Whether you love Valentine’s Day, celebrate it because it is obligatory, or find yourself newly interested in the day because of pleasant changes to your life (which is where I find myself this year), I think the best way to celebrate is by making travel a part of the experience, even if you don’t travel on the sainted weekend itself. Consider the following ways you can make the occasion a special one, no matter what your situation.
Give travel as a gift
Surprise your significant other by giving them the gift of a trip. Look for a packaged travel experience that incorporates something you both love. For instance, my partner and I love fast cars and yet neither of us had ever learned how to drive a manual. So we recently chose a trip where we visited the picturesque mountainous state of New Hampshire in the United States and learned from Pro Rally driver Verena Mei, of R1, plus a team of professionals, not only how to drive a manual car but also how to drive it like we would if we were racing it in a rally. Coupled with a stay in a luxurious hotel and a round trip flight in a private plane from New York City, plus a professional photographer’s images so we could leave our own cameras behind and just enjoy the experience, it was a trip we’ll never forget. It was a holiday in a beautiful setting with a learning experience that brought us closer together and enabled us to indulge in a fantasy we’d both had separately, together. It doesn’t hurt that my partner went from not knowing how to drive the car at the beginning of the weekend to winning the school’s race at the end of our stay!
Travel through food
Look at a tour operator such as Context Travel for an experience, whether private or in a group, that revolves around food. Since it’s so often the way to a person’s heart, make it the focus for Valentine’s Day by learning about a cuisine that’s different from that of your own culture. When I was in Italy, I enjoyed a very customised tour of a market in Rome, followed by a lesson in creating the perfect easy lunch. When I was in Barcelona, I enjoyed a tour that focused on more sensual foods, such as wine, chocolate and decadent pastries. Every time I have enjoyed a food tour with Context, I have found myself wishing I had someone I loved to share it with. Now that I do, I look at food touring in a whole new light!
Borrow the phone of your loved one, download the Artifact Uprising app, use it to create a memory book of photographs that includes all the places you’ve already travelled to together, and end the book with a commemoration that hints at all the adventures you still have ahead of you! Or you could give a gift certificate that enables them to do the same thing, themselves.
With industry-leading features like recycled paper and lux details, an Artifact Uprising book isn’t something that is looked at once and then never used again. This is the type of book you will reference over and over, a book that will stay in a place of importance. Take your memories from an existence only in mind to a tangible existence that can be felt. It’s a change to experience the places you’ve already travelled together in an entirely new way.
However, if you do want to go away and…
Travel for Valentine’s Day
…there are few places in the UK or mainland Europe where it’s actually hot over that weekend. So if you’re going to escape wherever you call home, consider visiting one of the Aire Ancient Baths locations in Spain. Barcelona, Sevilla and Almeria have spas unlike any other. No matter the temperature outside, inside Aire the soaring pool caverns are warm and romantically lit by seemingly endless candlelight. Combine time in the pools with a couple’s massage and you may find you never want to go back to the cold reality outside Aire’s front doors. It’s the kind of environment that when shared with your lover, invites the word ‘epic’.