During winter months, even if you're sick of shoveling out of the snow and are desperate for a warm-weather getaway, traveling to a cold-weather destination like Montreal, Snowmass or Steamboat Springs will help you avoid the hordes of families heading to the beaches. Bundle up and take the kids skiing, ice skating or dog sledding during the day, and after they crash into bed each night, open a bottle of wine and snuggle up before your in-room fireplace. Many ski lodges and rentals offer suites with private Jacuzzis beneath a blanket of stars and the absolute quiet of the surrounding snow-covered mountains. What could be more romantic?
Even with children, you can still keep the sizzle in your relationship with the element of surprise. Remember when you were dating and one of you would plan an unexpected getaway? Do it now, with the entire family. You can keep your destination a secret until you get to the airport, or spirit your partner away for a last-minute weekend getaway.
But if you're seeking a surprise that requires a little less planning, try planning a secret excursion, restaurant outing or even hotel stay while on vacation. For example, if you decided not to book a room in that luxury Irish castle because it was too expensive, covertly cancel your replacement reservations at the more affordable hotel, and book one night in the castle.
A cheaper way to surprise your significant other -- with equally positive results -- is to purchase something your loved one would enjoy using on your next trip together. Then hide the gift in your travel partner's suitcase so he or she discovers the item while unpacking, such as guidebooks, candy, a new sweater, binoculars or a novel by his or her favorite author. Having a bouque of flowers and/or a bottle of champagne waiting in the room upon check-in always ends with a smile, and a kiss as well.
Get Romantic Pre-Trip
Sometimes it's the planning of a big trip that gets us the most excited. Using that pre-trip time to do some things alone together in preparation can be very romantic. If you and the clan have decided Mexico will be the big summer vacation excursion, consider enrolling in a Spanish class together and learn a new language you'll be able to use come vacation time. After the trip, keep the memory alive with date-night outings to Mexican restaurants.
How do you keep the romance alive while traveling with kids? Share your tips on the Family Vacation Critic travel forum.
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