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7 Tips for Planning a Surprise Romantic Getaway

Contributing Author April 6, 2023

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Nobody likes spending a lot of time and effort planning a vacation. Sometimes, it feels like you spend more time planning than you do actually on the trip. That doesn’t have to be the case. With a last-minute vacation, you can take a lot of time and hassle out of it. That’s even the case if you decide to make it a surprise trip for your partner.

With a little effort, you’ll make having a surprise romantic trip much easier than you’d think. Here are seven fairly specific steps to getting out and enjoying a special trip before you even know it. If you’re thinking about doing something nice for your partner, you’ll be off to a good start with these tips.

a group of locks on a tree with Bubblegum Alley in the background
Plan something romantic. Locks of love at the Seoul Tower in South Korea.


Why Have A Surprise Romantic Trip

There are more than a few reasons to go on a romantic trip with your partner. It brings you closer together and lets you bond even more, strengthening your relationship. Romantic trips can be a great way to make more memories with them and even fall in love with them more. But, why should you make it a surprise?

As it turns out, there are more than a few reasons to try it. Some of the big ones include:

  • It’s Good For You – Science shows nice surprises are great for your brain. While that usually affects the person receiving the surprise, it can also be a good thing for you, too. More dopamine will be running through your brain, making you feel better almost instantaneously. It feels good to be surprised and feels good to travel, so there’s no reason not to have a surprise trip. Mmmm…dopamine. 

  • Let You Relax – While this is one of the more obvious benefits for your significant other, it also affects you, too. You’ll have the chance to sit back and relax between all your planned fun too.  No matter where you go, you’ll be relaxing before you know it.

  • Less Decision-Making Involved – Usually, you’ll have to make countless decisions when you’re planning a vacation. With a surprise one, however, there could be much fewer of these involved, especially with a last-minute vacation. You’ll simply just pick a place, when to go, and actually go. It could end up being much more straightforward than a more standard vacation.

With how beneficial having a surprise romantic trip can be, there’s no reason not to at least consider it. Planning it can often be relatively complicated, especially when you want to keep it a surprise for as long as possible. It doesn’t need to be as difficult as you may think, though.

Here’s seven top steps to make it much easier for yourself. 

Having A Surprise Romantic Trip: 7 Top Steps

1. Decide Where To Go

One of the first things to consider with any trip is where you’ll actually go. That’s just as important – if not more important – when you’re planning a surprise romantic trip. You’ll need to make sure it’s somewhere romantic, after all. Spend a decent amount of time on this before you do anything else. A woodsy retreat? A big city adventure?

Think about more than just the destination itself. Accommodation will also be a large consideration, and you’ll have to put a lot of thought into it. Make sure it’s somewhere you and your partner will enjoy.

2. Plan Fun Activities

For a trip to be enjoyable, you’ll need to make sure there are activities you can actually do. With a romantic trip, you’ll need to plan for some romantic activities for you and your partner to do. Spend some time looking into what you can do, and focus on what you’ll both enjoy. Modhop Host Jake Redman says “Whether its bungee jumping or a double decker bus tour, make sure it’s something you’ll both enjoy”. 

If you need to get tickets for any of these, it’s more than worth getting them early to avoid any disappointment in not being able to get them. The more planning you put into this, the more enjoyable and romantic your romantic vacation should be. It’s more than worth spending the time on.

3. Clear Your Schedule

Don’t forget to request the time off (seems obvious, but Jake’s done it). Unless you’re going on a surprise romantic trip for a weekend, you could need to clear your schedules so you can go on the trip. Doing that for yourself is relatively easy, but it could be more difficult for your partner. If you tell them to clear their schedule, they could know something’s up and be suspicious.

If it’s possible, try to get in touch with their manager or boss and talk to them about the situation. Explain you’re bringing them on a surprise trip, so you’d like to book the time off for your partner without them knowing about it. While it might seem complicated, it could end up being relatively easy. Or simply plan around a long company holiday.

a man and woman sitting in a window
Jake and wife at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia.


