5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is less than a month away and it's the perfect opportunity to get away with your significant other and celebrate a romantic weekend out of town. While a weekend seems short, imagine flying out on Friday evening, waking up in a new place with the promise not having to do anything but enjoy your day together. It's no secret that I love weekend trips as I feel I get so much more out of the two days off work. We usually fly home late on Sunday or very early on Monday morning and go directly to work. If you're looking for a domestic or international getaway, these are my 5 favourite romantic getaway destinations.


Romantic Getaway in Charleston


Located in South Carolina and being right on the water, Charleston has as much Southern charm as you could possibly imagine. The cobblestone streets and colourful houses transport you back in time and you might just feel like never going back home!


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Charleston


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Charleston


Go on a romantic stroll through Battery Promenade and Waterfront Park, enjoy the sun and the ocean front, and make your way through the French Quarter on your way to dinner. If you are looking for no-frills, affordable, but extremely tasty seafood, try 167 Raw. They don't take reservations and tend to get very busy so make sure you get there early. If you're looking for a romantic place to dine, make sure you try the Darling Oyster Bar right on King Street. They immediately won me over with their ambiance and their menu left nothing to be desired.


Wander the Streets of London


What is more romantic than going to Europe for a weekend? While this might be a tight travel schedule, you can think about taking the Friday or Monday off to make it a long weekend and get 3 full days out of your weekend. London is not just one of my favourite cities in Europe, it's also relatively easy to get to as a lot of airlines fly there directly.


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - London


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - London


The city has so much history, culture, and beautiful architecture - I could wander around the streets, feeling like I was in a Sherlock Holmes movie all day. On a sunny day, I highly recommend walking along the Thames towards London bridge and immerse yourself into the busyness of this great city! Make sure to stop by Borough Market, stop by the Shakespeare Globe - what could be more romantic (?) - and if you are looking for some amazing dinner views,  check out Sky Pod Bar at Sky Garden. Don't forget to snap a mandatory picture with the Tower Bridge on your way there!


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - London


Relax in Cancun


If you're all about escaping the cold this time of the year and relaxing on the beach, there is no better place than Cancun, Mexico! Depending on where you live, it's only a short flight away and Southwest Airlines even flies there (to learn how we save 50% on flight cost with Southwest, check out this post). After only a  short few hours flight, you can relax in the sun, listen to the waves crashing, and eat your body weight in guacamole and chips. Romantic evening walks in the sand and margaritas by the pool will make this trip the perfect romantic getaway and is exactly what we did when we were there (read the full story here).


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Cancun


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Cancun


Get Away for a Cabin Weekend


How about spending the weekend with your loved one at a cabin in the middle of nowhere? Enjoy 48 blissful hours of alone time at a rustic and cozy cabin - away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. We love staying at the Minnie Lake Ranch House which is part of Douglas Lake Ranch in BC, Canada but there is no need to travel that far. These are some of my favourite cabin getaways that are currently on my wish list:  rustic cabin getaways, Wisconsin cabin getaways, Michigan cabin getaways, Colorado cabin getaways.


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Cabin Weekend


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Cabin Weekend


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Cabin Weekend


Visit the City of Love - Paris


No romantic getaway list would be complete without Paris - the city of love! While it is a bit more difficult to travel to from the U.S. for just a weekend, it is very much doable (see how we spent a weekend in Paris here) and you won't regret it. As the center of romance, ornate architecture, delicious pastries, and wine, how could you possibly go wrong with Paris? While it's not very warm in February, you can still stroll through the streets in Montmartre - an area of the city, enjoy a macaron or two at Laduree, be dazzled at Galeries Lafayette, and most importantly, have one of the best salads I've ever had (think melted goat cheese and roasted potatoes and not much lettuce) at the quirky Le Relais Gascon.


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Paris


5 Romantic Getaway Destinations for Valentine's Day - Paris


What is your favourite romantic getaway? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to tag us on Instagram on your next weekend trip!


Pin this post on Pinterest to your favourite travel board and share with your significant other to kick-start the romantic getaway planning!



