Traveling seems to always start a romance. I once met a boyfriend on a flight from Seattle to Los Angeles. My first fiancé (yes, first—don’t judge) was a pilot. My current husband loves to whisk me away to far away places. I think traveling can absolutely be seen as a type of foreplay. Preparing to travel is almost like getting ready for a date. So pick out a few cool getaway outfits, pack up a couple of hot cocktail reads to get in the mood, and get ready to travel to the romantic places of my dreams.
Romantic travel may seem like a paradox for some. I know for some of you, traveling is anything but romantic. The expense, the lines, the uncomfortable seats, the bad food. And that’s just the plane ride. But let me show you a few romantic destinations that may take the sting out of economy travel. These are places guaranteed to get you some quality R & R. Children are not invited to these spots. I checked.
The places I’m highlighting are great for couples—someplace to just get away with your significant other and just relax and eat and drink and get some much deserved private time.
A few places I have personally been to and can vouch for their romance level—a few are dream spots where my husband or friends have been and have sworn they are places I need to add to my long “places I need to visit” list.
I’ve taken you off the rock to Guam and shared a few pictures of my homeland Hawai‘i with you, but here are a few other places right off the top of my head which I think are perfect tropical romantic spots. I call them the three B’s—Bali, the Bahamas, and the Big Island.
You can spend your day enjoying interesting history, hiking, surfing, snorkeling or diving, or you can just lie on the beach and enjoy a breezy beach nap. In the Kuta District, specifically on the Nusa Dua peninsula, there are several resorts; complete with spa treatments, delicious delicacies, and where the swim to the bar could be the hardest thing you do all day.
The culture and entertainment is mainly Balinese Hindu, so if you need a dose of local color, the Balinese dancing and costumes are visually stunning. Or you can just find a sunny spot to forget everything back in reality and escape on a white sand beach. Cabana boys are optional.
If flying for two days is not really your cup of tea, because that is how long it will basically take you to get from Hawai‘i to Indonesia—you may want to visit somewhere a tad bit closer to home. So for those of you in North America, the Bahamas in the Caribbean may be the tropical paradise just for you.
My friend Bert Hayling, who lives in Nassau, sent me a huge pile of magazines and tourist brochures and let me tell you—besides beautiful beaches, good fishing, snorkeling, and diving, you can eat and drink your way into nirvana as well. I can’t think of a single ocean activity you cannot do in the Bahamas, nor can I see in all the literature a drawback to staying at one of their mega resorts like the Atlantis or even heading out on a cruise ship.
Hayling suggests visiting Green Turtle Cay, Abaco which is “sometimes referred to as a sail boater’s paradise, because it is fairly close to Florida and offers a lot of options for sail boaters in the way of little cays to visit, trade winds to sail by, calm seas, and clear, easily-navigated waters.”
But no matter what your pleasure—ocean sports or indoor sports, pack your swimsuit, and know that you will be in the perfect spot to soak up the sun and sea as you melt into a tropical coma. You’re welcome.
The “Big Island,” Hawai‘i Island
If you are not a beach person, or you need more to do than just ocean sports and trying to get rid of your tan lines during your romantic getaway—perhaps the island of Hawai‘i could stimulate your romance nerves in a different way.
As a native Hawaiian, I suggest Keauhou and Volcano as places to visit, as both areas are steeped in Hawaiian legend and history. Volcano is home to the actively erupting Kīlauea Volcano, so you can hike through the Thurston lava tubes, take your sweetheart into the dark Kaumana Caves with just a flashlight to steal a kiss, or take a long walk out to where the lava meets the sea. Romance may not always be framed by a multicolored sunset—perhaps viewing the beauty of nature’s power as red-hot lava splashes into the vast Pacific will help create a few sexy sparks.
When I was a little girl I never dreamed about my wedding, just where I would honeymoon. Yes, I know, I’m a strange one, but I always wanted to travel it seems, so I always never imagined walking down the aisle, but instead I saw myself sitting in a gondola in Venice or standing on the latticed tower of La Tour Eiffel. Yet, when I finally did get married—my choice for a quickie honeymoon was to spend the weekend at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, riding roller coasters. So even though I’m not much of a traditionalist—here are my two choices for some classic romance.
Prague, Czech Republic
You thought I was going to write about Venice and Paris, but I decided to go with a place a little more mysterious and perhaps off the beaten path. Whenever I think of Prague, I just imagine beautiful castles, arching bridges, cobblestones, and being surrounded by history and medieval Europe. Prague is known as a “walking city,” so take a long walk from Wenceslas Square to the Old Town Square, to Charles Bridge, and then onto the Castle District. Find one of the historic Prague cafés to enjoy a coffee and a sandwich and wonder what it would have been like to see Vaclav Havel walk through its doors.
Hold hands and share a wish under the Astronomical Clock, or perhaps plan your wedding at the Gothic Týn Church. The beautiful architecture alone will make you think you are in starring in your own romantic fairytale, only at midnight you won’t turn into a pumpkin. Promise.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
You don’t want to wait until 2016 to attend the next summer Olympics to visit this sexy city. The images of Cristo Redentor, Carnival, and Brazil’s famous beaches, should already fill your mind with romance.
If Brazil knows anything, it’s how to party, so after you’ve soaked up the sun, there will be lots of nightlife and most likely, a lot of dancing. So samba yourself down south and party your brains out with the one that you love. Or the one you love at the moment.
I could go on, and believe me, I had a long list! And I’m sure many of you could add to these five spots. So tell me, where would you go for a romantic get away? Tell me about places you’ve traveled to that you loved, where you’ve had a great romance, or perhaps where you’ve had the best time with the man or lady of your dreams. It’s your turn to make me jealous about your travels. Give a girl something to dream about.