This post is part of a series on travel close to home. You can find more posts from this series on my page Getaways Near Me (or You)
It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and if you’re like most, you may want to run away with your honey for a long weekend. Some getaways are romantic even before you book the plane ticket. (For example, flying down to the islands to renew your vows).
But if you really want to up the romance, follow some of these tried and true must do’s for a perfect romantic getaway and really spice up your travels.
Essential Must Do’s For a Perfect Romantic Getaway
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1. Do – Remember Romance Is All About You!
Your most romantic getaway is where the trip revolves around the two of you. Before you book, take a minute to remember what is essential for the two of you. A cabin in the snow-filled mountains might be your perfect spot for snuggling up by the fire. Or you may be the couple that enjoys sunbathing on the beach.
Remember that place that always makes you both happy? Plan to go there!
2. Do – Start The Getaway Off On The Right Foot – Show Your Love
It’s very romantic to do something for someone that they don’t expect. But it’s usually more than chocolate, wine, and roses. You know what means the most to your significant other, plan ahead and have it waiting to welcome you.
Surprise your loved one by having the song you danced to at your wedding playing in your guest room when you walk in. Is there a romantic gesture (rose petals, champagne & bubbles in the bath, a picnic on the beach) that you and your partner have always wanted to experience?
Bring your favorite wine to share at dinner. Pack something that unique you’ve shared together that you can incorporate into your trip. It would help if you did a little work to make it happen.
3. Do – Choose Activities That Lead To Romance
A fantastic way to strengthen your relationship is to try something new together. Try a fresh, unique dining experience, take a dance class or try out a sport that neither of you has tackled.
A little scary is good! My DH and I first tried zip-lining in Maui while staying near Kapalua. It was scary but got our adrenaline flowing, and that rush kept going well into the evening!
4. Do – Ensure Your Partner Can Dress To Impress
Make sure your partner packs appropriate clothing for your plans. Nothing kills romance faster than feeling underdressed. If you’ve planned a surprise, you may have to do the packing for your partner. Or you can always surprise them with a new outfit or bathing suit that is perfect for your romantic outing.
5. Do – Splurge!
To make a getaway romantic, you may need to splurge on extraordinary things, like V.I.P service, an upgraded room, or limo service.
Personalization is key when wanting to wow your partner with a thoughtful gesture. Don’t settle; go big. Take that horse and buggy ride around The French Quarter in New Orleans. Hot Air Ballooning over Napa Valley? Good Choice.
We honeymooned in Port Douglas, Australia. On our boat trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, my husband secretly arranged to have a helicopter ride for our return to dryland. What a wonderful and romantic surprise!
6. Do – Choose a Romantic Destination
Top on the list of important must do’s for a perfect romantic getaway is the destination. It’s hard to mess up with a trip to the islands (the Caribbean or Hawaii both work). Or you could take a cruise and renew your vows at sea!
However, you may just want to spice up your annual summer vacation. In that case, remember that secluded resorts are naturally more romantic than a roadside motel. And a quaint bed and breakfast will be cozier than huge hotels.
7. Do – Make Use of the Hotel Concierge
Need help figuring out the must do’s for a perfect romantic getaway? That’s why concierges exist. Please speak with the hotel concierge and let them know you’re visiting on a romantic getaway.
A concierge can do their best work when you reach out early, and it’s great if you have suggestions for how to wow your sweetheart. You don’t have to know everything you want to do; the concierge will be happy to work through it with you to come up with something extraordinary.
A good concierge can reserve the best table at a highly sought after restaurant or get tickets to a sold-out show. They can also set up a day of sightseeing all the romantic spots in town. If you use the services of the concierge, remember to tip.
8. Do – Not Forget to Disconnect
Set up your e-mail away message, silence the cell phone (or agree not to take a call unless it’s an emergency.) Unplugging and focusing on each other is an essential part of romance and will help you reconnect.
