Wondering how to plan a romantic getaway that’s actually romantic? Warning: While there are lots of things you can do to help it along, romance needs room to breathe and be spontaneous. And these 29 tips to make any trip romantic will help you do just that.
Now, for full disclosure: I’m not a romantic. That is to say, I kinda cringe at public displays of affection. And if my husband stares deeply into my eyes for too long, I get shifty. BUT I love hanging out with my man. And when I see he’s making an effort, and being thoughtful? He’s got me around his little finger.
My point? Use your partner’s and your definition of romance to think through how to plan a romantic getaway that YOU will both love.
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1. Look for a place with lots of in-room cuddling options.
My number one tip on how to plan a romantic getaway is to pick a place you’ll want to spend time at. And one of the main things I look for is lots of cuddling options right in the room. A sitting area in front of a fireplace. Two-person hot tub or jacuzzi. Balcony with furniture and a view. And, of course, a bed you want to dive into. Some resorts and hotels also have stunning common areas you’ll want to linger in, but make sure the room itself is special.
If you’re planning a romantic getaway on a budget, you can still find a fantastic place. You don’t have to pick the most lavish, luxurious hotel to love spending time in it. There are so many romantic hotels, cabins and boutique inns (my personal favorite) for much cheaper than you might expect. With amazing rooms you might just spend all weekend in.
And the tips below on how to plan a romantic getaway will give you lots of fun, inexpensive ideas to make the most of your room.
Three places with ultra romantic rooms:
- Hotel Zaza in Houston Texas: A gorgeous, luxurious boutique hotel, with seriously overstuffed mountains of pillows, rich velvets, chandeliers and full-walled mirrors.
- Isla Bella Beach Resort and Spa in Florida Keys: The perfect beach resort and spa getaway. A private beach with hammocks. Rooms with large patios and comfy seating overlooking the ocean.
- Rancho Caymus Inn in Napa Valley California: This beautiful inn oozes romance! Every room has a hot tub, fireplace, seating area and balcony.
2. Pick a place to stay that’s fun.
While the room is number 1 most important, do consider what else goes along with it. And how you and your partner like to travel or feel treated. Is it important to have a concierge, or room service? A pool, spa, fitness center, or gardens? Restaurant and bar onsite or nearby? Rentals for kayaks or bikes?
If you’re planning a winter getaway, check for that fireplace and cozy slippers; if it’s summer, check for air conditioning. And if you’re introducing your partner to the beauty of glamping for the first time, make sure you have a hot shower in a private washroom.
Planning a romantic CABIN getaway? Here’s your packing list for two!
Three romantic glamping and cabin getaways:
- Under Canvas in Utah: You know you’ll get amazing star-gazing on a canyon rim plateau near Utah’s Lake Powell and Grand Staircase. Order champagne and cozy up next to your wood-burning heater. Includes your private washroom.
- Collective Hill Country in Texas: Beautiful luxury tents with your private sun terrace, a cozy wood-burning heater, plush bathrobes and slippers, and room service. Yes, and your private washroom.
- Ölch Cabin in Quebec Canada: A fantastic modern cabin on top of a cliff, with floor-to-ceiling window views, a wood-burning fireplace, and wrap-around deck with a hot tub.
3. Pick an area that’s fun.
Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend getaway nearby or you’re flying off into the sunset for a longer romantic vacation, pick an area that’s fun. What do you and your partner love doing together? If you’re adventurous, you might love a remote, off-the-grid cabin you have to hike or paddle to. Or explore a random pretty village with a cute little inn (Gilmore Girls, anyone?). If you like golfing and fine dining, a golf resort might be perfect. Or a beach resort and spa surrounded by luxury boutique shops.
How much time you have will obviously play into picking a great romantic getaway destination. And how you two like to travel together. Even with only a weekend getaway, some couples might love the idea of a plane whisking them away on Friday, only to come back on Sunday. While others are quite happy with one night at a nearby town or cottage. It goes back to how you two define romance!
