Holidays for every step of the way
Holidaying with your other half is an exciting milestone for of any couple. Aside from the obvious rest and relaxation benefits, taking a trip with your loved one allows unadulterated time to spend together. The world is your oyster and there are holiday types for every taste so it’s important to choose the right break; something that suits your collective interests and also the life-stage of your relationship.
As Director of Romance for Sandals Resorts, where we create the Caribbean’s most romantic holidays, I’ve made my career out of perfecting the couples’ holiday, so here are my suggestions for some of the best breaks to take throughout the course of your relationship.
– Marsha-Ann Brown, Director of Romance at Sandals Resorts
0-1 years: The ‘getting to know you better’ mini-break
The early stages of a relationship is an exciting time, constantly learning about each other, exploring your compatibility and looking at longer term potential. The first trip a couple takes together can be a great opportunity to get away from the day-to-day pressures of life and see what really makes each other tick.
Before committing to a fully-fledged holiday together it’s an idea to make your first couple’s trip a mini-break. In this Olympic year there’s never been a better time to holiday at home.
How about staying in a fairy-tale castle in Scotland or pamper each other with a spa weekend in the Cotswolds? A weekend in the capital with dinner and a hit West End show, or walking in the Yorkshire Dales? Whatever you choose, there are some brilliant ’getting to know you’ getaways right on your doorstep
1-2 years: First anniversary get away
Your relationship is going well, and where better to celebrate your first year together than a special trip to the continent?
It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the beauty and uniqueness of Venice. Couples who hate to be surrounded by crowds of tourists should visit the city in autumn or winter as Venice is just stunning. Combined with the Italian farniente, delicious food and of course the addition of someone to cuddle with as you’re strolling along the canals, Venice is the perfect setting for a couple in love.
Or how about the romance capital of the world? Walk hand in hand along the Seine, climb the stairs at the Sacre-Coeur, search for antiques at an open-air flea market or just get lost in streets of stunning architecture.
If lively nightlife and street art is more your things, then try Barcelona in the spring. There are plenty of small restaurants to enjoy tapas, vibrant nightlife and stunning buildings designed by Gaudi. Sit on a ceramic bench at Park Guell with your loved one, enjoy the view on the Destination and people watch, or climb to the summit of the Sagrada Familia for a memorable experience.
2+ years: Well established wanderlust
There’s nothing quite like an intrepid adventure or adrenaline-fuelled activity to spark passion and excitement, and from once-in-a-life time road trips and overland adventures, to summiting new peaks and sailing across seas, the options for adventurous couples are endless.
The best thing about a cycle holiday is that you can do it at your own pace – peddle faster when you feel like it, take a break when you’re tired and stop off when you feel inspired. You can pick just the right type of adventure to suit you and your partner, whether it’s off-roading in Iceland, hitting the roads in Hanoi, discovering Burma by bike, cycling through Spain or burning off a bolognaise in Italy.
If you’re the sort of couple that would rather spend more time talking to each other side-by-side, then a hiking holiday may be just the thing. But don’t go thinking this is the soft option – adventurous treks require serious stamina and can involve hard-core hiking, particularly if you decide to set yourselves a challenge, like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro together, or trekking the Inca Trail.
If you’re already arguing between snorkelling in the Seychelles, trekking in Tanzania or cycling in Sardinia, then a multi-activity holiday could be just the thing. Countries with a particularly diverse Geography yet established infrastructure, like Costa Rica or Spain, are particularly good for this type of trip, where you can satisfy all of your passions, by surfing, hiking, cycling and white-water rafting all in the same trip.
Once you have walked up the aisle and said ‘I do’, the fun can really start! By now you should know your other half pretty well. Awkward silences are far and few between and the idea of spending two weeks together in only one another’s company heaven!
The most popular option for an all-romantic honeymoon is to go to a tropical island and “get away from it all”. Think of a slower pace of life in an idyllic setting with endless sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning sunsets and aim for a package where you do not have to worry about anything but each other.
And what can be better than staying at the most romantic resort in world? On an island renowned for its beaches, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa takes pride of place with its prime location, directly on the most famed beach of all, Dickenson Bay. Everything is included: a choice of à la carte restaurant; all premium brand wine and spirits; luxurious accommodations in a range of categories; unrivalled watersports including the Caribbean’s largest PADI certification program. The list goes on!
After the patter of tiny feet…
When it comes to booking, preparing and packing for your first holiday away with the kids, it’s only human to get a little stressed. Thankfully, at the end of all the stressful planning there’s a holiday to enjoy – and by the time it comes around you’ll need a relaxing break even more than you did to begin with.
Beach holidays really are the perfect way to relax with the family and get away from it all. At Beaches Resorts, families are given extra attention with tailor made activities and hangout areas on offer, and supervised kids programs for five different age levels. With four resorts throughout the Caribbean, every details of a family holiday are catered for. And the best part is couples can choose to spend as much or as least time with the kids as they like.
Whatever you choose to do, taking time out from your busy daily life can put the spark back and keep your and relationship a happy one!
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