If the plummeting temperatures make you want to cuddle up with a special someone, you're certainly not alone. We're in the thick of cuffing season, when the chill in the air makes you want to settle down — and settle in — with an S.O. Still, cabin fever can set in, and when that happens, the two of you may want to hit the road and plan a cozy getaway for cuffing season that allows for some quality one-on-one time together.
But here's where it gets tricky: The romances associated with cuffing season are typically fresh. "Cuffing as a season is about new relationships — you want to lock someone down for the season, but they may not last until the spring," clarifies Rachael DeAlto, Match's chief dating expert. And when it comes to traveling with a new partner, "trips together can make or break a relationship; nothing shows you all the sides of someone more than spending 24/7 with them." So, her advice is to keep things simple. "Avoid trips with a plethora of moving parts until you have a firm foundation. An all-inclusive beach trip is far less stressful than hitting five countries in two weeks."
Ahead, find tips for cuffing season travel, along with a handful of ideas that'll allow you to cuddle up with your crush. Whether your relationship is new or the spark's still alive after years together, you and your person can plan a getaway that's fitting for you.
For Couples Traveling Together For The First Time
Carolyn Addison, head of product for Black Tomato, shares some expert travel tips for the newly cuffed. "Traveling together for the first time is already going out on a limb, so don’t push yourselves too far out of your comfort zone," she suggests. "If you have a common interest, it’s great to explore that together — a cooking class, hike, art, live music." Further, she says to cap the time you'll be away. "To keep the pressure off, short trips with short travel journeys limiting the time of flights and long car rides are the best place to start. We think the best formula for a quick getaway is a five-day trip that takes less than five hours to travel to." (Check out their recently launched travel service 5 Hours/5 Days.)
As for what not to do, Addison points out that planning a bucket list trip with someone who may or may not be around in the future could spoil those memories later on. "Fling vacations can be great if you are honest about what it is," she says. "I’d avoid something meaningful (ie, Machu Picchu) and stick to the beach or a ski resort."
For Established Couples Looking For A Cozy Getaway
Of course, you can still have that "cuffing feeling" with your long-term S.O. In fact, Addison says that December is a popular travel month for couples overall, and Staffo Dobrev, a budget travel expert for Wanderu, adds that it's also a great time to save some cash. "Look into a long weekend trip in mid-December right before the holidays or in late January," he says. "That’s when you can score the best deals to fly there and travel around by bus or train."
Cuffing Season Getaway Ideas
Savor A Spa Retreat
Spas are sensual by default, so a relaxing weekend full of mud baths, manis, and yes, couples massages, is sure to provide romance and relaxation. You and your lover can visit a local spot for a day full of pampering or book a lengthier retreat for a revitalizing vacation.
If you're craving both culture and rejuvenation (all while escaping the cold), resorts like the Grand Velas in Mexico offer spa treatments and packages for a wellness-promoting stay.
Head To A "European" Christmas Market ... Right Here In The US
The legendary European Christmas markets are on many wanderlusters' bucket lists. But if time or money don't allow — or if traveling internationally is too big a commitment with your cuff — you can find Old World charm right here in the US.
Head to Baltimore, Maryland's Christmas Village, a local tradition inspired by the famed holiday markets in Germany. There, you can browse vendors and enjoy events like tours and a tastings, walking arm in arm with your crush. Still too far? Attending festivals near your hometown will still encourage some post-date cuddling.
For long-term couples ready for an actual European escape, Dobrev says that Oslo, Norway is popular for skiers, and Bergen has scenic city and mountain views, and Odense, Denmark will enchant with its castles, gardens, and Hans Christian Anderson museum.
Seek Adventure On A Ski Trip
For couples who love adventure and the great outdoors, a ski trip is one of the best ways to bond. Hitting the slopes will get your pulses racing, and after a day in the elements, you can head back to the lodge and snuggle up with some hot cocoa.
Plan a weekend escape at a mountain nearby or book a weeklong vacation to a ski destination like Copper Mountain outside of Denver, Colorado. There, you can add other activities to your agenda, like shopping, dining out, and indulging in spa treatments together.
Hunker Down At A Rustic Glampsite
Seeking solace with your sweetie? Rent a rustic glampsite where the two of you can hunker down for some quality one-on-one time. Perfect for all budgets and time constraints, glamping allows you to submerse yourself in nature without forfeiting your favorite amenities.
Book a home-away-from home near or far, and choose from unique accommodations like adorable A-frames, rustic lodges, yurts, airstreams, and so much more. Sites like Glamping Hub have thousands of listings worldwide, like this cabin in California or this tiny house in Texas. (Now, doesn't that sound cozy?)
Settle In For A Staycation
Perhaps the most convenient, affordable, and non-committal "getaway" is to snuggle up for a staycation where you can both unplug. When the weather outside is frightful, there's nothing like settling in for a quiet evening in the warmth of each other's company.
Build a fire or light some candles (real or faux) to set the mood, and stock up on snacks and hot drinks — boozy beverages optional. Grab a stack of blankets and queue up the movie lineup ... and don't forget to put away your phones.