There are trips — and then there are romantic trips. A romantic trip is one you take with your honey, or the person you hope will be your honey, or occasionally, a place that helps you find a honey! A romantic vacation is one that cements or improves a relationship, a trip where the magic of the room, the view, the activities or the service make you feel more alive, more special, and more in love.

Romantic trips have a special kind of magic — but that diffuse kind of definition doesn’t give you specific guidance on picking the best-of-the-best choices for your next trip. That’s why I am going to be writing about the great places in the world for romance. I will start with my top ten in the United States and my top ten elsewhere — but it will go on from there. Right now though, I want to tell you what they all have in common — and what you should look for.

They all must have:

1. Something extraordinary, something that is the best of what you like: the most gorgeous mountains, the perfect beach, the most exciting nightlife — or the most peaceful privacy. In other words, there are many different kinds of places for romance, but the place has to exceed expectations on the criteria important to you.

2.  It has to be set up for romance, not children. There are some places that manage to do both (we will come to those eventually) but in general, one cancels out the other. You need the touches that help you focus on each other, not on kids running up and down the hallways screaming.

3. It has to have the details of romance: flowers, great sheets, or conversely, if it’s an adventure vacation that will stir your heart, great vistas, and excellent equipment so you can focus on each other, not on your leaky kayak.

4. The type of vacation you pick has to appeal to both person’s sensibilities. If she wants 1000-count sheets and he wants to be dropped in the middle of the Frank Church Wilderness to raft the Salmon, romance is dead in the water. Romance has to be a mutual agenda and the place has to make each partner’s heart sing.

5. It has to have enough privacy and enough unscheduled time for cuddling, talking and making love.

So that’s the general idea, next time I write, it will be about specific places, starting with my number one favorite, Bali.

Pepper Schwartz serves as the AARP love and relationship ambassador and is the chief relationships expert at

Filed Under Bali, Indonesia, Romance, Travel


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