Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

5 Creative Alternatives To Love Locks This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to express your love for that special someone in your life.

There are so many ways to say “I love you”, and one of the fastest growing trends around the world is “love locks”. This involves attaching a padlock to a bridge, statue or fence in a prominent location, optionally with the lovers’ names scratched or written on the side.

While love locks have risen in popularity over the last 15 years, many people do not realise the damage caused – to bridges, the environment and the view. The backlash has been strong, with trending hashtags like #lovewithoutlocks and organisations like No Love Locks trying to discourage tourists and locals alike from leaving their mark.

In 2014 a section of the famous Pont des Arts bridge in Paris collapsed under the weight of love locks. And as part of the repairs, the City of Paris had to cut off 700,000 locks weighing 44 tonnes – all at considerable expense to taxpayers.

So, what can you do for your special someone this Valentine’s Day to commemorate your love in a timeless yet socially responsible way?

Here’s 5 alternatives to love locks:

Toronto, Canada – Lock Art

The Distillery District is one of the most romantic neighbourhoods in Toronto. Along Tank House Lane, a creative steel art installation spells out the word “LOVE”. Lovers are encouraged to add their lock and share a photo on social media using the hashtag #DistilleryLove.

Moscow, Russia – Love Trees

Along the Luzhkov Bridge, lovers do not attach their padlocks onto the bridge, but instead onto dedicated metal “trees”. These were setup in 2007 as an alternative to vandalising the bridge, which means love locks isn’t just okay, it’s encouraged. Now the trees are blooming with thousands of locks, the bridge itself is almost love lock-free.

Seoul, South Korea – Love Trees

Korea is really big on romance, and nowhere is more apparent than the love lock trees at the base of the Namsan Tower. Staff have installed “love boxes” for couples to drop their keys into, rather than discarding them which protects the environment. As with Moscow, this initiative has reduced unwanted locks in undesirable locations.

Everywhere – Virtual Love Locks

What if you’re not located near Toronto, Moscow or Seoul? No problem! Founded by married couple Matt and Trish, The Love Lock website provides a digital alternative to cluttering the world’s most romantic cityscapes with padlocks. The process is very simple, just select a date and add your virtual “inscription” and a photo, and it will be memorialised forever on the Internet. You can also see other visitors’ love locks by date for a little inspiration.

Everywhere – Buy A Star

Why stop at a padlock? Aim for the stars… literally! You can name a star in the heavens after your loved one at Star Registration. For a modest fee you’ll receive a personalised certificate and celestial map to make it easier to find your star. And chances are that star will still be there long after the padlock has rusted away.

Stay in touch with your loved one wherever you travel, and pick up a Tep portable WiFi hotspot before your next trip. Use the “Teplove” discount code for a 15% discount in February only!

February 14th this year falls mid-week, which isn’t great for those hoping to save their precious leave days. Thankfully there is good news for anyone planning to steal their loved one away this year, as you can actually enjoy cheaper holidays after Valentine’s rush is over.

‘Off-peak’ season in Europe runs from November – March each year (during Winter/Spring) and it’s during this time that you’re likely to get a steal on everything from flights to all-inclusive packages. Sites like Skyscanner.net allow you to search for flights to ‘any destination’ and give you an overview of the most cost-effective holiday destinations to suit any budget. If you’re quick off the mark you can even book return flights to Europe (from the U.S.) for less than $400 on sites like Lastminute.com!

Europe is overflowing with romantic destinations, so much so, that close to 60% of Nat Geo’s ‘Most Romantic Destinations’ in the world 2017 are located there. From the unspoilt and jarring beauty of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to the undying elegance of Venice’s waterways, there is plenty to choose from, to (re)ignite the spark in your romance.

Here is our pick of the 7 best romantic holiday getaways in Europe for 2017:

7. Bruges, Belgium

If the way to your lover’s heart is through chocolate then Bruges is a must. Known as one of the best places to delight your taste buds in the finest cocoa-based products, Bruges is also filled with fun activities that are perfect for two. If you want to get your hands dirty why not try making some chocolate at The Chocolate Museum or if you’d like a dynamic romantic setting to spend the evening with your beau, a hot air balloon ride over the impressive Bruges skyline is highly recommended.