Want more tips on finding that perfect spot? Check out How to Pick BETTER Accommodations for Your Trip.
4. Go with a price point that’s comfortable.
I’ve seen “tips” for how to plan a romantic getaway that include splurging. But if splurging will stress you or your partner out, this “tip” will kill all the romance before you even leave!
So, how do you plan a romantic getaway on a budget? You’ll find tons of tips on this, but generally, I recommend picking a great place that fits your budget, and then plan cheap fun things to do that make the most of it. This is much easier to do with cabin getaways or a cute little inn in a random village, because there’s not a lot to spend your money on. Romantic getaways in the city mean you’ll probably eat out and spend money on entertainment. On top of more expensive accommodations.
Ultimately, you want a comfortable room you two want to spend time in. And then a few activities that might coerce you to leave your room for the afternoon. Plenty of the tips below include fun, thoughtful ways to plan a romantic getaway on a budget.
5. But, still set money aside.
If you’re planning a romantic getaway on a budget, do set some money aside for it. You don’t want to be worrying about – or talking about – the cost of those extra-romantic spontaneous things that come up. That’s guaranteed to kill any romantic vibe you’ve built up. And if you’re planning a romantic getaway in the city, consider adding a heftier buffer.
6. Don’t make it a complete surprise.
As fun as a surprise romantic trip sounds, the practical side of me cringes at the idea. I know I’d be quite anxious – and distracted – during the trip if I didn’t have some time to tie up loose ends. And a bit annoyed that I didn’t do laundry the day before so I could pack my favorite things.
So, if you want to surprise your partner with a romantic getaway, give them the highlights and surprise them with the details. Share the length of time. Expected temperatures. Any specific activities they need to pack for. And then have fun surprising them with the rest.
7. Do all the research and make the reservations.
One of the ways you can make a trip romantic is to do all the hard work! Come up with ideas. Do some research. Make the reservations. This shows effort … which is definitely romantic!
As much as I love planning trips, it can take a lot of thinking time. Plus more time to make all the reservations. And given how busy we always are, it’s pretty nice to have someone take this off our hands. (Just make sure you get the reservations right!)
Ideas for romantic getaways near you:
- A MASSIVE List of Romantic Getaways in USA
- Romantic Getaways in Canada: Ontario, Quebec, East Coast, BC and Southern Alberta
- Vacation Ideas for Couples at Christmas and in WINTER, too
Planning tools to help you:
8. But, let them narrow down your options.
Even if you do all the work to research romantic trip ideas, and even if you want to make it a surprise, come up with a way to get them to narrow down your options. This gives you direction. And it helps your partner get excited!
Maybe you narrow it down to your top three locations or things to do, and they pick their favorite. Or maybe you narrow it down to five, and they pick their top 3 (then it’s still a surprise!). Agree to a weekend or block of time. And then you do the research and make the reservations.
For our honeymoon, my husband and I agreed on three locations. Then he picked his favorite, did all the research and made all the reservations. We were minutes away from boarding our flight when I found out we were going to Greece. SO fun! But it was fun because he also gave me the need-to-know information, so I packed the right things. (See Tip #6.)
9. Take care of other logistics, too.
Okay, okay. I’m sure you’re getting the point that part of how I define romance is effort, right?! Logistics … such an unromantic word, right? Agreed. So take care of it, so your partner doesn’t have to!
This might mean booking their dog in at the kennel, or contacting the babysitter. Getting currency exchanged for an international getaway. Booking the car rental or taxi to the airport. As unromantic as this might seem, it’s SO romantic to take care of the work!
Want a little help getting everything ready? Check out the Ultimate Trip Countdown Checklist!
