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Thursday 2nd of February 2017
The Scenic Drive Date
Of course, we’re starting with the most obvious thing to do in your car with a loved one. A beautiful drive across the countryside so that you can gaze at the sights, stop off for a romantic meal or simply pull up somewhere spectacular and cuddle up in the back seats.
In today’s world, consumers spend an estimated $3.5 billion on a romantic evening with their partner. But while an average 70 million Valentine’s cards are sent out and the average of $126 is spent per person, a whopping 82% of people said they would prefer an experience rather than a gift for the romantic holiday.
Why not go one step further to enhance the date experience and create a romantic playlist full of your partner’s favourite songs to play on the road trip? Spotify is a great tool for this, and they even supply their own Valentine’s Day playlists full of smooth tracks guaranteed to set the mood.
Taking a picnic with you, or a flask of incredible hot chocolate to share will definitely do the trick in impressing your date. Guaranteed to create a setting they’ll never forget.
For some of the best scenic drive locations read our blog here.
The Drive-Thru Date
Inspired from American movie culture, the Drive-Thru experience is a fun, fast and filling way to spend the evening with your partner. Choose from your favourite fast-food restaurant to visit then head to the nearest drive-in cinema to watch a film together. See a list of the best outdoor theatres and cinemas in the UK here. It’s an easy way to eat what you want, talk as loudly as you want and cuddle as much as you want during a film – all things you can’t do in a normal cinema. Plus, it’s a cheap meal and entertainment and all from the comfort of the driving seat – something handy in the cold February weather!
Here are some interesting facts about Drive-Thru culture that you can use to start a conversation whilst waiting for your food…
The Luxury Car Date
This one requires a hire company or dealership to pull off but where else are you going to get your hands on a brand new, luxury automobile? Head down to your local car dealership and ask to take something expensive out for a test drive. Sure, you’ll probably annoy the staff members (particularly if your clothes give your lack of fiscal worth away), but at least you’ll both have fun!
Don’t forget to take a selfie or two whilst out in the car, you can make your friends jealous with a sneak peek of your adventures. BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Ferrari or Lamborghini dealerships often operate on appointment-only test drives so do your research to avoid date-disappointment.
The Star-Gazer Date
Unknown to many residents of the UK, there are actually specific locations you can drive to that allow you to view the night’s sky in perfect clarity. Away from the light pollution of the city and clear of trees and buildings, Dark Sky Parks can be found dotted around the countryside. For a list of Dark Sky Parks click here.
A perfect date idea for after a romantic meal, hop into the car and drive out into the countryside to your nearest park with a high SQM (Sky Quality Meter). Bring a blanket to lay on the ground and together you can both survey the far-off stars and galaxies in the same way our ancestors did – without the orange glow of street lights and neon signs. Unfortunately this is one you can’t take photos of, as standard cameras cannot pick up the light from the stars so leave the phones in the car and take a deep breath in of the spectacular view – it really is much better than you can imagine.
The Racy Date
A good old fashioned drag race can actually turn into a really exhilarating date. Safety is paramount so you’ll have to find a suitable location away from other drivers and pedestrians. Race tracks can be hired for an hour or whole days for around £185-250 depending on the size and facilities. If you are racing in your own cars, you’ll have to register them first but race tracks will have a selection of rally cars to choose from. Most drivers have a competitive streak, don’t deny you haven’t edged forward when next to someone at the lights and revved your car before taking off… Driving at higher speeds, against your girlfriend, boyfriend or even best mate is the kind of fun you have at go-karting but on a much larger scale.
The Carpool Karaoke Date
No matter what kind of woman you’re taking out nor how serious you are, singing along to your favourite tunes is an absolute must when a date is going south. Hire a car with smart technology so she can connect her phone to the car speaker system. Bets are, she’ll put something she loves on in the hope of impressing you and together you can duet as you drive along. If your town has an interesting viewing point such as a shipping port, hill-top, light display, waterfall, airport, beach, lake or animal reserve then pull up and try to find songs that match to the sights. Just remember, not many people can actually sing well so don’t judge your date on their ability to carry a tune!
The Camping Date
One of the most popular mini-break choices, camping is a great way to get back to nature and give your partner your undivided attention. If neither of you are the down-in-the-mud tent type then hiring a campervan or motorhome is the perfect solution. Finding a classy hotel for just one night can be more expensive than hiring a campervan for the whole weekend due to the “Valentine’s Rush” influx and increased prices.
If you’ve got a large car (estate) and want to simply spend one night looking up at the stars with each other then camping in your car can work just as well. But for that extra added comfort, a campervan includes a toilet, sink, mini-kitchen and bed with mattress. Check out our Perfect Guide to Hiring a Campervan here.
If you need something a bit bigger (perhaps you’re bringing the kids on your Valentine’s Weekend) then read about our Motorhomes which can berth 6 people.
Make sure your car is date-ready
Filling your car with 500 roses and a baby polar bear wearing a romper might work for a third date, but it shouldn’t be deployed straight out of the gate. Keep it simple. Here’s how to not put your date off before you’ve even left the driveway…
Keep your car neutral. As in, get it looking like it did when you first got it. Remove any old food wrappers, receipts, melted chocolate, discarded clothes, ancient coffee cups, etc. Anything that might gross out your date or suggest you live in your car.
Make sure you’ve got some decent music on to set the mood. Don’t have your date getting into your car to the tune of “Let’s get it on”, “Sexual Healing” or anything remotely cheesy/suggestive. Unless you want an awkward uncomfortable ride, don’t have the volume so loud that you can’t hear each other over the radio. Talk shows are usually OK as they can be helpful conversation starters as long as it’s not an exposé on hemorrhoids or something equally embarassing…
Non-terrible music? Check. Not swimming in car garbage? Also check. Now attend to your date’s other sensory needs! Open all your car windows and drive around for a while, until the stench of the McDonald’s that dripped under the handbrake two months ago dissipates, then hang one of those little fragrance trees from your rear-view mirror. We recommend the blue one. Vacuum your date’s seat, so they won’t feel like Pringles crumbs are crawling on their skin. And make sure to take the scenic route: only the classiest of your town’s KFC outlets shall be beheld by your date’s eyes tonight.
Lastly, make sure your driving is up to scratch. Don’t rev the engine, stop pumping the brake pedal and avoid parallel parking if at all possible. And please stop doing that cool “driving with one finger while leaning way back” thing. You look like you’re unconscious and it’s terrifying.
If you don’t have a car and you can’t hire one for one reason or the other – there are still plenty of great Valentine’s Day events and date ideas you can do. Check out Shallon Lester’s blog post here about how you can plan an awesome public transport date.