15 Couples Trip Ideas for an Intimate Travel Experience

Dig deeper for experiences that'll bring thrilling memories for years to come.
truffle hunting picking olives
Tiana Crispino
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Esther Lee - Deputy Editor, The Knot
Esther Lee
Deputy Editor
  • Esther is the Deputy Editor of The Knot. She currently leads all content on The Knot Wellness, focusing on financial, relationship, and mental wellbeing.
  • She oversees The Knot's travel vertical (honeymoons, destination weddings, bach parties), as well as overarching features and trends.
  • She proudly serves on the Advisory Council of VOW For Girls, focusing on ending the injustice of child marriage around the world.
Updated Nov 29, 2023
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When it comes to truly unique couples trip ideas, planning relationship-bonding vacations sometimes feels like an impossible feat as the years go on. Booking something new together can be scary, intimidating, exhilarating and completely mind-blowing, but one thing is certain: thoughtful and constructive travel experiences will not only bring you closer together, but these travel ideas for couples will also create an intimate connection beyond the material to bring home after you leave the destination.

From practicing falconry in Ireland to truffle-hunting in Italy, here are 15 epic couples trip ideas in amazing travel destinations to get your mind racing for incredible bonding to help your relationship expand. Consider this your go-to guide for anniversary trip ideas, honeymoons, or any couples vacation you take with your partner.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride Over the Masai Mara of Kenya

hot air balloon flies over masai mara in the morning and wildebeest
Rixipix / iStock, Getty Images

There are numerous places around the world to experience a hot air balloon ride, none greater than the swoon-worthy Masai Mara of Kenya (in the opinion of this humble editor). As lions hunt and feast in the dark, couples quietly slip on their safari gear for the day, throw blankets over their bodies to stay warm against the pre-dawn chill, enjoy a drive through the savannah at dawn, and join their guides to remote and open grassland. There, they climb into the gondola of a hot air balloon as the burner inflates the canopy. It's pure magic and thrill as you ascend over prides of lions, dazzles of zebra, herds of elephants, and all types of wildlife known to the expanse of the Mara. Most safari outfitters will offer the experience as additions to packages with an incremental cost or you can arrange it individually through top local services. Couples who may not be so inclined to enjoy safari can still access romantic hot air balloon rides around the world—the most famous destinations for the thrill include Cappadocia, Turkey, over the fairy chimneys of Monks Valley and the sandy desert of Dubai, UAE, which is only a short drive outside of the city. A Bedouin breakfast follows if you book through Platinum Heritage.

Where to Stay: Couples on safari will most easily access a hot air balloon ride in the Mara. Basecamp Explorer is centrally located within the famed national park and the staff will even top your morning experience, which is already tough to beat, with a Champagne breakfast.

Reset in a Sunset Sound-Healing Session in Careyes, Mexico

Copa del Sol careyes mexico pacific coast
Karla Silvana Cifuentes Fuentes

The Pacific Coast of Mexico is powerful for many reasons. Along the Costa Alegre, the inimitable Copa del Sol ("Cup of the Sun") in Teopa Beach, Careyes, awaits couples who want the emotional rest and rejuvenation that comes with an authentic wellness experience led by practitioners and sound healers. Couples will drive through the winding desert past trees, rocky cliffs and open dusty plains, which eventually open to the raw beauty of a lighthouse surrounded by the roaring ocean. As they amble to the tip of the peninsula–roaring ocean waves mightily lapping the rugged coastline along both sides of the trail–the massive, 35-feet by 88-feet Copa installation greets guests. (The origin of the seaside bowl has an equally fascinating story: the concept, which is an ode to women, was whispered to Gian Franco Brignone, the late founder of Careyes, in a dream.) After ascending a flight of wooden stairs, participants peer into the bowl itself, only to make their way into the basin moments later. With the sunset to the left and within the vessel of the bowl, blankets and mats are laid out beneath the fading sky. As the bright Mexican sun sets over the horizon–clearing the path for a majestic band of colors and, eventually, the star-dusted evening sky–the reverberations of sound healing allow couples to release and start anew. The entry fee to the Copa is waived for all residents and guests who book the experience as part of a stay at Careyes. Inquire in advance about wellness programming options and, perhaps, a private session.

