We’ve all heard of those epic marriage proposals, from fabulous flash mobs to half time announcements during a sporting event. But there’s one method that tops the list and that’s proposing to your partner on a dream holiday. The reason? Well, it’s surely the hardest method. Let’s be honest, it’s hard enough planning a surprise holiday for your partner’s birthday, let alone a surprise marriage proposal!

But fear not, as such a proposal is by no means impossible. We spoke to Destination 2’s travel expert, Chris Blackwell, to get his advice about proposing abroad and keeping it secret. If you’re planning on popping the question, you’ll want to read this first!

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First things first, planning is essential…

When planning a surprise proposal, preparation is everything. You’ve got to be clever, you’ve got to be cunning and you’ve got to resist the urge to let slip that you’re planning something.

The first thing you want to think about is the time and the place. Is there anywhere that particularly stands out for you and your partner? A place where they holidayed as a child? Somewhere they’ve always wanted to visit?

What about their schedule? Don’t book a trip that coincides with their best friend’s birthday, or another couple’s wedding. This could eventually lead to you being sussed out. It’s worth setting aside a good amount of time for the planning phase.

Top tip | You’ve got to cover your footsteps. If you leave travel brochures around the house, or forget to delete bookmarks of package holiday deals on your computer, it could spoil the surprise.

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Booking the time off work (this could be the hardest part)

You’ve got it all worked out. You’re going to propose over dinner at Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. But before you can put your plans into action, you’ve got to find out whether your potential bride or husband-to-be can get the time off work.

You could just ask them to take a week or two off yourself, but this could result in them guessing the surprise, so why not give their boss a call and sort the time off yourself?

By going behind their back, you’re more likely to deter any suspicions they may have.

Get your story straight; make sure EVERYONE knows the deal!

Whatever your plan, make sure that your family and friends are aware of what’s going on. Make up a story with them and stick to it, and make sure that everyone is in agreement that their lips will be sealed!
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Passports, packing and preparing to fly out

One of the biggest challenges you may encounter is getting your partner’s passport details without them knowing. If you’re lucky, you may already have these on file from your last holiday.

The main issue with passports is that every last detail has to be 100% correct in order for you to fly. If you get just one minor detail wrong you could find yourself proposing in the middle of Heathrow Airport.

Another thing to keep in mind is the packing phase, are you going to pack your partner’s suitcase in advance? Pay careful attention to their favourite outfits; get a feel for their style before heading off.

Top tip | You’re going to need to hide the engagement ring well. Your hand luggage won’t do, it’s too risky. Instead, why not hide the ring in a pair of socks, or in your shoes or wash bag. Just make sure it’s you unpacking your own luggage.

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Popping the big question – you’ve got one shot, so make it perfect

Success. You’ve booked the holiday of a lifetime. Two weeks in Jamaica and your partner doesn’t suspect a thing. But how and when are you going to pop the question?

Much like the actual holiday, this stage requires careful planning. Fortunately there are numerous options available to you. For instance, you may wish to do it on the beach – in which case, choose the exact beach and day.

Alternatively, why not speak to the hotel or resort in advance? Most luxury hotels will do their best to help you with your marriage proposal, from arranging room service to hiding the ring in the cake when you dine out.

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