How to Plan a Surprise Romantic Getaway


couple on the beach at sunset

If you think it’s a great time to get away with your spouse or partner and unwind, you might be considering planning a romantic surprise getaway. A surprise getaway can be a thoughtful, experienced-based gift during the holiday season.

Your partner will appreciate your willingness to go the extra mile to do something you can both enjoy together, but it can be a little tricky to pull it off as a surprise.

The following are some tips that can help.

Think About a Destination You Both Love

If there’s somewhere you’ve gone before, and both you and your spouse or partner love it, that’s a good starting point for a romantic getaway. Sometimes, going with what you know is best when the trip will be a surprise, because you don’t have to worry she won’t like it.

If you’d like to do something new, think about conversations you’ve had in the past about where she’d ideally like to go.

You also want to consider what you’ll do while you’re on your getaway and what your preferences are as a couple.

For example, do you like calm, relaxing trips with spas and quiet time? Maybe, on the other hand, you want nightlife and excitement.

Whatever it is that appeals to you, use it as a guide to planning your getaway. Make sure you’re not only focusing on what you like to do. After all, this is ultimately a surprise for your partner or spouse, so you should keep them in mind as the priority during your planning.

Enlist Help

Planning a surprise trip can be very tricky, as we mentioned above.

You will need some accomplices, although you want to keep them limited to reduce the risk that anyone spoils the surprise.

If your significant other has a boss or someone who handles their scheduling, you should talk to them and have them sneakily clear their schedule. Let them know that you’ll be away. You might also want a friend or family member to help you with the logistics as well.

You want to start planning well in advance of when you hope to go so that first, you can take care of any details, and second, you’ll save money typically when you book earlier.

Depending on how experienced you are at planning trips, working with a travel agent can be a good idea in these situations. They can help make recommendations specific to you, find deals, and generally organize things. If your partner is usually the person who does all the trip planning, you may find a third-party especially helpful.

What’s good about a travel agent for romantic getaways is also that they can arrange for special little touches on your trip, like a bottle of champagne to be waiting for you when you arrive.

Think About How You’ll Present the Trip

There are a lot of ways you can present a surprise trip to someone you love. With the holidays coming up, you can tell them on the day of, even if your trip isn’t for a few weeks or months. You can create some photographs telling them what you’ll be doing and wrap those.

If you really want the surprise element, you might arrange everything up to the point of the trip, when you’re ready to get in the car or go to the airport. Then, you can wake them up and tell them you’re leaving. Be careful if your partner doesn’t love surprises, however. They might prefer a little more advanced notice.

Plan Your Itinerary

You want to keep the surprises coming for the trip. With that in mind and considering your travel style, book as much ahead of time as you can. This will prevent hiccups along the way, and your partner will feel like it’s truly a romantic experience because you went the extra mile to take care of all of the details.

In your itinerary, include restaurant reservations to unique places you’ll both like.

Planning an itinerary doesn’t mean you have to micromanage every aspect of the trip, but you should have a general structure so your partner doesn’t feel like they have to plan things once you arrive.

Decide How You’ll Handle Packing

If you’re giving your partner notice that you’re going on a trip but aren’t telling them where you can provide them with some packing guidelines. Give them a general idea of what to expect without giving away the surprise.

If you’re not giving them any notice, you should have a packing list prepared that they can refer to at the last minute. Don’t try to pack for a woman—it doesn’t tend to go well.

What you can do, if relevant, is make sure you pick up your partner’s dry cleaning before your trip.

Arrange a Photographer

One thing you can do to make a surprise getaway extra special is hiring a photographer at your destination. You can do a photoshoot of your special trip, so you’ll have forever memories. It’ll show you went above and beyond to make it an amazing trip.

Be Careful About Leaving a Trail

Finally, you’re going to have to be sneaky about planning a surprise getaway, particularly when it comes to things like shared credit card statements or confirmation emails.

First, create a new email address just for your bookings and any correspondence involving your trip. Make sure you don’t leave the email account logged in on your computer or any device.

Use payment options that you don’t share. If you don’t already have an account of your own, maybe you get a credit card just for this purpose. Otherwise, you’re going to get a lot of questions about why you’re booking out-of-town plans.

When it’s the holiday season, many of us are thinking about gifts we can give to our loved ones that are truly meaningful, and experiences are perfect for that. It takes a lot of work and planning, but a surprise romantic getaway can be the trip of a lifetime.


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