Whether you're newly wed or married with children, one of the best ways to spark passion in your relationship is to take a romantic vacation.
In a recent survey conducted by Hyatt Resorts and Honeymoon magazine, nearly 75 percent of the couples responding said that the amorous feelings kindled by a romantic trip last up to four weeks after they return home. Ten percent reported that the romance lingered for as long as six months.
"Smart hoteliers know that it's not enough to meet couples' romantic expectations. They have to exceed them," said Peter Zacchilli, associate professor of lodging management at Johnson & Wales University. "They also know that once a couple finds a resort that fulfills their romantic ideals, they're likely to return again and again to relive the experience."
In recent years, Dr. Zacchilli adds, resorts and inns of all sizes have become increasingly creative in their efforts to lure couples.
For example, the Virginia, an upscale boutique hotel in historic Cape May, N.J., wooed sweethearts with a three-night Valentine's Day retreat featuring a personalized menu developed by Chef Chris Hubert.
But it's up to the couple to make the most of their vacation.
Need some help planning an amorous adventure? Dr. Tracy Cabot, author of How to Make a Man Fall in Love With You, How to Win the Woman You Want, and other highly successful books on love and relationships, and the Hyatt Regency Maui offer some tips in Romance on the Road: How to Keep the Flame Alive While Traveling Together.
li>Select a destination that fits both partners' ideas of a romantic setting.
li>Plan the trip together and talk about the activities you'll enjoy. To reduce stress, turn the reservations over to a travel agent.
li>Discuss expenses and set a budget before you leave. Allow each partner a little "mad money" to spend as he or she pleases.
li>Pack a few small items that can spark romance, such as lovely lingerie, aromatic oil or a CD of favorite music.
li>Allow for spontaneity. It's OK to go "off the plan" when you both agree there's a great opportunity.
li>Treat each other to little "presents," such as a soothing foot massage, a surprise bottle of wine or a love note on the pillow.
li>Give each other some space. Spending some time apart and allowing your partner to do something he or she enjoys is one of the best gifts you can give.