Tip 1: Travel with someone you love.
Sounds obvious, right? But if you take off for a romantic getaway with someone you don't know well, anything can happen. Traveling together to an unfamiliar place can certainly help a new relationship to grow -- but the opposite may also occur. You may simply have different styles of travel. In a worst-case scenario, you're stuck in a place you don't know and with someone you may no longer especially like. Tip: At the very beginning of a relationship, take brief day trips to find out if you're compatible. If those work out, it's likely you'll have even more fun on an extended getaway. Then start planning your first romantic overnight together.
Tip 2: Plan ahead.
It will be worth your while to make definite plans for your romantic getaway rather than flying by the seat of your pants. Not only should anticipation should be part of the fun, but you don't want to find yourselves wasting time looking for a place to stay and wondering what there is to do in the area. Tip: Discuss places where you’ve always wanted to visit beforehand as well as the type of accommodations you prefer, the type of transportation you need to get there, what you'd like to do when you arrive, and what’s realistic within your budget.
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Tip 3: Drive.
Lamentably, most airlines have made flying in economy class an exercise in stress and misery. So if your romantic getaway is a five-hour drive or less from home, drive rather than fly. If you must fly, see if you can arrange to go business class. (Tip: If you don't already have a credit card that accumulates mileage credit with every purchase, get one soon.) Nothing cramps romance like being tortured by the airlines. The last thing you want is to have the whimpering baby in the seat next to you be your one-and-only.
Tip 4: You can't buy love, but you can buy romance.
Once you’ve decided on a hotel or resort to stay in, evaluate its romance package. Tip: Most better hotels offer at least one. The very best properties will customize a package according to your desires. You can usually find details on a hotel website under a heading such as Special Offers. These packages cost a little more since you're paying for add-ons. These niceties may include a bottle of chilled champagne in your room upon arrival, a private dinner for two on the beach, and the bed strewn with rose petals upon your return. As a setting for seduction, it's definitely romantic.
Tip 5: Two's company, three's a crowd, more is annoying.
Only two people belong on a romantic getaway: You and your partner. Wave good-bye to mom, dad, your closest friends, and your children, if you have any (presumably they're left in good hands). This is a rare opportunity for the two of you to be together, alone. Don't dilute it with the presence of strangers, either. One of the reasons I don't recommend B&Bs on this site is the required interaction with the owners -- and perhaps other guests at the breakfast table. Best to check in at a hotel or resort, collect your room key, post the "Do Not Disturb" sign, lock the door, and make the world go away.
Tip 6: Plan a surprise.
Who doesn't love a nice surprise? It could be a small gift (heck, it could be a big gift) or something you both can make use of on your romantic getaway such as a pair of tickets to a concert or show at your destination. Or a love letter, something that will be long treasured. Do make the effort to let your partner know how much you value this special time together.
Tip 7: Indulge all your senses.
One of my favorite travel quotations is: "Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken," by Frank Herbert. Let your romantic getaway be a celebration that awakens your senses. Give yourself permission to try new foods and beverages. Light a scented travel candle. Use that digital camera to take some photos for your eyes only. Indulge in a body-stimulating spa treatment (lots of properties offer couples massages and more for two). Challenge yourselves to an invigorating hike, paddle a kayak, or visit a museum and share how the artwork makes you feel.
Tip 8: Turn off the TV.
When you've got an attraction, you don't need distraction. Like a third person in the room who demands your attention, TV is a surefire romance killer -- and the majority of people who voted on whether or not a set belongs in a romantic getaway agree. Bring music, books, magazines. Tip: An audio CD that you listen to together can be fun and stimulating. But leave the TV off (and the laptop at home) on your next romantic getaway.
Tip 9: Be nice.
My husband made me add this tip. Could he be making a reference to the fight we had in the car before we reached a recent romantic destination? Ahem. He threatened to turn the car around and head directly home. I shot back that I didn't care. A few moments of silence ensued, as we both realized what a disappointment it would be to forgo the trip we'd both looked forward to. The air cleared. We started acting nicer to each other. More loving and considerate. There was no TV when we arrived. And it was good. Very, very good.