Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Any little trip will do for Valentine's Day

Either one -- a box of dark Godiva chocolates or a beautiful piece of jewelry would be a wonderful gift for Valentine’s Day.  But if you really want to make your Valentine happy – surprise him or her with a trip.  

Anywhere will do.

As long as it helps your Valentine momentarily forget about everyday life. 

One of the most popular choices at this time of year is a cruise. All it takes to set up this trip is a call to the cruise line or a visit to their website. If you’re not opposed to flying to a different port such as Miami or Fort Lauderdale you can really get in on some cool deals (4-night cruise for $199). What’s also nice about a cruise is they are usually all-inclusive meaning there’s no worry about food, entertainment and lodging. There’s also the advantage of visiting a variety of ports in one trip.

Consider the local wineries. They are busy during the spring and summer months but during the winter – they might be anxious to have visitors. Some wineries have an Inn or bed and breakfast on site or have an agreement with local businesses in town to offer packages. Sampling vintage wine around a cozy fire -- if you’re looking for something with an adults-only environment this would probably be it.

Visit a city near you. Not every trip has to be an out-of-state adventure. Have you ever stayed at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham? It’s a favorite among many stars including Sir Paul McCartney and Elton John. Valentine’s Day packages might include a two-night stay plus dinner. Be sure to take advantage of local museums, art centers and shopping areas that attract tourists throughout the year.

Travel to a concert hall or small venue hosting a popular singer or musician. There is nothing more romantic than listening to music together. It could be a blues bar in Detroit or a concert hall in Ann Arbor. Google a favorite artist to see where he or she might be playing or just visit a venue on a night when you know there’s going to be a show. Every Friday night, for example, there is a performance at the DIA in Detroit. See a live performance is usually memorable and in many cases quite affordable.

Swap time-shares. Visit TimeShareJuice.com and see if someone might be interested in swapping time-shares or looking to rent out their property. Looking to stay in a cozy cabin on Higgins Lake? How about a villa in Tuscany? Sites such as VRBO.com feature cottages and estates in the United States and abroad. I know of one woman in Michigan who took a chance and rented a one-bedroom apartment in Paris, France and developed such a good rapport with the owner she rents out the apartment for a week every summer.

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