Let’s be honest, our every day lives often get in the way of sharing romantic moments with our partners (and I’m not just talking about the kind that are supposed to happen when our heads hit the pillows). Whether it’s work, school, kids, friends or errands, there’s always something filling every hour of the day from the second we wake up to the moment we turn off the lights. You may not realize it, but taking time out of your ordinary life to travel with your other half is a necessary ingredient for a happy relationship.
Valentine’s Day may be corny (cue the scene from Sex and the City The Movie when Miranda and Carrie are out for dinner on Valentine’s Day at a restaurant filled with tacky decorations and romantic menu options for two), but it is the perfect time to sit down and recognize whether or not there’s enough romance in your life. So face it and embrace it, here are five romantic vacations you need to take.
1. Beach Vacation
Not to be shallow, but something about having pale, dry skin, bundling up in multiple layers and barely wanting to exercise due to the winter weather is not the most attractive look for anyone in a relationship. A beach vacation to a warm climate is something you could use to easily add a little romance to your life. The great thing about living in the U.S. is that you don’t have to go far to enjoy one. If you’re looking to go somewhere within the U.S., traveling to the Florida Keys or even Puerto Rico is both cheap and convenient. If you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, you can still keep it simple with a trip to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. There are some beautiful ones in Cancun, Punta Cana and Montego Bay that are fairly easy to get to due to the vast number of direct flights from throughout the U.S. Smaller islands like St. Lucia or Turks and Caicos would also satisfy those requirements (though these may be a little pricier since they’re more difficult to get to). At an all-inclusive resort, there are usually multiple restaurants and a plethora of on-site activities for you to indulge in. Not only does this remove the stress of planning and schedules from your trip, but it allows you to give your undivided attention to your partner and the beauty around you (including right next to you). There are also a number of adults-only properties where the minimum age to stay is 18. This type of vacation is romantic and requires very little effort to plan. Plus, beach destinations are traditionally less expensive so, you won’t break the bank for a quick getaway.
2. Winery Escape
When you picture a romantic evening in your head, nine times out of 10 I bet it includes sharing a bottle of wine at some point. I mean really, who doesn’t love indulging in a delicious wine with the one you love? A winery escape provides the perfect backdrop for romance. It’s generally in an isolated area with vast, mountainous beauty and greenery as far as the eye can see. Though visiting a winery can definitely take that edge off, on a serious note, it also gives couples a chance to learn and experience something new together (and a little buzz can only further propel that romantic connection built while intimately tasting new wines.) If you want to stay domestically, wineries in California (Napa Valle)y or Washington State are musts. If you can, I also highly recommend visiting world-renowned wineries in European cities like Porto and the Douro Valley, Portugal; Tuscany, Italy; and Bordeaux, France. Without much effort, wineries give you that sense of relaxation and charm. The setting coupled with delectable wines allow you to experience that romantic unwind you so desperately need.
3. Overwater Bungalows
Though we haven’t actually gone yet, I can only begin to imagine how romantic our upcoming trip to Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea will be. Just planning the trip and selecting the hotels with my husband already feels romantic. If two weeks with virtually clear-blue water, sunshine and movie-quality scenery surrounding you 24/7 isn’t pure love potion, I can’t imagine what is. These types of resorts are iconically found in destinations in the South Pacific, Fiji and The Maldives, however they’re also popping up in closer places like Belize and Mexico. These vacations are typically pretty expensive with bungalows ranging from $500 to thousands of dollars per night. If you can save up for a trip like this, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway unlike any other you’ve had.
4. Spa Retreat
When you think spa, what comes to mind? Just picturing massages, pedicures and jacuzzis makes me already feel zen and relaxed. Traveling to a spa may seem more like a girls getaway trip, however it can actually be very romantic. Many spas not only offer services to reduce stress and loosen up, but also have incredible cuisine and wine selections to indulge in. Not to mention, many spas are located in the most stunning locations throughout the world. A lot also offer activities you can enjoy together like yoga and even walks or hikes along beautiful paths. What could be more relaxing than a morning stroll followed by a day of treatments topped off with an amazing dinner just the two of you?
5. Off the Beaten Path
If you’re the more adventurous type, go somewhere you’ve never gone before that’s a bit off the beaten path. Commit yourself to focusing all your energy in enjoying the great outdoors or the activities you’re doing with the one you love. If you can leave your cellphones behind, or at the very least off in your bags, I dare you to do it. This will let you truly connect with both your partner and the nature around you. Destinations in South Africa, Thailand and Costa Rica provide the perfect opportunity to be adventurous with what you choose to do and who you choose to do it with.
If you still haven’t bought a Valentine’s gift for your significant other, the promise of one of these trips is sure to make up for that! Tell me, what’s the most romantic trip you’ve ever taken?