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I started dating my partner just in time for the biggest commercial holidays of the year, including both of our birthdays. As someone who prides themselves on being a thoughtful gift-giver, it pained me not to give him a gift on his birthday, even if it had only been a few weeks since we’d met. That said, Christmas and the season of giving are right around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited. However, the pressure to find the perfect gift for your significant other is always high, especially  just a few months into the relationship. 

The holidays are not all about the gifts, but I can’t deny that I love making my loved ones feel special. Instead of doing that with a physical item this year, I thought my partner and I would benefit more from experiencing something together for the first time, like a trip! Since we met, we’ve always discussed a desire to visit Colorado together. When I suggested that we take a mini-vacation rather than stress over the perfect gift, my partner loved the idea. If your significant other and you have a dream destination within your budget and schedule, I highly suggest following in our footsteps.

The best part about choosing a trip over exchanging gifts is that you get to enjoy each part of the process together. You can both decide where you want to go, along with the activities that you want to do together while you’re there. Taking your first big trip with a new partner can foster some of your favorite memories as a couple, and technology makes it simple to plan. AirBnB and VRBO are easy to navigate, and you can filter your search by the type of place, cost per night and amenities. If you can, be sure to ask any family members or friends who may live in the area you’re visiting. They can recommend safe areas for you to stay in; otherwise, be sure to read the reviews on each location before you consider booking them.

Once you’ve secured your location, you can begin discussing the things you want to do and the places you want to see. Is there a restaurant that you’ve both wanted to try? Or maybe a museum you both are interested in? Whatever you plan (or don’t plan) for your trip, be sure to spend it together. After all, it is your holiday gift to one another.

I am so excited to experience our non-traditional gift to one another. And even if you do have a gift idea for your significant other, no one’s stopping you from taking the trip route and ditching the gifts altogether. As long as you both feel special this holiday season, you’re doing it right!

Haley Sakuma is a senior at University of Missouri-Kansas City studying communications with an emphasis in journalism and interpersonal communication. She is one of the Campus Correspondents for the UMKC chapter of Her Campus, and her favorite articles to write are blog-style with a personal touch of humor.
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