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How to Plan a Romantic Vacation (Even When You’re Not Alone)

From things to bring on a romantic getaway, to the best activities!

Family jumping along a beach coast
Couples that vacay-together stay together.

Planning a romantic vacation as a couple? You’ll be choosing the perfect destination, booking flights, accommodations, transportation—so many big-picture things that it can be hard to remember the little details… like creating unforgettable experiences! And if you’re traveling with other people too, it can be tougher to get those special one-on-one moments. 

Whether or not you’re traveling with family, friends, or children, there are plenty of ways to make it magical. Here’s how!

Paris' Eiffel Tower surrounded by fall leaves
Autumn strolls by the Eiffel Tower… can it get any more romantic?

Timing is everything

Traveling even a few weeks off-season can make all the difference for you and your partner, especially when you’re not alone! When all you want to do is relax, stressing over expenses can kill the romance on your trip before it begins. 

Avoiding the tourist rush makes your trip less expensive and less crowded. With restaurants far less packed, for example, it’ll be easier to get or adjust reservations, so you’ll be more free to split from the group for a while with just your partner! Less crowds around picturesque locations also means you’ll have more chances to capture special couple photos instead of just group shots. Really, the benefits are endless!

Setting sail can be a great option to take out much of the guesswork when traveling off-season—with tons of year-round options available to visit big bucket-list destinations. That way, you can see iconic sights like the Eiffel Tower, the Roman Colosseum or Sistine Chapel, or the majestic El Morro National Monument in San Juan that are gorgeous no matter the season.

Mother and son packing for vacation
Come prepared to your trip with a few must-pack items.

Essentials to pack

Packing games are a great way to keep the kids occupied when you want to steal a little alone time with your partner, even if you’re just nearby out on a balcony enjoying relaxing water views while they play.

If you’re planning for a night out with your partner, be sure to take along an outfit you’d feel great in and head to a special dinner or dance club!

Keeping your things organized can make a big difference too when you’re on a trip–especially with a group! You can invest in packing cubes for your suitcases, or portable shelves and jewelry organizers for your accommodations, making getting ready for your days way less hectic.

Keep it simple

When you’re planning a romantic trip that includes more than the two of you, you may lose sight of a major travel goal: simplicity. 

Booking classic romantic activities like couple massages, special dinners, and nights out dancing are easy go-tos. And if you can get them all nearby or even in the same place–all the better! These activities let you break off from the group for a bit (especially if there’s a quality kid’s program to drop off youngsters) and enjoy a little time alone. 

Couple in snorkeling gear by the water
Seas the day with your partner and go on a snorkeling adventure!

Romantic excursions 

To keep your trip feeling like a fairytale, be sure to choose destinations with gorgeous natural views. Soaking in nature is a great way to make your trip an escape from everyday life. 

Sailing is an easy way to see some of the most beautiful places in the same trip: Belize, Freeport, and Montego Bay are some of the many scenic destinations at which you can reconnect with your partner as you soak in cool waters and lush tropical breezes. 

When you’re up for a little more adventure, try exploring natural landscapes through hikes or snorkeling, check out wineries the destination might offer, or even book cooking classes and take a bit of cultural knowledge back home with you! And sometimes you’ll want to enjoy kid-free activities, so if you’re traveling with teens, it could be a nice time to let them split off on their own (chaperoned) activity or tour too!