1. You won't lose the ring

My sweet boyfriend flew to Rome to propose after my four month study abroad. He had hardly been in the country three hours before he dropped the ring in the hotel room without noticing...luckily my sister ran back to change shoes at the last minute, found the ring lying in the middle of the floor, and sneakily saved the day. I can only guess whether he would've been able to hold onto the ring for an entire week if his plan had been to propose on the last night. You're not at home and accidents happen- trust me, your precious ring is much safer on your girl's finger (where she'll be admiring it every five seconds).

2. I repeat, you won't lose the ring

Speaking of accidents, there are SO many different ways things can go wrong! You basically have two choices. You leave the ring in your luggage all week where it could:

a) get stolen by a hotel employee, hostel roommate, etc,

b) risk her finding it if she ends up rummaging through your suitcase,

c) get misplaced/hidden too well and you can't find it quickly/discreetly when the time comes.

OR, you keep the ring on your person all week where:

a) you compulsively check to make sure it's still in your pocket (she'll notice) or

b) it falls out, gets pick pocketed, etc. (You got it insured, right? RIGHT?!)

It's hard to hide a large ring box, so make sure you have a pouch and aren't carrying around a loose ring that could get damaged or lost.

After Ian proposed in Rome, we spent the most incredible first ten days as fiances backpacking through Europe!

3. She won't be expecting it

If surprising her is your goal, the last night is not the way to go. It's been done, it's expected, it's the thing to do. Vacation proposals always happen on the last night. Alternate idea: Go ahead and hint that you have a special dinner planned for your last night and her suspicions will be confirmed. Then BAM, pop the question on the first night- she won't see it coming and will get to bask in the glow of her new diamond for the rest of the week...But go easy on her because she will want to take cheesy ring pictures all week (see above...and below) and you should let her have her moment;)

4. You won't be nervous

Traveling can be stressful...proposals are always stressful...and congratulations, you've planned both! You have probably been planning this for a while now, and the pressure is mounting. Do you really want to spend all week thinking about it? What if your third day just so happens to be the best day of your life...do you really want to try and top that later? Use that initial we're-on-vacation adrenaline and get. it. done! If you pop the question on the first night, the pressure's off, you float through the week in a celebratory high, and you're now free to enjoy your first week as fiances in paradise...not at your 9-5.

Looking back, the proposal will be the big highlight of the trip- so she might as well be wearing the ring in all the pictures!

5. You can have the most epic first week as fiances

Picture this: We were in Cinque Terra, Italy, having dinner on a beach-side patio, when a man led his fiance over to the water and proposed in front of the gorgeous sunset. Everyone at the restaurant cheered, celebrated, and bought dinner and drinks for the brand new fiances. And then they boarded a flight home and went to work the next morning...Just kidding, I don't know for sure- but wouldn't it be such a better story if they had an entire week of paradise ahead of them?

Everyone at that restaurant was already on vacation and in a celebratory mood which was then channeled toward the happy couple. People love it when people get engaged! Your proposal doesn't have to be a big display, but both of you will be buzzing with excitement and it's so much fun to share that with other excited people. Tell your hotel and maybe you'll get an upgrade, tell your restaurant and maybe you'll get free dessert...you didn't do it for the perks, but if there are perks to be had...

Even though Ian proposed in a quiet piazza late at night, we loved telling strangers we met on our travels and I swear they were just as excited as we were! Don't propose right before the party ends. Start your new beginning at the beginning!