Top 59 Valentine’s Day Travel Destinations – A Parents’ Wishlist
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Parents are people who fantasize about holidays where we are always allowed to eat our own dinner. We imagine that not looking like a pack mule in the airport could be slightly marvelous and wonder whether sitting in silence for ten minutes or longer on a beach without a bucket and spade will ever be possible again. My husband and I have been away on our own for weekends here or there, but it took us about ten years of parenting before we got that right – we are slow learners. (Also, we have four kids, so although we need the break, it’s hard to find people who are willing to take that many all at once!) We DO travel with our kids, in fact we do it more than we don’t.
The thing is, we still crave romance (mm, do you remember that?) and the small ‘obstacles’ in our lives make us desire it even more. I asked parents in South Africa, Ireland and the UK if they could pick anywhere in the whole world, what would they like to do and where would they like to go to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day. It was meant to be a bit of escapist fun on a dreary Irish early February day but I was (almost) overwhelmed by the feedback, we mums and dads are a little desperate for a break at times – all the photographs of sun-drenched beaches that came piling in started to depress me even further.
Who would not love this beach in the Maldives?! – by Tracey Kifford, packthepjs.com
However, I was cheered noticing how may people associated their ideal romantic destinations with either the place where they first met their spouse, or the place where they spent their honeymoons – we DO remember how it feels to be romantic. We love our kids but we still hanker after that time of romance long, long ago…because without it our dear little ones would not be here at all.
Some Interesting Results from this Survey:
ISLANDS! Most people want to escape to a tropical island or the ice and snow but either way Iceland and the Maldives both tied with thee mentions each. Islands top the charts in terms of our most favourite destinations with 22 mentions (including Ireland and New Zealand).
Italy topped the European charts as the country with the most mentions (7).
And the EXPERIENCE that won the most votes for being the MOST mentioned is viewing the NORTHERN LIGHTS – clearly viewed as the most romantic of all. Have you been?
So here it is, the list of our top 59 choices with some comments and links to blogs where appropriate. Which ones do you most identify with?
- Ireland – Caherdaniel Beach co Kerry ‘A walk followed by a pint of Guinness in the local pub’, Mary
- Germany – ‘In a castle’ (Not just any old Germany) Sonia
- Gibraltar – UK ‘It’s where me & my husband met and I lived as a child so picnic on the beach watching the sunset please.’ Sara
- Oxford – UK ‘It was where we went for our first date.’ backwithabump.co.uk
- Amsterdam – Holland ‘my favourite place’ Amy
- Zermatt – Switzerland ‘where we got married’ Eileen
- The Alps – France, Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, or Slovenia? Did you know the Alps extended to 7 countries? ‘Somewhere beautiful with snow. Maybe a nice luxury cabin or something, with a nice fireplace and maybe pampering stuff.’ Minimummiblogger.com
- The French Alps – France ‘A glorious day of skiing, followed by dinner in a cosy mountainside, snowed-in chalet, and a sauna.’ fouracorns.ie
- Paris – France ‘I would love to go to the most romantic place on earth or so we hear and hubby and I have never been!’ everafterwithkids.com
- The Camino Way – Spain ‘Not everyone’s cup of tea but walking the Camino! We love big walks and hiking and always have our best, deepest conversations when we are half way up a mountain’. instagram.com/lyla_and_co
- Seville – Spain ‘I would love to go back to Seville. It’s a beautiful romantic City. Really pretty with ceramics around the buildings, tapas bars spilling out onto the streets with tiny tables hugging the walls. Palm trees everywhere and people make a real effort with how they dress. It also has a great climate.’ mammaprada.com
- Prague – Czech Republic. ‘The city we got engaged in and ended up going back there for IVF a couple of times too. It is my favourite city – any time of the year’. irishbabyfairy.com
- Sweden – The Ice Hotel ‘It looks amazing and something completely different from the norm.’ householdmoneysaving.com
- Finland ‘A log cabin with a sauna by a lake that you can cool down in’. Alexandra
- Finland ‘A night in a glass igloo in Finland watching the Northern lights’ Julia
- a Norwegian Fjord ‘on a cruise’ John
- Iceland ‘We’ve been craving a trip to take a dip in the blue pool, climb down into a volcano, and see the northern lights together.’ havekidswilltraveluk.com
- Iceland ‘A dip in the Blue Lagoon and a precious moment under the northern lights is my valentines dream’ mummyswhineclub.com
AND ‘blue lagoon, black sand beaches, northern lights! It looks amazing!’ 2nerdsandababy.com
- Venice – This is probably the most unusual and romantic city in the world, you can read my blog post about it here. A long Weekend in Venice
- Verona and Voltera – Italy ‘I think Verona is the most romantic place I’ve been or Voltera a bit outside Florence I’d love to go with himself as I had done it with friends’ mindmadnessmilesandmummetime
- Tuscany- Italy ‘Visiting medieval hilltop towns and sipping Chianti with lunch. We had a little Tuscan tour BC. So relaxing and breathtakingly gorgeous. Lucca, Sienna, San Gimignano and Elba. Beam me up!’ Shinnersandthebrood
- Sicily – Italy ‘A week in completely cut off from the real world’. mumsmakeupbag.com
- Rome – Italy ‘We went on honeymoon and it was a fantastic trip, the history, the food, the wine’ thetullytales.com
