From candlelit restaurants to cozy ski lodges, here’s where singles should not be on the most romantic day of the year.
It takes a hardened solo traveler not to wince at giddy twosomes reveling in the romance of travel—lovers smooching in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, giggling on a chairlift, or holding hands across an airplane aisle—especially on Valentine’s Day. Single and not in the mood for love this February 14th?No worries—it’s entirely possible to get around on the red-letter day without tripping over adoring couples.
The key to this strategy?Planning ahead. Robert Kelley, a 30-year-old single management consultant from New York, recalled being on a business trip over Valentine’s Day and sitting down to a candlelight dinner—with coworkers. “I don’t think we realized what day it was,” he says. As he watched the couples around him, he thought, “I’m never going to meet somebody if I’m sitting here with my work colleagues.”
Restaurants aren’t the only potentially isolating spots. “I found the Bahamas to be a wedding/romance conveyor belt,” says 30-something Maryland resident Patricia Legler. “Every morning we saw flowers on the hotel gazebos—slightly recycled.” And Legler is married. So you can only imagine the irritation of singles when encountering the saccharine, the kitschy, or the overly sentimental.
“I was happy for my friend when we were in Paris together and her boyfriend decided to join her,” says 31-year-old Brooklyn resident Britt Carlson, who usually relishes her single status in the city. “But after dinner, they’d want to go back to the hotel to be alone—and I’d want to go out.”
One solution?Cut couples out of the picture altogether. “Adventure holidays for singles are big,” says Diane Redfern, founder of Connecting: Solo Travel Network, a resource for people traveling by themselves. “With something like weekend cycling or hiking, people can join in on an activity and it takes the focus off of finding a mate.” Some tour operators, like iExplore and Singles Travel International, offer no-single-supplement deals, meaning that solo guests don’t have to pay extra—as they once would have had to—for staying in a double-occupancy room.
Despite what Redfern says is the increasing popularity of traveling solo, perhaps we’re all more uncomfortable by ourselves than we thought?According to the U.S. Travel Association, although 21.8 percent of travelers are single, only 11 percent of the population travels alone (meaning one person by themselves). At the very least, most of us wish to escape the kissy-kissy hordes.
And yet sometimes, despite the best-laid plans, evasion is fruitless. “I was on a flight recently and a couple actually held hands across the aisle for at least the first hour of the trip,” says New York City resident Petra Guglielmetti. “They grudgingly unclasped their handhold to let flight attendants through.”
So, ignore the pair snogging on the train, groping in the plaza, and spoon-feeding each other over the rustic little table—and enjoy a great getaway for one!
A cozy Teton slope-side bar usually packed with sexy cowboys.
This trendy watering hole located down a small side street can be tough to get into. Prominently featured in the film 101 Reyjkavik, Kaffibarinn has been deemed (unofficially) one of the world's coolest bars. It's a laid-back spot occupying an intimate candle-lit space with glossy style magazines on the walls and well-utilized Wi-Fi access. (Locals are often on their laptops during the day.) The mostly techno music is loud at night, and the menu is traditional bar fare. A broad selection of Icelandic beers is served, along with potent local cocktails.
Although chilly outside, it’s still hot (after eight years) inside this supernova nightclub with a spacious stage, where a galaxy of gorgeous carousers can make live videos of themselves.
Within walking distance of Amsterdam’s central station train depot, AmsterBike is conveniently located with options for product rental or full tours. Bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters are all available for rent, with rates ranging from three hours to one day to a full week. Tours can be arranged individually or in a group, with varied destinations at renowned museums like the Hermitage and the Zaans. Intricate tours of interest involving modern architecture, historical sites, and the Dutch landscape can also be organized. As an alternative, bikes can be delivered within most of the Amsterdam vicinity.
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Coffeehouse by day and lounge by night, Halcyon stands on the corner of Fourth and Lavaca Streets, at the center of the Warehouse District. The high-ceilinged interior is designed with exposed brick, hardwood floors, eclectic artwork, and plenty of plush couches, with additional seating available outside on the front patio. Daytime specialties include grilled panini such as the turkey brie, and well-crafted coffee drinks served with a side of animal crackers. In the evening, Halcyon’s famous tableside s’mores are paired with inventive cocktails like the Long Island Iced Coffee. The lounge also hosts live music on Monday and Wednesday nights.