A new year always means a chance for a new start. You and yours can begin this new year by making some travel resolutions together, regardless of your time and budget restraints. Put aside those old travel habits and make some new ones! Let this be the year that your travel plans focus on fun, fantasy, and festivities!
(1) We're going to plan a real vacation. No, it doesn't have to be an around the world cruise or first class getaway (but if you can afford it, what are you waiting for?) It does have to be an honest-to-goodness vacation, though. No cell phones, no laptops. Mark the dates on the calendar and keep it just like you'd keep any business appointment. The business of romantic travel, though, is a fun one and an activity that the two of you can plan for months.
(2) We're going to involve each other in the trip planning. All too often, one partner gets the job for planning a trip...and that task quickly becomes a bore. Plan your trips together! Anticipation is half the fun. Visit a travel agent. Collect brochures. Buy a guidebook. Rent a video about your destination. Search the internet for information.
(3) We're going to do something we've never done. Here you can be as mild -- or as wild -- as you dare. Go whitewater rafting. Rent a houseboat. Take a hot air balloon ride. Spend the night in a local bed and breakfast. Learn to scuba dive. Dance the whole night away under the stars. The choice is yours.
(4) We're going to take one mini-vacation every month. Whether it's for the night or just for the night out, plan one tiny slice of a vacation every single month. The only rule: you must pretend you're on vacation. Book a night at a local bed and breakfast. Call your local hotel and find out their non-peak nights (in business-oriented cities, it's usually Friday and Saturday) then plan a short romantic getaway.
(5) We're going to go to at least one festival. Special events take place at just about every community around the world. Whatever your interests -- from square dancing to sandcastle building -- you'll find a festival celebrating with a day or two of fun and food. If you don't have the time or budget to go far, contact area chamber of commerce or tourism offices within a day's drive of your home for their calendar of events. If you can, extend your trip into a long weekend. If you've got the time and resources, check out some of the major fun festivals: Carnival, Mardi Gras, Rio's Carnivale. Don't forget your costume!
Husband and wife team Paris Permenter and John Bigley edit the award-winning Lovetripper.com (www.lovetripper.com), a romantic travel magazine and resource featuring honeymoons, destination weddings, and romantic getaways worldwide.