10. Turn the romantic getaway into a gift.
Instead of simply telling your significant other that you’re planning a romantic getaway, turn it into a fun gift! There are SO many fun ways to give an experience gift. If you’re planning a romantic getaway on a budget, simply make a romantic getaway “ticket” (yep, this is super sexy coming from you uncrafty guys!) and put it in something fun. Like their sock or bra.
When looking for fun ways to give an experience gift, turn to Etsy. You can find some funny naughty and cutesy romantic cards to go with that romantic getaway ticket or note. I really love the scratch and reveal ideas, including “guess where” surprise trip cards and mini suitcase gift boxes. SO fun!
Giving it as a surprise? Just put the dates and tips on what to pack. Perfect!
11. Call it something they want.
What’s one of the worst things you might do to make a trip romantic? CALL it a romantic getaway! As soon as you attach that “romantic” to it, you’ll both feel pressure to make it magical. Out of this world. And just like New Year’s parties, it’s tough to live up to the pressure.
Instead, just call it a getaway. And depending on what your partner likes, maybe it’s a fun getaway, or a relaxing getaway.
12. Talk about why you want to get away. (Besides sex.)
Why do you want to spend alone time with your partner? Is there something you used to do together that you just don’t get around to anymore? Something you’ve talked about trying? Tell your partner what you miss doing with them, and what you’d like to try. Show interest in spending time with them (beyond sex).
And find out what they’d like to do, too. This gives you GOLD in how to plan a romantic getaway with things you’ll both want to do. And part of how to make a trip romantic is setting up some anticipation. It’s like foreplay for trips … and non-planners, this is your secret weapon!
13. Tell your partner what they mean to you. In your way.
This is related to the last point, but more about them. Yes, you want to get away together to do something, whether it’s a new adventure or reignite a long-lost activity. But why do you want to do that activity with them? I’m guessing because they’re special to you. And some people really need to hear this.
Some of us hate talking about our feelings, and some get squeamish hearing about them, too. So, if this is the case for either of you, you don’t have to go super deep. Your partner is special to you. It can be as simply as that. But as simple as it is, it’s important for us to hear. And it can set the stage to make a trip romantic.
14. Gift something related to your romantic getaway.
When thinking about how to plan a romantic getaway, consider how you can build up some fun anticipation. A great idea is to give them a gift they might need or want for it. Maybe it’s a new weekender bag, swimsuit or lingerie. Riding gloves, hiking boots or cozy blanket for the car ride. If you’re planning a romantic getaway on a budget, how about building a playlist for your trip and sharing it?
Whatever you gift, think about what will get your partner excited. While you might just want to put your feet up, your partner might want a little more activity. Consider a gift related to an activity you’re both looking forward to. (Hence, why conversation ahead of time is so helpful!)
Gift ideas for romantic getaways:
- Build a Snowman Kit on Etsy: Everything you need, but snow! Feel like a kid again on your romantic winter getaway.
- Double Hammock on Amazon: Perfect for romantic cabin getaways, and for spending more time cuddling outside!
- Beautiful leather handmade bags on Etsy: A luxurious gift, perfect for announcing an indulgent romantic getaway together.
You may also like Luxury Travel Gifts for Men and Women.
15. Make your romantic getaway countdown special.
Ramp up the anticipation for your romantic getaway by counting down the days. Just like we used to do as kids waiting for Christmas or the last day of school, make it fun!
This could be as simple as a cute text every lunch the week leading up to your romantic getaway. Or a little love note tucked into their briefcase. Maybe a piece of a puzzle they build at the end to find out where you’re going. Have fun with this!
16. Plan one main activity per day.
A key in how to plan a romantic getaway is knowing the balance between planning and spontaneity. Planning shows thoughtful effort, which makes someone feel special. And yet you also need to leave room for a dash of surprise and carefree fun that sweeps you off your feet.
A helpful guide is to plan one main thing to do each day on your romantic getaway. Having one thing planned gives you something to look forward to, without overwhelming your time with stuff. It also relieves some of the pressure to be spontaneous. And I’d generally say to plan those things for the afternoon. Dawn and dusk are too precious for that spontaneous fun!
