Being romantic isn’t easy. Perhaps we’ve all developed unrealistic expectations of what relationships should be like, of what being romantic means, and what falling in love feel like. While it’s tempting to lay some of the blame on Sex and the City, or Sandra Bullock, the reality is that romance is a bit unpredictable, a bit hit-or-miss — what seemed like a great idea when you were pulling out your credit card may not deliver the happily-ever-after that you’d been hoping for.
While buying expensive gifts for the object of your affection is always a high-risk strategy, the romantic mini-break is generally a pretty safe bet. Everyone likes going away for the weekend, and everyone knows that the sex is better when you’re vacation. All you need to do is book the right place, sort out the travel, and pay for it all.
Here’s a few suggestions on how to get it right.
Keep it simple
This is not a life-changing trek across South America, this is a romantic mini-break. It should be fun, easy, and without dramas. This is the kind of vacation where you pack a small bag, head off straight after work on a Friday, and you’re back at your desk on the Monday, glowing.
Avoid travel that sounds complicated — you want a short drive, a direct flight, or a simple train journey. How about weekend in Aix-en-Provence in the South of France? It’s a straight-forward train journey from London. Think of somewhere that you can get to easily that’s going to deliver a change of scene and a bit of distance from your day-to-day lives.
Keep it relaxed
Don’t plan a weekend that involves doing lots of stuff. You want time to just enjoy being together. Read the papers over breakfast, sit by the pool for a while, go for a walk in the vineyard, have a snooze in the afternoon, wander into the village for dinner, have lots of sex. Book a few nights at a villa in Tuscany — the kind of place where you really don’t need to go anywhere, just enjoy being somewhere a bit special with someone very special.
Keep it low key
One of the best bits of travel advice I’ve ever received is to save up the iconic destinations for the big ticket moments — my personal trainer always told the story about how he’d once made the mistake of taking his then-girlfriend to Venice. Beautiful and romantic — you would think that it’s the perfect choice for a mini-break. But when you take a significant other to Venice, they pretty much assume that you’re going to propose to them while you’re there. If that’s not your intention, you’re asking for trouble. Opt instead for Prague, Bruges, or Munich.