Planning a vacation for two can be as seamless as your love. We asked pro wanderer and OneTravel Twitter chat co-host Michele Herrmann of She Is Going Places to share her best tips for an argument-free vacation, favorite cities for couples, and the romantic attractions you can’t afford to miss.
And if you like what you see here, don’t forget to join @OneTravel and @micheleherrmann for a special Twitter party on romantic getaways (July 17th, 2014 at 2pm EST). It’ll be chock full of tips, tricks, and deals. Follow #OneTravelChat to participate. We can’t wait to celebrate the power of love (and good planning)!
What's your favorite music to listen to/books to read while on the road/in-flight?
When I’m not catching up on the latest in-flight movies or getting some sleep, I usually flip the stations and stop at anything from decade music and jazz, to dance, modern rock, pop or easy listening. With books, sometimes I go through my guidebook or skim through the in-flight magazine. If I remember to bring one, I always enjoy reading A.J. Jacobs (I literally laughed out loud with Drop Dead Healthy) and I recommend picking up Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods and In a Sunburned Country. I read a lot of nonfiction, but if the title sounds interesting, I’ll pick up some chick lit.
When/why did you start blogging about travel and what has been your favorite post to date?
I’ve been a lifestyles writer and editor for a few years. I always have traveled, but never really wrote much about it until I started blogging last year. I write about other people, places, and things a lot, so at first it took a bit of getting used to writing from my own point of view. But overall it’s been great. Through blogging, I’ve been able to meet a lot of fellow travel bloggers and travelers and have been able to have unique opportunities. Just for the heck of it, I applied for a slot on a press trip to Fiji in July of last year, and surprisingly I got in.
My favorite post to date is one I did on a cooking school in Fiji, where my press trip group took a class in making local dishes. I’ve been trying to push myself to get more practice with cooking and the experience was really fun. It was neat to see, and taste of course, a lot of the fruits and vegetables that still have a big part in the Fijian diet as well as Indian culinary influences that have shaped the local cuisine.
Tell us about your first travel experience.
When I was younger, my parents took my sisters and I on trips to family-friendly destinations like Orlando, Toronto, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania’s Dutch County, and Hershey. I would though say my first unique travel experience was going to Ireland in the sixth grade. My mom is from County Monaghan, and I got to meet a lot of her side of the family and spent time in towns and the countryside and along the coastal areas. It’s funny because I remember the local paper including a mention of our visit. That’s how close-knit this region was, at least at that time.
What are your favorite cities for a romantic getaway and why?
Paris, Florence and Rome would come to mind for romantic getaways, but I find cities like Prague and Vienna to be from a storybook. The lovelocks found on bridges around Prague are nice to look at; I was on Charles Bridge just as a couple was putting one in place. In the U.S., the South always has charm and good food: Charleston, New Orleans and Savannah, especially. Even a night out for two in New York City is nice, as there are many options: theater, restaurants or even walking around.
What are some tips for having an argument-free vacation with your significant other?
Of course, communication is key. People have different ideas about what to do on vacation, so before going, talk about what you both want to do there. Maybe you’re great with finding deals while your sweetie is more of the activity planner. Divvy up these responsibilities but make sure you’re on the same page with what you can afford. Also, be open to compromising and trying new things. One of you might balk at hiking or going to a museum, but you might surprise yourself. And remember: plans can go awry. How you respond to them can make or break your relationship. Work together to solve the problem. Don’t point fingers or take your emotions out on each other. You’ll regret it later.
What tips do you have for young couples or those who have a small budget to work with?
Don’t feel you have to impress each other. A weekend getaway can be good for couples, particularly if it’s your first one together. Along with, or instead of being all about, the destination, consider having your trip plans being centered on something you like to do together — hiking, camping, or foodie interests. Also sign up for deal sites to learn about special sales and rates with hotels, airfare and car rentals. And don’t feel bad about going off-season if it works more in your favor.
Which romantic attractions should every couple have on their bucket list?
It depends on what they like. My ultimate bucket list would include seeing the Northern Lights, wandering through the alleyways of Venice, kissing on top of a place like the London Eye or the Eiffel Tower, standing under a waterfall in Costa Rica, and learning tango in Argentina. Hawaii or the Caribbean always will have an appeal but it’s nice to go some place more exotic like Bali. And just relaxing by the water, or poolside, together is nice.