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Happy Valentine's: Planning the perfect couples holiday

Love is in the air and cupid has his arrow at the ready - the most romantic day of the year is fast approaching. Valentine's Day is an opportunity for loved-up couples everywhere to rekindle the romance and spend some quality time together. For some that means a candlelit meal at a swanky downtown restaurant. For others it means a romantic getaway together, leaving the real world behind for a few days and losing themselves to love and romance. Whether you're planning a romantic weekend break for you and your partner this Valentine's Day, or getting ready for your big day later in the year and organising your honeymoon, here are some tips for planning the perfect couples holiday.

Choosing a time

If it's a Valentine's getaway, you obviously know when you're going, but how long will you be going away for? It's important to know how much time you have to spend away so that you know how far you can travel and how much you can expect to pack into the holiday. If taking time off work is an issue you might just consider a relaxing and pampering weekend at a nearby spa. Or if time allows, you might be able to plan a luxurious holiday to one of the paradise island's off the Queensland coast or somewhere equally exotic.

Either way, deciding how long your getaway will last is the first thing to check off your list.

Choosing a destination

Your next task in planning your ultimate holiday for lovebirds is choosing your destination. The main factors that will influence your choice are how long your break will be and what your budget is. The secret in choosing a destination is to get creative and remember that you don't necessarily need a big budget to plan the perfect holiday.

When picking your destination, spend some time together discussing what you want most from the holiday. If you're both keen to splash out on fine dining perhaps an escape to some of the fabulous wineries in New South Wales would suit you. Spend your days strolling hand-in-hand through the rolling green countryside and your nights enjoying romantic dinners and sampling some of Australia's best vinos.

Or maybe you want to relax together on a sun-baked beach, in which case the sandy beaches of Queensland could be your ideal location.

Once you figure out what type of break you both want and how far you can afford to travel, you can set about picking the perfect destination.

Make a list

Now that you know where you're going it's time to crack on with the really fun stuff - what are you going to do there?

Make a list each of all the things you want to do at your chosen destination and then get together to go through each other's list. If the lists are identical - fantastic, your holiday is all planned out (and you're clearly soulmates). It's unlikely they will be though, so pick and choose a mix of activities that you both like to do. 

Remember that this romantic holiday is all about spending time together, so it doesn't have to be action-packed. A morning stroll on the beach or a glass of wine watching the sun set could be the two activities at the top of your list. As an old Chinese proverb says, "Vacations are not about getting away, but about getting in 'touch.'"

Plan a surprise

One way to inject some real passion into your holiday is to plan a surprise for your partner. It could be as simple as having champagne and strawberries waiting in your hotel room when you arrive. Or a surprise massage treatment you have planned and booked in advance. Think about what treats your partner enjoys and plan a surprise around that - it's sure to get your escape off to the most romantic of starts.

Additionally, if this getaway is your honeymoon, don't be shy about letting your hotel know in advance. Many hotels are more than happy to lay on something special for newlyweds.

Stuck for ideas?

So now that you've started planning your couples getaway, are you looking for inspiration for your dream destination?

Of course, only you can know what will make the perfect location for a loved-up few days (or longer) for you and your partner, but there are some destinations in Australia that are renowned as being perfect for couples.

The sultry setting of Daylesford, in Victoria, is a relaxing a peaceful location that's filled with spas and secluded cottages that are almost tailor-made for couples. Meanwhile, the wineries of Hunter Valley in NSW are just a few hour's drive from Sydney, making them the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. Or how about Hamilton Island in the iconic Whitsundays? Golden sands, turquoise waters and long, lazy days provide the perfect environment for cupids arrow to strike.

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