Travel has for centuries enjoyed a special link with romance and romanticism. From the romantic galivants of 18th century poets to the wonderful reportage of today’s travel writers, being in a new place and experiencing unseen cultures breathes romantic energy into one’s life. But how can one travel to maximize this welcome aura during their vacation?

This article provides four strong contenders for the most romantic methods of traveling – ways in which your mode of transport will further enhance the mystical or otherworldly feeling you get when living life, however briefly, on the road.

1. Slow Boats

First up is the famous slow boat – a sluggish but wonderfully serene way to pass through a country’s waterways. There are still some operational paddle steamers around the world, from the Amazon to the Mekong, in which you’ll be able to slowly watch mesmeric landscapes drift past.

Nowadays, most slow boats are modern and plush and you’ll have a choice of a luxury first-class berth or a cheaper and more cozy option in the bunks down below deck. Any country with a sizable river will have a slow boat adventure waiting for you – you just need to find it.

2. Train Travel

Swaying gently from side to side as your carriage glides effortlessly over shining rails, there’s something timeless and peaceful about train travel. In the industrial era, huge and ambitious train lines were constructed all over the world to accommodate a revolution in travel, trade and communication capabilities.

Currently, their remnants remain for a truly unique travel experience. From the wine-soaked valleys of South Africa to the scorched sands of Northern India, gazing through an open train door as the wind whistles by is one of those must-do-before-you-die experiences.

3. Road Trips

Romanticized through Hollywood movies in which protagonists escape their dull lives to take to the open road, it’s not hard to imagine jumping into a car to delve into he great unknown – whether it sits on your doorstep, or on the other side of the world.

Adventure awaits, but also comfort and privacy. All you need to do on arrival in a new country is rent a car, buy a local map, and choose a road to spread yourself over as you discover parts of regions that are rarely, if ever, visited by tourists.

 

4. Hot Air Balloon

We’ve offered water, rails and roads, but now it’s time to take to the skies for the ultimate romantic excursion – in a hot air balloon. Perfect for couples and newlyweds but equally enthralling for all, there can be nothing quite like the experience of letting soft winds waft you over a landscape that’s utterly breathtaking from the skies. Wherever you get the opportunity to embark on such a beautiful flight – whether that be in Bagan in Myanmar, or Cappadocia in Turkey – you should consider paying the price for what will no doubt be the experience of a lifetime.

Travel isn’t just about the hotels, the restaurants and the sights – it’s also about how you transport yourself between destinations. Having read through the four contenders above, find a way in which you can make your next journey as romantic as possible.