You might think that a romantic getaway means jetting off to Paris, staying in five-star hotels and dropping a ton of money. And that’s certainly an option! But if you and your special someone are the adventurous type, why not think outside the box?
There’s a whole world out there to explore, with things to see and do outside the norm. So what does that look like exactly? The following nine ideas will have you booking plane tickets, stat.
1. Go on a Service Journey
More travelers are combining altruism with vacation time than ever before. Doing so brings you and your SO closer because you’re working together toward a cause you mutually support. Doing good for others releases oxytocin, the “cuddle chemical,” so you’ll feel more romantic at the end of the day.
Volunteering also allows you to get a little “you” time even though you’re together and working for a cause. Too much togetherness can lead to arguments, but helping villagers build sustainable housing, for example, gives you time to lose yourself in your thoughts.
2. Immerse Yourself in a Language
Maybe you and your sweetheart want to learn Japanese. If you’ve studied at home, why not book a trip to the country and immerse yourself in the language completely?
Make it a challenge to navigate day-to-day activities without slipping back into English. You’ll have a wonderful time laughing together — fun that will follow you for the rest of your trip.
3. Hike the Appalachian Trail
You don’t need to travel overseas to have an adventure. You can hike from Maine to Georgia along the Appalachian trail if you have sufficient time. You’ll burn calories and enjoy the majesty of the great outdoors — and as the colors change across New England, you’ll enjoy unparalleled beauty.
Make sure you plan well in advance and break in those hiking boots by wearing them for at least a few weeks beforehand. Chafed ankles and blisters can cut your trek short, or, at best, leave you miserable.
4. Take an African Safari
If you like it hot or want to tackle the tallest mountain in Africa — Mt. Kilimanjaro — why not book an African safari? You can look at zebras and lions in zoos to your hearts’ content, but it pales next to seeing them in the wild.
Plus, you’ll learn about an entirely different way of life and open your eyes to a new way of seeing the world.
5. Backpack Through Europe
Did you miss out on backpacking through Europe for a year after undergrad? Why not take that trek with your sweetie? You can travel from country to country via train in mere hours, giving you ample opportunity to soak in all the culture and history of the old continent. If your budget is tight, you can stay at hostels and even exchange labor in return for lodging.
6. Visit the Pyramids That Aren’t Along the Nile
You don’t have to visit Egypt to see pyramids. Fly down to Campeche, Mexico and stay near the ancient Mayan ruins. You can climb to the top of some, putting gym-style stair workouts to shame.
You’re also minutes from white sandy beaches where you can swim with the dolphins or kick back with a margarita.
7. Ski the Magnificent Rockies
The Rocky Mountains have no shortage of towns like Breckenridge that scream picturesque, and the nearby slopes offer some of the best skiing in the country.
Lodging generally costs a bit, but you can take advantage of inexpensive stays if you’re willing to sit through a one-hour timeshare sales pitch, that is. After a day on the slopes, you’ll love snuggling between the sheets for a little aprés ski.
8. Explore the Wild, Wild West
If you live on the coast, the landscape of the American Southwest feels like stepping onto the surface of Mars — only with plenty of oxygen and blue skies that stretch on forever.
The Grand Canyon is a must-see, but if you want to trek to the even more remote North Rim, book your tickets at least a year in advance. Do the same if you want admission to the sacred Native lands surrounding Havasu Falls, where the water is so clear and blue, you can drink it without getting sick.
9. Rough It Close to Home
Don’t have the budget to jet around the globe or even across the country? No problem! You can create your adventure trek close to home. All you need to do is locate a suitable place and pack a tent.
Or, if you prefer accommodations that don’t involve the possibility of creepy-crawlies in your sleeping bag, you can rent an RV through a share program that works similar to a VRBO for outdoorsy folks.
Romance Off the Beaten Path
Adventurous, romantic getaways will create memories you and your SO will share for a lifetime. Plus, a little blood-pumping excitement is never a bad thing.
When the time comes to book your getaway, take a hint from the list above and do something unique!