Romantic Vacation Getaways – Guide & Tips for Travelers
Whether you are planning a quick romantic weekend getaway to a nearby inn, or going on a longer vacation at a beach resort, don’t finalize your plans without reading our travel guide which includes money saving tips, ideas and photos. Here are some of the top things to keep in mind when planning your trip.
- How do I get a romantic deal? Room, suite and airline ticket prices are consistently lower during off-season and shoulder season. Each destination has its peak times and down times, but generally the best time to go on a major vacation is in September, early November, the first two weeks in January, and April. Resort prices are lower mid-week, while city hotel rooms and airfare are the highest then because of business travelers. If you are driving, pick a great resort nearby and check in Sunday through Thursday to get the cheapest rate as well as additional amenities such as free massages and complimentary breakfast.
- Where should I Go? This is the most important question and the answer has to take into account your budget, length of vacation, your interests and time of travel. If money is no object, you can fly to a secluded private island in Fiji, but if you are looking for something affordable, you should drive or take a quick flight to a destination with inexpensive accommodation options like Florida or Southern California. To make sure that you are planning the ideal trip for you, consider your likes and dislikes – is having access to many restaurants and cafes more important than resort activities like sailing and scuba diving? Consider both of your interests. If your better half wants to get in a few rounds of golf and you want to relax at the spa, find a package that will let both of you get what you want.
- What should I pack? Since this is a special getaway, you will want to feel pretty (or handsome) which means that you should pack a combination of dresses for romantic dinners and comfy outfits for exploring and staying active during the day. Bring your most comfortable shoes for walking and hiking – many travelers make the mistake of breaking in new shoes on their holiday which will often end up spoiling your sightseeing plans. In the summer, pack sunglasses, a good hat and UV clothing to keep your skin protected from strong sun. Read our packing tips for the tropics.
- Look for all inclusive packages: Certain resorts are well known for offering some of the best all inclusive packages where all your meals, activities and accommodations are taken care of. Often airfare can be added as well. Many couples on their romantic vacation don’t want to worry about tipping and the cost of activities adding up to an amount that breaks the budget. If that’s the case with you, look for all inclusive specials at resorts in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Florida, Europe, Thailand, Bali and other romantic destinations.
- Can I go on a romantic cruise? Absolutely! Cruises cater to couples celebrating their wedding anniversary, proposal or another special occasion. You can even get married on a cruise. Couples who love cruises are attracted to this type of vacation because they can see many destinations in a short span of time while having access to an array of facilities, activities and tours. There are so many different cruise options that you can go on a quick weekend sail to the Caribbean or a longer journey to Mediterranean, Panama Canal or Asia.
What Type of a Trip are You Looking for?
Romantic vacations can be as elaborate or a simple as you want. While not everyone may like rose petals sprinkled on their bed, nearly everyone enjoys amenities like champagne, chocolate and freshly cut flowers in their room or suite.
- Anniversaries: If you are dreaming of a celebration which involves several generations traveling together, your trip will need a bit of planning so that you can pick a destination which will please most participants. Beach resorts tend to be a favorite with nearly everyone. If it's just you and your spouse, pick a spot that offers something for each of you, such as spa and golf facilities, fitness classes and tours. Mention that you are celebrating your anniversary and hotel staff will go an extra length to make your stay memorable. Couples may decide to return to the resort where they celebrated their honeymoon years before. In this case, the staff will be especially accommodating.
It is said that the way a man proposes says a lot about his character. Most women will appreciate a well thought-out proposal in a romantic restaurant, on a secluded beach or high above the city. Some of the top hotels like Cap Maison in St. Lucia offer a proposal concierge who can suggest and book amazing proposal locations such as a hot air balloon ride, secluded sandbank dinner or a mountaintop proposal. Be sure to call well ahead of time so that all the arrangements can be taken care of.
- Planning to elope?
If the idea of a big wedding has you running scared, there are many ways to get married while enjoying a romantic vacation as well. Most remote island resorts offer packages that include an intimate ceremony, followed by a custom honeymoon filled with dinners under the stars, unforgettable strolls along the beach and a great choice of activities. Of course, you don't have to travel all the way to Tahiti or Fiji to elope. Look for packages at nearby inns, resorts and city hotels.
- Vow Renewals: Renewing your wedding vows is a wonderful way to celebrate your time as a couple. We see more and more complimentary vow renewal ceremonies in magical places like Maui, Hawaii and French Polynesia. If you don's see vow renewal packages mentioned on your chosen resort's web site, call the concierge who will give you the available options either on property or nearby.
If you are dreaming of a celebration which involves several generations traveling together, your trip will need a bit of planning so that you can pick a destination which will please most participants. Beach resorts tend to be a favorite with nearly everyone. If it's just you and your spouse, pick a spot that offers something for each of you, such as spa and golf facilities, fitness classes and tours. Mention that you are celebrating your anniversary and hotel staff will go an extra length to make your stay memorable. Couples may decide to return to the resort where they celebrated their honeymoon years before. In this case, the staff will be especially accommodating.
