5 tips for planning a memorable getaway for your Valentine

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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WGNO) - Valentine's Day is around the corner, and if you're looking for a way to wow your sweetheart with something special, why not plan an offbeat getaway?

This two-thousand square foot "Love Me Tender, Love Me Suite" is part of the Gulf Hills Hotel and Conference Center in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

It's ideal as a romantic getaway for anyone who loves Elvis -- and if the $1,000 per night price tag is too high for you, spend two nights and the rate drops to $750 per night. Still too much? Share the fancy digs with another couple! With three bedrooms and four bathrooms, there's plenty of room for privacy -- and each bedroom has a separate entrance in addition to the suite's grand entrance.

The Elvis extravaganza is also a fun place for girlfriend getaways, man-cations, bachelor parties and bridal parties. But if you're in love with someone who loves Elvis, set your compass for this hidden gem tucked into the countryside, about a two-hour drive from New Orleans.

WGNO's Travel Girl Stephanie Oswald has these tips for planning a unique escape for that special someone:

  1. There's no need to travel on February 14th: Surprise your Valentine with a plan to travel at a future date and you'll be making the holiday last longer! Studies show that simply knowing there's a vacation on the books can improve a person's psyche, so setting a date for later in the year means your gift will go even further toward creating happiness.
  2. Match your mate's personality: Choosing unique accommodations (such as the Love Me Tender, Love Me Suite shown in the video above!) shows your partner that you are paying attention to what makes him or her happy, not just looking for a travel bargain.
  3. Pack some sweet surprises: Once you've set the date for your getaway, consider ordering a few fun extras such as monogrammed luggage tags, fun flip-flops (for a beach vacation), a colorful pair of socks or a book of romantic poetry.
  4. Be creative with your delivery: Try one long-stemmed rose with a plane ticket attached, or purchase a photo album and insert a map so that the first page shows your intended destination.
  5. Create your own traditions: Once you take a successful "offbeat" getaway, challenge your partner to plan the next one! Birthdays, anniversaries and holidays can take on even more meaning when the element of surprise is part of the plan. Keep in mind, when budgets are tight, staycations can be the answer. Sometimes a nearby museum exhibit or musical performance "take you away" to a foreign land.

If your valentine is a gym rat who bikes on the levee and thrives on healthy living, consider a trip to Dauphin Island where you can go bird-watching, beach walking and kayak into a beautiful marsh.

Click here for a video visit to Dauphin Island.

Wherever you go, put away your electronic leashes and concentrate on spending time with your loved one.


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