While family vacations are undoubtedly fun and bring everyone together, sometimes you want to skip the kid-friendly activities and leave the tots with grandma and grandpa. Whether you're looking to have a romantic getaway with your significant other, or simply cut travel expenses (and annoyances? maybe we're going too far...), there are plenty of destinations best suited for couples. From gorgeous Caribbean islands to bustling cities in Asia, we've rounded up the 12 best places to visit sans the little ones. Take a look at our picks and start brainstorming babysitting options.
-- Lara Grant, Oyster.com
The Maldives is a distinct nation in the Indian Ocean made up of 26 Atolls and 1,192 islands; its capital and largest city is Malé. Each of the locale's over 100 resorts is situated on an individual private island, making it a top destination for experiencing marine life through snorkeling and scuba diving. The remote country is expensive both to reach and enjoy once you're there -- so best to keep costs to two people; plus the vibe is decidedly romantic and peaceful. Almost all of the resorts are uber-luxe, with stunning sandy beaches, overwater villas with modern amenities, personalized service, and outstanding restaurants.
Our Hotel Pick: Gili Lankanfushi Maldives
The Indonesian country of Bali is quickly becoming a honeymoon fave and top spot on every traveler's bucket list. Referred to as the Island of the Gods, the locale is often described as "exotic" or akin to "paradise." Ubud, Kuta, and Seminyak are the most popular cities, filled with lush mountains, rice paddies, and sandy beaches; they all also have a visible Hindu culture, stunning temples, and dramatic dances. Though Bali has plenty of activities for visitors of all ages, this trip seems best spent with a significant other -- and no one else.
Our Hotel Pick: The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah a GHM Hotel
3. Big Sur, California
One of the most beautiful places in the U.S., if not the world, Big Sur is known for jagged cliffs along the Pacific Ocean and redwood forests. Located along California's famed Route 1, the views here (when it isn't too foggy) are jaw-dropping. Adding to its romantic atmosphere are natural thermal springs and sandy beaches. It's home to campsites, luxury hotels, spiritual getaways, and ample outdoor-centric activities. Visitors can hike the 237 miles of coastal trails and expect to see whales, dolphins, and plenty of otters swimming about below.
Our Hotel Pick: Post Ranch Inn
4. Santorini, Greece
It can definitely be an expensive vacation, but a trip to Santorini is rewarded with breathtaking vistas, ancient sites, and delicious Greek wine. Though it gets very busy during peak season, there's a reason for it. Travelers can drink champagne on a yacht in the Aegean Sea, eat more Mediterranean food than thought possible, or stroll through several fantastic museums. While Mykonos plays host to the party-loving traveler, Santorini is perfect for the relax-minded crowd (jaunting about à deux) that doesn't mind splurging a bit. Don't worry though, there are hotels for the budget-minded as well.
Our Hotel Pick: Andronis Luxury Suites
5. Chamonix, France
For snow enthusiast couples, Chamonix is a wonderful travel destination. The resort town in the southeastern area of France played host to the first Winter Olympics in 1924 and is now a haven for advanced skiers and mountain climbers. The town is filled with boutiques and restaurants, and surrounded by spectacular views of the Alps across France, Italy, and Switzerland, including Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the chain. Steep slopes and black diamonds are prevalent, but there are plenty of green runs for beginners. Aside from the outdoor activities, there are hot tubs, fireplaces, and resort spas for cozying up with a hot chocolate or cider.
Our Hotel Pick: Hôtel l'Héliopic
6. Amalfi Coast, Italy
Want to head to Italy? Save Florence and Rome for another time, and head to the Amalfi Coast, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travelers head to the region for its stunning cliffside villages overlooking the beautiful blue waters of the Bay of Naples and Gulf of Salerno. Aside from its breathtaking views, the area is filled with delectable restaurants prime for people watching, wonderful hikes, and colorful hotels perched into the hills. While relaxing with your partner in an infinity-edge pool overlooking the water, you'll be glad you left the kids at home.
Our Hotel Pick: Le Sirenuse Hotel
7. Granada, Spain
We love Barcelona and Madrid, but one of the top Spanish cities worth visiting is Granada. Located in the Andalucia region in southern Spain, it's a historical and cultural mecca. Most well-known is the striking Alhambra palace, a symbol of Moorish culture that has mosaic tiling, running fountains, and archways. Visitors can enjoy Granada's vibrant nightlife, delectable tapas, flamenco dances, and beautiful architecture.
Our Hotel Pick: Parador de Granada
8. Istanbul, Turkey
The only city in the world on two continents (Europe and Asia), Istanbul has a wonderfully rich history and was first known as Byzantium, and then Constantinople after that. It's home to one of the most well-known structures in the world, the Hagia Sophia, which is a Byzantine church-turned-mosque. Now the historic site is also a museum that brings around three million visitors annually. There are plenty of other activities to keep travelers busy -- visits to the Blue Mosque, performances of Whirling Dervishes, Turkish hammams, and delicious seafood restaurants. The Turks are notoriously friendly and sociable, so expect to feel wonderfully welcomed.
Our Hotel Pick: Hotel Niles Istanbul
9. Bar Harbor, Maine
A small town, Bar Harbor, Maine is a popular tourist destination outside of its cold winter months. Home to Acadia National Park, the city is perfect for nature lovers; amongst the trails, ponds, and mountains, visitors can spot bald eagles, snowy owls, and foxes. Whale watching, lighthouse tours, and plenty of pretty hiking. We recommend a trip in fall so visitors can experience the region's beautiful fall foliage. And don't forget to enjoy a lobster roll while you're there!
Our Hotel Pick: Bar Harbor Inn
Home to some of the bluest water in the Caribbean, the island of Antigua is situated just north of Guadeloupe. Like those at most Caribbean destinations, travelers fill their time here by relaxing on the sandy beaches, snorkeling in Stingray City, or sailing on a catamaran. Free-spirit adults can head to Hawksbill Beach, a remote and calm area on the west side of the island where clothing is optional.
Our Hotel Pick: Cocobay Resort
11. Connemara, Ireland
Connemara is located on the west coast of Ireland, with all the beautiful natural landscape you'd expect -- rolling hills, rugged mountains, and beautiful beaches. An hour from Galway, the destinations is the perfect place for visitors looking to spend their days playing golf, exploring castles, or enjoying a scenic boat tour. Whether you fancy historical sites, buzzing pubs, or bike rides, the city is a lovely Irish escape.
Our Hotel Pick: Ballynahinch Castle Hotel
12. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Packed with gorgeous temples, bustling outdoor markets, and moving historical sites like the Cu Chi Tunnels and War Remnants Museum, Ho Chi Minh City is a very popular travel destination. Formerly Saigon, the largest city in Vietnam boasts lovely French colonial architecture, delicious Vietnamese cuisine, and accommodations geared toward both the budget-minded backpacker and extravagant traveler. Whether you're exploring Southeast Asia, or just Vietnam, the historically significant and energy-filled city is a must-visit.
Our Hotel Pick: Villa Song Saigon