6. Isle of Skye, Scotland

Scotland is renowned worldwide for many things, single malt whiskies, haggis and bagpipes to name but a few of the stereotypes. But unbeknown to most, Scotland hides some stunning locations for the ultimate romantic countryside hideaway. Skye, located on the north-western coast of Scotland is “a 50-mile-long patchwork of velvet moors, jagged mountains, sparkling lochs and towering sea cliffs” and is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. If you and your partner are big on long walks, visiting medieval castles, dining in cozy pubs and cuddling up next to an open fire with a glass of wine (or whisky) then Skye is the place to go.

5. Sintra, Portugal

Sintra is a fairytale town set amongst rolling hills and majestic palaces and is a getaway fit for royalty. Also known as the ‘Capital of Romanticism’ in Portugal, Sintra is exploding with inspiring architecture, breathtaking botanical gardens and World Heritage sites. The Royal Palaces of Pena, Queluz, Sintra and Regaleira are architectural triumphs that once housed Portuguese kings and queens, and are amongst the top romantic attractions in Sintra. In keeping with the regal vibe, we would recommend trying a wine tasting for two with the region’s unique Ramisco grape variety.

4. Amalfi Coast, Italy

Geographically blessed with impeccable Mediterranean coastlines, dramatic crags, picturesque fishing villages and impressive mountains, the Amalfi Coast doesn’t disappoint. In fact, there are so many picture perfect spots that there is an entire blog post dedicated to all the places you can propose. The vertical seaside towns of Positano and Amalfi are our favorite picks, where you’ll be guaranteed first-class dining (especially seafood), beautiful Moorish architecture and uninterrupted views of the sea.

3. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is an extraordinary European city and a match made in heaven for couples looking for a holiday that features romantic scenery, architecture, great food and plenty of spas. It’s arguably one of the most romantic cities in Europe and for very good reason! Straddling the Danube River, the two hearts of Budapest are both charming and infinitely explorable. You can tantalize your taste buds in the delightful cuisine, travel the river on a cruise for two, take a dip in one of the many thermal baths, or enjoy the artistic side of the city with a live concert at the Budapest Palace of Arts.

2. Santorini, Greece

The ‘supermodel’ of the Greek Islands, Santorini, exudes a rugged beauty that is sure to encapsulate you and your partner, no matter the time of year. Packed with endless panoramic views of the Mediterranean (and the famous caldera), multi-colored volcanic terrain and whitewashed cliff side villages, the island packs all the right ingredients to help you relax, unwind and fall in love all over again. Our top picks for couples visiting Santorini include taking a dip in the hot springs and sulfur-rich mud baths of Palaia Kameni island, staying in your very own ‘cave hotel’, swimming at Red beach and exploring Santorini’s vineyards (with a bottle of wine for two).

1. Venice, Italy

Venice has a timeless elegance that continues to attract thousands of lovebirds every year – which is why it’s listed as our number one romantic getaway. The iconic waterways, lined with gondolas and stunning Venetian architecture (and hotels that look like they just might sink), are the ultimate place to take your loved one. There’s a reason celebrity couples choose Venice as their go-to wedding venue, with attractions such as St. Mark’s Basilica, Piazza San Marco, Laguna di Venezia and Doges’ Palace, the Kodak moments are endless. Our top picks for the ideal Venetian holiday include, sipping wine at the Do Spade bar (where Casanova is said to have frequented), watching the sunset in St. Mark’s square, exploring the delights of Venetian cuisine at a local bacaroexploring the narrow streets of Dorsoduro and of course a quintessential gondola ride!

When planning your romantic escape to Europe don’t forget to look into the basics. You’ll need to buy travel money, comprehensive insurance and also ensure you’ve switched both your mobiles off data roaming in advance – to avoid a phone bill that could cause shockwaves in your home.

For the perfect, worry-free romantic break, invest in a Tep portable wifi device. The device gives you unlimited access to the internet on-the-go and costs just $9.95 per day. Plus, you and your loved one can use it at the same time (you can connect up to 5 devices simultaneously) and both be browsing the internet, reading reviews or even streaming movies for a quiet night in after a long day of sightseeing! To buy or rent a Tep portable device visit us here.

Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a Prince Charming, we’ve got some great ideas for you to try with your better half this Valentine’s Day. We’ve ordered them by the amount of planning and preparation required, starting with the easiest and most risk-free suggestions – so there’s no excuse not to make an effort!

5. Flowers and Chocolates

Roses are red – they also happen to be one of the most widely recognized symbols of love and affection around the world. So why not splash out on a bouquet of fragrant roses that are perfect for a grand Valentine’s Day entrance – they’re also equally good, deconstructed, as a romantic trail leading to the boudoir!

If your partner has a sweet tooth, make sure to pick up a box of chocolates. Not only is chocolate one of the most romantic treats you can give your loved one, it’s also medically proven to release serotonin (which makes you feel good). You’re guaranteed to make a great impression with one of these affordable but delightful chocolate boxes. If you really want to push the boat out, why not take your partner to a chocolate making class where you can perfect your chocolatier skills together.

4. The Dinner Date

This year’s Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday, so why not give her something money can’t buy, your precious time and a home cooked meal. She’ll really appreciate the effort and it’s a great way to show her how much you care (without spending tons of cash on a fancy meal). If you need some inspiration check out these 25 delicious and decadent recipes. We also recommend doing a test run (with your kids or friends) before the big day, to make absolutely sure your chef skills are on point.

If you’re worried your cooking skills aren’t up to scratch, a romantic meal for two at your favorite restaurant is a great alternative. It’s an excuse to get all glammed up and will give you both the chance to focus on each other – whilst someone else worries about the dishes! If you’re up for something more adventurous, you could always pick an exciting new restaurant to try out and critique together. Whichever option you choose make sure to book your reservation well ahead of time (spaces go notoriously fast on Valentine’s Day).

3. A Treasured Gift

Money can’t buy you love, but it can give your partner something they’ll treasure for years to come. If you’ve budgeted for something extra special, Tiffany & Co. is the go-to destination for timeless pieces of jewelry. Alternatively, you could pick out a fragrance that will compliment her personality and keep you head over heels for her with a gift that benefits both of you. This list has some amazing options including some of the most seductive perfumes of the year. If you’d rather not splash out on a gift or don’t have the time, you could always evoke your DIY creative side and make her something that she’ll truly appreciate – here’s 40 easy gift ideas from Buzzfeed you can make yourself.

2. A Life Experience

Valentine’s Day could be the perfect opportunity for you to help your loved one cross off an item from their bucket list, or simply do something they love. Whether it’s booking tickets to an Opera, taking them to see their favorite band in concert or even going bungee jumping, an activity will bring you closer together and help make this Valentine’s one to remember. If you want to up the stakes, you could even try re-enacting the moment you fell in love, by taking her to that cherished place where you first laid eyes on each other.

1. A Romantic Holiday Getaway

Our top Valentine’s Day treat will require the most planning and preparation but will guarantee you blow your significant other away. Hop on a plane and jet your loved one off on a romantic getaway they will never forget. If all you have is a long weekend to elope we suggest the city of love a.k.a. Paris. Apart from the famous ‘love-locking’ on the Pont des Arts (which is sadly now banned) here are 10 romantic things to do in Paris.  If you’ve already been to Paris or would like to try something different this year, Venice and New York are two great cities for a passionate weekend away.

If you’ve somehow managed to steal away for longer than just the weekend and want a Valentine’s with a difference, Tep highly recommends an escape to the magical Kyoto in Japan. February is a great time to experience the first plum blossoms and the fascinating Setsubun festival. If you want to spend Valentine’s Day in the warmth, there is no better and more picturesque location than Bali where you can enjoy an ‘aphrodisiac picnic in bed’ whilst watching the sunset or horseback riding on the secluded Yeh Gangga beach.

Your romantic getaway wouldn’t be complete without your own Tep portable wifi device that will allow you and your beau to stay connected to the internet, and plan which famous landmark you’ll adventure to next or what rustic cuisine you’ll woo her with come the evening.

The device works in over 80 countries including all of the romantic destinations we’ve mentioned in this post. It costs just $9.95 per day for truly unlimited data so you can upload as many cheesy photos, videos and memories as you like without worrying about data roaming costs!

We hope this posts helps score some serious brownie points for you this Valentine’s Day and makes you and your partner feel extra special.