For several years, the top Valentine’s Day gifts have always included the usual chocolates, flowers, and jewelry. But as the years have progressed, people are beginning to focus a little more on experiences rather than things for the ultimate V-Day gifts.
This year, it seems to be all about the best, most romantic places to eat and the vacations you visit. If you’re looking to do either of those things, now is the time to begin planning and booking your reservations before all the good places are sold out.
According to studies, those who travel together have better intimacy and more romance in their relationships than those who do all their dates at home. That should be more than enough reason to start booking travel destinations now. According to Backroads, a leading travel company that helps you book travel packages all over the world, there are five places everyone wants to go for their Valentine’s vacations.
Amalfi Coast: This city right on the coast of Italy provides gorgeous views where couples can stroll the coastline, meander through lemon orchards and terraced gardens along the sea’s edge, peruse shops in the coastal village, and observe the history within the town. You can also stop off in Capri for the freshest seafood around and unmatched views for your dining pleasure.
Tuscany: Another Italian destination, Tuscany makes up a region of Italy with Florence at the center. It’s known for its regional wines and idyllic hilltop villages. This is a cozy travel destination where you can explore the Italian countryside at your leisure.
Loire Valley: You can stay in a castle/hotel if you choose to visit the Loire Valley in France. Taste the fresh wine, travel the beautiful countryside, and enjoy the luxurious French history while on this journey with your loved one.
Northern Spain: Specifically, be sure to visit Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees for some breathtaking coastal views. You can enjoy fresh seafood and Spanish cuisine and enjoy the romance that pervades the Mediterranean coastline.
California Wine Country: If getting outside of the states seems a little far fetched or expensive for you, just book a trip to California’s Napa Valley. Located in the northern part of the state, this part of California is more about vineyards and great food than it is beaches and sunshine. You can even take a day to get pampered in their award-winning spas.
If dinner is what’s on the agenda for Valentine’s Day, you can either try to book a fancy restaurant near you or cook at home. Whatever you choose to do, there’s a certain style of food you should seek, according to LA Confidential Magazine. When asked about the best dishes to choose in order to impress your date on Valentine’s Day, some of the best chefs in the country offered up some sage advice.
Comfort Food: You don’t have to spend big in order to make a lasting impression. Sometimes, all it takes is some comforting food that you crave most to create a special, memorable V-Day.
Something Luxe and Bold: On the other hand, sometimes it’s nice to step outside the box and order something new, luxurious, and foreign to your regular diet. For example, if you’ve never tried caviar, this might be the time to try.
Italian Wedding Soup: Popping the question this Valentine’s Day? Order the Italian wedding soup dish to seal the deal.
Champagne First, Chocolate Dessert Last: Order something that feels celebratory, and a bottle of champagne to start can set the whole mood. End it with a romantic, chocolate dessert that’s decadent and speaks the language of love.
A Special Treat: Try something special for this meal, like lobster or a particularly fine cut of steak. What’s special to one couple will be different for another, so avoid reading lists of great food to eat on this special day and follow your cravings.
Food to Share: Perhaps you’ll order a large plate of spaghetti and meatballs, Lady and the Tramp-style, or perhaps a large, juicy steak will hit the spot. Either way, sharing food can be a wonderful bonding experience, not to mention it allows you to get something fancy without breaking the bank.
This Valentine’s Day, don’t be caught unawares on the best travel destinations and food choices. Plan ahead and choose an experience your Valentine will cherish forever.
[Photo by Kamil Macniak/Getty Images]