The Single Traveler’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

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Photo by Richard Elzey via Flickr

Valentine’s Day gets a lot of hype. Even in the travel sector.

Granted, it’s a holiday push. Hotels create theme packages, special deals and savvy promotions. Article topics extend dreamy destinations, hip restaurants around the world, and many sources — even uses — for quality chocolate.

Yep, travel can be romantic.

So as February 14 rolls in again, I thought about how travel can give even the most self-conscious singleton a boost on a day like this. Here it goes:

1) Many Go Solo
Although having a travel companion is great, going solo can be even better. It’s brave too. Perhaps your potential significant other might not want to go to that place you’ve dreaming about. Or due to different reasons, can’t go.

Plus, who knows who you might meet on your adventure?

During a night in Athens, I was trying to figure out what transit line to take to get to the Acropolis Museum. Anxious about making the right stop, I asked a Greek male waiting on the platform with me if I was in the right place. He confirmed it, and while on the train, he was nice to notice me checking off each stop. And then suddenly, at the right stop, he said, “I’ll go with you.”

Instead of just walking me to the museum’s front, he bought a ticket as well. We ended up having a good evening out. He not only explored the museum with me but also walked with me to the Plaka, had dinner with me, and then brought me back to my hotel.

2) Everyone Can Have Travel Issues
If it makes you feel better, couples travel is not always as pretty as a picture. Even the best of them have had to adjust to traveling together.

People have different approaches to travel, and, like traveling with friends and families, you have to make compromises. You might encounters issues beyond your control: cancelled flights, missed trains, food poisoning, you name it. From planning to budgeting, to styles and interests, couples travel can really teach you how you work well in good times and bad.

My once significant other was a good sport about going places with me, and I was in turn with him. Thanks to him, I got to see more of New Hampshire (including a great pancake place) and he met up with me in Las Vegas after my work’s conference ended. On the contrary, he had his quirks such as always having to take an interesting choice of hotel souvenir.

3) It’s Your Choice
On Valentine’s Day, go out. Look at event calendars like ones at museums to see if you can drop in a public program. One good source is Eventbrite, a ticketing website where you can see event listings in or close to your area and then directly purchase a ticket if available. Avoiding mixers? Head to a concert or a fundraiser instead. Or even a chocolate shop.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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