9. Do – Order Room Service As Often As You Wish
There is nothing more romantic than never having to leave your room, especially if you plan well and have a charming suite. Order room service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
10. Do – Be Playful
Dance with your loved on to all your favorite songs. Maybe try karaoke together for the first time. Go to a comedy club and laugh out loud. Make snow angels and daydream. Build a sandcastle or fly a kite on the beach. Take this time to play together.
11. Do – Enjoy Your Time Together
Emphasize having fun together, no matter what. Don’t worry about a flight delay; take the time to have your first romantic getaway cocktail while you wait.
The hotel mix-up that ended up with you not having the room you chose? Ask for a freebie, like a bottle of wine with dinner. You have nothing to lose.
Often the unexpected things that happen when we travel turn into the best times and stories.
There Are Some Don’ts For That Romantic Getaway
1. Don’t – Call It A “Romantic Getaway”
Why? Because when you do this, you unrealistically raise expectations. It’s hard to live up to the expectation in your imagination. The two of you will spend all your time trying very hard to be “romantic.”
You will force yourself to find “romantic” things to do. And instead of lying by the pool reading your book, you’ll be wondering if you should take a walk on the beach.
2. Don’t – Go Away On Romantic Holidays
Even with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, those who know don’t advise using a calendar holiday or your anniversary to plan a memorable trip. Often a romantic getaway for no reason at all is the best kind.
If you go to that fancy resort “off-season,” you have a better chance of getting a good deal, and there will probably be fewer crowds. And who says a getaway has to be a long weekend? Weekdays are a great option and often less expensive!
3. Don’t – Choose This Time To Start A New Fitness Regime
A good workout is a great way to stay in shape. But starting a new fitness or diet program is not on the list of must do’s for a perfect romantic getaway. Romance should be an indulgence! Sleep in, eat all the ice cream, and take a slow walk in the forest.
Save the five-mile runs and keto diet for when you get home.
4. Don’t – Bring The Kids Along
We all love our children, but this is the time to nurture your relationship with your significant other. It’s hard to focus on the two of you when the little in the other room calls “MOM!”
Also, adults need time to do adult things. Day drinking is a thing! Remember to bring along the aspirin.
5. Don’t – Talk About Finances, Home Repair, Or Major Life Decisions
Face it; you spend enough time already figuring out your retirement contributions. And questions like: “Who’s handling the leaky roof?” or “Do you want to be cremated or buried?” shouldn’t be on the agenda for a romantic getaway.
6. Don’t – book restaurants serving more than three courses per meal
Nothing is worse than sitting through an 11-course tasting menu when all you want to do is get cozy together. Try not to sit anywhere longer than it would take you to fly to someplace else.
7. Don’t – Feel Compelled To Take In The Local Culture
There are museums and plays and history everywhere you go. Some of this may be in your plans for your getaway. But culture isn’t the reason for your trip. Reconnecting with your loved one is the reason for the journey.
If you reconnect over theater or art, by all means, visit the best of these your location has to offer. However, if all you want to do is walk in the park, or on the beach, or sit in a coffee shop and people watch; head out and take in the local scene
8. Don’t – Bring Too Many Books
Reading is fun, and I’m a big believer in reading whenever you can. But reading is generally a solo endeavor and doesn’t up the romance factor. You will never find reading on a list of must do’s for a perfect romantic getaway
9. Don’t – Tell Everyone You’re Going On A Romantic Getaway
First, everyone will wonder why you need to go on a “romantic” trip. Then everyone will tell you how jealous they are that you get to have this special time with your SO. And when you get back, they will all want to know how your “sex trip” was. Lots of questions, some embarrassing, that you don’t need to answer.
The Last Must Do’s For A Romantic Getaway
Keep Some Free Time In Your Schedule
The most important piece of advice: don’t over plan your getaway.
People have a million ideas of must do’s for a perfect romantic getaway. But if you’re jumping from one activity to the next, you’ll focus on keeping to the schedule and forget to enjoy the moment.
Remember the fun you had when you were first dating. Each experience was new and fascinating. This is the only purpose of a romantic getaway, to feel that rush of excitement with your lover all over again.