By Martin A. Smith, CRPC®, AIFA®, President, Retirement Planning Financial Advisor™, Wealthcare Financial Group,...
Part of the romance of a getaway weekend is that you’re away from home. Instead of being surrounded by your everyday stuff, it’s just you and your special someone on an adventure together.
The key to an affordable getaway is to leave home, but don’t go far. There are some fantastic hotels and sights to see in whatever city you’re nearest to. So don’t bother with expensive plane flights or long road trips. Plan to go somewhere you’ve never been, we guarantee you’ll find a few within a three-hour drive of your home.
For some couples, it is the only detail they will notice until the weekend is over. You need a place that will make you feel relaxed and luxurious while getting lost in your beloved’s eyes for two solid days. Let your budget be your guide.
Here are a few romantic budget hotel pointers:
- Weekends are always pricier than weekday nights. So if you can schedule a weekday “weekend getaway”, you’ll find much better prices for the nicer rooms in your price range.
- Orbitz has a great variety of low and low-mid priced rooms to choose from. And the reviews can usually be trusted if you check the dates.
- Check Airbnb, there might be a local with a beautiful-if-tiny vacation house within your price range. You get the whole house to yourself.
- Cleanliness matters more than almost anything else when bargain hotel shopping.
- Motels (doors facing a balcony instead of a hallway) have gotten pretty swanky and you can get a nice room in a motel if you read the reviews. Some motels are very professionally kept.
- If you want a kitchen for cooking, try a long-stay hotel. The furnishings will be old, but clean, and you’ll get kitchen. Probably a full-sized bathtub, too.
- Check photos to tell if there’s a mini-fridge to keep your drinks and takeout leftovers cool.
Find Your Hotel Bliss
Start by assessing your actual priorities. Are you looking to lounge by a pool or watch hotel-sponsored Netflix while throwing popcorn at the screen? Is room service a must or are you happy having Chinese delivered to your door?
Write a list of things you and your beloved want from your hotel and compare that to the hotels to find the best option.
Some couples stay in all weekend, but some want to go out and do things during the day. If you’re an adventurous couple or just want to see the sights while on vacation, pack your walking shoes. Most cities have a bounty of low-cost museums and historical sites to check out in their old downtown region, all within walking distance of each other. Stash your car at the hotel or a free parking spot and hit the bricks hand-in-hand with your beloved.
Keep your phone handy and use Google Maps or a local touring app to guide you from affordable stop to stop. Aquariums, history and science museums, haunted house self-tours; there are tons of things to do on a shoestring budget if you just want to spend time together and sight-see. Just don’t get caught up in high-cost tourist traps that will be all around you.
Finally, remember that food is the number one cause of an overspent vacation budget. It can be tempting to eat from overpriced but delightful street vendor carts, to stop at restaurants, or to splurge on room service. Instead, set your budget and plan. Bring some romantic and practical groceries into the hotel room like strawberries, chips, and PBJ supplies for room snacking. If there’s a microwave, you can have popcorn.
If you plan to have one fancy dinner together, then make sure to factor that into the budget and plan your destination. Otherwise, have your romantic dinner as a bountiful takeout order that will last you the whole weekend. This will keep you from splurging on anything more than an ice cream cone or two.
You don’t have to break the bank to go on a romantic getaway with your special someone. And by planning carefully with your budget in mind, you’ll be truly relaxed and happy when the two of you come home hand-in-hand without any stress from overspending. Learn more practical financial tips by reading 6 Ways to Cut Cost on Travel or 20 Most Affordable Summer Vacations in the U.S.
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