Oftentimes traveling couples think that extended-stay getaways mean going abroad to Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean, where all-inclusive vacation packages are king. But have you ever thought that some of the best long-stay vacation ideas are located right in here in the United States, no passport required? Whether you are looking to reconnect, grow closer or just enjoy some time away from reality for more than a long weekend, these destinations provide an endless array of romantic activities that you will never forget. Here are a few of our ideas for best trips for couples:
New York City Like a Local
The city that never sleeps is an excellent destination for traveling couples looking to embark upon a big-city adventure. But just because the city is fast-paced doesn’t mean your vacation has to be. New York City is home to five boroughs, each with unique attributes that require more than a few days to explore. Reminisce on your early days of dating by holding hands in Central Park like a local couple. Speaking of Central Park, rather than breezing through to take a few pictures before making dinner reservations at a sub-par, over-priced Midtown restaurant, stop at a local grocery store and grab a few items and a bottle of wine for a romantic picnic. The park spans more than 50 city blocks, so whether you choose a more open area like the Great Lawn or a spot off the beaten path, this iconic location provides relaxation away from all the hustle and bustle.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn is brimming with unique romantic restaurants and attractions. Visit the Brooklyn Brewery on a Friday or Saturday evening and explore the rest of the Williamsburg neighborhood for the night. One of the highlights for couples is the Barcade, featuring more than 40 classic arcade games where you can both showcase your competitive spirit and relive your childhood.
Travel Tip: These are just two examples of how you can spend your time really taking in NYC like a local. Plan ahead, but don’t be afraid to be spontaneous. To save money, utilize apps such as Yelp, Urbanspoon and Foursquare to discover nightly and daily specials in the most coveted neighborhoods.
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A Week on the West Coast
For people in the Midwest or the East Coast, it’s often difficult to see every major city out west. Rather than trying to make separate trips to each destination, consider flying out to either Seattle up north or Sand Diego down south and hop on a bus trip or grab a rental car and spend a few days in each city along the way.
Taketours.com offers a 14-day Pacific Coast Explorer Tour that begins in San Diego and ends in Seattle. The tour also travels to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Wine Country, Brandon-by-the-Sea and Portland. The price for the tours varies but is usually around $2200 a person, not including airfare.
If traveling with a group isn’t your style, or if you would rather take in the Pacific Coast on your own terms, check the price for rental cars and see if you can get any discounts with your airfare.
Travel Tip: Utilize an app like Kayak to monitor rates for flights, hotels and rental cars. You can set up price alerts for your intended dates to ensure you get the best rates possible within your budget. Also, consider alternate lodging options near some areas. The West Coast is home to some of the best camping areas in the country, which can often be more cost-effective, romantic and serene than hotels.
A Tennessee Retreat
Tennessee is arguably one of the most beautiful couple travel destinations in the South, especially in the spring and fall. Both Memphis and Nashville offer unique festivals that you won’t find anywhere else in the country, and the musical history within each city is unique from any other place in the U.S. Start with one of these cities and end with another while taking in the Tennessee countryside and smaller cities, like Kingsport, Chattanooga and Gatlinburg, in between. Much like on the West Coast, there are tons of campsites where you can relax and sleep under the stars rather than in the confines of four walls.
If you live in the South or Midwest, consider driving to save on airfare. If you would rather fly, compare prices between the Memphis and Nashville airports. Flights can be drastically different depending on where you will be departing from. If you do fly, rent a car and take your time navigating through the rolling scenery. Also, since you’ve already decided you’re going to enjoy a laid-back retreat, consider taking the back roads instead of highways to fully take in the state’s natural beauty.
Travel Tip: Get rid of Google maps and stick with the paper kind. Tennessee is a place where you can keep your eyes open and enjoy a more simple way of life.
Couple Travel Advice
No matter where you decide to take some time away, it’s important to keep a few things in mind so you can enjoy each other’s company rather than getting sick of each other.
- Discuss what you both want to see and do ahead of time, but don’t feel bound to an itinerary. The biggest benefit of taking an extended vacation is that you can go off the beaten path and do things at your leisure without feeling rushed.
- Set a budget beforehand for attractions, dining, drinking and even shopping so you can keep the financial fights at home. Bon Voyage is a great app that allows you to create a trip, plan your budget based on the destination, and track every expense you make so you can monitor your spending in real time.
- Use Kayak to set up price alerts for flights, lodging and rental cars to get the lowest rates possible.
- Relax and enjoy the journey. No matter what your reason for wanting to get away, remember that these experiences are always better when shared.
This blog post was provided by Marriott International, which operates more than 3,700 hotels and resorts representing 18 brands in 70 countries. Pick one for the perfect couple travel experience!