Romantic Getaway Tips from Couples Who Found Love through Travel
When it comes to finding love or keeping the flame burning in your relationship, travel is a perfect opportunity for romantic adventures, say travel advisors at Travel Leaders Network who found their true love through a travel experience. Given travel is how they met, they kept the spark going by working together in the industry, allowing for many blissful getaways. Here are their love stories and tips for where and how to travel to keep the romance alive.
In July, Bonnie and Walt Lee will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. They met after Bonnie mistakenly hopped the wrong bus and Walt was the driver who got her home. They married five months later.
Today Bonnie and Walt Lee co-own Travel Quest Network, a Travel Leaders host agency in Albertville, Minnesota that they opened in 1994. "Because we work together, we learn to work through a lot of good and bad stuff," Walt says. "The business never comes into the bedroom." But the romance follows them at work. They unexpectedly renewed their wedding vows on a familiarization trip five years ago. "We were taking a group of our travel advisors to Playa Resorts in Jamaica to learn more about destination weddings. Our contact knew it was our wedding anniversary that weekend and surprised us with a real vow renewal ceremony right on the water."
"I could better sell vow renewals after that experience because I knew how much it strengthened our union," added Bonnie, who says she recommends Jamaica and Mexico for honeymoons and destination weddings.
Regardless of the occasion, Bonnie says a romantic getaway starts before you get to the destination. "Start the romance the minute you head to the airport. I tell husbands to board with a fake silk rose, placemat and cloth napkins hidden in their carry-on. When the flight attendants come around with the snacks, pull down the seat tray for you and your partner, set up your place settings and put the rose on hers. Bring battery-powered candles for your hotel balcony. Different things like that are simple ways to add romance."
Beth Hunter and Paul Hadley, Fort Wayne, Indiana
"Imagine having the opportunity to sail on a luxury cruise line indulging on grilled lobster and champagne"
When it comes to honeymoons and destination weddings, Beth Hunter, a Travel Leaders luxury travel specialist in Fort Wayne, Indiana, knows firsthand. She and husband Paul married this year, February 8. They honeymooned in Bora Bora, where they reserved an overwater bungalow at the InterContinental Resort. Beth has been a vacation consultant for Travel Leaders since 1997 and has gained many loyal clients through the years. One of those clients referred Paul to her in November 2018.
"This gentleman came into my office to discuss a British Isles cruise he was interested in taking with his daughter that next year. He booked his trip with me and personally offered his cell phone number a few days later. We had our first date three months later in February 2019. In July 2019, we got engaged," said Beth. The really cool part, she added, is that the couple who referred their friend officiated at the wedding. "I had never dated a client in all the years of doing business as a travel consultant – I guess I got lucky on my first try," she added.
Beth recommends a cruise for anyone seeking a romantic experience. "Imagine having the opportunity to sail on a luxury cruise line indulging on grilled lobster and champagne or embarking on a Mediterranean cruise for your next retreat," she said.
Linda and Dario Jelencovich, West Palm Beach, Florida
"Cruises are very romantic"
Linda and Dario Jelencovich, owners of Super Travel of Palm Beach, a Travel Leaders Network affiliated travel agency, were one of the many couples renewing their vows on February 14, 2020 aboard Celebrity Edge – a voyage the cruise line billed as aiming to set a Guinness World Record for the most-renewed vows on Valentine's Day.
They still remember the day they met in the Los Angeles airport. Dario, who was originally born in Croatia and grew up in Italy, was headed to New York City. "I saw a beautiful blonde running through the airport," he said. With his Italian accent, he said to her: "Hey, blondie where are you going?" Linda responded she was afraid she was going to miss her flight to New York, and then she ran off.
Dario went over to her gate and found her still there. Linda, who got her start in the travel industry as a flight attendant before moving into a variety of roles on the airline corporate side, had just missed her flight. They sat and talked and talked and talked. Although Linda was rebooked in First Class on Dario's flight to New York, she said, "I enjoyed our conversation so much that I changed my ticket to an economy seat next to Dario."
They chose to renew their vows on a cruise for a variety of reasons. "Cruises are very romantic because you're out at sea, under the stars, exploring new and unique destinations together as a couple," said Linda. Their voyage sailed to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and to the island of Virgin Gorda, as well as to St. Maarten before heading back to Fort Lauderdale. "I recommend a cruise because not only is it romantic, but you only have to unpack once to visit multiple destinations and your meals are all-included. This low-stress travel allows you more time to focus on each other."
Anne and Duane Jasper, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
"Always looking forward to the next trip keeps things fresh"
Anne and Duane Jasper who are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary this year were set up on a blind date by Anne's stepmother, who, upon her retirement from Destinations Unlimited in Cedar Rapids, Iowa sold the travel agency to the couple.
"In Duane's previous employment, he was CEO of a company that booked his corporate travel through this agency when my stepmother owned it," said Anne. "For our first date we went to a bar," she said. "It was a very short date because our kids were young then." They had three children each and two years later they became the Jasper Bunch.
"Romantic destinations for us usually involve active and adventure – having those experiences together is a real thrill," Anne said. "We just came back from a four-day bike ride from Austin to San Antonio, Texas and are headed to Patagonia in April. We also recently went on a cruise to the Galapagos and Machu Picchu. I recommend that you go to every island they stop at, walk around, and do every activity they offer. We kayaked and snorkeled. Immerse yourself as much as possible, experiencing everything as if it is a once-in-a life-time trip."
Her tip for keeping the romance alive: "Always look forward to the next trip and the next new experience. It always keeps things fresh, rather than doing the same thing over and over again."
To celebrate with your love, or possibly to find your true love through travel, contact a Travel Leaders expert at TravelLeaders.com; including ones who specialize in couples travel or honeymoons. For honeymoon and destination wedding ideas, read Destination Bliss.
About Travel Leaders Network
Travel Leaders Network (www.TravelLeaders.com) assists millions of leisure and business travelers annually, and is one of the largest sellers of luxury travel, cruises and tours in the travel agency industry, with approximately 5,700 travel agency locations across the United States and Canada. Travelers also have access to The Travel Collection by Travel Leaders Group, a selection of travel offers and discounts available at no additional cost to holders of select American Express® cards. For more information visit www.TheTravelCollection.com.
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