Want some ideas for romantic things to do? Check out experiences for two by Tinggly. Find something fun you want to try together, and then gift it in a pretty little box.
17. Plan a few backup options, too.
While you may only reserve one thing to do each day when planning your romantic getaway, the planner in me likes to “pencil in” other ideas, too. Coming up with backup activities is great if the main thing to do on your romantic getaway gets cancelled (due to weather, for example), or if you just don’t feel like it that day. It’s also helpful if your destination feels a bit dull.
18. Do more of what you like.
If you followed the tips above, you’ve already talked with your partner about what you’re both looking forward to. This information is GOLD! Knowing what your partner most needs or wants gives you what you need to make a trip romantic for them.
Chilling on the beach or practicing your swing. Exploring the shores by kayak or finding the best coffee in town. Caving, cliff-jumping and even sky-diving. Whether you two like relaxing together, exploring together or pumping the adrenaline, just go with it. Some tips say not to do anything too crazy, but if you’re both up for it, I say do it. Have fun and make memories.
Now, is it cool to do separate things on a romantic getaway? If it’s something like a spa appointment, I’d say yep. But if it’s something like group horseback riding, I’d say nope. The point of a romantic getaway is shared interaction that brings you two together. A group activity without your partner forms memories with someone else.
19. Reveal a surprise activity in a fun way.
Turn one of your activities into a fun reveal game! Put the activity information in an envelope and create a treasure map to find it. Or use the easy “hot and cold” game to help them find it. Turn up the heat by hiding the details in a secret pocket of your Smuggling Duds underwear!
Want to leave your activities to chance? Use a scratch and reveal card from Etsy! Write your options under the scratch stickers, and then your partner can scratch one off for inspiration. You can also just write them on pretty paper and toss them into a wine glass.
20. Leave the morning free. Or not.
Let the morning be spontaneous. Unless your partner and you both LOVE waking before sunrise to get the best photos or to hit the trails early. Given that the point is to leave space and time for romance, don’t mess up a cozy romantic morning in bed by having to get up for some random activity!
If you’re worried about getting bored in the morning, have some backup activities. A simple idea is a soak in the jacuzzi with mimosas, or enjoying your coffees in front of the fireplace. If the grounds or nearby streets are nice, go for a stroll and explore. Keeping the mornings chill and relaxed helps to slow things down and just enjoy being together.
21. Leave the evening free. Or not.
You might also want to leave the evenings free to whatever you two feel in the moment. I’m a fan of lingering over a later dinner, complete with drinks and dessert. As the evening deepens, so does the romantic vibe.
That said, I’m also a fan of having backup evening options. Depending on where you’re staying, perfect options might be drinks at the bar or a moonlit date in the hot tub. Or if you’re staying near Broadway in NYC or The Strip in Las Vegas, you might want to indulge in a show. (Again, one that you’ll both enjoy!) Follow it up with rooftop drinks, or on your private balcony.
22. Bring activities to enjoy in your room. (Beyond sex.)
When thinking of how to plan a romantic getaway, consider what things you two can enjoy right in your hotel room or cabin. You found a beautiful room you want to spend time in. And you left the mornings and evenings free. So, what things can you do in your room or cabin to make that time romantic?
Some of your options will obviously depend on what features your room has, like a jacuzzi, fireplace and balcony. But even if you have these options for romantic things to do in your room or cabin, come up with some backup ideas. Ideas that stimulate fun interaction are good!
A lot of suggestions out there include a romantic game of Twister. I’d add that any game that gets you two laughing is a good pick. If you have a kitchen, a great idea might be cooking something fun or new together. A little worried how it’ll turn out? Just bring backup. Now, if you’re thinking of something a little crazy, I suggest running the idea past them first, just in case it goes south.
