Ah, relationships (or, depending on where you are in life, the lack thereof). They can be amazing – or amazingly complex. Now throw in a dash of wanderlust and what do you get? Likely confusion about where to go, how long to spend away and what to expect. Whether you’re single and ready to mingle, newly coupled, not even sure if you’re in a couple (uh, it’s complicated), or been married or partnered for years, it can be tricky to find a destination that matches where you are in life (and love). Here are our travel picks for every level of love.
Single and ready to mingle
You’re single, you’re ready to have some fun with friends, and you need a vacation. If that sounds like you, there are lots of options to consider that will allow you to let loose, meet new people and just generally celebrate how awesome you are. If you’re travelling with a group of friends, an all-inclusive vacation can be an ultra-easy option – booze, food and activities are all taken care of so your only job is to chill out, have fun and mingle with other singles who might be staying at your resort. Think the Cuba (with a day trip to Havana thrown in), the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos or, for a bigger fling, go European and check out the Greek Islands or Ibiza, Spain.
Just became “Facebook official”
Determining your relationship status can be a fuzzy situation. Are you a couple after five dates? Ten? Once you both agree to delete whatever dating app you met on? Well, in this day and age, where social media rules all, we’d say you’re “official” once it’s, well, Facebook official. A vacation at this early-ish stage can be exciting but should also be a low-key, low-pressure destination. Since this will be your first trip together, start off slow with a weekend getaway, ideally a city trip where there will be lots to do. Think Montreal, Chicago, Vancouver, New York or Boston – all cities that can be explored in a few days and offer a lot of variety in terms of what to do, see and eat.
You’re together, now you’re not. You’re dating, now you’re not sure what’s going on or where you stand. Cue the confusion. A trip during an “it’s complicated” phase of a relationship, or just when you aren’t really sure how committed the two of you are can be risky. However, it’s not out of the question and could, potentially, bring you closer together. Think fun, easy-breezy and eclectic to keep things interesting yet relaxed. A good option, which has both beach and eco-adventure activities, is Belize. It’s not too far and it has enough to keep both of you busy should things get, uh, even more complicated while you’re there.
Just moved in together
OK, it’s official-official – you now share space and you’ve (likely) met each other’s families, so it’s probably pretty serious. Why not celebrate the milestone of co-habitation with a trip? By this point we’re assuming you’re comfortable enough with each other to take a trip that goes beyond lying on the beach sipping margaritas. We suggest Peru, which boasts a ton of cultural activities, unique sites, a wide variety of things to see and do and must-try food. Not to mention, if you’re feeling particularly ambitious the two of you can hike Machu Picchu together. Accomplishing something like that as a duo can be an amazing bonding experience.
Partnered 1+ years
You did it – you’ve been married or partnered for a year or more. Since you’re now comfortable together but still in the early stages of being coupled up, you have some leeway when it comes to where to go. You want somewhere romantic, but a place that also has lots of options for things to do when you want a bit more excitement. Try Ireland, which offers the chance to explore the city or stunning countryside, and no shortage of opportunities to cozy up in charming bars and pubs.
Coupled up, but past the honeymoon phase
If you’ve slid past the honeymoon phase of your relationship, it’s time to spice things up with a trip that’s a little off the beaten track. We suggest a visit to Portugal, a country that’s not only romantic, but one that offers so much in the way of history, culture, food and wine, outdoor activities and the chance to spend some quality time on beautiful white sand beaches.
Partnered 5-10 years
At this point you probably want a trip that is as much about getting some romantic alone time as it is the opportunity to get at least a tiny bit outside your comfort zone. Beach and island-hopping in Southern Thailand could be just what the doctor ordered. The beaches are beautiful (and plentiful), the food is cheap and delicious, and the beer is cold and pocket-friendly. Accommodations range from huts on the sand to boutique beach hotels to large resorts, providing options for every type of travelling twosome.
Partnered 10+ years
Being in a relationship with someone for 10 or more years is a big deal and something to be proud of. At this point, you’ve likely taken at least a few trips together so now you’re looking for something different, or at least somewhere that feels a bit exotic. Iceland makes for a diverse getaway. Check out the cosmopolitan capital Reykjavik, while also leaving time to explore glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes and glorious (and romantic) hot springs.
Celebrating a major anniversary
Celebrating major anniversaries means picking a destination that stands out and that you wouldn’t necessarily choose on a whim. These are bucket-list destinations that can help create lasting memories and bring you and your partner even closer. Some options include visiting the Galapagos Islands, hiking China’s Great Wall, cozying up in an over-water bungalow in the Maldives, laying on a beach in Fiji or going on safari in South Africa to catch a glimpse of the “big five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard) — the perfect way to celebrate your big five (or five-oh) if you ask us.
Featured image: istockphoto/Creative-Family