You can go traditional again (e.g., predictable!) with roses, wine, and chocolate on Valentine’s Day. Or you could put some imagination into making your loved one’s next trip even more special, more comfortable, and more memorable. Here are my 2010 suggestions for romantic travel gifts. Best of all, these fit any budget!
The Gift of Travel
Of course, no Valentine’s Day would be complete without a gift certificate for a Friendly Planet Travel exotic tour. Our Western Mediterranean Concordia Cruise will take your lover (and you) to the romantic ports of Marseilles, France; Barcelona, Spain; and Naples, Italy. It’s 10 heart-pounding days starting at a sweet $1,499 per person.
The Gift of Language
Learn a Romance language together in anticipation of your future romantic getaway. Speak French, Spanish, or Italian — the languages of love — on CDs that you can listen to in the car, or rip to your MP3 player. Macmillan’s Behind the Wheel series cost about $50, and includes a great companion book.
The Gift of Entertainment
Pick up two mini ear bud headphones and a splitter, so you can cozy up and watch a romantic movie on the laptop or portable DVD player together. This is perfect for those times when you’re counting off the hours in a noisy airport, the plane, or even in your hotel bed (blush). I like iblink’s $30 ear buds, with their multi-colored power lights. Get pink for her and blue for him. The splitter will set you back a mere $5. Throw in a romantic DVD and you’re set for cuddle time.
The Gift of Gab
Stay in touch with friends and family while traveling the globe together with a traveler’s webcam. Download and install a free Internet videophone service such as Skype, and when you check in, it will be almost like you’re in the next room. Microsoft’s LifeCam Pro couldn’t be any smaller or more portable, yet it packs a techno punch with a high-resolution video camera and high-fidelity microphone.
The Gift for Him: The Portable Humidor
OK, smoking is bad for you. But an occasional cigar won’t kill ya’ — especially if it’s a good cigar. And for the man who has everything, there’s the pocket Ci-Garage. It holds one cigar, comes with a stainless-steel cutter, a box of matches, and a portable ashtray. It’s about $25, and can even be monogrammed.
The Gift for Her: The Traveling Spa
This one’s a no-brainer. Put together her favorite scents in massage oil, bubble bath, and scented candles. Handmade soy candles in a variety of scents in tiny tins are available from the Travel Tin Company, starting at about $6.
That’s it for this year. So what are you waiting for? Warm up that credit card and start shopping. There’s only a few days left (which I know is enough time for the gentlemen out there, because I see you all lined up in the card aisle at the drug store on the 14th).