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collage from flytographer.comForget strangers and selfies — hire a flytographer on your next trip and never worry about capturing yourself on location again. What’s a flytographer? More like who. Leading the newest travel trend, Flytographer.com connects you with professional photographers who are available to shoot your vacation as you would a wedding (or even a celebrity sighting). Just when you thought drones were the ultimate travel paparazzo…

Local photographers in more than 130 cities make it easy to connect with someone who is familiar with the best backdrops and locations, turning an average trip into something worth a glamorous (albeit candid) photo shoot. Whether it’s a special event, such as a proposal in Prague, or simply a family vacation in Cancun that you want to be sure to capture, it beats a clunky self-timer, an awkward exchange with a passerby or an uncomfortably tight selfie.

19 Tips for Better Travel Photos

Travel blogger Johnny Jet even tried it out on a recent vacation with his wife in Hawaii.

The idea came from Nicole Smith, a Canadian woman who, after losing hundreds of travel photos due to underexposed old film, realized on a recent girls’ trip that asking a third friend to document the vacation wasn’t only a huge favor, it was a business model. A working mother of two, Smith now runs Flytographer.com full time, tapering off her hours at Microsoft, where she currently still works.

Prices for the experience range from $250, which buys you a 30-minute shoot in one location resulting in 15 photos, to $500 for a 90-minute session in two locations yielding 45 photos. A proposal photo shoot is a flat fee of $450.

What do you think — is a professional vacation photographer worth the splurge? Share in the comments.

– written by Brittany Chrusciel

romance on the beachThis Valentine’s Day, we’re not going to tell you where to go for a romantic getaway. That’s too cliche! Which is ironic, since instead of telling you what to do, we’re asking you which cheesy romantic travel cliches you’ve indulged in.

We recognize that “cheesy” is subjective — while I think a couple’s massage in a straw hut overlooking warm turquoise waters is wonderfully romantic, others might very well find that dripping in cheese.

But you can’t argue it’s not a cliche!

Take our Cheesy Romance Travel Quiz by giving yourself one point for every cheesy romantic travel moment below that you’ve ever indulged in, then check to see where you stand on the Cheesy Romance Travel scale.

I have…

… Walked barefoot on the beach, holding hands during sunset with a flower in my hair or my partner’s hair (give yourself half a point if there was no flower).

… Dined on a bearskin rug next to a crackling fire in a mountain lodge.

… Bought a rose (or had a rose bought for me) from a peddler on a picturesque street in a foreign country.

… Sat in a gondola with my loved one while a gondolier serenaded us in Venice (take half a point if you did this in Las Vegas because it was closer to home than Italy).

… Spent the night in a honeymoon suite with a heart-shaped bed and rose-petal-strewn bath.

… Taken a horse-drawn carriage ride in a city like New York, New Orleans or Paris (give yourself extra points for each city you’ve done this in).

… Channeled my inner Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks and smooched on the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

… Gazed at the stars in some exotic location (the Arabian desert, the Australian Outback) before gazing lovingly into my partner’s eyes.

… Set sail on a private yacht right as the sun went down so I literally sailed off into the sunset together.

Give yourself a five-point bonus if you’ve danced under the stars anywhere in the world (except your backyard) with no accompanying music just because you felt like dancing with the person you loved at that very moment.

How’d you do?

10 points or higher — You love romantic comedies, you enjoy getting and giving flowers, and you bring your inner romantic diva with you even when you travel. Who cares if others turn their noses up at horse-drawn carriage rides with heart-shaped rose decorations and a blanket to snuggle under? To you, that’s paradise.

5 to 9 points — You’ve got a romantic side, but you’re pragmatic too. A quiet walk along the beach with your loved one is fine, but you’re not quite prepared to cough up the extra dough for the overpriced rose or singing gondolier.

0 – 4 points — Either: A) you don’t have a romantic bone in your body; B) you hate anything cliche and would just rather keep your romantic gestures to yourself; or C) your bucket list has a few of these romantic moments on it, but you just haven’t gotten there yet.

Poll: What’s the best way to make your trip more romantic?

– written by Dori Saltzman