Saturday, February 17, 2018 Edition: U.S. & World | Regional

It’s Not Too Late for a Romantic Valentine’s Day Getaway

Valentine’s Day is only days away, and it you’re reading this, you probably don’t have a plan yet. You may even be panicking a bit—after all, travel bookings fill up fast, and it can be hard to plan a trip around any holiday! Did you miss early bird bookings? No worries! You may think that you’re confined to a day of movies and popcorn, but don’t settle for Netflix just yet. Look in the right places, and you’ll still have the chance to surprise your sweetheart with a romantic getaway for two.
 

Here are some great V-Day ideas!

Go on a Road Trip

Flights might be hard to book, but the road is wide open! Stock the car with chocolate and snacks and hit the road. Book mid-priced hotels along your route—they’ll be less likely to be full, unlike resorts and cottages. You don’t need chilled champagne or rose petals to make a hotel stay romantic! Bring along your own pillow chocolates and wine to make the hotel stay feel extra special. As a plus, the money you’ll save on accommodations can be used for a fancy meal. Try to book your restaurant well in advance. Peak travel booking time may have passed, but you still have time to make dinner reservations!
 
Valentines Day Road Trip
Visit a Small Town

The city’s top accommodations may have been booked for Valentine’s Day since December, but small, out-of-the-way communities likely have room left. Head to a nearby rural community and experience all the charm of small-town living for Valentine’s Day! Avoid resort towns that might be packed full of lovers. Go for the little villages that nobody has ever heard of. You’ll be sure to find little gems to enjoy in town as well as long paths for romantic walks!
 
Last Minute Travel Ideas For Valentine's Day
Go After Valentine’s Day

This year, Valentine’s Day is in the middle of a week. For many of us, midweek vacations just aren’t going to happen. While that may be bad news for February 14th, it’s good news for last-minute trip planners. You could go somewhere the weekend before or after Valentine’s Day, but the rest of the world already had that idea. Instead, plan a trip a weekend or two after Valentine’s Day week. You’ll have a bit more time to plan, as well as less competition and better prices. Plus, you will be able to surprise your sweetheart with plane tickets on Valentine’s Day itself!
 
Travel After Valentine's Day
Visit a Flower Farm

Want to do something totally unconventional, but also very romantic? Take your sweetie to a flower farm! Nothing says “romance” like flowers, so it makes sense to surround yourself with hundreds of blooms on Valentine’s Day. There are many flower farms in the United States, and you’re likely to find a few near you. However, if you want to enjoy an exciting escape, Ecuador’s flower farms make an excellent destination! No matter where you go, be sure to finish off the adventure with a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers.
 
Visit Flower Farm For Valentine's Day
Visit a Chocolate Factory

If you think it’s sweeter to woo your love with chocolate than with flowers, try visiting a chocolate factory instead. You’ll have a blast learning how chocolate is made, and even more fun eating fresh treats! Factories usually have a wider variety of chocolates than stores do, and some factories allow you to create your own delicacies. If you and your darling have a sweet tooth, there’s no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! What could be better than a bag of fresh chocolates and a unique date? There are many factories you can visit. Look around to see if a town in your area has a chocolate factory, or take one of the world’s top chocolate tours. Hershey’s offers tours, as does Ethel M Chocolates in Las Vegas. If you want to get really fancy, Europe features some of the best tours in the world, including Maison Cailler in Switzerland and Stettler Chocolate in Geneva.
 
Valentine's Day Chocolate Factory Tour
Revisit Your Love Story

If your love story unfolded somewhere far away from your current home, Valentine’s Day could be the perfect excuse to travel back in time! Plan a trip to the place where you met and fell in love. Visit all your most special places…. where you met, where you went on your first date, where you had your first kiss, and all the places you used to go together. Not only is it fun, but it will resurrect those feelings of excitement and make you fall in love all over again! Every relationship needs some renewed romance now and then.
 
Valentine's Day Santa Monica Pier
Hit a National Park

The Southwest is lovely this time of year, and it’s warm enough to go camping! Get a National Parks Pass and head to the Southwest, where most of the U.S. National Parks are located. Many parks allow you to camp. If you bring along warm sleeping bags and a camp heater, you can have a cozy and remote Valentine’s Day experience under the stars! This is a wonderful last-minute V-Day getaway for outdoorsy couples.
 
Valentine's Day Camping
Go Where Valentine’s Day Isn’t Celebrated

Most of the world is in love with love, but there are a handful of countries where Valentine’s Day is not celebrated, or at least is strongly discouraged. It might be radical to visit one of these destinations, but you can guarantee that you won’t find overbooked flights or hotels! You can go to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, or Saudi Arabia to escape the travel crowds and still find a romantic setting. The upside is getting to visit a new destination on a special day, but the downside is that you might have to keep your intent to celebrate (along with flowers and chocolate) under wraps.
 
Valentine's Day Spa Treatment In India
It’s not too late to make Valentine’s Day extra special! You can plan a trip with your special someone whether you have two weeks left or two hours. Do you have any other awesome romantic getaway ideas? Share them in the comments!
 

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