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Five Steps to Plan Your At-Home Travel Date Night

This picture didn't come as easily as it might look...

I'll share some outtakes at the end of the post. But let me first get to the good stuff - the stuff that brought you here!

Here's how it all began. We stumbled upon a long weekend. I say "stumbled" because we didn't really see it coming...which is nice in some ways, a pleasant surprise. But in lots of other ways, it's disappointing because there was no planning ahead. So we searched and searched but just couldn't find a place to stay that we were excited about. I mean, on Airbnb, we pretty much had our pick of all the castles (huge expensive houses for lots of people) or the camp grounds (don't own a tent so), we were pretty much out of options. Then Kris had this great idea.

He said, "All you have to do is pick three cities you want to go to." Three cities - any cities. Because we're bringing those far-away places to us. And the best part? Surprising each other with the cities we picked! We had so much fun and made some great memories. If you want to knock your next date night out of the park, here are some tips to a successful at-home travel date:

Pick the Place

You don't have to start with this one (I didn't). But if you have an idea of where you'd like to go, start there! I picked Venice, Italy (but any Italian city would've worked for my theme). There are about 10,000 for you to choose from. Seriously, I looked it up.

To set the scene, I threw on a YouTube video with 4K drone footage of the Venice canals. It had Italian music playing in the background which added to the effect, so when Kris got off the "airplane" (our bedroom), he walked out, looked around for about 2 seconds, and said, "Are we in Italy?" Success.

Pick the Food

This is actually where I started, specifically in the frozen food section of Walmart. It doesn't have to be expensive! I found store brand frozen tortellini and some mozzarella bites that threw me back to my childhood. We had leftover sparkling grape juice from Kris's night to plan, so I used the rest of that. I also bought a pre-packaged bag of Caesar salad, so dinner was planned and thrown together very quickly. I threw in some of those fancy but flavorless Italian breadstick crackers...mostly just for the theming and decor.

Pick the Activity

For Kris's night, he had several games for us to play. So when it came time for me to plan, I'll admit I was stumped for a while on this. I wanted something fun that we both would enjoy. I took to Instagram and asked for ideas, and one of my former brides pulled through! She gave me the idea to paint! Italy is famous for art, and painting is something Kris and I had never done together so this worked perfectly. We consume, consume, consume almost all day everyday, so it feels GREAT to stop and create rather than consume. We painted for about two hours!

Pick the Entertainment

If you want to end your night with a movie, show, play, etc., pick something on theme! We watched Letters to Juliet while we painted, but Kris couldn't tell you 5 things that happened in the movie. I'm okay with that. That movie was cheesier than our food. And we ate lots of cheese, let me tell ya. But it was perfectly set in Verona and surrounding Italian cities so it was nice to have on in the background.

Ideas to Get You Started

Okay, so you know your steps, but where to start? Here are some ideas that we didn't do this time, but they may help you get your wheels turning!


The Big Apple (do something apple-related)

Get NY-style pizza or make your own!

There are tons of movies that take place in NY!

Start your evening with a walk around your neighborhood, but pretend it's Central Park! ha


Cheese, bread, grapes, oh! Make a pretty charcuterie board!

Watch Ratatouille, Les Miserables, or another Parisy movie.

Look up a recipe for macarons and make them together.



Mexico City


Somewhere tropical

Now, use these ideas and run with them. Get creative! I'd LOVE to hear how YOUR at-home travel date night goes! Let me know. Here's my Insta so we can connect! Now. The outtakes.

This was legitimately the first time we tried. Fortunately we didn't stop there.....

Next attempt. Kris: "I forgot to smile."

Next attempt. Apparently I forgot to smile.

Kris, you're a little too excited. We're not trying to eat the brushes.

Okay, that's all for now. See ya next time!

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