling, not the real thing... you'll always have the memories.