2018: A Year in Review

Ah 2018. Another year of travel in the books with a number of firsts along the way. Looking back at the very beginning of 2018, we had no idea the experiences we would have and the new places we would visit. No doubt the year went by fast, however if you take the time to sit back and reflect on what you have accomplished and experienced, it makes the year seem more meaningful and richer than just living day to day. Without further ado, here was our 2018:


2018: A Year in Review


As an avid avgeek, I use OpenFlights to track all of our flights, which comes in handy when you need to look back at where you’ve been. 2018 was our most travelled yet, as we travelled to new countries, new continents, and marched futher towards our goal of visiting all 50 US states. Both working in finance, we love some great statistics, so here we go:

Miles flown: 124, 261 over 88 separate flights (full disclosure, this does include about 25,000 miles flown for work)

Time flying: 12 days, 4 hours, and 9 minutes

Longest flight: 6,529 mile San Francisco to Auckland, NZ

Shortest flight: 24 miles Stiegler’s Gorge Airstrip to Mtemere Airstrip in Tanzania

Countries visited: 12

New countries visited: 2

US states visited: 27 (+5 Canadian provinces!)

New US states visited: 10 (+4 Canadian provinces!)


Kyle’s Favourite Trip


For a number of years I had been dreaming of doing a camping trip through the San Juan mountains of Colorado, and completing the famous Alpine Loop, which you can read about here and here.


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


This past August we made the long trek from Chicago out to Colorado and were able to complete that dream. The high alpine views were spectacular and better than I had imagined.


2018: A Year in Review


We also experienced the Great Sand Dunes, which you can read about our scary first night tenting here and Denver (read about our day in Denver here) on that trip and had an absolute blast!


2018: A Year in Review


Bettina’s Favourite Trip


Although we were only in Cancun for less than 48 hours, it was the most relaxing trip all year (get my full review here).


2018: A Year in Review


Having heard other people rave about Mexico and the temperature in Chicago still freezing cold in April, I couldn’t wait to spend some time at the beach and enjoy the sun.


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


Staying at the Westin Resort & Spa, Cancun, the trip was everything you could imagine – pristine beaches, warm water, a beautiful pool area, and more guacamole and chips that I could eat.


2018: A Year in Review


Should winter be just as long as last year, we might escape to Mexico for a weekend again!


Other Highlights



One of our most recent, and most exotic, trips was to Tanzania which was also amazing. Going on safari was a definite highlight and better than we could have imagined! We thought we’d be lucky to see one giraffe far in the distance running away, but instead, we saw hundreds far and wide. You can read about our safari here and here and our exploration of Dar es Salaam here.


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


New Zealand

Of course, how could we forget our first trip venturing into the Southern Hemisphere! Heading down to New Zealand (for only four days no less), was a trip we will not forget about anytime soon, and is a place that we have pegged to visit again in the near future.


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


We had a great time exploring the beautiful countryside, which you can read about here, as well as Auckland (read about here), and everything in between (Geothermal Wonderland and Lake Taupo).


Eastern Canada Roadtrip

Lastly, we spent the fourth of July on a great American road trip – to Canada – and explored the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


2018: A Year in Review


The weather was great, the people were friendly, and we covered a lot of ground, however we are most proud to have eaten seafood and ice cream on each day of the trip! You can read about our trip here, including Prince Edward Island, historic Peggys’ Cove and Lunenburg Nova Scotia, and the impressive Bay of Fundy here.


2018: A Year in Review


We also thoroughly enjoyed a weekend in Paris, a few days in Bruges, a family get together in Venice and the Dolomites, visiting Montreal, exploring Charleston, and eating our way through New Orleans!


The Next Trip in 2019


We’re not wasting any time in 2019, starting the year off in Switzerland our first flight will be heading back to Chicago on January 2nd. Shortly after, we will be heading back to Iceland for a weekend in January hoping to catch some Northern Lights. Looking further into the future we hope to round out all 50 US states, so that means trips to hotspots like Hawaii, Alaska, and North Dakota (?), as well as Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah, and New Mexico. We will likely also have a small handful of trips to Europe and hopefully somewhere else warm and sunny! Stay tuned for more adventures on The Next Trip in 2019 and thank you for being here!



A Weekend in Paris

I truly love Paris. I know it's a bit of a cliche, but the city has so much to offer and is so charming in its own ways, I can't resist it. I have been there a few times now but still get super excited when we plan another trip or layover in Paris. Some would say that doing a weekend in Paris is a bit crazy (and they are probably right), especially given that it's an 8 hour flight from Chicago. But it was still totally worth it. The weird thing is when we're out of town on the weekend, it feels like we can slow down time a little bit and that we're actually gone 3-4 days instead of just 2.

