Whatever the occasion, it’s hard to top a surprise holiday as far as romantic gestures go. The only trouble is they’re as difficult to pull off as they are impressive. After all, the two suitcases are a bit of a giveaway, and how do you get your partner to book time off without giving the game away?
It can be done and you can execute the ultimate romantic gesture in roughly five simple steps. So by the time you’re done reading this you’ll have everything you need to surprise your partner with a secret getaway.
#1: Pick your location
The first step is actually the easiest and all you have to at this stage is decide where you want to go. Maybe your partner has always dreamt of Paris or the Maldives; perhaps a cruise along the River Nile is your idea of romantic bliss – but if you’re stumped for hints or clues, you can’t go far wrong with the simple formula of sun, sand and sea.
Don’t book anything just yet though. Save that for when everything is in order or you could be wasting money – besides, there are always good deals to snap up on last minute holidays. Some great places to look are Holiday Hypermarket, Cheapflights, and Hotel Tonight for holidays, flights and hotels without too much advance planning.
#2: Get a secret agent helper
You’ll need some help to pull this off and your best secret agent ally is his or her closest friend. The first trick is to make sure your partner books the time off and who better to come up with a fake, but totally believable, reason than their best mate?
If you can’t trust so-called friends to keep schtum, then give good old mum or dad a try – after all, they lied about Santa for all those years.
#3: Tie up the loose ends
Now is the time to make sure any kids, pets or precious plants you have will be looked after and taken care of while you’re away. Here’s a bonus tip: be careful if you have any newspaper or milk deliveries to cancel, because milkmen and newsagent staff are experts at asking unsuspecting partners if they’re going anywhere nice.
#4: Devise your packing masterplan
Now we get to the trickiest part of pulling off a secret getaway – how do you pack your better half’s luggage without them knowing? Sure, you can go out and buy everything new, down to the suitcase, but this won’t do your budget much good and you may need something a little more cunning.
Why not announce your mission to rid the house of everything old or unused and donate them to the local charity shop? You don’t actually have to give anything away, of course, but you can start with the wardrobe, a couple of days before you leave, and make just enough mess to explain why certain items could go walkabouts. You may even be able to make the job easier by only packing one suitcase for the two of you.
#5: Bring it all together
Sadly, you have to break the news at some point before getting on the plane and final call for spilling the beans is pretty much when it becomes obvious you’re headed to the airport. This doesn’t mean you can’t play on the spontaneity though, so preload those suitcases and get your loved one in the car – you don’t need to tell them why.
If you’re a distance from the airport, wait until your other half asks where on Earth you’re going and simply respond by asking “why don’t we go to [city you’re flying from] today?” It doesn’t matter how mad you seem, because you want them to start wondering what you’re up to – just call it a day trip to explain the lack of luggage (wink wink).
And just before it becomes painfully obvious you’re driving to the airport, break out the simple line “you know what, why don’t we take a holiday?” They’ll be convinced you’re mad at this point, but it doesn’t matter, because as soon as you pop that boot and pull out two suitcases it all comes together and you’ve just pulled off the perfect surprise getaway.