Where to Stay: Nestled on Playa Rosa or overlooking the pristine beach are the Bungalows & Casitas De Las Flores of Careyes. Couples who want the views and a higher perch should consider booking the Casitas, while those who want to go from bed to beach every morning should stay at the Bungalows. If you choose to make it a road trip from Puerto Vallarta, Casa Kimberly comes well recommended by travel editors.

Practice Falconry, the Ancient Sport of Kings and Princes

falconry couples trip ideas
Tiana Crispino

Falconry is defined by the North America Falconers Association as: "The taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor." In other words, it's taking trained birds of prey like hawks, falcons and eagles into their natural habitat to hunt other wild animals. An ancient art that at least commenced 4,000 years ago in the Middle East, it spread along the Silk Road. Later during the Middle Ages, it was adopted by European aristocracy. In fact, falconry emerged as the royal sport of its time. (Hence, its nickname of the Sport of Kings and Princes.) The invention of gunpowder and other hunting methods caused a decline in interest, but falconry still very much remains of high interest to avid enthusiasts and falconers around the world. It still holds onto its royal roots with select luxury properties around the world offering falconry programs and even schools on-site to watch the birds of prey take flight in forests, deserts, mountains and more. It's a dazzling, visceral and heart-palpitating experience for anyone who has yet to see the sharp talons and predatory eyes of a hawk up close. Couples will talk about this one for decades to come—some even end up getting their license after the experience.

Where to Stay: Stateside, several properties offer the ancient tradition of falconry, including the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Worldwide, Spain, Ireland, France and Britain are all home to falconry schools, and the sport thrives in arid desert regions across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. One of the most beloved falconry activities in a romantic setting takes place at Ashford Castle in Ireland, where couples can take forest walks with these creatures and even meet the resident owl.

Sleep Under the Stars in Botswana

Camp Okavango.
Courtesy of Desert & Delta

Couples who value wonder, curiosity and a unique challenge will certainly feel all three on safari in Botswana. For an intimate experience that combines secluded romance and exposure to the elements, an open-air suite in the middle of the bush is one worth booking. Along the Okavango Delta, an exciting night of slumber awaits on Camp Okavango's "Sleep Out Deck," an open-air suite far removed from the rest of the camp. Couples sleep under the stars in this hideaway outfitted with a bathroom and a plush bed covered by a silky mosquito net. With dedicated staff on standby, the enchanting sounds of the bush (starring lions roaring at night and bird song in the morning) allow lovebirds to be fully immersed in the spectacle of the surrounding natural environment. Then, there's the element of stargazing and talking through your future dreams and hopes. It's an evening you'll discuss for decades to come.

Where to Stay: Desert & Delta Safaris operates eight lodges across Botswana, including Camp Okavango along the serene riverways of the delta. Booking a stay at "Camp O" might result in you and your partner checking off additional bucket-list, couples trip experiences: a rare sighting of the swimming elephants of Botswana, hippos bobbing in their habitat, and crocs hunting through water for prey.

Hunt for Truffles in Italy

Truffle hunting.
Getty Images

Foodies can embark on a culinary vacation in Italy that teaches you everything you need to know about the earth's black diamonds! There is nothing quite like the thrill of roaming around in a forest and discovering delicious truffles. With Piedmont Food and Wine, there are a few options, including truffle hunting, as well as tastings, but even further, adding on a home-cooked lunch. You will be picked up and taken to the gorgeous Monferrato landscape at the truffle hunters' home to meet their truffle dog. There will be an introduction about truffles, their types, and information about where and how they grow and then the fun begins! You will go into the woods in search of truffles with a trained dog and your newfound truffle-hunting skills. Afterward, if you choose, you can have a traditional home-cooked Piemontese meal with fresh pasta at the farmhouse served with, of course, fresh truffles. You're in for a treat because the truffle hunter is also a winemaker so you will get to try a selection of wines from the Monferrato region, including Barbera D'Asti DOCG wines. Couples who want more of a general tour through the region should consider booking one with an expert, and there's no better local guide than Fulvio de Bonis of Imago Artis Travel.

