05 Feb

The rise of the Euro doesn't dampen Brits' passion for romantic Valentine's Day getaways

Passion to keep romance alive is a priority for Brits this Valentine’s Day, despite the rising cost of European breaks.

As the pound continues to flail, Brits are booking breaks to less-famous European destinations in the lead up to Valentine’s Day to make most of their money.

“In these tougher times, romantic types are not only looking for value for money, but are also demanding destinations that are new and exciting,” said Casia Zajac from ABTA.

“It’s not surprising that cities such as Budapest and Antwerp are proving popular as we keep a tighter grip on the purse strings. They have intriguing histories and a frisson for the perfect romantic adventure.”

Then and Now 

Old Romantic Hotspots More-Love-For-Your-Money Bargains Uncovered
Venice Bologna (Italy) Choose architecture over canals. Famous for its cuisine, you’ll find great tasting authentic Italian food for a lot less than in Venice or Rome. Three nights bed and breakfast, 4* hotel in the city centre, flights included, from £330 per person
Paris Antwerp (Belgium) Its northern cool rivals that of Paris and Copenhagen, but without hitting their high prices. Three nights bed and breakfast, 4* Hilton on Groenplaats, city centre, travelling by Eurostar from £294 per person
Barcelona Berlin (Germany) With a pulsating nightlife that’s on par with its European counterparts, your pound will go further in Berlin? Two nights bed and breakfast, 4* hotel in city centre, flights included, from £241.42 per person
Prague Budapest (Hungary) More cosmopolitan, romantic and beautiful than Prague, Budapest is less tourist-trodden and still feels like a find. Two nights bed and breakfast, 3* hotel in the city centre, flights included, from £351 per person
London Liverpool (England) Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2008 has a great range of cultural offerings to rival the capital’s, and its steep prices. Two nights bed and breakfast, 3* hotel in the city centre, from £55 per night

How can you guarantee your Valentines getaway is a great one?

If you are planning a Valentines trip with your loved one, you want to make sure the memories you make are good ones. Get it right and he/she will be swooning. Get it wrong and regret it for years to come.

“Romantic breaks are the one time when everything has to be right. Booking a package, which can include breakfasts, taxes and service not only look like good value, but provide financial protection and added extras which really make a break away special” continued Casia Zajac.

ABTA’s Guide to Planning the Perfect Romantic Valentines Day Break:

  1. BUDGET: Before you begin planning your perfect romantic break, set a budget. In these credit crunching times, it is better to research your destination beforehand to ensure that when you pick up that oysters and champagne tab, you don’t find yourself short of cash.
  2. BRAINSTORM: Start writing down ideas. Romance isn’t necessarily roses, chocolates and clichés (though they rarely do any harm). Think about the foods you will want to romance your partner with, do you want to go for long walks along secluded beaches or do you want to see stunning architecture? What does your loved one love to do? Thinking about these little details will make your time away more meaningful and special.
  3. INSURE. Get adequate travel insurance, and if you are going to Europe, get an EHIC too. If the worst happens, at least you won’t be broke. 
  4. CHOOSE: When you know what you want from your loved-up weekend, pick the place that ticks as many of your boxes as possible. Read city guides and other traveller’s reviews online to make sure that your chosen destination has everything you have dreamed of. Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Travel advice on www.fco.gov.uk.
  5. PASSPORT TO NOWHERE. If your passports are not valid and you need a visa and you haven’t got one, you’re not going anywhere. Check that they are up to date.
  6. BOOK WITH AN ABTA MEMBER: We’ve all heard the horror stories. Your lover will not be impressed by a tatty, thin-walled hotel room with stained sheets. A truly romantic trip will have it all – the setting, the surroundings, the room, the food, the service. Book your break with an ABTA member and you can rest assured that a standard is guaranteed. All you need to worry about is packing.  For more information, go to www.abta.com
  7. BOOK A PACKAGE. Packages offer great value for money, convenience, added service and cast iron financial protection.
  8. ENJOY: Finding time to be together as a couple can be hard to do, so make the very most of being without the kids, out of the office and away from everyday stresses. Enjoy each other, relish in the romance and let passions fly!

ABTA Members can offer:

  • Great Service: ABTA Members follow a Code of Conduct, which means that you'll receive a high standard of service, fair terms of trading and clear and accurate information.
  • Financial Security: Many of the travel arrangements provided by ABTA Members are protected in case of the financial failure of the travel company. Ask your ABTA Member if protection applies to your travel arrangements. Where travel arrangements aren't already protected, most ABTA Members will be able to offer suitable insurance to cover you.
  • Complaints resolved: In the unlikely event of things going wrong, our Code of Conduct ensures that ABTA Members respond to any complaint within strict time limits. If you can't resolve a dispute, ABTA offers a low-cost independent arbitration service.