Relationship Expert Dishes on Romantic Fall Getaways

If you and your partner missed out on a summer vacation, don’t fret. Fall is the perfect time to travel with your special someone. The changing colours and cooler temperatures can make for a romantic setting. We spoke with Ashley Howe, a relationship therapist who works with Travelocity.ca, on how travel and romance complement each other in the fall:

29Secrets: What spooky destinations would be perfect for a Halloween getaway?

Ashley Howe: Halloween might mean more than trick or treating for you and your partner. There are many fun and spooky themed destinations awaiting you this season. What's also interesting is that many people don't realize that experiencing an emotion like fear or surprise with your partner can actual be bonding. So what better way to get your heart rate going than a trip to some of the scariest destinations around?  After all, there is a reason couples like going to scary movies on dates, right?

Destinations:

– Niagara on the Lake: There are so many stories about this famously haunted and historic town, with experiences from over 80 per cent of homes and businesses it's no wonder it's considered to be one of the most haunted place in Canada. You can snuggle up with your sweetie to brave a haunted ghost walk. Or perhaps dare to stay at the notoriously haunted Prince of Wales hotel – just be sure you have a tight squeeze on the arm of your partner. 

– Salem, Massachusetts: Salem has come to embrace their haunted history and now hosts an annual festival from October 1-31 every year! No matter when you plan a trip to Salem throughout October, you'll no doubt get to experience an endless amount of parades, costume balls and haunted houses. Why not get right in the act and do something fun with your partner like pick-out coordinating costumes? The good news, if you end up being too scared you can always make your way on the short trip to Boston.

29: Where are some romantic places where you can see fall at its best?

Because we all grew up associating fall with the beginning of the new school year, it is in our minds that fall brings fresh starts. So fall is a great time to travel and experience a fresh or refreshed relationship. While the summer offers couples its own selection of visual delights, no season can compare to the beauty of the fall. The changing of the leaves is a perfect time to hit the outdoors with your partner and take in the sites. 

– Ottawa, Ontario: Gatineau Park is exceptionally beautiful in the fall. Be sure to take in the changing leaves on a romantic stroll in this expansive park and finish with an intimate dinner at one of the many restaurants in Byward Market.

– Montreal, Quebec: Montreal has that “je ne sais quoi” that makes it one of Canada’s most romantic cities. Be sure to bundle up for a brisk fall walk with spectacular views in Mount Royal Park. Afterwards, you and your partner can enjoy the luxuries of the city and enjoy a candlelit dinner in Old Montreal. 

29: How can travelling together benefit a relationship?

HW: As a therapist, I always recommend getting away from the everyday in any way you can; whether, that’s a night in a hotel in your own city, a cruise or a two-week European vacation. Any time you experience something novel with your partner; it breathes new life into your relationship and provides you with a new perspective on each other.

29: What types of things can you learn about each other?

HW: In general, when we’re on vacation, we bring the best of ourselves to table. We try new foods, we are out of comfort-zone, we’re more adventurous, and we often look our best (or try more). This often provides a unique opportunity to see your partner at their best, which can help remind you why you chose them in the first place.

29: Do you have any tips for getting along while you’re spending so much time together on a holiday?

HW: It’s often a good idea for both people to invest in the planning of the trip, so that each person’s expectations for what they want to do on the trip end up being incorporated.  Make sure you share your ideas with the partner from the start.

One of the things I say the most in couples’ therapy is “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” So when you are on a vacation, it’s even more important to be reminded that the point of the trip is to be happy, to reduce stress and get a break. So, if you find yourself in a conflict, remind yourself that the point is to, above all else, have fun. Not to be right.

Respect each other’s natural rhythms.  Most couples have different schedules and routines in their everyday lives.  Some might have to be early at work and others get to sleep in at regular basis.  So, when you are on a vacation and have to merge those schedules try to be respectful of the other person’s natural set points. So, if it means the person getting used to wake up at 6 a.m. has to get up and has to go down and have breakfast at the hotel restaurant alone while the other sleeps in, then so be it.  Sometimes, during travelling there’s the expectation you should be the same.  But, try to accommodate those small differences.

29: What are the advantages of the fall season for couples?

HW: Kids are back at school, so more time for adult-only activities and fun.  Prices are lower generally for travel!

Tags: fall travel, how to travel with your partner, relationship therapist, relationship tips, romance, romantic destination, travel

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