You and your special someone deserve the occasional romantic getaway. It's wonderful to spend a weekend away from home, getting lost in each other's eyes and/or going on grand adventures together. But your bank account isn't always cooperative with your desire to get away. You may not have the funds for an all-inclusive resort stay, but you can still have the romantic getaway experience you crave with careful planning and a few clever tricks to get more bang for your buck.
Today, we're here to share our top five tips for planning a romantic getaway without breaking open your piggy bank.
1) Know Your True Priorities
You want the best romantic vacation possible, but that means different things to different people. For some, it's walking the beaches and eating shrimp kebabs from a beach vendor. For others, it's hotel massages or ordering room service. Talk to your partner and hammer out exactly what each of you is looking for in a vacation. If you just want a beautiful place to stay in bed all weekend, that's an entirely different plan from wanting to tour all the locavore restaurants in a strange new city.
You can save a lot of money by cutting out the typical parts of a vacation that neither of you cares about. Which makes room for planning awesome things you both want to do. For example, you might choose a hotel with no pool or room service to make room in the budget for a luxurious couple's massage.
2) Book in Off-Season Locations
The tourism industry is pretty strongly seasonal, even if most vacationers don't realize. Booking weekday nights is always more affordable than weekends, and booking off-season is sometimes astoundingly more affordable than on-season. What this means is booking opposite of the typical crowds.
Most vacation places thrive in the summer, so an autumn or non-holiday winter vacation is often less expensive because the hotels are eager to book during their off-season. On the flip-side, winter-busy ski resorts often drop the prices of their luxurious rooms during the summer to keep the doors open.
If you crave a destination getaway, you can even book a summer vacation across the world in Australia or New Zealand where it is winter time, and therefore off-season and more affordable than any other time of year.
3) Kitchenettes Save Hundreds
The best-kept secret of experienced budget travelers is to find hotels with kitchenettes. The ability to store food in a fridge/freezer, to cook in the room and satisfactorily reheat leftovers gives you incredible power over your vacation spending. Groceries, for example, cost far less than room service so if you're not vacationing for food tourism, why go out to eat for every single meal?
You have three options for securing yourself a kitchenette or fully functional in-suite kitchen.
- Closely examine hotel photos to determine if there are a mini fridge and microwave (call ahead to be sure)
- Choosing a long-stay hotel where rooms are built as mini-apartments
- Choosing a 'self-contained' or 'self-catering' hotel room which indicates a kitchen
4) Compare Booking Prices Over Several Platforms
Never accept the first booking price you're given, even if you know exactly the place you want to book. There are three or four top booking platforms that may list the same hotel at different prices. Booking on the hotel's website can also come with rewards, and is sometimes cheaper than any booking platform.
There are also interesting alternatives to hotels, like Airbnb, hostels, and tiny local hotels too small-town to list. These may or may not have better prices and opportunities, but it's worth your time to investigate. Compare prices, compare amenities, and choose where you book based on what's best for your plans.
5) Self-Directed and Offbeat Attractions
Then there's the question of attractions and adventures. If your romantic getaway will be entirely inside the hotel, then congratulations on saving money on tourism. But if you and your special someone want to go on an adventure or two during the vacation, your best bet is to go off the beaten path.
Offbeat attractions are those that you don't hear everyone talking about after Spring Break, but they can be just as fun and interesting. If not more. Examples might be touring local caves, visiting lesser-known parks, or taking self-guided tours of local historic sites. Depending on what you want to see and do, choosing smaller and more local attractions to patronize can save you a pretty penny on tourism prices for vacation fun.
If you're dreaming of a romantic getaway, making plans might not be as costly as you think. Use these clever tricks to plan exactly the getaway you want without paying for any details you and your special someone don't care about. By applying your priorities and avoiding the seasonal tourism crowds, you can save a surprising amount of money on the romantic getaway of your dreams. For more everyday financial insights, contact us today!