If your partner is searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, tell them this: New research shows that a vacation can do wonders for a couple’s sex life.

Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, says “what we’ve long known anecdotally, we’re now proving through authoritative research: Travel has a positive effect on relationships.”

The U.S. Travel Association launched a multiyear “Travel Effect” campaign last month “to conclusively establish the link between travel and its effect on relationships, education, business and communities.” The Association released on Thursday its first set of findings, which were based on phone interviews carried out by Edge Research between Nov. 26 and Dec. 9, 2012.

Dow said the research overwhelmingly shows that "couples who travel together have healthier, happier relationships compared to those who do not.”

Based on a survey of 1,100 American adults, which included quotas on gender, age and region, nearly two-thirds said a weekend getaway with their partner was more likely to spark romance than a large or small gift this Valentine’s Day. Only a third viewed a small gift the same way, and just 15 percent rated getting a big gift like jewelry as important as improving their romance. Moreover, seven in 10 couples surveyed believed traveling inspired romance, while more than eight in 10 said traveling as a couple kept their romance alive.

"Couples who take time to vacation alone together at least once each year report happier, healthier relationships overall compared to those who do not travel as couples," said Pam Loeb, principal of Edge Research.

Three-quarters of respondents who said they traveled as a couple reported having a good sex life, compared with 63 percent of couples who did not travel together. Furthermore, one in four couples said their sex life improved after traveling together, while 40 percent said sex together was permanently better after travel.

Need further proof? A third of divorced people surveyed said they never traveled together with their ex while they were still married.