Are you planning a secret trip away for your loved one? Surprising your partner with a holiday together is one of the best gifts you could give, especially to travel lovers. Here are a few useful tips to follow to plan the perfect holiday surprise for your partner.
A holiday could be the perfect gift whatever the occasion, but it’s important to plan it right. The first and most important decision is of course the destination; then, there are the questions of travel style; price; duration of the trip. Finally, you want to take care of all the planning and travel admin, as after all this is what makes a holiday gift so special!
Remember: travel brings us together in ways few other activities can. When you travel with a partner, you will be able to reconnect over shared experiences and create fond memories to treasure for years to come.
There’s science behind it, too. With so much extra excitement over seeing new things, experiencing new cultures, and perhaps even feeling out your comfort zone, emotions run higher than they usually would. These intense emotions can recreate the feeling of falling in love and strengthen your relationship. So, what are you waiting for lover? Here are four steps to help you plan the perfect trip for your partner.
Consider dates and budgets
First of all, you’ll need to think practically. Ask yourself: when are you both available? If your partner has a busy period coming up at work or social events they won’t want to miss, they’re less likely to welcome a surprise holiday getting in the way. Make sure the surprise trip will make your partner happy, rather than contribute to their anxiety.
Next, think about your financial options and how you’ll fund it all. You have picked your dream destination, but is it affordable? Will you be covering the entire cost, or sharing it between you? Do your research on prices of food, activities and tours in the city or region you are travelling to so that you can estimate the total costs of the trip.
With these considerations in mind, it’s time to…
Choose your location
This is the exciting part of planning a trip! There are two approaches to take when it comes to choosing where to go: book somewhere you’ve both talked about in the past; or head somewhere totally new that you’re confident your partner love.
Think about what your partner loves to do: active holidays like skiing or hiking; cultural tours and museum visits; suntanning on a beach or scuba-diving; and so. If you’re still unsure, maybe drop a few hints and see how your partner reacts to them, like showing him/her travel photos on Instagram, leaving a travel blog open on your shared computer, or placing travel magazines on your coffee table.
Tailor your choice to the occasion. If what you are looking for is a romantic holiday, then a chic city break like Ghent in Belgium or relaxing seaside retreat (for example, in Cornwall) could tick all the right boxes.
For a birthday weekend you might want to pick a city with fun events or exciting once-in-a-lifetime activities like a sunrise hot balloon flight or skydiving. If your partner is a foodie, then you could plan a weekend in Madrid or Rome.
Take care of the admin
No matter your excitement levels about your upcoming holiday, the stress of planning a trip and the actual travelling can be high. Minimise the stress and take the burden off your partner by taking care of the admin well in advance. Check the official government website for updated travel checklist, visa requirements and vaccinations. Make sure you and your partner have travel insurance and know your travel rights. Before your trip, exchange money at your bank or credit union; alternatively, apply for a debit card that doesn’t charge you for using a cash machine overseas. Maximise your travel budget by booking accommodation, tours and airport transfers in advance to take advantage of early bird discounts.
Having everything ready and waiting will allow you both to start and end your holiday in relative bliss.
Plan a rough itinerary
You have chosen where to travel and when; you have booked transports and accommodation; you have taken care of all the admin. Finally, it is time to think about what both of you would like to do once you’re there. Plan a rough itinerary of your trip. You don’t finalise everything, but it’s important to plan ahead, particularly for activities that are likely to sell out (like a concert, a theatre show or a guided tour). I also advise to make table reservation at popular restaurants a week or so before your trip (though for famous restaurants this should be months in advance). From a musical on Broadway in New York to a meal for two in Santorini at sunset, certain activities might need to be booked ahead to avoid missing out.
Consider your partner’s personality at this point. Do they prefer going with the flow and waking up every morning on a holiday without know what lies ahead? Or do they like having every hour of the day planned and every last detail mapped out? Don’t forget that you are planning this holiday as a gift to your partner, but your happiness is important too. At the end of the day, you should spend meaningful time together and create everlasting memories.
Once these four steps are complete, all that’s left to do is the packing…and revealing the big surprise to your loved one!
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.