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How data can help you have the perfect romantic break

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I’m a hopeless romantic. When I say hopeless romantic, I mean that I’m hopeless at romance, not that I spend all day dreaming of candlelit dinners and gondola rides. For example, I took a girl on a date to a graveyard once; I don’t need to paint you a picture of how that went.

Obviously, I need to up my game; go from just being normal Dom to a full-on Don Juan, but how? Luckily, I’ve got a secret weapon – big data. Collecting survey data from YouGov, social media and all the women’s magazines I can find, I think I’ve come up with the perfect recipe for a stress-free couple’s holiday, from finding love when you’re abroad to how to avoid the arguments.

Picking the right destination

What’s the perfect recipe for a romantic getaway? This is a trickier choice than it first appears; you don’t want to go anywhere that’s too fusty and boring, but also you want to avoid places where there’s nothing but kids running around.

Looking at recent YouGov data, I found that beach and sightseeing holidays topped every couple’s wish list. Clearly, if you want to find that loving feeling, you want a place that has sea, some museums and culture, and decent food. Therefore, it might be best avoiding a trip to Blizzard Beach.

When it comes to destinations, France stands head and shoulders above the rest in the romance stakes. Southern Europe also looks good for love, with people naming Greece, Italy (specifically Venice and Tuscany) and Spain among the most romantic destinations.

Looking slightly further afield, Hawaii, Cancun, India and Canada all came high up in my survey. I mean, Hawaii, Cancun and India I can get, as all have beaches, culture and exotic vibes galore, but Canada? CANADA? I can kind of see how the Niagara Falls could be considered romantic, but come on.

Avoiding an argument

If being in a relationship has taught me anything, it’s that arguments are a lot like a cold. You do everything you can to avoid them, you try to dampen down the effects, but there’s no way you’re not going to have one sooner or later.

Arguing on holiday clearly sucks. It’s never good to fight with your partner, but it’s worse when you’re in a situation where you can’t really escape. It’s not like you can head round your mate’s house to calm down when you’re in the middle of Tokyo.

So why do arguments on holiday happen, and what can you do to avoid them? Well, according to social media, holiday bust-ups can happen over a number of issues, from lost passports, packing the suitcase to forgetting something vital.

The real big flash points seem to be navigating either while driving or walking around, or being bored. So, it looks like as long as you’re not too proud to use Google Maps and have an itinerary of things to do, you should be totally fine.

Popping the question

So, what about popping the question? What’s the indicator that your partner’s about to get down on one knee while you enjoy your spaghetti and clams?

Well, judging by the results of my research, knowing exactly when you’re going to get proposed to is nigh-on impossible. While I thought that most people popped the question when the champagne is flowing and the moon is just right, it seems that in reality, proposals can happen just about anywhere  For instance, I found people who proposed at dinner, under an iconic whalebone statue, on an airport baggage carousel, over WhatsApp (seriously?), on a waterfall, in a penthouse, at a rooftop bar, on KissCam, at a music festival, on a flight, and, most romantic of all, playing pool at Disneyland. Therefore, if I have any advice, is always be on your guard.

Luckily, where people go to propose is slightly more predictable. While Paris is very popular,  it seems like the Caribbean is where the clear majority of Britons go to propose, with Jamaica, Mauritius and Cuba all appearing at the top of the results. So, if you find yourself on a beach in Bermuda and your partner is about to challenge you to a game of snooker, expect wedding bells, OK?

Looking for a little holiday romance?

All this lovey-dovey couples stuff is fine, but what if you’re single, ready to mingle and want to find love on holiday? Where’s the best place to head to for a spot of holiday romance?

According to a 2014 study by momondo, the chances of getting some action on holiday looks good. More than one in four Britons said that they had a holiday romance or flirtatious experience with a stranger at least once during a holiday. Even better, the same study suggested that there is a one-in-five chance you’ll end up marrying your holiday fling!

So, where do you need to head to find that special someone? Well, according to my research the most popular places for a holiday fling seem to be the Caribbean (there must be something about the West Indies that makes people really frisky – I’d put my money on it being either the rum or the lobster), Spain and Greece. In fact, when I got really specific, the data suggests you’re much more likely to hook-up on an Italian ski holiday more than any on other trip. Better get practicing that snowplough!

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