- Rome, again – ‘I’d take my wife to Rome. One day.’ Brian
- Italy – Its such a beautiful place but right now with how cold it is I would say ANYWHERE hot please!’ arepops.com
- New York ‘I’ve wanted to go there for years and years. My husband thinks I’d hate it because I can’t cope with Asda being busy on a Saturday’ ricecakesandraisins.co.uk
- Route 66 in the States –‘on the back of a motorcycle with my hubby.’ Karen
- Nashville ‘Listening to country music on Broadway and staying in the Hutton Hotel. Love it.’ www.itsjustaphase.ie
- Las Vegas ‘Completely immerse myself in everything Vegas is famous for’. mumsmakeupbag.com
- Grand Canyon ‘I would like to drink champagne whilst taking a helicopter ride’ ridingbootsforboo.com
- Walt Disney World in Florida ‘I would absolutely love to spend the day with Mickey and Minnie in the happiest place on earth!!’ Twinderelmo.co.uk
- The Caribbean ‘It would have to be a cruise like we did for our honeymoon I’d sell my soul to go again it was just like you’d see on the tv!’ ourwheelybigjourney.com
- Aruba ‘I could explore and go scuba diving, tropical drinks would be nice also.’ Sonia
- Hawaii ‘I’d love to go back, it was so beautiful and relaxed. The scenery was breathtaking and snorkeling was even better than I could have imagined.’ survivinglifeshurdles.com
- Galapagos Islands ‘Mine would be a romantic getaway for two on a private yacht. Swimming with turtles, snorkelling on the reefs and then exploring the wildlife on the islands every day. With a private chef on board too and wine cellar to rival Gordon’s Wine Bar.’ welshmum.co.uk
- Peru ‘I would love to go and feel like we’re on top of the world at Machu Picchu. That’s my ideal Valentine destination!’ monkeyandmouse.co.uk
- Peru ‘I would love to go to Lake Titicaca in. I went to Peru twice before I met the Other Half and would really love to take him there and explore together.’ starlightandstories.com
- Costa Rica ‘We’re adrenaline junkies so we’d love to zip line and white water raft in the jungles together. We don’t get to take kid free trips at the moment so doing stuff like that for us is what we’d love!’ havekidswilltraveluk.com
- Havana – Cuba ‘We had our first holiday there as a couple and I would love to head back and explore Havana a bit more – especially the rum!’ thentherewerethree.uk
- Lankawi Island – Malaysia ‘Days in the pool with a cocktail bar, nights in the bay on the beach…. lush!’ diaryofafirstchild.com
- Ubud – Bali. ‘I felt so peaceful there and loved how crafty and creative it is. Plus it was obscenely hot and we had such a lovely time all those years ago it would be great to make some new updated memories!’ pinkpearbear.com
- Japan ‘Tokyo on a rainy night… most romantic walk in Feb or a walk over one of the bridges of the city Kyoto. Love the temples there.’ Karen
- Maldives ‘Luxury ocean condo with a bottomless seafood and champagne spread’ Olivia
- Maldives ‘A water bungalow in the would do nicely!’ backwithabump.co.uk
- Maldives ‘The bright sun, the beautiful calm blue sea, the silence … it’s total chill-out bliss!’ packthepjs.com
- The Coramandel Peninsula – New Zealand ‘Where my wife and I spent our first night in a campervan on the first day of an amazing holiday.’ Eoin
- Hobbiton – New Zealand ‘My husband and I are big geeks so we’d love to spend the day at where part of the Lord of the rings is filmed!’justbuttonsblog.co.uk
- New Zealand ‘Back to visit my best friend ever.’ Margaret
- Kaikoura – New Zealand. ‘Whale watching, Oddly enough my daughter said she would take me there when she earned enough from her first job. To hear her say that was the best thing ever.’ Suzanne
- Cape tribulation – Australia’s north east coast. ‘I still remember the feeling of peace and awe looking out across the ocean there and feeling like we were standing on the edge of the world.’ Melanie
- ‘I’d love to go on an African safari and stay in a wooden tree top house under the stars!’ lyliarose.com
- Mauritius – ‘I’d like to go back to where we got married in and drink champagne under the stars whilst we reminisce’ familytravelwithellie.com
- The Okavango Delta – This is one of the most unspoilt wilderness areas in the world and the perfect desintation for an African Safari
Basically Anywhere at ALL!
- ‘A log cabin in a forest or the mountains with fur throws and a roaring log fire sounds very appealing to me.’ kippersandcurtains.com
- ‘Anywhere sunny and warm!’ Susan
- ‘See the Northern Lights or sit on a tropical beach for a picnic’. Jorika AND ‘Northern Lights watching snuggled under a blanket’ boorooandtiggertoo.com
- ‘Right now it would be in the middle of nowhere, with no disturbances and no wifi. Just somewhere cosy with a good selection of cheesy films and food.’ asliceofmylifewales.com
- ‘I would love to go to a private island for valentines. I’m pretty sure we can do loads of romantic things there like kayaking, camping, star gazing etc. Plus I can wear a bikini because nobody else is there to look (hopefully).’ myparentingjourney.com
- ‘Narnia? Basically somewhere the kids can’t find us!’ thegrowingmum.com
These last responses are from parents who really don’t care where they go anymore, even fantasy worlds sound appealing.
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And finally, there was only one Mammy who said this:
“Ooohhh, I love everyone’s ideas, I think they all sound lovely. For me, if you’re with the person you love and you both make effort to make it romantic, then anywhere becomes the most romantic place in the world.” Maire-Aine
Which proves that the Irish are the most romantic people I the world, I LOVE that sentiment!
But thanks for asking, my first choice would be the Maldives, because I have been wanting to go since I heard about it in my first job 1997 and I still haven’t been.