The Travel Detective

Travel Detective Blog: The Problem With Valentine’s Day

IMG_5417It’s time to deal with one of the most overrated, needlessly expensive American holidays. If you’re a florist, a jeweler, a chocolatier, a champagne maker, a hotel, or a restaurant, then you have definite reasons to celebrate today’s contrived “special” day. Valentine’s Day usually means surge pricing for all the above, as well as special hotel and restaurant heart-shaped room and dining “packages,” with everything marked up.

But what’s romantic about the guilty (or the obligated) overpaying for what has developed into nothing more than a cliche? Consider this: by the end of today, $4 billion will be spent on jewelry, $2 billion on flowers, and $1 billion on chocolate. Do you want an even more disturbing statistic about how attached we are to Valentine’s Day? One study reveals that 17 percent of women will send THEMSELVES flowers today!

I’m not being unnecessarily cynical here. There’s an alternative to being part of the pack: smart couples—and travelers—have started to learn their lesson. They will stay home tonight, and they will NOT go out to see La La Land. Instead, they will leave the rest of the unevolved to grab their wallets and stand in line or wait for those tables at crowded restaurants.

What will these smarter folks do? They’ve decided that the best way to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to create their own Valentine’s weekend in about a week. They will forget the chocolates, strawberries, champagne, and jewelry, and spend the money instead on a great, affordable, two-day getaway with their significant others—for a more genuine, romantic experience.

So…here’s to a more sensible, and ultimately more thoughtful and romantic Valentine’s Day! But one final word of caution: if you later discover that the person who sent you flowers was….YOU, then please try to drink responsibly!

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By Peter Greenberg for