Updated on February 1st, 2020
Making a trip to Europe romantic isn’t hard. It’s actually impossible not to feel the romance of this beautiful continent. With architecture reminiscent of fairytales, hotel lobbies featuring cosy fireplaces and chic cafes lining cobblestoned streets, So why not make a special Valentine’s Day in Europe celebration this year?. This year February 14th falls on a Friday, making it ideal for a long weekend away.
Now that you know you want to have a Valentine’s Day getaway you will want to plan the perfect escape for your special someone. This guide will help you plan both a special and stress-free holiday.
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Choose the right duration for your Valentine’s Day getaway
Firstly, where are you travelling from and how much time do you have off work? If you are a European local then it’s realistic to take a weekend or day trip somewhere close to home. On the other hand, if you are travelling internationally then you will want to plan your holiday to be at least one week. Don’t waste precious time tired and jet-lagged.
Where do you want to go for your romantic getaway?
Next, it’s time for the fun part – deciding on your destination for Valentine’s Day. Take into account your budget and interests. Do you both love the snow and want to spend an active week skiing, ending the day in each other’s arms by the fireplace? Or are you more city-goers and the type to stop and stare up at old historic buildings while in search of the best cocktail bars? Maybe you live in a cold climate and are hoping to escape the chill and enjoy some warmer February days.
Or read Boarding Call’s Most Romantic Places in Europe for inspiration.
Do you need a visa?
While a lot of nationalities can enter Europe without a visa, make sure you look into this soon as you know where you want to go. Certain countries may require you to have a visa interview or have a lengthy visa processing time.
How to get there
Now that you know where you would like to visit. Think about how you will get there. Will you be flying, driving or taking public transport? While flying seems like the most obvious quick option, it can sometimes take longer. When you take into account transport time to the airport, arriving 2 hours before the flight, bag collection and transport to your destination hotel sometimes an express train ends up being a better option.
Do some research before you leave home to find out if your destination uses uber. Pop into google the best way to get from the airport/train/bus station into the centre. People always ask these questions and you will easily find the cheapest and quickest options.
Where to stay
For a romantic trip, I suggest using Airbnb. Airbnb’s are affordable and suit any budget. Filter options by entire place so you and your loved one can spend some quality time together. Ideally, you will want to be as close to the centre as possible so you spend less time commuting.
When Ben and I travelled through Turkey, it was cheaper for us to stay in our own place through Airbnb than it was for us to get a private room in a hostel! Check out this place we stayed below. We had our own pool and this incredible view! So don’t write off the idea that Airbnb is out of your budget before you take a look.
Book your accommodation as far in advance as possible as places are likely to sell out quickly.
Budget tip: If travelling on the holiday is not important to you, plan your Valentine’s getaway for another weekend in February. You will save money by avoiding increased accommodation rates due to the holiday.
Stick to a budget
Decide on your budget for the trip ahead of time. Don’t go home post-holiday more stressed because you spent too much money. Know your limits and stick to it. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Check out Pinterest for some DIY Valentine’s gifts.
Decide on activities for this Valentine’s Day
With so many options of things to do, I suggest deciding on activities ahead of time. Make a list of everything that is a priority for your trip and then look at things which will need to be booked in advance.
Things which should be booked in advance will be spa appointments, dinner reservations and live performances such as ballets, musicals and concerts.
Don’t feel shy about asking your Airbnb host for recommendations on where to go and things to do before you arrive. I think it’s always better to have a locals opinion. Generally, even if they haven’t been themselves, word of mouth is a powerful thing and they probably know of someone who has.
Trip Advisor is another great resource if you don’t know your destination personally. Jump on the site to search for restaurants and things to do within your price range. With restaurants, once you have found a few favourites follow the link to their websites and find a menu. Next, hit the contact us tab to make a reservation.
Budget tip: Ski resorts usually offer a buy 4 days pay for 3 type of deal. Ensure you ask at the resort or online to find the best deal. Certain attractions offer large discounts when you book and pay in advance.
Budget activity ideas
Is keeping the trip cost-friendly is the main concern for you but you also want to make it special for your loved one? If so, make this Valentine’s Day budget-friendly with these ideas.
Organise a picnic in a park. Pack a blanket, cheeses, fruits and some wine (just check the drinking laws of the country you’re in). Or a fun idea is to arrange a scavenger hunt around the city for your partner. Have clues leading to the next sightseeing opportunity. End the scavenger hunt at a restaurant where you have made reservations. Another great option is to go on a hike in a national park.
Can’t actually getaway this Valentine’s Day? Why not decorate your place in the theme of a place you and your partner want to visit? You can cook a themed dinner and drink wine from the country or region.
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