- Romantic Honeymoon: Honeymoon is a very special time for the new couple to get away to an amazing new destination. Click here to visit the section on our web site dedicated to honeymoons.
- Romantic Beach Getaways: A romantic trip to the beach is one of the best ways to relax, get a little tan and re-connect with your loved one. Depending on where you live, there are many amazing beach destination within a short flight or drive away. In the summer, don’t discount lake beaches which offer many activities such as kayaking, swimming and fishing. From New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other East Coast cities, get away to Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Upstate New York and Rhode Island. From LA, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and other West Coast cities, get away to the coast of California where you can explore charming towns, beaches and forests.
- Cheap Ideas for Couples: Is it possible to take a cheap romantic vacation? Absolutely! There are many amazing places such as national park cabins, campgrounds, cozy B&Bs and inns where you can stay for under $100 per night. Save some money for a day pass to a plush resort spa, a tasty dinner and tickets to an outdoor theater performance. Vacation rentals can be quite affordable also and let you prepare your own meals to save money.
- Romantic Weekend Ideas: Many couples end up taking romantic weekend getaways together rather than longer vacations since it’s often difficult to get away from work and family obligations for a whole week or longer. Hotels and resorts offer many weekend packages that include accommodations in a romantic suite, candlelight dinner, rose petal turndown, couples’ massages and other amenities to make you feel pampered from head to toe. If you don’t see a romantic vacation package on the web site of a particular hotel, call their reservations and ask what is available. More often than not, you will be able to add on special romantic amenities and customize your stay to make it a memorable one. Visit our weekend getaway guide for more ideas.
Best Romantic Destinations
When couples think of romance, often specific images of places pop up in their head. For you, that may be palm trees on a white-sand beach, or drinks with a view of the sun setting in the Pacific Ocean. Here are some of the top romantic vacation resorts around the world.
- Bahamas: Although Paradise Island is the most famous for its activities and scenic location, there are many other romantic spots to choose from. There are hundreds of islands in the Bahamas, some of which have been turned into amazing private island hideaways, perfect for couples on their honeymoon or romantic getaway. Kamalame Cay offers all-inclusive pricing and just 11 guest accommodations which means that you will have the island almost entirely to yourself.
- Mexico: Mexico is home to incredible beach resorts where you can book a luxury suite at a fraction of the cost compared to other destinations near the U.S. There are resorts of all sizes, ranging from under 50 guest rooms to well over 500, letting you choose just the right setting for your romantic getaway. Some of the top five star romantic vacation resorts in Mexico include Esperanza on the Sea of Cortez, One & Only Palmilla in Baja California and Viceroy Riviera Maya. When you check into one of these places, you will get amazing oceanview accommodations, gourmet cuisine, luxurious spa treatments and access to a fabulous sandy beach. Always look for packages before you book, whether you are planning a last minute trip or booking well ahead of time. There are always specials to be found at luxury resorts in Mexico.
- Hawaii: The Hawaiian islands of Maui, Oahu, Big Island, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai offer some of the top romantic spots for couples who enjoy beaches, sun and palm trees. You can plan a romantic long weekend getaway to the islands from the West Coast, play a round of golf, get a Lomi Lomi massage, watch a hula show and return to the office refreshed and ready for new challenges on Monday morning. Resorts in Hawaii cater to romantic couples with packages and specials year-round. You can be as relaxed or as active as you wish: go hiking in a volcano, take a surfing lesson in Waikiki, bike down Haleakala, or simply relax in a lounge chair on the ocean’s edge from sunrise to sundown. Look for packages that include car rental, show tickets and couples’ massages.
- California: California is a paradise for couples, offering an array of resorts on the coast, in the wine country and mountain spots like Lake Tahoe. Browse our California weekend getaways page for hundreds of ideas, both active and relaxing. Carmel Valley is a hideaway for artists, celebrities and retired sports stars, offering a combination of wine tasting, dramatic views and luxurious spas. Napa Valley vineyards are world-famous, offering wine and cheese tasting, scenic biking and more amazing spas.
- Georgia: Sea Island in Georgia offers miles of sandy beaches, tennis, boating, golf, fishing and a luxurious spa. Stay at the Lodge at Sea Island and ask for one of the rooms with a view of the water. You can explore the island by bike, take romantic sunset walks on the beach, take a cooking class and try many other activities.
- Arizona: Arizona is famous for its sparkling pools, golf courses and full-service spas where you can spend your holiday getting in shape, taking tours and relaxing by the pool. During the winter, get away to Phoenix or Scottsdale which offer warm weather and plenty of outdoor activities. In the summer, the resorts offer excellent deals, but the weather is too hot and humid for outdoor activities. If you are going mostly for spa treatments and great dining, grab a deal and plan a luxury vacation for less in the summer.