Where to Stay: While in Piedmont, consider a stay at Casa di Langa in the Alta Langa region. The five-star resort, which overlooks olive and hazelnut groves, has made a splash in the travel industry for its sustainable practices. Expect world-class wine tastings, foraging experiences and truffle hunting options.

Fly a Fighter Jet

fighter jet over couples trips
shutterjack / Getty Images

Get your hearts racing together and embark on the ultimate adrenaline rush by learning to fly a true fighter jet across the world. MigFLUG creates the perfect need for speed that Top Gun fanatics will experience with an initial three-hour lesson and flight that is bound to take your breath away. During the jet flight, you will learn to perform stunning maneuvers like loops, rolls, turns and even spectacular low passes above the airfield, and supersonic flights depending on location. After a health check and flight suit fitting, enter the jet and prepare to feel your heart racing after you feel the low rumble of the engine. Not only will you leave with some epic skills, bragging rights, and gram-worthy moments, but you will be able to say you've passed Mach 1, the speed of sound. The best part is no prior flight experience is required so it's likely a new hobby to form together.

Where to Stay: The experience by MigFLUG can be accessed across various locations including the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic and other destinations across Europe. Closer to home, couples may want to book a stay in or near Toronto, Canada as the company operates a T-Bird experience in Waterloo. Perhaps end the experience with something, say, more relaxing and indulgent like a stay at the Shangri-La Toronto.

Experience an Ancient Temazcal Ritual in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Temazcal ceremony.
Kim Steele / Getty Images

Talk about the ultimate relationship, spiritual and personal reboot as a travel idea for couples. The Temazcal ceremony dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years. As a very powerful spiritual healing, couples will experience something completely unlike anything they've experienced before. At the Imanta Resort in Riviera Nayarit, a certified Chamana (a female Shaman) leads the ritual, which takes place in a dome-shaped hut that is meant to symbolize the womb of Mother Earth. Upon entry into the dark hut, the Shaman uses a pair of antlers to load volcanic stones from an outside fire pit into the center of the hut in a ceramic container, throwing water to produce an herbal steam that engulfs the hut. The Chamana then unfolds a series of chants and thought-provoking questions ranging from past trauma, relationship issues or other potential blocks from living life without inner peace. The hut fills with steamy herbal heat causing sweat to excrete from your body all while hearing chanting and verbally releasing negative energy from your body. This results in a rejuvenated mental perspective and a "rebirth" into the world. This transformative experience is repeated four times, each one deeper and more emotional than the last, leaving you and your partner with the ultimate spiritual bonding experience.

Where to Stay: The ritual at the Imanta Resort in Mexico's beloved Riviera Nayarit is highly recommended, as is the temazcal ritual offered by the spa at the Conrad Punta de Mita.

Off-Road and Mountaineer Across US National Parks

Couple at the Grand Canyon.
Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

There is no place better to bond than in nature and Polaris Adventures provides access to the best-customized power-sport ride and drive experiences for your off-roading and mountaineering bucket list dreams. Locations span various states throughout the US for you to book from, a few of them even include national parks like Yellowstone, Zion and the Grand Canyon. The company operates with over 200 outfitters throughout the US, all with access to various power-sport vehicles. You start by deciding what location (and season) you would like to explore and Polaris links you up with a local guide and expert who will create an itinerary based on interests, skill level, and of course overall goals from the experience. Fancy an ATV sunset tour ending in stargazing outside your glamping setup? What about moose watching in Idaho, a backwoods adventure in New Hampshire, or riding Michigan's Lake of the Clouds all by snowmobile? Check all of the items above.

