Whether it’s your first or your fifth, you have got to take time out for each other and plan a romantic getaway to celebrate your union. While you most certainly want to have fun with each other, there really are other, important reasons to plan this getaway. According to the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, couples who spend quality time together have a much better chance of enduring. The trip doesn’t have to be expensive for it to make the grade either.
While it may sound cheesy, many of the great romantic getaways have earned their monikers for a reason and continue to be popular for decades, even centuries. Places like Niagara Falls, San Francisco, Disney World and the Virgin Islands have long provided happy couples with romantic destination options. View the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset from your San Francisco high-rise window, stroll along the roaring waterfalls in New York or bask in the sun with Mai Tais in the islands. You’ll find the best deals for these traditional romantic options if you wait close to the big date to book travel and rooms, according to "U.S. News and World Report." So make a list of options and start looking for the best deal about a week away from your anniversary and surprise your partner – and yourself with where you end up.
Leave your cell phones and laptops at home and head to the high seas. Cruising is not just for old married couples anymore. The cruise ship industry caters to all ages with all-night casinos, climbing walls, hot touring shows and couples spa services. You’ve got to know how to approach the booking, however, according to Budget Travel. Book your cruise way in advance, like almost a year, or push the envelope and hope for an opening much closer to the date. You may be able to land a weeklong Caribbean cruise for less than $500, for example, if you can wait to make plans 60 to 90 days before you sail.
Go off the beaten path a bit and look for romantic mountain retreats that are much less expensive than the big resorts and offer couples a ton of options for eating and activities. In the East for example, consider the mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, instead of the high-priced Biltmore House in nearby Asheville, North Carolina. Stay in Crystal City, just outside Lake Tahoe to find more affordable rates and still be close enough to the casinos, restaurants and outdoor activities to take advantage of anything your hearts’ desire. Go hiking, rent bikes or go shopping in the small towns that pop up all over small mountain towns. You don’t have to be in the powerhouse resorts to get the same feel of that fresh, clean, energetic mountain air that will infuse your relationship with zest for another year.
Close to Home
Save a bundle when you plan a getaway that you can drive to, the closer the better to save on gas. Look around your city or town for romantic staycation ideas. Many locals miss out on the tourist places that bring in the out-of-town crowd because the places are around the corner and you might take them for granted.
In Florida, you don’t have to fly in to take advantage of the many romantic hideaways on the beach that are literally littered with seafood restaurants where you can eat for a smidgen of what you pay for inland.
- National Healthy Marriage Resource Center: Lists for Couples
- Forbes: America’s Most Romantic Places to Visit
- Cabins For You: Cabins Under $100
- Biltmore: Vacation Like a Vanderbilt
- Tahoe Biltmore: Specials
- Southern Living: Top 10 Budget Summer Getaways
- Northwest Military.com: Romantic Staycation Opportunities
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."