Love is a many-splendored thing. Some say it is blind. Others say it is unconditional. Many believe it cannot be bought. Everyone says it is grand. Once you’ve found it, however, how do you keep it going? How do you fan the flame and encourage the spark, year after year? Plan a romantic trip, of course!

One of the most romantic destinations on the planet is the city of light: Paris, France. The food, the wine, the art, the attitude, all inspire dreamy glances across a café table from your sweetheart. Wandering through the Louvre Museum, pondering centuries old paintings and sculptures, hand in hand with your beloved, is simply bliss. If you prefer words to pictures, lead your sweetheart to the iconic Shakespeare and Company bookstore to search for romantic literature and poetry to share.

There isn’t a love alive that wouldn’t get an extra spark from a little Parisian style. The lingerie shops here are simply exquisite, as are the florists and chocolatiers. With a little planning, some of each can arrive at your hotel room in advance of your arrival, wrapped, ribboned, and ready.

An evening carriage ride around the Eiffel Tower, with a blanket and a bottle of bubbly, will create memories to keep your hearts warm and cozy for years afterward. Add a thoughtful little side trip to the Pont des Arts Bridge to secure your initialed and dated padlock, underscoring your devotion in a very special way.

Paris is grand, but if you’re looking for something a little less traditional, book it to Buenos Aires. This romantic, sophisticated city is red hot, and less pricey than Paris. It also has fabulous wine, seductive chocolate, and a very sexy dance called The Tango. Argentina’s architecture is amazing, and the facilities and services are equal to those of Europe.

There are romantic wineries near the city just begging to be explored, and numerous elaborate hotels prepared to teach the sultry national dance to guests. Plus, you can do something else totally romantic here: learn to play polo. Several schools make their instructors, ponies, and equipment available to those who long to play. If that’s a bit much, just engaging in the social and celebratory parts of the match, with an exquisite picnic lunch and a champagne toast, is an invigorating new experience you can share with someone special.

For an active pursuit of cupid’s dart to the heart, a late winter bike tour through Italy’s wine country may prove your best bet yet. Some say winter is the perfect time to visit, with fewer crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere. If you love cycling, you will adore Tuscany’s winter ride. The roads rarely freeze, the motorists are generally considerate, and the romantic environment of the small country inns and wineries provides an incredible backdrop for your idyllic escape.

There are dozens of other places around the globe that are dedicated to romance. Think the Taj Majal in Agra, India; Swallow’s Nest Castle in the Ukraine; Boldt Castle on Heart Island, NY; or Petite Trianon in Versailles, France. All were constructed long ago in the name of love, and exist today to continue the tradition.

If overseas travel is just not possible, consider something closer to home. San Francisco, famous for its great restaurants and beautiful views, is a fabulous getaway. New Orleans, known for it’s across the board creative, cultural mix of food, art, and music, inspires a laid back, happy, jazzy escape. Santa Fe, with its magical blue sky by day and star-studded night display, shares the magic of ancient native cultures. And, last, but hardly least, there’s the Big Apple, New York City. Just make sure to stay connected so that you don’t miss out on a fabulous deal to your chosen destination. Special offers and packages can save a bundle, which you can then use to lavish your sweetheart with something bright and shiny.

For parents, it can be hard to plan a romantic getaway. If grandparents or trusted friends are not a babysitting option, choose a hotel that offers kids club activities appropriate for the ages of your children. Then book a couples spa treatment, share a romantic meal, or just relax while the kids are out having supervised fun.

Really, though, anywhere can prove romantic with the right preparation and presentation. Surprising your mate, or your date, with a last minute announcement of an overseas trip, however, will not likely go well. You’ve got to allow a little time for planning and packing. And, you’ve got to set the stage.

Wine. Candles. Dinner. Fabulous! It doesn’t have to break the bank. Just make it a little more special than usual. Hand over a card in a pretty, hand addressed envelope, attached to a favorite bottle of wine, or with a small gift, to announce the trip. Then, wait for the smile. You know you’ll get one.

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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