Drive an Exotic Car on a Racetrack Course in Arizona

Steering wheel.
Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Images

Put the pedal to the metal as you get behind the wheel of an exotic car and hit the racetrack or the scenic open road. If you prefer the potential top-out speed of 160mph, the racetrack course would be the way to go. You choose the location, time and date for the car you wish to drive and go for a ride along to learn the track layout, safety, rules and hand signals. After class, you get geared up in a helmet and hit the track to do your thing, either with an instructor or without. You will leave the track with proof of your exhilarating experience on a USB of the in-car video of you driving as well as the speedometer to show how fast you went. For those who are more leisurely open-road folks, you can pick between a few hours, a half-day session, and full-day experiences with the Lamborghini Huracan Spyder, Ferrari 488 Spider, and Porsche GT3. After a quick lesson about car safety and operation, tours are then led by a lead car and are all connected via walkie-talkies. You can make stops along the scenic route for maximum scenery and driver challenges. (Warning: Upon arrival home, couples may try to figure out how to afford the cost of a Lamborghini for everyday living.)

Where to Stay: The company has tracks around the country, but one of the highlights is the Arizona course across Phoenix and Sedona. Couples who opt for scenic views should stay at Amara Resort & Spa or Hilton Sedona at Red Rock.

Salmon Fish in Alaska

Alaska salmon waters.
Laura Hedien / Getty Images

While fishing can take place anywhere in the world, Alaska comes in as one of the top destinations, not only because you will find plenty of salmon species, but you will also get to partake in the sport amongst the most stunning natural backdrop. Name a better way to take a break from daily life, disconnect from the digital and recharge with nature. At Salmon Falls Resort, a team of experienced Alaskan fishing guides will get you fitted with the latest professional gear and assist in finding prime locations, assist with baiting hooks, and capture you reeling in your hard work. Fishing is not only a sports activity, but you will learn an incredible amount of patience and spend time with your partner soaking in the stunning scenery. At the end of the experience, guides expertly fillet, package, and ship the salmon for you to enjoy with friends and family at home. If you prefer immediate gratification, the property's onsite restaurant can cook your day's catch for a romantic dinner.

Where to Stay: Situated at the entrance to Alaska's iconic Inside Passage, Salmon Falls Fishing Resort offers the dreamiest and most picturesque destination for both skilled and first-time anglers to learn skills to catch various types of salmon.

Destroy and Deconstruct Spaces in San Diego

Not all date nights require dressing up and going to a formal setting to be romantic. Perhaps sometimes you want to go do something random and crazy. A wildly cathartic experience (followed by plenty of laughter) awaits you at a splatter paint and smash room experience where you are bound to step outside of your comfort zone and break social norms in more ways than one! Prepare yourself to express yourself artistically by throwing paintbrushes and shooting water guns filled with paint against a canvas (and inevitably against a wall) to create one-of-a-kind pieces with the option for a sexier glow-in-the-dark option. Additionally, you can tack on a rage room session that allows each person to pick "weapons" of choice and smash and destroy items… without consequence. Live and be kids again.

Where to Stay: The San Diego outpost has all types of activities, including the "rage rooms." Couples should consider a stay at the five-star Park Hyatt Aviara, where you can easily unwind with golf and spa activities, or the InterContinental San Diego.