We took an overnight flight from the U.S. to Paris and arrived at 9am, supposedly ready to start our weekend in Paris and to explore the city all day. The reality looked a bit different. We both worked on the flight and at best got 2-3 hours of sleep so we needed a lot of coffee to get us through the day. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme which was a dream. After we had successfully surprised my parents (read the exciting story and watch the reveal video here) we were off exploring the city on this beautiful spring day.


A weekend in Paris - Walking around Place Vendome


A weekend in Paris - Bettina and her mom


We strolled through parks...


Walking through a park in Paris - after the surprise in Paris


A weekend in Paris - Strolling through parks


A weekend in Paris - strolling through parks


Enjoyed the beautiful flowers blooming everywhere...


A weekend in Paris - Blossoms and spring fashion


Shop My Look


I picked up this adorable purse in Venice earlier this year but flower prints are all in trend right now. I link a few options here.


Shop Floral Purses


And stopped by the Louvre.


Exploring the Louvre in Paris during our surprise in Paris


A weekend in Paris - exploring the Louvre


A weekend in Paris - Lantern by the Louvre


I couldn't resist grabbing some crêpes on the way. I don't really have a sweet tooth but I knew if I got one that Kyle would happily eat the rest! 🙂


A weekend in Paris - Eating Crepes


After our snack, we continued our self-created walking tour to Palais Royal for some mandatory snaps.


A weekend in Paris - Photo by Palais Royale


A weekend in Paris - Palais Royale


Exhausted from all the walking, we took a real break and sat down for an apéro - wine, cheese, cured meats, grissini, and escargots. (I remembered eating escargots as a kid and not liking them so I cautiously tried them and was surprised by how much I like them now! It's weird how your taste buds change over the years.)


A weekend in Paris - Bettina and her mom enjoying an apero


I was in heaven with this great selection of cheeses.


A weekend in Paris - cured meats and cheese apero


A weekend in Paris - wine and escargots


Because no trip to Paris would be complete without seeing the Notre-Dame, we continued our tour towards Ile de la Cité.


A weekend in Paris - Ile de la cite


A weekend in Paris - Eiffel tower


A weekend in Paris - Notre-Dame Cathedral



Saturday evening, we grabbed an Uber and headed to Montmartre, a part of town in the 18th arrondissement, for dinner, enjoying the sights along the way.


A weekend in Paris - Sunset by the Opera


If you're ever in Paris, you have to stop by Le Relais Gascon. It's a cute little restaurant very close to Sacré-Coeur. With little, I mean a lot of tables crammed into a small space - very European style. They have two locations, although I like this one better because of the ambiance.


A weekend in Paris - Dinner at le Relais Gascon


They are known for their incredible salads. I know what you're thinking - you don't go to Paris to eat salads. Trust me, you don't want to skip out on these.


A weekend in Paris - Salad at le Relais Gascon


The salads are all covered with home-made potato slices which are similar to chips, and come with melted goat cheese, bacon, and other great toppings. It's anything but your typical salad and it's so delicious! The portion is very large and I've rarely seen anyone finish it. If you're not in the mood for salad, their other creations are also outstanding.

Exhausted after a very long day (Kyle and I hadn't really slept since we left Chicago) and stuffed with salad (didn't think I would ever be able to honestly say that), we headed back to the hotel and to bed.

We started our Sunday with a typical French breakfast - pain au chocolat and coffee...


A weekend in Paris - French breakfast


Followed by some window shopping...


A weekend in Paris - Window shopping at Guerlain


A weekend in Paris - Window shopping at Guerlain


And some real shopping (no, not for me, we shopped for Kyle) later on.

Although our flight home was at 6pm, which is relatively late for a flight from Europe to the U.S., we wanted to get to the airport early as the line-ups at Charles de Gaulle Airport can be very long and we weren't able to check in online. Sad to say goodbye, my parents left to drive back to Switzerland and we were headed home.

A weekend in Paris - Aerial view of Chicago


It was a truly successful weekend in our books. Would you do a weekend in Paris even if it was an 8 hour flight? What was your shortest trip? Let us know in the comments below.



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