Chic Driven

10 tips for a romantic Valentine’s road trip

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A road trip can either strengthen or ruin your relationship. It is like having children; being in a small space with very little distractions can spell true love or a disaster.

I have always told friends who are about to embark on a serious commitment: If you don’t genuinely enjoy the company of your significant other, he or she might not be the “one” for you.

Doing a road trip is a good test of this. Being alone with him or her for three or four hours could elicit interesting discussions that would deepen your appreciation of each other. Or it could be the severe test if you can withstand each other’s quirks (imagine the things about him that irritate you the most, and multiply these by 24 hours).

Since Valentine’s Day is happening on a weekend, a lot of couples will opt for a trip rather than a one-night date. So what are the ingredients of a successful romantic road trip?

1. Play music

Don’t go all mushy. We are not talking about straight Barry Manilow here. Not only will this induce sleep—or God forbid, an accident—but your road trip partner might think you are clingy.

Create an ambiance that he or she would relate to having an exciting weekend. You can also come up with a playlist of “sing-able” songs so you can enjoy a bout of singing while driving— which could be really fun.

Sample playlist:

“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk

“Youtopia” by Armin Van Buuren

“You Got Love” by Florence and The Machine

“Never Never Love” by Simply Red

“Midnight at the Oasis” by Maria Muldaur

“One” by U2

“Cosmic Girl” by Jamiroquai

“Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5

“Lovely Day” by Mike Francis

2. Know where to go

Going all spontaneous might sound like a cool idea, but being lost, going hungry and getting tired are ingredients of that “worst date ever.” It’s OK to go with the flow for a bit, but you need to know the general direction where you are going and the possible pit stops.

3. Have the right car

ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALBERT RODRIGUEZ

If you will have to bring a lot of gear or will pass by a few unpaved roads, make sure that you bring the right car. Nothing will scream disaster more than you deciding to bring your supercar to a place where there is muddy terrain and several potholes. You might just spend the whole trip bitching about your car, or worse, canceling it altogether.

4. Scout around for your destination

Know the cool spots on the way, such as places to eat, quaint churches or nice views. This will make the date more memorable. So if you decide to go to Calatagan, stop by Antonio’s Breakfast for a quick bite.

5. Have some surprises on the way

It can be as cheap as buying that P100 rose bouquet sold along the road or having a special lunch at Bale Dutung on the way to Anawangin Cove in Zambales or at the Villa Escudero Falls on the way to Laiya, San Juan, in Batangas.

You can talk to the managers of your hotel for them to prepare a special note to greet you and your company when both of you check in. The possibilities are endless, and some require little effort.

6. Buy everything you need (the essential ones)

If you plan to have a picnic or a special dinner, bring everything that you would need. If your date particularly likes a specific wine or cheese brand, don’t risk it by thinking you can buy them where you’re going. Having those items on hand not only means more time together, but also sends the message that he or she is always on top of your thoughts.

7. Have your emergency stuff ready

You had a flat tire during your road trip—big deal. Both of you might have a special moment while changing the tire. But what would really ruin the moment is if you didn’t have a spare tire or the tools for a tire change.

You may need to trek to the nearest barrio, only to find out that this is inhabited by the most hostile of locals. Or you would need to hitchhike and then realize that you’re with the driver from hell. Yes, these are examples of a horror movie waiting to happen. So make sure you have the following items:

Spare tires

Basic tools

Extra bottle of coolant/brake fluid/power steering

Phone number of towing/battery service

Rain poncho

Mobile phone charger

Flashlight

8. Get an air freshener

Nothing zaps romance faster than bad odor. There is a reason why scents are a billion-dollar industry; it is much needed for romance. A few hours in the car with your date is not a good time to prove that your deodorant does not live up to its promise of 24 hours’ protection. Have an air freshener ready; this will come in handy when you have an episode of bad odor.

9. Stow away your gadgets

The whole idea of a road trip is to spend time together. iPads and smartphones are a big help in other things, but not in romance, especially if you are already together. Check your phone only for emergency calls or messages. Other than that, try to enjoy each other’s company.

10. Make living the moment a priority, not your selfies

Nowadays, we all seem to live by monitoring our Facebook pages instead of enjoying the moment. We try to find the best “photo ops” that will garner us the most likes.

Experience and enjoy what the trip and your partner have to offer. The most important tip is of course to have a positive outlook. Whether you decide to have an uber-sophisticated trip or a bare-bones camping experience in the wilderness, what will make it unforgettable is if you yourself decide that this will be a fun trip whatever comes your way or wherever the road will take you.

Happy Valentine’s!



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