It doesn't matter if you're headed for a weekend road trip an hour away or backpacking through Europe for a month, going on a vacation can be an awesome time.
Sometimes, if you play your cards right, that vacation can be made even better by finding romance while you're away from home, but that night/week/month of fun can turn into problems that follow you back home if you aren't careful.
It doesn't matter if you're the one on vacation or the one who meets someone else who happens to be traveling, there are certain things you can to ensure the best possible experience. To make sure everyone has a good time, here are 10 vacation hookup dos and don'ts.
See also: 10 Tips for Being a Wedding Date
10. Do make use of your amenities.
From a logistical perspective, hooking up while on vacation is either a piece of cake or a nightmare. If there's a hotel or a guest room involved (and no poorly behaved roommates), you don't have to worry about a stranger learning where you live or going back to their potentially awkward living situation. You may even have a hot tub, a fancy shower, a limo, or any other number of potential hookup places that aren't available when you're home.
9. Don't get attached.
While there's nothing that says vacation hookups can't turn into serious relationships, the odds are stacked pretty well against it. The two of you presumably don't live in the same place, and you probably won't get to know each other all that well. When you step on that plane (car, bus, train, whatever) for the long ride back to reality, let the romance become a fond (or not) memory along with the rest of the trip. If both parties are interested in continuing beyond the vacation fling, then it's obviously fine to keep in touch, but don't get too caught up in it.
8. Do be nice.
Even though you might never see your vacation lover again, you don't have to be a jerk about things. We're not saying you need to marry the person, but you probably shouldn't kick them to the curb in the dead of winter. Aside from the whole karma thing, keep in mind that you probably only have a vague idea of who the person you're dealing with is, and treating the wrong person poorly can land you in some pretty bad spots both on the Internet and in the physical world.
7. Don't forget where you are.
Even if you didn't travel very far, different cities (towns, rural incorporated areas, etc.) can have very different views and expectations on hooking up. For instance, if you go to Reno/Orlando/Anaheim thinking that you're going to randomly find attractive people looking for short-term vacation relationships at the same frequency as Las Vegas/Miami/Hollywood, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Meeting someone at a national park will probably be more difficult than finding an interested person in a huge college town. Ask yourself why people would visit an area, and you'll likely realize what kind of potential hookups you'll be looking at. Be sure to take country and religious affiliations into account, because those can make a huge difference.
6. Do learn as much as you can about your partner.
You don't have to find out all of their hopes and dreams, but we do think it's beneficial to know things like their name, marital status, home state/county, and occupation. You know, in case something goes wrong and it comes up in legal or medical records in the future. As tempting as it can be to have a completely anonymous hookup with a hot stranger, you're going to feel a lot better about it for the next several weeks if you at least know the basics.
5. Don't pretend to be something you're not.
We get it, you're in a new place and you want to try out a new version of yourself. That's cool, we're all for experimenting, but we're not for blatantly lying. That fun story you used to tell girls about your professional kitesurfing career is cool, but if you sell it too hard, expect to get called out. Gone are the days of randomly hooking up with someone in another state and knowing that they have no way of contacting you ever again. If you leave the smallest paper trail (example: their friend knows your friend's last name), your partner will probably be able to find you online and point out to everyone that your cardio in the bedroom would indicate you never actually swam the English Channel. Combine that with lying to the wrong "Internet celebrity" (like you know what every "Viner" looks like), and you could end up on the news for having millions of online haters who have never even met you.
4. Do take a chance.
It's easy to play it conservatively in your hometown, because you don't want to get burned by too many of the fish in the same sea that you swim in every weekend. When you're on vacation, you don't have to worry about that. If there's one time to hook up with someone you wouldn't normally sleep with, it's while you're on vacation. So maybe you shouldn't have gone home with that stripper the last time you were in Vegas... But as long as all your tests come back negative, it just turns into a really good story to tell the next time your married friends ask why you're not seeing anyone.
See also: 10 Tips for Avoiding the Friend Zone
3. Don't expect to hook up.
We all know that one friend who goes out with the sole intention of going home with someone. Maybe they're attractive enough that it generally works out for them, or maybe they leave disappointed a lot of the time. For whatever reason, people who don't normally do that seem to think they need to get some whenever they go on vacation (particularly to an area known for partying). It's stupid to let your entire vacation revolve around whether someone else wants to see you naked or not, so don't let it take over your trip. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. You'll have a better time either way if you're not constantly trying for it.
2. Do have a plan.
While you shouldn't expect to hook up, you should absolutely be prepared in the event of a hookup. You're in an area that you presumably don't know too well, and you may be going home (or to a hotel) with someone you might not have known a few hours before. Figure out how you're going to get back to wherever you need to be, and maybe a plan to meet the next day in case your phone dies. It sounds stupid, but if you go out without a plan enough, eventually you're going to find the one hotel room in Miami where no one has an iPhone charger.
1. Don't be stupid.
Vacations are often a fantastic break from reality, but you shouldn't let them ruin your daily life. Use a bit of common sense, and don't do anything too far beyond what you'd normally do at home. A little vacation romance probably isn't worth messing up everything else you've got going on (marriage, clean bill of health, etc.). Know the consequences of what you're doing before you do it, and be ready to face them in a worst-case scenario.
See also: The 10 Worst Things to Do on a Road Trip