Written by a HelloPrenup contributor
As the pandemic days are starting to wind down, we’re seeing signals that a return to normalcy may be on the horizon this summer. For the couples that didn’t kill each other cage-match style over the last year, you might be interested in getting out of the 4-walled prisons you’ve been living in together and taking a vacation.
For a romantic getaway, you should consider Rome, Italy. If you’re up for adventure and love the beauty of ecotourism, Costa Rica is your best bet. For a family vacation, consider visiting one of the many locations in nearby Canada. If you’re not to go abroad, St. Augustine is your domestic pick.
Let’s take a look at some of the most romantic, adventure-filled, feels-like-your-honeymoon-all over again destinations for you and your significant other. I’ll also talk about why I believe that couples that travel together stay together.
Best Travel Spots for Romance
U.S. News & World Report is famous for making great travel lists and advice. One list that I’ve seen is the most romantic travel destinations in the world. I’ve taken a look at that list, combined it with my jet-setting expertise, and taken the work out of it for you to select the absolute best travel locations for a romantic getaway.
Santorini is one of the most enchanting places on the face of the earth. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the city with all of the white buildings, blue roofs, and a beautiful clear-blue ocean backdrop.
Santorini is special because of its unique geographical features, like sheer cliffs, volcanic beaches, and coastal waters. With its rich history and incredible views, it’s no wonder that this is a top vacation destination for anniversaries, proposals, and honeymoons.
There’s something for everyone in Santorini – catamaran tours, nature hikes, scuba diving, horseback riding, luxury hotels, jet skiing, and endless historical sites with brilliant architecture all throughout the city.
Also, let us not forget – the AMAZING photo ops for your social here in Santorini. It’s the perfect place to reignite your romance post-pandemic.
One of the oldest, most romantic cities in the world is definitely a top choice on this list. My husband and I were here the summer before COVID, and it was incredible. There’s just so much to do and see there.
Everywhere you go in Rome there are amazing fountains, cathedrals, churches, and other buildings that have been standing for hundreds, or even thousands, of years. Standing in the midst of these incredible landmarks that you’ve seen in textbooks and movies is an amazing experience, and one that you’ll really enjoy sharing with your significant other.
Not to mention, the FOOD and WINE – hello! There’s not many places in the world that are better for the food and drink that you can experience in Italy.
Costa Rica appears more than once on this list, because it’s just THAT incredible. I’m speaking from experience and from the general consensus among anyone who’s ever visited the place. Costa Rica was my honeymoon destination (for my second marriage – the forever one) and it was one of the best places we’ve visited to date.
For romance, there are endless options of gorgeous boutique hotels and all-inclusive luxury resorts all over the country. I say “country,” because you really can’t even narrow Costa Rica down to a single great city or region – the whole place has something to offer, depending on what you’re in to.
On our love getaway, it was almost like two vacations in one – we spent half the trip in the rain forest near a volcano and the other half on the coast. The different ecosystems and climates make it like two completely different trips.
Also, in my experience, the service and hospitality in CR is second to none. Everywhere we went, the people working at the resorts or on the tours went out of their way to make sure that we had a great time. It’s one of the few tourist destinations that seems to really LOVE tourists.
Not to mention, I’m like REALLY into the whole ecotourism thing right now.
When it comes to a truly romantic destination, Paris is the OG. That’s why they call it the city of love!
There’s really nowhere else like it on Earth, despite being another big European city that seems like it’s not much different than any of the other big Euro cities. Paris has a special “feel” to it, something that just brings out the romantic side in everyone.
Maybe it’s the whole “city of lights” thing, but there’s just a romantic ambiance when you’re strolling the streets of Paris at night. There are amazing restaurants, cute street cafes, and trendy bars everywhere you turn. The architecture and sites are incredible.
Paris is the perfect place to reignite the flame with your amoureux post-pandemic.
Alright, this is my first wedding honeymoon spot. The marriage only lasted 6 months, so the honeymoon was nothing special as far as the company goes, but the location was absolutely beautiful.
St. Lucia is home to its very own Sandals resort, meaning all-inclusive luxury right on the beach. This tiny island country is home to white sandy beaches, crystal-blue waters, and breathtaking volcanoes on the horizon.
This was another spot where the hospitality was incredible, and the locals were extremely kind and gracious to us tourists. It’s not too far from the continental U.S., so if you’re not quite ready for a long-distance journey, this is a great place to start.
Best Vacations for the Adventurous Couple
If you’re like me, you’re more interested in seeing and doing than getting a bunch of rest and relaxation while you’re visiting a foreign land. My motto is “I want to see it ALL.” These are some great spots to visit for the couple that likes to get just as much action inside the bedroom as outside.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town has many adventures waiting for you, including incredible mountain bike trails, paragliding, shark diving, dune buggies, sandboarding the Atlantis Dunes, kitesurfing, snorkeling with seals, and many nearby adventures just a day-trip away.
Cape Town does a Carnival each year, with these exciting street parties planned to be resuming this summer.
Not to mention, there are other incredible journeys in Africa that you can incorporate into a trip to Cape Town, including safaris and other wildlife tours, and adventures for both land and sea.
I told you Costa Rica would be on this list twice. Remember how I said you can travel to another area of CR and it’s like a completely different trip? That’s what makes it perfect for adventure-seekers.
