Bud Travel's Romantic Tips

  1. Call ahead: Romance seems all the sweeter when you appear to have put some thought and legwork into it. Arrange in advance for fresh flowers—or a favorite dessert—to be waiting for the two of you when you enter the room. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  2. Hotel rooms never have dimmers—why is that? Bring your own plug-in dimmer, or simply drape a sheer scarf or sarong over the lamp. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  3. You need a soundtrack, so hook your iPod up to travel-size speakers. You want your Sade, your Barry White, your Norah Jones, your Prince slow jams, whatever floats your boat. (The easy way: Stay at a Hyatt, which has installed XM satellite radio in all its rooms in the continental U.S.). (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  4. The sense of smell is so important—we are animals, after all. (At least until the Supreme Court decides otherwise.) Spritz a little perfume on a lightbulb, and it'll subtly waft through the room. Choose something light—you don't want it to smell like you've just sprayed the room with Glade. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  5. Use this as an occasion to bust out a special outfit—and not the same robe you've been wearing around the house since Christmas 2002. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  6. Pop some champagne! We recommend a split rather than a full bottle—champagne is best consumed in small doses. (Passing out is so not the point.) Use the ice bucket to chill it. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  7. The company Fresh makes a terrific bubble bath. Never put bubble bath in a tub with jets and then turn the jets on. The suds go everywhere. Cleaning the bathroom is never sexy (unless you're into that). (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  8. Skip the $100 rubdown in the antiseptic spa. Bring your own massage oil and do it yourself. Far be it from us to get too intimate with your erogenous zones, but we will say that for feet, Aveda's peppermint foot cream works magic. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  9. Before you go to sleep, always check to see if a previous guest left the alarm clock on. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)
  10. Breakfast in bed is essential, but you may find paying $30 and up for a couple of baked goods and a pot of coffee gives you heartburn, not romance. So pack your own! No one ever said you can't have a picnic for breakfast. Or pick up coffee and treats at Starbucks. (Illustrations: Mark Zingarelli)

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