proposal
Dejan Steel Photography

If you’re considering proposing to your partner in a special spot, whether it’s a travel destination you’ve always dreamed of visiting together or a place you’ve both been that holds a great deal of meaning to you, you’re clearly quite the romantic! Proposal destinations are trending and have become almost more important and meaningful to come couples than the actual wedding itself! “Couples are taking romance to the next level by jetting off to someplace exotic to pop the big question, which is not only thrilling, but can be done totally in secret... or somewhat planned as a couple,” says Rachel Federoff, relationship expert and matchmaker. “Proposing this way also allows the couple to be more intimate without friends and family hovering around—just one on one with a beautiful backdrop.”

Once you’ve decided that this is how you’d like to propose, next up is deciding on exactly where you should travel. Here, experts share what you should consider when choosing where to propose.

What do you like to do together?

Honeymoon planner Stephanie Goldberg Glazer, recommends finding a place where you can do at least one activity that you enjoy doing together. “Whether that is skiing, and proposing atop a mountain, hiking and proposing at Machu Picchu, or lounging at the beach and proposing on a sunset sail, it should be something special for the two of you,” she says. “Enjoy your time and make it special, but most of all make it for the two of you.”

When are you proposing?

The season during which you plan to propose will help guide you towards or away from certain destinations. For example, if you plan on popping the question over the summer, you may want to avoid certain European destinations, since that’s the peak of travel for most parts of the globe. If at all possible, Glazer recommends planning your proposal for times less traveled, like March or April in European destinations like Paris or Venice. “Fewer crowds will make for a more intimate experience and the lower cost will afford you more flexibility,” she says.

What’s on your list?

When thinking about where to propose, consider destinations that you and your partner have always talked about visiting. If so, especially if there’s one that stands out, consider checking one off your joint bucket list. “Anywhere you are going, your travel advisor can help you put together a special tour, museum visit, or experience to create the perfect ambiance for the big question,” says Glazer.

Is anyone else involved?

If it’s important for you to have family members present at your proposal, be sure to consider whether or not they’re willing to travel to attend when deciding where to propose. “If your family is in a far-flung destination, why not take a few days to go someplace near them for the proposal before a planned visit?” suggests Glazer. “When you do visit post-proposal everyone can celebrate the good news together.”

How can you make it sentimental?

Since you are going to be merging lives with each other, Federoff suggests visiting a city that holds some special meaning to one or both of you, for example traveling to a city where your ancestors lived. “If your family is Scottish, how about a trip along the family tree to a castle in Edinburgh—or asking your partner’s parents where they had their moment, and recreating it following in their footsteps?” she says. “You can go one step further and find out where and how your grandparents proposed—maybe even include a family heirloom.”

Incorporate tips from the locals.

After deciding where to propose, Federoff recommends asking the locals for tips on hidden romantic spots. “Stay away from the tourist hotspots, as one of the main purposes of proposing abroad is to keep it as romantic and intimate as possible,” she says. “You don’t want to pop the question while people are taking selfies around you!”