The best Valentine’s travel experiences from around the world to suit all budgets

Valentine's - travel

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and with it, opportunities aplenty to treat your loved one — or even yourself. But while chocolates and roses are always welcome, lovers are increasingly looking for new and inspired ways to show they care.

One of the growing areas for that is travel. Millennials the world over are renowned for prioritizing travel over material goods; and when it comes to celebrating the romantic holiday, it seems things are little different.

Last year, global travel bookings platform Klook recorded a 100 percent rise in couples’ purchases in February compared to March. This year, it expects that trend to continue and has introduced a “For Lovers” filter specifically to assist with the anticipated demand.

The pattern is in line with ever-increasing spending on Feb. 14. In 2018, in the U.S. alone, lovers spent nearly $20 billion on Valentine’s Day. Millennials are expected to continue spend big bucksthis year.

However, the holiday needn’t break the bank. CNBC Make It took a look at some of the most on-trend travel experiences to suit all budgets this Valentine’s.


Gondoliers on the canals of Venice.

Twenty20Gondoliers on the canals of Venice.

When it comes to Valentine’s, there’s nothing quite like a romantic cruise along the waters of a beautiful city.

The stunning canals and historic architecture of Venice, Italy make for a timeless waterside destination. And despite the floods of tourists during peak seasons, you can enjoy the city’s iconic gondola ride for less than $35. If you feel like pushing the boat out, you can tack on a serenade in a gondola for an extra $10.

Other winning boating experiences include a $17 day trip on the Seine in Paris or a $110 dinner cruise along Chicago River.


Jeep drives across the bush in South Africa.

Twenty20Jeep drives across the bush in South Africa.

For nature-lovers, there are few experiences higher on the bucket list than a wild safari.

African countries including BotswanaNamibia and Tanzania, as well as the South Asian nation of Sri Lanka, all boast unique safari experiences.

But for your chance to get up close and personal with the so-called Big Five game animals — lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and Cape buffalo — try heading to South Africa. There, from just over $2,000, you can enjoy seven days exploring Cape Town and the wildlife of the bush, before embarking on some mountain-hiking.


Couple poses for woodland photoshoot.

KlookCouple poses for woodland photoshoot.

Travel photo shoots have taken off in recent years, with lovers in South Korea and Japan particularly captured by the trend. In 2018, Klook recorded a 50 percent rise in bookings over the holiday period.

One prized photography location is Jeju Island in South Korea, which boasts a wide variety of stunning backdrops, from waterfalls and rock formations to pristine beaches. A $453.29 photo shoot package lasting six-to-nine hours will buy you a portfolio of photos plus a hair and makeup service, outfit hire and transfers to and from your accommodation.

Those who prefer to be behind the lens, meanwhile, could try their hand at taking photos of the street art of New York City or Berlin, Germanyfrom around $150.


Early morning aerial view of the temples of the Archaeological Zone near the Irrawaddy River in Bagan in Myanmar (Burma).

Twenty20Early morning aerial view of the temples of the Archaeological Zone near the Irrawaddy River in Bagan in Myanmar (Burma).

Love can quite literally be in the air this Valentine’s with a sky-high ride. From gliding over Queenstown, New Zealand in a helicopter for $600 to flying over the ancient Nazca lines of Peru for around $1,000, there are countless ways to take in the world’s most iconic sights from above.

For $350, you can watch the sun rise over the ancient city of BaganMyanmar from a hot air balloon. During the ride, an English-speaking guide will be on hand to talk you through the history of Bagan’s more than 2,200 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries, before you return to solid ground for a champagne breakfast.


Photo of a young woman in a kitchen during a cooking class, preparing bruschetta

AleksandarNakic | E+ | Getty ImagesPhoto of a young woman in a kitchen during a cooking class, preparing bruschetta

A cookery class can be a perfect way to get to know the local cuisine of a new city, and businesses are catching on to that trend, offering a wide selection of experiences for all budgets.

Try cooking up a romantic feast in the Moroccon city of Marrakesh,where, for $78 you will be guided through local ingredients and taught to make five dishes. Elsewhere, for around $3,000, you can have a taste of the high life with a gastronomic tour of San Francisco and Napa Valley.