Twelve Tips for Packing More Romance Into Your Trip

12 Tips for Packing More Romance Into Your Trip

Who says five-star resorts and cozy bed and breakfasts have all the romance? If you’re traveling with your partner, whether for work or for play, be sure to take advantage of the privacy and pleasures any hotel room has to offer. We talked to romance expert Eric Marlowe Garrison, veteran traveler, sex counselor, and author of the international best-seller Mastering Multiple Position Sex, to compile a list of tips and tricks anyone can use to create an intimate escape. Your partner will be surprised (and seduced) by your attention to detail.

Getting There:
• Tipping flight attendants is tacky (and in most cases, not allowed by the carrier). Instead, ask the purser or your cabin attendant to surprise your loved one with a box of chocolates. In return, offer a similar selection from the same chocolatier (wrapped and sealed) to the entire flight crew. Ask that there be no plane-wide announcement—chocolates and a whispered "Happy Anniversary/Birthday/Divorce Settlement" will more than suffice.

• Airline food is almost non-existent these days, so pack a picnic. Include foods with meaning, like the same type of cheese and crackers you enjoyed on a previous wine-country trip.

• If you are traveling with adult toys to spice up your stay, remove the batteries. You don't want the evidence going off during turbulence. Also, if you are packing liquids like massage oils, bring only three ounces or less.

The Hotel:
• Mail a framed photo of you and your partner to the hotel ahead of time with instructions to have housekeeping place it on the bedside table before your arrival. Never mail the original photo, in case it is lost en route.

• Ask housekeeping to remove all visible signs that remind you "this is a hotel room!" This includes water bottles with room-charge warnings on them and placards reminding you of laundry services or to call the front desk for requests. The room will feel more like your own.

• Make sure that the room is stocked for two: Two robes, two sets of slippers, etc. The key is to feel like a pair.

• Secretly mail a fancy dress outfit for each of you (with accessories) to the hotel, and then make arrangements to attend an opera, play, wine tasting, or other upscale event. When the excuses start—"But my tux is at home!”—you can ask room service to "Bring up something to fit my man, please." The hotel will even press clothes in advance and/or place them in your room.

• Travel with a candle. Try Nomia candles—once heated, they turn into massage oil. Talk about dual functionality! Bonus: The flickering candlelight adds texture to a sterile hotel room, and any fragrance says "This not a hotel room—it is our love sanctuary."

• If you order flowers for the room, take a moment and order a small bouquet for the bathroom. That and the candle will make it more romantic.

The Restaurant:
• When booking a table at any restaurant you’re visiting for the first time, ask the host/hostess where they would want to sit if dining there with someone special. You and your date will never be seated by the bathrooms—the person seating you won’t want to have to defend a bad seating arrangement.

• Some restaurants, like the Fat Canary in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, will print celebratory menus for the table, whether for 2 or 20. Phone the maitre'd well in advance and see what the restaurant can offer the two of you.

• Phone the manager of the restaurant, and ask how you can pre-pay for the meal. It’s the ultimate smooth move when the waiter, without presenting the check, can say, "Thank you for dining with us, Mr. and Mrs. Jetsetter, please enjoy the rest of your stay."

Follow these tips and your significant other is sure to swoon. With a little advance planning, any weekend getaway will be full of romantic memories you’ll treasure.