I have a confession to make: I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. It’s one of those holidays that comes with lofty expectations that aren’t always possible. And here’s the other thing, the typical Valentine’s Day celebration involves dinner at a fancy (and most likely overcrowded) restaurant. If it’s a weekend getaway, most lovers opt for the 5-star experience complete with overpriced roses and champagne. While all of these things are fine, let’s face it—no two love affairs are the same, so what constitutes romance for one, might not work for another.
The key to keeping the romantic fires burning is tailoring your romantic getaway to your love’s taste: choosing the right destination, accommodations and experiences. It also doesn’t hurt to add a bit of mystery to the mix. Here are some slightly off-beat ideas to help you plan a romantic escape that’s as unique as your love affair.
Is your idea of romance cuddling up by a crackling fire while snow blankets the landscape outside your windows? Or do you prefer to head to the tropics where wearing as little clothing as possible is the norm? Consider your love’s preference for cold versus hot weather when choosing the destination for your getaway.
Also, while strolling the streets of a city like New York, Paris or London will make some guys and gals swoon, others would much rather be out in the countryside far from the city lights.
Choosing the right lodging is key if you’re hoping for a little romance. While some people really love to camp under the clear night skies, others think a night at a Holiday Inn is roughing it. If you don’t take the style of lodging your love prefers under consideration you might as well stay home.
For some, getting away means complete relaxation at a seaside resort—preferably all-inclusive so there are no decisions to make other than which drink you want to sip on while you’re sitting in the hot tub under the brilliant night sky.
If your love prefers an active getaway, consider hiking in one of the many national parks across the USA taking in all of the grandeur of nature followed by a night of camping under the stars. And if actual camping is a bit too much (it would be for me!) glamping is always an option. If it’s a cold night, cuddling will be necessary to keep you both warm.
Does cooking a special meal for your love sound like something he or she would enjoy? If so, consider renting a vacation cottage with a kitchen. Make sure to have some candles on hand to set the mood for romance with a candlelight dinner…just the two of you.
It’s hard to imagine anything more romantic than surprising your love with a weekend getaway to an unknown destination. Think about it, you’ve made reservations, planned some activities and even packed a bag. Wow, you’re a contender for partner of the year!
But if your love has a busy schedule or would never want you to choose his or her weekend wardrobe, it might be hard to pull this off. What you can do, however, is plan a surprise excursion. What about a hot air balloon ride, or maybe a ride in a float plane? (These are on my list, so I will be showing this post to my husband!)
Another inexpensive way to surprise your love is by putting a little surprise in the suitcase to be discovered when he or she unpacks. A box of your love’s favorite chocolates perhaps? Or maybe the latest book by a favorite author. Use your imagination, but steer clear of things like mouthwash or deodorant…you might be sending the wrong message.
What’s your idea of a romantic getaway?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
Terri Marshall is a New York City based freelance writer whose work includes travel, spirits, and all things chocolate. Terri's work appears in several publications. She has been a featured guest on Peter Greenberg's Worldwide Travel radio program and Denver's KZKO Radio Morning Express show. Terri will not hesitate to go to the source for great chocolate - even if that means hiking through the jungle and picking cacao pods herself.
Happiest when she's globetrotting, Terri has covered destinations all over the United States, Europe, and into Central and South America. Favorite adventures include reindeer driving in Norway and fishing for piranhas in the Amazon jungle of Peru. You can keep up with Terri's adventures on her website www.TrippingwithTerri.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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