While my hubby and I were in Costa Rica, we did ziplining through the jungle, a rainforest hike up the side of a volcano, took a dip in a natural hot spring, went on an ATV adventure through the backcountry, and visited an operational cocoa farm. There are endless options for adventures in this diverse country.
You can go on nature hikes looking for sloths (they’re super hard to find), do water activities like snorkeling or scuba diving, visit the cloud forest, or see the amazing amount of biodiversity within the different areas.
If you’re interested in going to a really faraway land, head to the far-East and check out Tokyo. This breathtaking big city is like NYC on steroids (speed trains instead of subways and street food vs. hot dog carts). There is endless adventure with incredible foods and drinks for you to try together.
Some of the cool things to do in Tokyo include:
- Tokyo Mystery Circus
- Ninja training
- Daiba Haunted School
- Edogawa Natural Zoo
- Mt. Mitake, Mt. Takao, Mt. Fuji
- Shinjuku Gyoen (especially during cherry blossom season)
Best Trip Ideas for Parents and Families
If your post-pandemic travel includes more than just the two of you, don’t worry, I didn’t forget about you! Here are some great spots to travel to for some family bonding time outside of your living room.
Alaska is the kind of place where you will feel like you are a million miles away as you encounter an expansive, surreal terrain and opportunities to see wildlife abound. If you head to Alaska during the summer months, you can plan on long days of sunshine for plenty of adventure, and if you visit in the fall months, you can see the enchanting northern lights.
Some of the other bucket-list adventures in Alaska include:
- Denali National Park
- Glacier National Park
- Dog-sled demonstrations
- Bears, moose, humpback whales, and more wildlife tours
- Helicopter tours
Finland is a safe and friendly place to visit with your family. You make a trip to Finland more adventurous or focus on relaxation, visit cities or the countryside, or take totally different trips in summer vs. winter.
In Lapland, Finland, you can visit Santa’s village, complete with an ice castle and snow village, ride a sleigh pulled by huskies or reindeer, and even spend the night in an igloo if you choose!
During the summer months, you’ll enjoy the natural beauty and crisp, fresh air of what the locals call one of “Europe’s last great wildernesses.” Finland is bursting with National Parks, camp sites, zoos, animal parks, and aquariums to enjoy all that the natural world has to offer.
According to U.S. News and World Report, Canada is an ideal destination for a family vacation because it has something for everyone. Plus, there are many destinations in Canada that will make for a great trip and give your family totally different experiences.
So, have some maple syrup, pick your favorite hockey team, and practice saying “aye” before checking out our neighbors to the north.
If you’re considering Canada, here are the best vacations for your family:
- Niagara Falls
- Prince Edward Island
- Quebec City
- Victoria & Vancouver Island
- Jasper National Park
Exciting Travel Plans if You’re Not Ready to Leave the U.S. Yet
St. Augustine, FL
Growing up in Florida, just an hour and a half from St. Augustine, I’ve come to really take this little gem for granted. It’s really got it all when it comes to a tourist spot.
First off, let’s talk about the beaches. St. Augustine itself has a beach, and it’s adjacent to popular Crescent beach. But, if you take just a short drive north or south, you’ll have many more beaches to choose from, and they’re all a little different even though they’re so close together. You’ll also get all the benefits of a beach town – ice cream shops, mini golf, and beautiful sunny skies.
Then, just a short walk or trolley ride inland, you’ll experience the history of America’s literal oldest city. If you visit, you have to tour the Castillo de San Marcos, a massive fort built out of coquina (crushed seashells) between 1672-1695.
Savannah is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. With mild weather, beautiful architecture, and southern hospitality abound, this is a great place to visit with your honey. Visiting Savannah, you’ll be able to see where famous movie scenes were filmed, like the bench from Forrest Gump.
The food is also a big draw for Savannah, with endless options for that down-home deliciousness. The town is super pedestrian friendly, so you’ll be able to walk around and see the sights. And, you can even take your drink out onto the street, because the Historic District allows open containers.
Yellowstone National Park
This is an obvious choice for a U.S. travel destination, and it’s one of the most popular in the country, with over 4 million visitors annually. The main roads into the park are closed for the winter months, so the best time to visit is during late spring and summer.
It’s one of those places that’s a “must-see” at least one time in your life, so if you’re committed to staying within the continental U.S., this is a great choice. Accommodations inside the park book up fast and far in advance, so you’ll want to start planning sooner rather than later.
Why You and Your Spouse (or Future Spouse) Should Travel
You’ll do more than just see the sights together when you and your significant other travel together. According to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association, travel has long-term benefits for couples, helps build and maintain relationships, and ignites romance and intimacy!
Long-term benefits include higher relationship satisfaction, increased feelings of closeness, and feeling that time together is “quality time.” Couples that travel together are also more likely to report that they are best friends. (Awww!)
Travel helps couples to communicate better, with vacations being an opportunity for “alone time” to work on reconnecting and talking. Relationships last longer among jet-setting couples, and those who don’t travel together are more likely to divorce, according to the findings.
So, contrary to what you may think, a vacation is a good time to have tough talks and really open up the lines of communication. It would be a good opportunity to talk about things like goals and aspirations for the future.
If you’re engaged (or thinking about it), it’s the perfect time to discuss the benefits of a prenuptial agreement.
According to the CDC, the time for just dreaming of travel is almost in our rear-view mirror. So, dust off your passport and start checking off the locations on this list. There are real, relationship-building benefits to traveling with your significant other that will inspire romance and open up your lines of communication. Couples who travel together, stay together!