How to Plan a Romantic Weekend Getaway on a Budget


Every couple needs to get away from the humdrum of routine life if they are to keep their romance alive and kicking. However most of us who do not live a charmed life need to keep expenses down to a manageable level as well. So here are a few tips on how to plan a weekend getaway on a budget which is romantic at the same time.

Choose the destination

If you are planning to go away with your partner just for the weekend and cannot afford to take supersonic flights, you will need to choose a destination which is not very far. A good idea will be to settle for a location which can be reached by a drive or train ride of around three to four hours or else you will be left with just about one and half day’s worth of vacation time. At the same time, the destination – whether a city, town or village – should be new enough for you both to feel that you have actually gone beyond the familiar zone and not merely cruising the outer edges of your hometown. A useful thumb-rule is to decide on a location which is around fifteen miles away so that it is both near enough to access over the weekend as well as further enough to give a feeling of being on vacation. For instance If you live in the New York City or northern New Jersey areas, consider taking a trip upstate to Ithaca, New York. Again for those living in the southern part of the country, Savannah in Georgia could make for an ideal romantic destination.

Consider mode of transport

To reach your weekend getaway, you can choose from various modes of transport like a flight, train ride or a drive in your own vehicle, depending on whether you want to save on time or expenses. While train rides are pleasant ways to travel, they could be time-taking. Driving down yourself would leave you free to decide when you want to leave but it might leave you feeling exhausted if the roads are too crowded. Flights are a good option if you or your partner have managed to accumulate enough frequent flier miles which could even make possible a trip further south to the Caribbean paradise of Jamaica.

Explore various activities

The best part about going for a romantic weekend break is that you need not pack it with too many activities like adventure sports or things to do at recreational centers, all of which cost money. Instead you can simply relax and luxuriate in the pleasure of each other’s company. Think about how rushed you are back at home, trying to balance responsibilities at both the professional and domestic front – so why not simply put your feet up and bask in the sun or lounge by the swimming pool? If at all you and your partner are the active type, go about exploring nearby nature trails on foot or take in the historical and cultural sights of the town. Again for the gourmands among you, go on a culinary exploration of the place, sampling the local foods and drinks and maybe even packing a few savories to take back home. Almost all these activities are either free or inexpensive so that you need not spend a bomb while enjoying your weekend romantic vacation.

Where to stay

Choice of lodging can make the biggest difference to an affordable weekend vacation and one that would break your bank account. While resorts and hotels offer a slew of services and gourmet food, they can be rather costly. If at all, you wish to put up there, browse for discount rates or off-season deals. A far better option would be check out the lodges and inns in and around your destination which are usually located amidst beautiful natural surroundings and thus offer ample opportunities to go walking, biking or just sunbathing. Cottages and Bed-and-breakfast places are also viable options but may vary widely in matters of cleanliness, amenities and privacy. If you and your partner don’t mind getting cold, wet or the bugs, camping on site can offer a truly romantic experience, with you both far from the world and in the lap of real nature. It is also completely inexpensive unless you go overboard with buying new camping equipments. Wherever you decide to stay, don’t forget to check out hotel and lodging reviews on the net which have been posted by actual guests as these can often provide useful tip or warn you against a fraudulent B&B.

What to eat

Many kinds of accommodations often throw in free meals or discount dining vouchers as part of promotional events. Look out for these deals but always compare the costs if you would rather go for separate meals. Often paying for your own meals can turn out to be more economical than the clubbed dining and lodging rates offered by hotels. Also pack along bread, butter, jam and a few teabags or instant coffee sachets if you want to avoid breakfast expenses entirely. Again local cuisine at small roadside cafes is frequently more affordable than what is served up at the hotel or inn where you are staying.

Tie up loose ends

Before leaving for your weekend getaway, ensure that you have made all the necessary arrangements at home so that you are saved the hassles as well as expenses of calling back and forth and fixing things. If you have kids, decide where you are going to leave them for the time you and your partner will be away. Grandparents, a favorite aunt or a close family friend are the usual options but remember to let them know how to reach you in case of an emergency. Again if you have pet pooch, leaving it with a dog-loving neighbor or friend will turn out to be more affordable than a pet-sitter or a kennel.