7 Travel-Themed Ideas for a Perfect Date-Night In - Bookshelf Memories

7 Travel-Themed Ideas for a Perfect Date-Night In

Have your date nights become mundane? There’s only so many times dinner and a movie or a night at the theater can be pulled off. Eventually, you need to think a bit deeper about the meaningful connections you have with your partner and plan a night around shared interests that aren’t just average. When you land on the notion that you both love travel, that’s a great start. You can run with that and plan a date night in with a travel-inspired theme.

7 Travel-Themed Ideas That Are Perfect for At-Home Date Nights

1. Make Arts and crafts projects inspired by different countries

illustrative image of a hand-woven basket with a hand carved bird

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Image for illustrative purposes only – generated with A.I.  

International tourists have boundless opportunities for travel-related arts and crafts projects because every corner of the world has a heritage of arts and crafts. For example, Japanese crafts range from origami, braiding, and calligraphy, whereas the Italian ski destination of Val Gardena also has a long history of wood carving. That’s a craft project that isn’t too difficult to get started with as all you need are a set of wood carving tools and a block of basswood. Perfect for bookshelf decor too. In France, one of the longest traditions in the arts and crafts industry is basket weaving.

For activities you can do together, research your favorite travel destinations to learn about the history of arts and crafts in the region. What could start as two people spending time together either carving wood or weaving baskets could lead to unique creations, such as hand-woven wicker baskets inspired by the French, with an Italian inspired hand carved miniature sculpture glued in place and decorated with a Japanese braided rope around it.

2. Create a travel guidebook together

local travel guide or guest guidebook

Take a leaf from the tourism industry and create your own travel guidebooks. Many Airbnb rentals add to the experience by equipping guests with a local guidebook. Turn your home into a make-believe holiday rental, complete with a guidebook of tourist spots around your area. Become a tourist in your local area. What can or do you do locally? When you go out for a stroll or a longer walk, do you have scenic photos from trails? Print them to use in a book. Write a description of the area including historical notes that make a spot worthy of visiting. Creating a guidebook with photos leans on photography and writing. Become a food critic for a night and write up reviews of restaurants to include in your guidebook. Something like that would also be an awesome memoir and a unique piece of memorabilia that could be referred to years from now.

3. Have a packing practice run

two suitcases packed differently illustrating that tightly rolling clothes is better than folding clothes

On every trip we take, the luggage gets heavier, and more difficult to cram everything in. Packing is a skill and one that’s not easily mastered. Within almost every couple, there’s one person who does the packing because the other has no clue. Turn packing into a game. Practice rolling clothes tightly, pack the clothes most likely to wrinkle in the middle with the least wrinkling fabrics to the outside, and put underwear in drawstring bags – because that becomes your dirty laundry bag. For those with the know-how to sew, you could make DIY packing cubes to keep outfits together.  Turn it into a competition and see who can pack the most, and practically, then check the contents against a list of vacation essentials to see who forgot to pack what.  

4. Study the Blue Zones together to learn how to grow old and be happier together

Image of a cup of herbal tea with a handwritten note positive note - live a purposeful and abundant life

Most of us would agree that happiness is the secret to a long marriage. Many a study has been done on what makes people happy, but perhaps none more so than the work published by author Dan Buettner. For the bookworms among us, read the Blue Zone books. For those who prefer the diluted documentaries, Netflix filmed a limited 4-part docuseries - Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones. For a date in, it could be just the mini-series to spend the night watching and talking about what you see and learn together.

5. Do travel-themed games and puzzles

couple at a table having drinks surrounded by country flags with trivia cards being used as conversational prompts

Image for illustrative purposes only – generated with A.I.  

The most basic of travel-themed puzzles is jigsaws. Every unique destination and landmark around the world has likely been transformed into a jigsaw puzzle at some point. If you want to do a jigsaw of something more off-the-grid that hasn’t been manufactured, you can use a photo to order a custom photo puzzle. For a more personalized puzzle, work together to piece together a DIY book nook kit of an area you visited together, or plan to. If jigsaws aren’t your thing, there’s guaranteed to be other games that are more up your alley. 

Card game enthusiasts could play Trip Chaser… a card strategy game that features 88 destination cards from 11 locations and has 60 event cards. Some good and some bad that affect your travel plans. For those times when you have the urge to travel but can’t because of life, talk about travel memories. Games like Travel Banter use conversation prompts like “What trip did you learn the most from”? “What’s better – thoroughly planning trips or spontaneous travel”? “What’s a pet peeve you have about traveling”? “Where did you go that had the best FOOD”? For family games that are both fun and educational, consider board games like Passport to Culture, Around the World, or Ticket to Ride.

6. Throw a casino night with the chores on the line

group of friends hosting a casino game night

Casino games can be loads of fun when you take money out of the equation. Instead, put the chores on the line. The winner wins a morning or day of pampering. Breakfast in bed in the morning, gets to decide on the next destination for a day trip, or activity, or where to order food from next time, and/or gets to have a luxurious bath in complete piece – no disturbances, which might mean the loser has to take the kids to the park or visit relatives for a couple of hours to give your significant other the alone time they WON. Only a deck of cards is needed to play casino table games such as poker, baccarat, blackjack, and Texas Hold'em. If you want to create an authentic experience at home, you can buy casino party kits that contain traditional roulette wheels, the game mat, and the chips to put down.

7. Take a class together as a couple

student group around a table in a foreign language class

There’s numerous classes suitable to couples. Some examples are mixology classes, cooking, dance lessons, art classes, and for the ultimate travel buffs, you could learn a language together at your local college. By taking the class, you’re also expanding your social circle into others with the same goal and likely travel interests as you both. To learn whatever language you want to, open up your friends circles to like-minded people and learn better through simulated immersion.