Four Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts

It’s human instinct to want buy things to make others (or ourselves) happy. I find Valentine’s Day the hardest holiday for gifting. There's a little bit of a holiday gift idea hangover, you don't want to under or overspend, and deciding between practical and romantic is always tough. 

I've got your last-minute gift fix and the research to back it up. Cornell University found that happiness actually lasts longer when money is spent on experiences, rather than material objects. There's also research showing that couples who travel together have happier relationships than those who do not. What better way to show someone you love them than to give your time?

So ditch the flower shop and plan something special:

1. Tickets

See your city by giving a local experience. By simply engaging in an activity together you may come to love say, ice skating, more than you thought. What about a favorite sports team, band, or hobby? Check your calendars and search for tickets online. 

2. Daytrip

If you’ve already been to every café, museum, and speakeasy in your city, see somewhere new for the day. Pick a destination that’s an hour away or less. Fully exploit this opportunity to act as a tourist (selfie stick and everything). Plus, being in a new place will give you the freedom to explore your relationship without reservations. If you crave adventure over window-shopping, find a hiking or bike trail near you. Bonus if it's a National Park.

3. Weekend Getaway

Travel not only helps to build and maintain healthy relationships but it is also enhances romance and passion among couples. In fact, 63% rate a weekend getaway as important to sparking romance. Your escape can be both simple and affordable—what matters most is creating an environment that sets up quality alone time.  Yahoo!'s list of the most romantic getaway in every state is the place to start planning.

4. Vacation

Give your loved one something to look forward to by gifting a trip or vacation in the future. The vacation planning process will stir up excitement and allow you to bond as a couple. Dr. Gilda Carle points out that the decision making process is almost as rewarding as the trip: “When you are planning, you are also co-mingling, which defines you as a team. The team becomes much stronger than the individual by sharing a common goal, coming together, and communicating. As a team, we are more likely to fight for our relationship.” Take a look at your bucket list and get packing.

February 12, 2016