Swim With Sharks and Wildlife in Hawaii

Shark diving.
Stephen Frink / Getty Images

For those looking for an adrenaline rush, embark on a truly exhilarating and thrilling adventure in the deep blue waters of Oahu for a pelagic shark diving tour with Island View Hawaii. Three miles off the coast of Hale'iwa, Hawaii on the famed north shore of O'ahu, a boat (for up to 6 guests) will take you out to waters that measure 250 feet in depth for a calm and secluded environment to see pelagic creatures in their natural habitat. You will be fitted for a snorkel and a set of fins, and a safety diver will be with you at all times to escort you into the water as well as watch you safely interact with sharks, dolphins, whales and other pelagic creatures. (Fun fact: There are over 40 species of sharks in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands that you might encounter. The most frequently encountered Hawaiian reef sharks are the White Tipped Reef Shark, Scalloped Hammerhead Shark, Tiger Shark, Galapagos Shark, Gray Reef Shark, and the Sandbar Shark.) Dolphins also make frequent appearances, along with humpback whales, during the winter season. The biggest takeaway from this experience, besides checking off a big bucket list item, is letting go of the irrational fears and misconceptions of sharks and other ocean creatures. (Pro tips: Don't forget your underwater camera and follow all safety instructions.)

Where to Stay: Good thing for couples who want to enjoy their honeymoon or anniversary trip back at the resort. Oahu is teeming with plenty of five-star resort stays, including the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.

Hover over the Ocean on High-Tech Water Toys in The Maldives

jetfoil velaa private island
Courtesy of Velaa Private Island Resort

Take typical water sports to a whole new level, literally, as you begin in the water and end up in the air. High-tech water toys such as flyboards, e-foil surfboards await eager couples who want to walk above water. The idea is balancing atop a moving hose, while standing on a stable platform directing it with handlebars, mimicking the feeling of riding a bike 25 feet above the ocean. As for e-foil surfing, it is essentially a surfboard with a hydrofoil fixed to the bottom instead of a fin to power it above the water. With an e-foil aka the hydrofoil surfboard, you begin just as you would on a standard surfboard. It will begin to take speed with a handheld wireless remote that connects to the board through Bluetooth, which secretly is the best part because you don't need to paddle for waves and pump your legs to keep the board moving. You will find soon yourself attempting to find balance as you would on a regular surfboard and continue to ride up into the air with an experience lasting as long as you can balance. These activities are bound to be experiences of a lifetime.

Where to Stay: At Velaa Private Island aka "Turtle Island" in the Maldives, a vast collection of high-tech water toys as well as the archipelago's only tandem Jetovators await eager visitors.

Indulge in a Sommelier-Led Wine Tour in Napa Valley

A couple wine tasting.
Tay Jnr / Getty Images

If you are going to go wine tasting, wine not do it with the best of the best? While there are plenty of wine tours and specialized guides, there is something special that sets Bin 415 apart from the rest. Bin 415 is owned and led by two certified and advanced sommeliers who hail from the industry's top establishments such as two Michelin Star Saison, The Four Seasons and Lazy Bear; meaning they speak fluently in the world of hospitality, bespoke moments, luxury and most importantly, wine. The Bin 415 wine matchmaker experience begins with a chat with your sommelier to discuss your goals from the experience, whether it be specific wine education, a relaxing wine country day or simply to get access to private wineries that are not widely available to the public. Hospitality always comes first for Bin 415 so the experience that they provide will include intentional touchpoints that truly show off their love of wine and their exceptional industry relationships. Once you approve your itinerary, on the day of your tour, you are picked up in a Mercedes GLS and whisked off for a day filled with delicious food and decadent wine. You will hit a total of three wineries which could include the likes of Promontory Winery, Fantesca Winery and Blue Farm Winery, all with exceptional history and tastings. Learn everything from the winery history to the growing of the grapes to bottling and everything in between. Once hunger strikes, sit down for lunch at the famed Auberge du Soleil or iconic French Laundry (and various others) and soak in the spectacular views.

Where to Stay: Auberge du Soleil is one of the most well-regarded properties in Napa Valley. A Relais & Chateaux property, the hotel offers 50 distinguished rooms and suites all with five-star service and accommodations to top the decadent F&B experiences you'll rave about for decades to come.

–Natasha Huang contributed to the reporting of this article.

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