January 30, 2012
In a relationship there are many milestones to cherish: the first kiss, meeting the parents, saying “I love you” … and of course that first vacation together. Here are some tips and destination suggestions to help you plan a fun holiday in Blissville.
For Travel Newbies: San Diego
For those of us who live in and around L.A., a trip to this beach city is a toned-down home away from home. You can stay on the beach or in the Gaslamp District; go shopping at Fashion Valley or go to a baseball or football game. From Coronado Island to Balboa Park, there’s more than enough sights to see, museums to tour, and cool eateries to try out. This day trip is ideal for couples who are sports fanatics, those who want to get away without emptying a savings account, or those who don’t want to do too much traveling.
Blame It On the Alcohol: Wine Country
Think Napa, Temecula, or maybe even Bordeaux. These locales are frequented by people who love the sensuality of the senses. Wine tasting is a skill and activity you two can indulge in together. Think about it: most other romantic getaways include cocktail hours and snazzy dinners, so why not learn something in the process? These wine regions are secluded and country-like which means you can stay at a bed and breakfast, and enjoy activities like horseback riding or golfing. Plus, when it comes to wine, pairing is everything, so this getaway ensures lots of romantic meals (think swanky restaurants and cozy picnics). Not to mention, you have a chance to score primo souvenirs…That’s right, more bottles of wine! Who knows, you two may become such connoisseurs you end up joining a wine club or taking classes back at home. Wine tasting will provide you with a new way to enjoy each other’s company at the table, become a more knowledgeable dinner party hosts, and be that cool couple who all your friends look to for recommendations on a good Merlot.
Bathing Suits Only: Hawaii
My parents went to Hawaii on their honeymoon, and while it is a bit cliché, there’s a reason for it. Hawaii and its many islands are a romantic paradise right in our own backyard. If you are a history buff, you may want to travel to Oahu; if you love hiking you may want to journey to Kauai; if you love cruises and beaching it, you may want to consider a cruise around all of the islands. With romantic sunsets, breathtaking scenery, and mai tais galore, Hawaii is as relaxing as it gets.
The On the Go Couple: San Francisco
If you’re a Made (City) Woman like me, gazing at a beautiful skyline is the epitome of a fabulous vacation. A cityscape is an especially appealing vacation if your home is in suburbia or in the country. San Fran would also be a good stepping stone getaway for those who want to get out of town, but aren’t ready to ditch civilization yet. San Francisco is full of history, shopping, and many landmarks. It’s also extremely populated, and that means lots of socializing. If you’re a pair of social butterflies, this city could suit you perfectly. If you’re an active couple, maybe a run across the Golden Gate Bridge is in store. Do you both love to shop? Then treat yourself to the stores at Union Square. Next, take in tourist attractions with a visit to Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf, or Alcatraz. You can walk around the city for exercise, take BART, or drive down Lombard Street (if you dare). Get in touch with 60’s San Fran at Haight-Ashbury, or simply enjoy the night life of this contemporary city that has so much to offer. From Little Italy to Ghirardelli Square, there’s something for everyone.
Lovers Abroad: Italy
This destination has always been a bit of a fantasy getaway for me. I just don’t think you can go wrong with a trip to Europe, and to one of its most romantic countries no less. Take in food, art, wine, and culture. You can backpack across the country and stay in hostels if you both are adventurous (read: low on funds). Or you can stay at fancy hotels and shop in exclusive boutiques, the choice is yours. Askmen.com rated the top 10 couple’s destinations, and Italy was on the list twice (Tuscany and Venice). This proves men want to go to Italy too!
No matter the destination, a good relationship is made better by agreeing on and planning a trip. The best advice I could give you is that you make sure the timing is right for a vacation together. Believe me, I’ve gone away on trips with boyfriends who I had problems with, and it never turned out well. Take your carry-on with you, not your emotional baggage. Time alone can give you a chance to get to know each other better, learn from one another, and allow you to make memories and decisions together. Strengthen your relationship and see the world? Sign me up!