4. Figure Out How To Unveil The Surprise

At some point or another, you’ll need to tell your partner about the surprise. They’ll need to be with you as you’re going on the trip, after all. Don’t just drop this nonchalantly, though. Try to make telling them as special as possible, especially if the trip is to celebrate a special occasion.

If they need to book time off work and sort out other responsibilities, it’s worth telling them relatively early. On the other hand, you can leave it until relatively short notice if they don’t need to worry about these. If you’ve planned everything for a weekend, for example, you could leave it until a few hours beforehand.

It’ll make the surprise all the more significant, and they’ll be sure to enjoy the occasion even more.

5. Find Out Where To Eat

When you’re planning a surprise romantic trip, you’ll have to take care of everything. The activities mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also need to figure out where you can eat when you’re on the trip. “Look at the area you’ll be staying on Google maps and survey what restaurants are nearby. Don’t forget to zoom in!” Jake says.  While you don’t need to plan out exactly where you’ll eat and when, it’s worth having a general idea about everything.

Find out what your options are so you and your partner can figure out where to go once you’ve arrived at your destination. Though this means spending a little time and effort looking things up before you get there, it makes things much easier once you’re actually there.

At a minimum, it’ll avoid you struggling to think of somewhere once you’ve arrived. Nobody wants that, especially when they’re hangry, so get it out of the way early.

a plate of spaghetti with sauce
Jake says “I don’t remember the restaurant but the best pasta I had in Italy was on a romantic trip with my wife.” (pictured)

6. Pack Your Bags

At some point, you’ll need to start packing your bags for the trip. That’s best left until you’ve already told your partner about the surprise trip. With that out of the way, it’s time to get smart about how you pack and what you bring with you. To make sure you’ve everything covered, it could be worth having a packing list.

You can simply tick things off this list as you pack them so you don’t overlook anything. Outside of your clothes, make sure you bring any other necessities, such as medication and sunscreen. Getting this done as early as you can saves any last-minute stress while making sure you don’t overlook anything.

Make sure you know the airline’s baggage limit when you’re doing this. Going over the maximum means you’ll be in for more bag fees, which everyone wants to avoid. If you want to make things extra surprising, pack your partner’s bag without them knowing and have it all ready for when you tell them. Jake says “I’d be more likely to reveal the surprise first so that my wife could do her own packing. I’d likely miss something she’d want during the trip.”


7. Get Yourself Ready

Now you’ve your bags passed and everything’s planned out, you’ll need to actually get yourself ready and go. Thankfully, this is one of the easier parts of having a surprise trip. All you’d really need are the clothes you’ll be wearing when you’re going and a few other bits and pieces.

It’s also considering what kind of hairstyle you’ll have when you’re travelling. You mightn’t want something too complicated to do, but you’d still want it to look nice. With this bubble braid tutorial, you shouldn’t have to worry about that. It’ll be quick and easy to do, and you’ll be ready for your romantic trip before you know it. “I”m more of a combover guy, but bubble braids are cool too!” says Jake.

It’ll also look amazing, so you’ll be able to start enjoying the vacation as soon as you’ve landed without needing to do yourself up. What’s not to like?

Having A Surprise Romantic Trip: The Wrap-up

Having a surprise romantic trip offers more than a few benefits. You and your partner should feel closer than ever, and you’ll be having an amazing time before you even know it. That doesn’t mean they can be the easiest things to plan. You’ll have to put a little time and effort into it, especially if you want to keep it a surprise as long as possible. Jake says it’s “…important not to put too much pressure on yourself to make everything perfect. Some careful but fun planning can lead to an amazing reveal and ultimately a great getaway.”

With a few specific steps, you’ll make it much easier for yourself. Figuring out how to unveil your surprise, planning fun activities, clearing your – and your partner’s – schedules are some of the more notable of these. With a little work, you’ll be on a surprise romantic weekend before you even know it.

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Contributing Author

General travel tips and advice on destinations, hotels and flights.

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