How to plan for a surprise proposal abroad

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Sunset along the Mekong River in 4000 Islands, Laos.

Are you planning a suprise propsal abroad? The sun-drenched run-up and beautiful backdrop are certainly likely to elicit a quick acceptance from your other half! It is also a great way to ensure that your proposal is personal and memorable, and you’re guaranteed to get some gorgeous engagement photos together, too. 

However, proposing in an overseas destination can be a challenge to organise. From bad weather spoiling your secret arrangements to your partner accidentally finding the ring, there are many potential pitfalls that you must take care to avoid! Make sure this extra-special event goes as smoothly as possible by following these top tips on how to plan a surprise proposal abroad. 

Finding the right ring

First things first: you need to find the right ring! This can be a tricky task in itself, especially if you are flying blind. Try to find out key information from your partner to aid your search for an engagement ring they will love. Band size, favourite gemstone, and preferred precious metal are all essential elements in getting it right. Your partner’s friends and family will likely be able to help too if you are worried about spoiling the surprise!

If you are uncertain about the type of engagement ring that is right for your loved one, buy a temporary ‘prop’ ring that you can use for the proposal and upgrade it with the real thing later.

Keeping the ring concealed

Once you have the ring, the next challenge is keeping it concealed from your partner until the moment of proposal. Especially as it is a valuable possession, chances are that you will want to keep the ring close at all times. However, this is not always the best idea: consider airport security when you have to empty your pockets! An inner compartment of your hand luggage is a better spot. 

When you arrive at your destination, you have several choices. The first option is the keep the ring with you all the time, but this risks the ring being lost. The second is to hide the ring in your safe at the hotel along with your other valuables. Alternatively, you could entrust the ring to hotel staff who can look after it until you are ready to propose. On the day of the proposal, wear an outfit with pockets

Planning a special experience

A major benefit of proposing abroad is that you can put together a truly awe-inspiring experience. This doesn’t need to cost the earth, but it should be tailored to your partner’s interests and desires and reflect the nature of your relationship in order to be an unrivalled special event. 

A popular option is to work with the staff where you are staying to put together a private dining experience away from the other hotel guests. Candles, flowers, delicious food, and a great view – is there anything more romantic? However, something as down-to-earth as a sunrise mountain climb might be a better fit for you and your loved one, or you could indulge your adventurous side with a high-energy activity! The options are endless, but you won’t go wrong if you trust your gut instinct.  

Whatever you choose to do for your proposal abroad, make sure you have a backup plan. Anything from unexpected bad weather to miscommunication has the potential to ruin even the best-laid arrangements! 

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