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25/02/2018 06:26 SAST | Updated 25/02/2018 06:26 SAST

5 Unforgettable Holiday Ideas For Couples

Traveling just keeps the romance going❤️.

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Get rid of those heart-shaped chocolates and bouquets of flowers – it's travel that really keeps the romance alive. This year's #relationshipgoals are all about exploring the world with your loved one.

Shaldon Fitzgerald, a transformational therapist based in Cape Town and author of "Dating By Numbers", says that the number-one reason that his couple-clients come to visit him is that they have reached a point in their relationship when they've stopped truly connecting to one another.

A cruise holiday for couples is sealed with the promise of exotic port destinations and onboard activities that take date night to a whole new level.

He also said: "It's incredibly common for us to fall into a rut where we lose sight of our joy, flexibility, and appreciation for the relationships we have built. We get caught up surviving and forget to truly live and to make memories. What [couples] need, is to pause, take a break, and invest time in each other. Go travel together. It's a great way to face new challenges, experience new things and discover a deeper level to your love and connection."

So whether you've only just made it Facebook-official or you're about to celebrate your silver wedding anniversary, we contacted Asata (the Association of Southern African Travel Agents) to see what's trending in the world of romantic holidays for South African couples.

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Cruise through the Med

With crimson sunsets and moonlit nights over the shimmering sea, a cruise through the Mediterranean ticks all the right boxes when it comes to unforgettable holiday ideas for South African couples.

It's a popular choice for duos, young and old, who prefer to spend their time meandering the weathered streets of Santorini hand-in-hand, or sharing a gondola ride through the canals of Venice, rather than laboriously going back-and-forth booking transport, activities and accommodation.

A cruise holiday for couples offers the promise of exotic port destinations and onboard activities that take date night to a whole new level. As a tip for cruising couples, be sure to book your trip ahead of time with a deposit, before the exchange rate affects the price.

A visit to France, mon chérie?

Paris' romantic reputation has unfortunately become something of a cliché, but venture out past the Eiffel Tower and those Edith Piaf-blaring cafés and you will soon discover the créme-de-la-créme of intimate travel destinations — the French countryside.

Smaller towns such as the like of Lyon, Moissac and Bordeaux are a natural draw for foodie couples, with their subtle romantic charm and countryside cuisine. It's less expensive than visiting the capital city, and more immersive and rewarding, as you mingle with the French locals, sample fresh bread and cheese and sip on ruby-red wine.

Have some fun participating in harvest practices together, like stomping on grapes, then head out on your bikes with a picnic basket bursting with fresh cream, crepes, croissants and macarons.

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Fall in love with keeping it local

Holiday ideas for South African couples can easily begin close to home. There's nothing wrong with keeping it local for that "Out Of Africa" romance you have always dreamed of.

There are plenty three-star safari lodges in the Kruger which won't break your budget, but can offer as much (or as little) action as your heart desires. Think 4x4 game drives seated side by side, as you share the ecstasy of the wilderness, followed by dinner à deux under the stars.

If you long to experience magnificent wildlife sightings with pastel-hued sunsets with your loved one, speak to an accredited local travel agent to #travelwithpeaceofmind, and gain rand-saving secrets.

A little beach-based romance

If you want to do your connecting near pure white sand and gin-clear waters, look no further than the Seychelles.

Apart from sun-lounging and cocktail-sipping, if getting active is more your thing, there are plenty of adventures such as diving and snorkelling.

Due to the current exchange rate being favourable, the Seychelles will not only bless you both with fantastic memories, but you won't break the bank. Instead of going for hotel accommodation, opt for secluded self-catering options, local, roadside cuisine – and try public transport when you venture out to explore.

There are some great holiday ideas for South African couples out there, but travelling together is not always easy.

Front row seats for two

If you've ever considered stargazing a romantic experience, Norway really ups the ante. No rom-com can compare to the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights.

This rare, dramatic and utterly beautiful occurrence showcases Mother Nature at her finest, and is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for couples wanting something unique.

One of the best ways to view the lights is on an expedition cruise. However you decide to go, contact an accredited travel agent, as seeing the lights is highly dependent on weather and the time of the year, and they'll help give you the greatest chance to ensure you come away with the memory of a lifetime.

There are some great holiday ideas for South African couples out there, but travelling together is not always easy, as Fitzgerald further warns. "Luckily we are adaptive, innovative creatures, who thrive when challenged."

He recommends these three quick pointers for couples as they plan their holiday:

1. You are in this together

2. Expect unplanned surprises on your journey — both good and bad

3. You are there to create memories.

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