Grab a box of chocolates and a dozen roses — hmm, wait a second. Are you tired of the typical romantic fare yet? Ready to shake it up and really connect with your significant other?
While flowers, candy, and dinner are always welcome, they’re kind of playing it small and safe, not to mention that true connection with each other is often lost. To really say “I love you” in the way your loved one wants to be told, consider giving the gift of quality time through an amazing getaway for two.
This is your year to slow down and truly appreciate your relationship. Here are nine tips for a fabulous getaway that will help you grow closer and make lasting memories.
1. Pick a Destination With Meaning
With over a million vacation options near and far, how do you pick? We suggest narrowing it down to a destination that means something to you as a couple. It could be where you first met, a setting you love to be in, or someplace completely new. Maybe it’s a place you know your significant other would appreciate, such as a quiet outdoor mecca surrounded by trees and mountains.
2. Plan Activities to Bring You Closer
Before picking your destination, have a general idea of a few activities you’d love doing together. It can be something you love and have done many times before (after all, each time is a unique experience!) or something completely new and daring. In the process, you will build a stronger bond with your mate.
Tip: Have each person pick an activity for two, but keep it a secret until it’s time. The surprise keeps it exciting!
3. Book Something Quaint
A vacation rental is a great alternative to the standard hotel room, especially for a romantic getaway. Why? There’s more space to stretch out and get comfortable, and each rental has character that’s one of a kind. Staying somewhere quaint offers a new and interesting environment for you two to share as you explore your surroundings.
4. Stay Unplugged & Present
Keep potential distractions to a minimum when planning a Valentine’s Day or anniversary getaway. What your loved one wants more than anything is you! Try to eliminate the chance for work calls, and avoid the TV as much as possible. Picking a destination with a slower pace, like a small town or hidden destination, is often a great way to stay present.
5. Explore the Local Cuisine
Forget chain restaurants, even the fancy ones. Now is your opportunity to have an adventure. Where to eat? Ask the locals where they like to go, or make your way into a restaurant that catches your interest. Ask the waitress what the most popular dishes are, make a pact to order something outside the box, and then taste each other’s dishes. It’s a ton of fun, and you may just learn thing or two about your partner you didn’t know before.
6. Have Some Mindful Conversations
Sometime during your getaway — perhaps in the car, on a walk, or just cuddling at night — you will have opportunities for deeper discussion. Go for it! This is a rare chance to connect without normal life responsibilities. What are your hopes and dreams? What are theirs? And when is the last time you talked about it? This process creates a stronger bond you ever thought possible.
7. Pack Light
The less stress, the better. When packing for your getaway, keep it light: toiletries, clothes, etc. You’ll be less tempted to read or work if you leave all the “stuff” at home.
8. Schedule Enough Free Time
Avoid packing every second with activities; instead, leave plenty of room for relaxing or spur-of-the-moment fun like a coffee date or golfing with another couple you just met. That way, you two can get excited by the possibilities rather than feeling tied down.
9. Take Lots of Photos
It doesn’t matter what your photography skills are like — just grab your phone or camera and get snapping! Taking pictures can help frame your experience in an entirely new way. When you get back from your trip, you’ll both have so much fun flipping through your photos.
Looking for ways to preserve your photos? Check out our post on preserving travel memories here!