Hey Jetlag Junkies!
Have you been to a Walgreens, lately? I couldn’t so much as make it down the toothbrush aisle without knocking over a display of red and pink teddy bears clutching a heart-shaped chocolate box. This can only mean that it’s almost Valentine’s Day (yay?)! I can certainly appreciate that this holiday reminds us to acknowledge the people we love, but the mass commercialization makes it a little tough to celebrate, doesn’t it? How do you know if your plans are romantic enough? Isn’t everything kind of “cliché” by now? Nonetheless, the topic of romance is one that comes up a lot in my job as a travel designer, so today I want to address a topic that is very near and dear to my heart: romance travel.
The idea of a romantic getaway with your significant other is wonderful, isn’t it? You’ll stroll hand-in-hand, cruise with the top down, and heck, you may even get lost somewhere…together. Yeah, I hear you! Unfortunately, there is a huge (awkward) chasm between planning a romantic getaway and making a getaway romantic.
Travel is NOT naturally romantic.
Wait, what?!? I’m going to repeat that for the folks in the cheap seats: Travel. Is. Not. Naturally. Romantic. In other words, the act of going on a “romantic getaway” will not automatically make the trip romantic. You can dress it up and call it a second honeymoon, time for the two of us, a chance to reconnect, or whatever else you want…but at the end of the day, you’re going to have to jump through a few hoops if you want to add some sizzle to your sightseeing. But don’t you worry…I’ve got great solutions to go with these problems (hey, it’s what I do).
Hoop #1: Traveling overseas is naturally uncomfortable!
There’s the lines, the airplane food, the #jetlag. Throw in some dry skin, puffy eyes, and a possible digestive problem, and you’ve got a romance factor of exactly zero.
Hoop #2: Traveling out of the country has its own set of complications.
Once you arrive at your destination, you’ve got to deal with language barriers, cultural differences, transportation issues, and total sensory overload. I’m going to go ahead and stop there because my job is to inspire your travels, not persuade you to spend the rest of your life at home.
Hoop #3: Traveling comes with a to-do list.
And friend, there ain’t nothing romantic about a to-do list! I have so many ladies who come to me seeking a romantic getaway to Europe with their husbands, yet they bombard me with a list of things they want to see and do while they are there. Now, of course I am not one to say you can’t have it both ways, but a jam-packed itinerary tends to be a heavy load for romance to bear.
The good news is that every one of these hoops can be jumped through, and your romantic getaway can be exactly what you dreamed.
Romance and travel may not be love at first sight, but they are also not strange bedfellows. There is a magic recipe that makes travel the most romantic, life-breathing, relationship-building thing ever. Here is my step-by-step recipe for creating the ultimate romantic getaway.
Essential Ingredient 1: Laughter
I am convinced that there is movie romance and real life romance. I don’t need Nicholas Sparks romance in my life, and I’m betting you don’t either. Levity is the best thing you can add to your travel plans, no matter who you’re traveling with. Relax about the schedule and the confusing train switchboard and the jiggly goose liver on your plate, and laugh! You can get caught in the rain or you can get caught in the rain in Paris.
Essential Ingredient 2: Variety
I cannot overstate this. Going on the exact same trip to the same place every year will meet your need for certainty, but it will not help you in the romance department. If you want to come home with a suitcase full of memories, take a trip full of adventures. Navigate subways. Order food you can’t pronounce. The little daily differences are just as important as the big, fancy dates.
Essential Ingredient 3: Time
My superpower is itinerary efficiency, but even I know that an aggressive sightseeing plan is not exactly a garden in which love can bloom. Give your romantic getaway the gift of some breathing room. A vacation that is cluttered with can’t misses and must do’s is sure to be short on remember when’s.
Of course, a little help in the planning department never hurt.
Getting romantic while you travel requires exactly as much intention as it does in real life. But, it’s a whole lot more meaningful, memorable, sexy, and FUN to date your travel companion than to resign yourself to the same ole dinner & movie routine you do at home. Oh, and newsflash: it doesn’t matter if you are traveling alone, with your pre-schoolers, with your daughter and one of her sorority sisters, or with your favorite set of couple friends. Setting the intention to carve out space for romantic feelings and enjoyment of each other’s company is a matter of the head and the heart. Make it a priority and it will happen.
All MY love to you,
P.S. Looking for something a little more practical? Don’t worry! Part 2 of my Romantic Getaway Guide is all about some of my favorite European date ideas, so be sure to check back soon for that. You can also click here to have it delivered to your inbox.