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Valentine’s Day: Making Memories Through Experiences

Looking for a last-minute gift for Valentine’s Day? Instead of panicking and succumbing to overpriced flowers or chocolates, why not make 2023 the year you do things a little differently? Consider this your two-step, how-to guide. 

Step One — Use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to celebrate

Studies show that celebrating the small things in life is an action plan for carving out quality time, slowing down and appreciating one another. It results in happier, lasting, and more fulfilling relationships and improved confidence, well-being, and joy.

Step Two — Experiences over things

Experiences are the key to hacking Valentine’s Day. Joy wanes quickly after the initial elation of receiving a physical gift, but happiness and satisfaction increase when that gift is an experience, even well after the event. As Thomas Gilovich, Professor of Psychology at Cornell University, says: “Our results suggest that people get more enduring happiness from their experiences than their possessions.”

The good news is that travel is the best experience. And luckily, there are still some amazing travel deals to book for that perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Fly away…

Explore the world. Enjoy up to 40% discount on flights (excluding Cabinda) with TAAG Angola Airlines’ Global Valentine’s Day promotion. You can book your flights for any time between now and 31 December 2023, but you better hurry. The promo ends on 10 February 2023.

TAAG Valentine’s Day Promo

A spa day and dinner in the Cape Winelands…

Chill time and pampering await you at Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa. This five-star hotel marries chic contemporary interiors with a classic Cape Dutch aesthetic set among stunning gardens at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Perfect for a romantic getaway.

Dreamy deal: indulge in their Ultimate Couple’s Delight Package special (running for February 2023), which includes four spa treatments, bubbly and a light lunch or go for a culinary experience at their fine dining restaurant, Stefan’s, with the 7-course Valentine’s dinner — Celebrate Love at Stefan’s.

Escape to the Kruger…

A safari experience on your mind? Buckler’s Africa Lodge by BON Hotels sits on the southern edge of the Kruger National Park and looks out onto the Crocodile River and open savannah. Spot wildlife from the comfort of your balcony or venture out on game drives.

Dreamy deal: Feel the Love special offers their best available rate-20%, which includes breakfast and complimentary arrival gifts like chocolates, sparkling wine and rose petals. 

Bucket List Victoria Falls…

MORE Family Collection’s Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel nails bucket-list experiences. Apart from enjoying the dining experiences, spa treatments and gorgeous accommodations at the hotel, you can also go on helicopter rides over Victoria Falls, sunset cruises on the Zambezi River and swing over Bakota Gorge.

Dreamy deal: Month of Love special (for SADC only, valid for travel in the month of February 2023) includes two nights in a luxury suite, breakfast, daily shared transfers to Victoria Falls town, plus a complimentary couples massage, game drive and romantic tailor-made dinner for just R 7 400 per person sharing. 

The City of Gold…

Gaze over leafy Johannesburg through floor-to-ceiling windows in Voco’s swish new hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg. With the views, plush beds and 24/7 in-room dining, you might be tempted to remain in your suite for your entire stay.

Dreamy deal: 1st Birthday Celebration Package for February — your partner stays free from Thursdays to Sundays. Enjoy a free room upgrade (subject to availability), breakfast and two glasses of bubbles at Proud Mary Modern Eatery and Wine Bar. 

Wild Waterberg…

Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway boasts beautifully designed private villas with plunge pools and incredible views of the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve. Experience an abundance of wildlife, including cheetahs and the Big 5, just two and a half hours away from Johannesburg.

Dreamy deal: Romance in the Waterberg, from R 3 670 per person sharing per night for a midweek stay and from R 4 620 per person per night for a weekend stay. Includes romantic turndown, sparkling wine, a gift on the night of arrival, three meals per day, selected beverages and two safaris daily.

A romantic picnic on the Garden Route

In Toto Retreat, a new upmarket guesthouse on the shores of the Swartvlei Lagoon in Sedgefield, is running Valentine’s quiz, Romancing the Garden Route, for the month of February. Simply participating in the quiz, you could win a two-night stay for two at In Toto Retreat. The prize includes accommodation and breakfast in either the Swartvlei, Goliath Heron or Seahorse Suites, as well as a picnic basket for two with a selection of local produce, including cheeses, olives, salads and cold meats.

Dreamy deal: Instead of hoping to win, you can also book this amazing getaway for a special Valentine’s price of R3 950 for two nights for two people:

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