Dear Prue: ‘My husband’s desperate to get away, but I’m not ready to think about holidays yet’

Dear Prue,

Like many people, we have had to hold our travel plans lightly over the past few months. After a summer holiday that was overshadowed by endless bureaucracy and expensive testing, and a cancelled long weekend in the autumn, I am of a mind to hunker down and appreciate the comforts of home for a while, in the hope of restrictions finally easing next year.

My husband, however, feels that the only way he can deal with the pressures of the present is by having something to look forward to in the future, and he has taken to suggesting possible holiday destinations to me over the dinner table and making worried comments about things getting booked up if we wait too long.

In previous years we have run at more or less the same speed on this, making plans together pretty harmoniously. But now it feels different. I have said I would like to put it off for a while, but the bright ideas still keep coming “for me to think about in the meantime”.

I don’t want to have a fight about it, but I would like him to give it a rest, frankly: I’m beginning to feel pressured. Any tips?

– Kate, Wilts

Dear Kate,

AI have some sympathy for you, Kate. We went to Gozo, Malta, for 10 days, where we stayed pretty isolated, wore our masks and so on. And then we both caught Covid after waiting for two hours in the arrivals hall at Heathrow Terminal 5, as the queue snaked zigzag fashion with people thick on the ground to the left and right, in front and behind us. The irony of it was that the reason for the hold-up was that understaffed immigration officers were having to check everyone’s Covid papers “to keep us safe”.

But you could manage a weekend or a short break in the UK, couldn’t you? It would give your husband at least a flavour of the release and pleasure he wants, and you never know, you might enjoy it too. You don’t want to become “institutionalised” at home, gradually wanting to leave it less and less.

Why don’t you surprise him by ­taking the initiative and suggesting a short break in the early spring, maybe to somewhere beautiful that you have never been before? Cornwall won’t be jam-packed in March or April, but it will be lovely. Or the Isles of Scilly, or Wales, or the Borders, or even a city or town with plenty to explore.

This will give your husband something to look forward to, and by then you might perhaps be up to planning a late summer holiday in the sun.

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