Maybe you’ve already travelled as a couple or this getaway could be your first trip away together. Either way, planning a romantic escape can be surprisingly stressful. When you and your partner are on a trip like this, the expectations are often so high it can feel like there’s a flashing neon sign above your heads saying “WE. ARE. BEING. ROMANTIC.” However, going away for a few nights with your beloved doesn’t need to be stressful. Or a disaster waiting to happen. But there are a few things you should know. Here are our top tips for planning romantic getaways that you’ll both remember for all the right reasons.
1. Plan your romantic getaway
It can be great fun to go with the flow when you’re travelling but you should definitely plan at least some aspects of your romantic holiday. Book some accommodation you will both like, take a look at what activities are available before you arrive and have a think about practicalities like dining. Doing this in advance shows your partner that you care enough to put some effort into making sure the weekend goes well (even though at least one thing will invariably go wrong – more on this later.)
2. Don’t get caught up in the fantasy
Hollywood movies (and more than a few high-end hotels) would have you believe that the only way to have a special romantic getaway is to stay in a 5 star suite with a bottle of Bollinger on ice. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead of getting caught up in the fantasy of what a romantic escape should be like, think about what you and your partner enjoy and book something in accordance with your tastes, interests and budget. For example, if you love living the high life but can’t afford a fancy hotel, what about an upmarket B&B or chic new budget hotel in a great location? Alternately, if you adore the great outdoors, a glamping experience might be equally special, not to mention cheaper, than a 5 star hotel room.
3. Romantic getaways can be affordable
You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a special romantic stay. It is possible to show you care without sending your credit cards into meltdown. If money is tight, the best thing to do is to splurge on one thing and save on others. For example, if your partner loves to stay somewhere luxurious, splurge on a nice hotel room but skip the dining expenses by bringing a picnic dinner. Buying a few treats from a deli to add to the homemade options can make it special as can choosing your partner’s favourite wine (or beer) to accompany it. Ideally there will be somewhere nearby you can enjoy your feast, but if the weather isn’t on your side a picnic in the hotel room can also be surprisingly romantic.
4. Romantic getaway activities
If your partner doesn’t drink wine but you love it, planning a trip to a wine region might not be the best choice. Unless, for example, they love antiques and the area also has lovely antique shops. It’s not possible to please everyone all the time but make sure your getaway contains something for both of you, not just the person organising the trip. Agreeing to both try something new can also be surprisingly fun. Your man might be surprised how much he enjoys that ‘girly’ massage.
5. If something goes wrong, deal with it and move on
No matter how carefully you have planned your romantic getaway, something is bound to go wrong. It seems that fate can’t resist messing with travellers, especially those in search of romance. Hopefully it will be something minor, like a disappointing main course, but it could be something worse. Most couples would find it hard not to get upset when that divine view on the hotel website looks NOTHING like the one from their $500 a night room. No matter how hard it might be, the best thing to do is discuss it, deal with it and move on. In these situations, it can help to say out loud, ‘Well, it is really disappointing/annoying but I’m not going to let this ruin our romantic escape.’ With any luck your partner will agree.
Disclosure: The writer is an incurable romantic.
Want to travel smarter and save money? Check out our tips for flying a low cost airline, keeping your luggage safe, visiting Europe in peak season, getting a great car hire deal, avoiding travel scams, saving money at the airport, staying at an Airbnb, finding cheap five star hotel deals, catching public transport overseas, staying safe in a big city, getting the best round-the-world airfares, making the most of a five star hotel stay, travelling during low season, visiting a theme park in peak season, packing a carry on bag, visiting a wine region, planning a romantic getaway, early morning flights, visiting the Great Barrier Reef, multigenerational travel, travelling in a motorhome, buying the best souvenirs, going on safari, visiting the Eiffel Tower, travelling with pets, holidaying with adult children, travelling with teens, and sleeping on a plane.