No doubt you’ve had to postpone celebrating a big birthday, an anniversary or even a significant life milestone with family and friends due to the restrictions on gatherings and overseas travel.
Special occasion travel is set to be one of the key trends for the travel bounce back.
The Flight Centre team rounded up some of the special occasions you may have missed that should definitely be celebrated with a special trip when you’re able to. Here’s the second blog in our “Special Occasion Travel” series – romantic getaways!
Browse through our range of romantic getaways, perfect for proposals, couples retreats, anniversaries, honeymoons, engagements, and more here.
The Cape Winelands
Nothing spells romance quite like picnics on sprawling lawns, cycling through vast scenic vineyards, coffee and croissants to go, lazy lunches, midday swims and high thread count linen.
Whether you choose to cosy up in Stellenbosch or Franschhoek, the two most popular and charming little towns in the area, you’re bound to have a special time.
There’s plenty of stunning hotels to choose from and a whole host of outdoor pursuits if you’re an adventure loving duo.
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Switching up your scenery just a little will put much more of a swing in your step than if you’d decided to stay home, order in and watch Netflix.
If you’re eager to do that while enjoying sunny skies, make a break for Umhlanga or KZN’s sunny coastline. Base yourself in Durbs proper to be in the heart of the action or drive north to Umhlanga, Ballito and other holidays towns that dot this famous Dolphin Coast.
Splurge on a stay at the iconic Oyster Box Hotel for a romantic getaway with all the trimmings. The award-winning Oyster Box has been the accommodation choice for many VIPs and royalty over the years.
Voted the number one top hotel in South Africa in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards, it is no surprise that this hotel has been the accommodation option of choice for VIPs and royalty for years.
Relax in the tropical style Palm Court, bring along your pampered pooch for the ultimate pet-friendly stay, savour the legendary High Tea or treat yourself in the award-winning spa.
The romance of the African bushveld
If you’re dreaming of an idyllic escape without travelling too far, coupled with oodles of romance in the heart of nature, then the Kruger National Park is your perfect match.
There are a multitude of stunning lodges to choose from.
For honeymoons, Flight Centre suggests the adults-only Hamiltons Tented Camp, an unfenced camp on one of the original private concessions of the park. Six exquisitely appointed, blissfully private, luxury elevated safari tents overlook the N’waswitsontso River where the Big Five often pass through. Take in the sights and sounds of the river from your slipper bathtub, outdoor shower and private deck and enjoy dinner under the starry African sky. Best of all, there is no cellphone reception to interrupt your honeymoon bubble.
If getting away from it all is what you need, then Thakadu River Camp in the North West province, nestled in the eastern portion of the Madikwe Game Reserve, is the stuff your dreams are made off. One of South Africa's lesser-known parks, Madikwe is unspoilt and tranquil.
Snuggle up in one of the 12 tented suites set in the treetops, overlooking the Marico River, and come nightfall, enjoy a dinner under the stars in the outdoor boma.
Another wonderful bush escape is the breathtakingly romantic Tshukudu Bush Lodge, in the malaria-free Pilanesberg National Park. Nestled on a hill overlooking a waterhole and savanna, the lodge is ideal for the privacy-seeking traveller. With only six luxury chalets, and four suites, privacy is guaranteed. Enjoy exclusive game drives, dinners in the boma and your own private plunge pool.
Escape to the mountains
Hop into the car with your significant other and set off on a road trip to the rolling green hills of the Drakensberg. With its waterfalls, misty mountain lanes and cosy retreats, you’ll feel as if you’ve been whisked off to the English countryside.
Hole up in a luxury suite, check-in for a full day at the spa or browse the quaint coffee shops. For the more adventurous, head out to explore the mountainous terrain, hit the hills for a hike or indulge in a spot of fishing.
The Cathedral Peak Hotel and Spa, nestled in the unspoiled surroundings of the Drakensburg, is an amazing accommodation option. With superb mountain scenery, you have the choice to soak up those views on a hike, birdwatching excursion or horse-riding adventure – or take in the view from the comfort of your suite. The hotel also welcomes day visitors.
Further afield: International destinations oozing with romance
With overwater villas, exotic seaplane transfers and snorkelling in gin-clear waters, the Maldives is favoured by luxury lovers and every bit as idyllic and picturesque as places like Bora Bora.
The Maldives has been selling like hotcakes currently.
Arguably South Africans’ favourite Indian Ocean island and visa-free, Mauritius has something for every interest and budget.
Now you can plan your trip for December 2021, or as early as October 2021 (fingers crossed!)
Choose a resort that is adults-only, has adults only wings or has special honeymoon inclusions for the ultimate couples retreat.
Victoria for Two is Victoria Beachcomber's resort adults-only wing with exclusive accommodation and swim-up rooms, not far from vibrant Grand Bay, while LUX* Le Morne, nestled at the foot of Le Morne mountain, offers wonderful honeymoon special packages.
Fight Centre Top Tip: Definitely opt for an all-inclusive honeymoon package that includes all meals and drinks, we well as some romantic extras.
Romantically known as the Spice Island, Zanzibar is ideal for a beach escape with a dash of culture and the exotic. The island's visa-free status and direct flights to and from South Africa only adds to the appeal.
Couples can feast, swim and relax at their resort and, take a tour of Stone Town and the island's spice farms, or enjoy a sunset dhow cruise.
Wherever you choose to honeymoon, make it a trip to remember. And may it be the start of an even more exciting journey together, happily ever after.
Tips for the perfect honeymoon
Look out for special honeymoon packages that include romantic extras.
Have your marriage certificate when booking your trip and travelling. Marriage certificates generally need to be less than 12-months old to qualify for a honeymoon rate.
If you’re changing your surname, be sure to book your honeymoon (especially flights) using the name that matches your passport and carry your marriage certificate with you.
Three tips from Flight Centre to keep safe on your Valentine's getaway (without extinguishing the romance):
Choose COVID friendly and vetted establishments, and make sure you adhere to all protocols. Check that your choice of accommodation has the TBCSA stamp of approval.
Book a flexible package or flight, even if it's a bit more. Ask about Flight Centre’s popular Moneyback Guarantee on all our local accommodation.
Get expert advice. Never before have travellers needed the guidance of an expert travel advisor to help guide and assist them through the currently very fluid and uncertain world of travel.