When my husband and I were dating, we read together. Such a simple activity, but it was pretty great. We picked a book/series we both enjoyed. And usually he read, while I cuddled up with wine and my feet up. It’s a luxury we haven’t done in a long time, and is SO much more interactive than watching a show together. THIS is something I want to do on our next romantic getaway.
23. Bring treats to enjoy in the room.
What’s a treat you might indulge in together? You’ve probably noticed that I mention wine a lot. Yup, I like my wine! But when my husband indulges, he prefers a good scotch whisky. I also have a favorite chocolatier that makes amazing chocolates, which is definitely up on my list. And they pair perfectly with my favorite wine!
A simple way to make a trip romantic is to bring those indulgences. And NO judgment.
24. Give a morning wakeup gift. (No, not peppermints!)
A little surprise gift in the morning is such a nice way to start a romantic day! It doesn’t have to be big, just thoughtful. And it can be pretty much anything your partner would like.
A great idea is something that helps you enjoy that romantic morning in your room or cabin. Breakfast in bed is a classic … dress it up with wild flowers from outside your cabin! Another idea for romantic getaways in cabins is plush slippers and a bathrobe to make the morning extra cozy. A nice bubble bath works for both cabins and hotels … a bubble bath is sooo luxurious in the morning! And it’s a great idea for romantic getaways on a budget, too.
25. Give an evening gift.
An evening gift can also be a great way to stimulate some romance as dusk settles. Again, it can be simple and inexpensive, or lush and extravagant. The point is to show your thoughtfulness.
If you have an activity planned for the evening, you might get them something related. Like new earrings or cufflinks for a nice dinner or show. Ingredients for a virtual cooking class. A cozy blanket for evening cuddles, a new book to read together, or a nice massage oil.
Guys: If you’re still dating and you’re thinking of gifting jewelry, do NOT pick something small that comes in a ring-sized box. Even if you haven’t been dating long or talking weddings, her thoughts will go there. For better or worse.
26. Agree to tech terms.
If you can, ditch your tech completely. But sometimes this isn’t all that reasonable. Especially if there’s an emergency back home or kids to say goodnight to. And both of you need to know and agree to how you’re going to handle the tech … before you leave. Then you can set expectations with those back home, and agree to check-in times.
When you arrive at your romantic getaway destination, set your device to “do not disturb.” This allows specific numbers to reach you in an emergency, while blocking out the distractions.
27. Pack underwear that makes you feel sexy.
Now, you’ve put a lot of thought into the place and things to do on your romantic getaway. Don’t forget the little things that also help you get in the mood. Namely: great underwear! Leave the boring stuff at home, and only bring the good stuff.
Now, men: If you don’t have great undies, check out Smuggling Duds. They’re brilliant!
28. Pack clothes that make you feel like a superstar.
This builds from the last point. Pack clothes that make you feel like a million bucks! Even if it’s a million bucks on a kayak … dress the part of a romantic suitor.
Men: Pay attention to her compliments. Which shirts and pants does she love on you? Pack them!
You may also like: Packing List for a Romantic CABIN Getaway.
29. Bring back the simple things.
I want to close us off with my second favorite tip for how to plan a romantic getaway (my first being number 1). Sometimes, it’s the simple things that feel the most romantic on a getaway. When my husband opens the car door for me, I know he’s making an extra effort to make me feel special. And it makes me smile. As when we hold hands walking down the street. These simple, thoughtful gestures remind me of earlier days when we first started dating. And even the unromantic in me feels romanced!
What are things you did for your partner when you first met, to show them they were special to you? How did your partner show you that you’re special to them? Bring these things back!
And even though this list of tips on how to plan a romantic getaway has 29 things, don’t overthink it. Find a great place to go. Plan a few fun things to do. Treat your partner like a king or queen, and have fun. And then just let the romance come.
Check out these planning tools:
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Featured photo credit (couple in a tree): Anh Henry Nguyen from Unsplash.