Planning an anniversary getaway (particularly for one of the big anniversaries like a 10th or 25th) can be stressful. Taking time off work, making extravagant plans and then spending money on something often billed as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to rekindle the flame of romance can certainly be nerve-racking. But for seasoned travelers, perhaps the most difficult part is choosing where to go! Here are some tips for making an anniversary celebration unforgettable, memorable, but most of all, enjoyable.
Don’t try to be something you’re not
An elaborate anniversary trip seems like the perfect time to do something out of the ordinary or even a little bit crazy – but don’t let yourself get carried away. If you know you’re really the kind of person who wants to lie on a beach for two weeks with your significant other, reading books, drinking cocktails, and talking for hours while watching the sunset, don’t guilt yourself into a trek to Machu Picchu just because you feel like you should. The true purpose of an anniversary trip is to celebrate that special union – something you can’t really do if you’re regretting your surroundings. Likewise, if you and your partner are true adventurers, then planning two weeks lying around on a beach doing nothing is going to be a challenge, too. Make sure you plan a vacation around something you can both enjoy doing together. That alone will make it something you’ll remember fondly.
Choose a destination that allows you to stand out or blend in
Are you the kind of people who want to be recognized and given a little bit of special attention for your anniversary? Granted, you can’t expect to be doused with free champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries wherever you go, but there are some perks to letting hospitality staff know you’re celebrating a special occasion. Popular anniversary locales like Hawaii and California are teeming with hotels that go out of their way to welcome anniversary travelers since they make up such a big part of their business. On the other hand, taking a vacation to a more remote or less popular location could give you the benefit of being a bit of a novelty and could mean a little extra attention from staff. It could also mean you could just disappear from the radar altogether, which is another romantic notion.
Don’t forget to plan for extras
Most of your budget will likely go towards accommodations and airfare, but don’t forget to leave a little bit of wiggle room for extras! Budget about 10 percent over what you think you’ll spend; it will give you the extra room to splurge on a nicer bottle of wine at dinner, or leave an extra generous tip for the hotel staff who gave you an upgraded room or a free bottle of champagne. If you don’t use that extra cash? Great! Save it for the next vacation. And if you do? You’ll know you were ready to, and you won’t stress about the credit card bill when you get home.
If orange juice and multivitamins are your go-to staples for staying healthy while traveling, you may want to rethink your defense strategy.
Research shows that disease-causing bacteria can linger on airplane surfaces for up to a week, according to the American Society of Microbiology in Boston.
The study tested if two types of bacteria that can lead to scary health problems – E. coli and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) – could survive in various places on a place like window shades, leather seats and plastic tray tables. Researchers exposed the pathogens to airplane-like conditions and found that MRSA survived a whole seven days on the seat-back pocket, and E. coli lasted four days on the armrest.
But, even though porous materials like the seat-back pocket harbor germs for longer, you’re more likely to transmit bacteria to your hands when you come in contact with flatter, less porous surfaces like the plastic tray tables window shades, the study’s author, Kiril Vaglenov, said. The cloth tends to trap bacteria in the small fibers and makes it difficult for the bacteria to transfer to skin.
Another germy place on an airplane is the bathroom, which is typically shared with 50 to 75 people on each flight, said University of Arizona Professor of Microbiology Charles Gerba, Ph.D. The sink and door handle can get pretty gross over the course of a long flight, and a lack of proper cleaning in between flights can contribute to the overall nastiness.
“They turn planes over so fast, and there are no rules or requirements for disinfecting or cleaning airplanes,” Gerba told Women’s Health. “They pick up the litter, but they don’t really disinfect [planes].
Protect yourself on your next flight using Gerba’s tips:
Use Hand Sanitizer
It’s your best line of defense since most germs are picked up through direct contact. Make sure to bring hand sanitizer in your carry on and use it before eating and after using the restroom.
One of the most dreaded sounds on a flight is someone in proximity to your seat coughing profusely, but most viruses are transmitted through hand-to-face contact. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible, which adults do at an average of 16 times per hour.
Wipe Down Your Tray
“Everyone uses the trays to eat, drink and play cards,” Gerba said. In another study, he found norovirus and flu bacteria on tray tables. Pack disposable disinfectant wipes and wipe down your tray before using it.