As we approach Valentine’s day, the pressure to “prove” your love to your better half is intense. I, for one, am a firm believer of showing love when you feel it – not on a particular day just because your are expected to. Still, a vacation, for me, is always welcome. For those looking to impress their loved ones without putting a huge dent in their pockets, here are some excellent inexpensive romantic vacations to choose from.
Affordable Romantic Vacations that Won’t Break the Bank
I got together few couple travelers to share their best, cost effective destinations with my readers. So, here’s what experts have to say and costs involved if you are planning to visit any of these places –
Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across the World
I fell in love with Tel Aviv, to the point that I gave up on all my travel plans for Ecuador, India and whatever else and decided there and then that Israel is where I’d want to go back, as soon as possible. The city of parties, of life, of the many beautiful beaches, of the bars, the clubs, the stylish people around, can be incredibly romantic with the amazing sunset views on the waterfront and the gorgeous cobbled alleys of Old Jaffa. Tel Aviv is expensive, but it can be done on the cheaper side, picking the right places to sleep and eat. Abraham Hostel is incredibly trendy and not only it has dorm, but it also had comfortable private rooms. The vibe there is amazing. An average meal out in Tel Aviv costs $20 to 30 USD, but there are places where it is possible to gorge on hummus for less. And a pint of beer or a glamorous cocktail costs around $8. Granted – it is not cheap at all. But it is worth every penny.
Ruben & Rachel from Gamin Traveler
Looking for a romantic destination next Valentine’s day? Ao Nang will be a perfect choice for you. Why? First the food. Thai food is amazing and to have your food with an amazing sea view just adds to the places beauty. Have breakfast with a sea view or watch the sunset while enjoying your cocktails. And like a lot of Thailand beautiful islands, Ao Nang is close to beaches like Ton Sai and Railay, a nice piece of adventure you and your partner need to do together. If you’re up to spending more for a special Valentine treat for yourselves, get your own luxiry villa, where you can spend your private romantic time surrounded by the Thailand island vibes – perfect combination! Thai people definitely know how to serve their guests well, and you’ll be sure to be treated as a king and queen in your own little paradise island.
Michelle du Toit from RomanticExplorers
You are not imagining seeing Bora Bora right here, in a list of romantic destinations that won’t break your bank! Visiting the ultimate island destination with its white sands and dreamy colored water really is possible at cheaper prices. Instead of paying US $6000 or much more, I managed to pay only US $4500 to achieve the perfect overwater bungalow dream. Here’s my advice from my research: Go there in the low season (November to May), book an overwater bungalow for only 1 or 2 nights and spend the rest of your time there in more affordable accommodation options. Book a hotel that doesn’t have a view of the mountain such as Hotel Maitai Polynesia – they are usually cheaper. Choose to stay on the mainland (it saves the expenses of travelling to and from the best restaurants in Bora Bora) and make sure you take the priceless Bora Bora travel tips of a local when you are lucky enough to find it!
Inma & Jose from A World to Travel
Whether you would like to stick to one place in a nice resort in the coast or go all the way for an epic Andalusia road trip as we did, this area has everything you need to spend some time.
Places like Malaga, Tarifa, Cadiz, Sevilla, Ronda and Granada will make your low season holidays some to remember!
Margherita Ragg from The Crowded Planet
There are only about three places to stay at in Mykines, but they are all quite affordable. We recommend opting for a homestay in an old Faroese home with a grass roof. It will cost you about $80 per person, but this includes meals and guided hikes.
Hannah & Adam from Getting Stamped
My favorite romantic destination that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg is Thailand. My first taste of this amazing country was on my Thailand honeymoon I specifically fell in love with the island Koh Lipe. For under $50 a night you can rent an amazing beach hut and fall asleep hearing the waves crashing. Koh Lipe has gorgeous white sandy beaches and crazy turquoise water. My husband and I love renting a private long tail boat for the day for only $45 and exploring all the nearby islands. Nothing is more romantic than a picnic on your own private island. Koh Lipe is our favorite island in the world we’ve been back to three times since falling in love with it back in 2014.
Edwina from Traveling German
Barcelona is a beautiful destination for a romantic weekend. The Gaudi monuments make for some great sightseeing during the day. I recommend walking up the Passeig de Gracia to see the famous Casa Batllo and Casa Mila (La Pedrera) before heading to Sagrada Familia. If you’re on a budget, just get the basic ticket (EUR 15). Get a ticket online beforehand so you don’t spend your weekend standing in line!
For a fun but casual dinner, head to Can Paixano, also known as La Xampanyeria for inexpensive but surprisingly good Cava (the Catalan equivalent to Champagne) and greasy but good hot sandwiches. If you’re looking for a slightly more romantic sit down dinner, head to Llamber which is a bit pricier but serves beautiful modern tapas, and stroll around the Born neighborhood after dinner.
For a day of recovery afterwards, head to the beach for a weekend Paella (Xiroi Ca La Nuri offers the best value of the beach restaurants) or stop by a supermarket for a bottle of wine, some jamón and olives and enjoy a picnic on the beach. The arabic baths at Aire de Barcelona are a popular option with the locals for reasonable spa treatments (starting at 36 EUR), and I’d round the weekend off with a dinner at Can Recasens in Poblenou, which serves a 25 EUR prix fix menu in an old building filled with candle lights and seasonal decorations. It’s a local favorite so reservations are an absolute must!
Bali is the perfect affordable romantic Valentines Day escape.
This year consider taking your SO somewhere warm— the other plus being that it’s more fun to spend Valentines Day in your bathing suit!
Ketki Gadre from EcoKats
Kumarakom, an enchanting backwater destination is a perfect place to unwind, relax and indulge in good food. Set in the backdrop of Vembanad lake, it is dotted with houseboats painting a serene picture. A good book to read at the backwaters in a hammock and drinking coconut water or a couple spa or relaxing in the swimming pool, are some of the choices you are spoilt for.
Kumarakom is an absolute romantic travel pleasure destination to mesmerize your senses.
How to reach: There are direct flights from Mumbai to Kochi costing Rs. 3000 (Around$50) one way. The closest airport is Kochi which is 85 km away and the closest railway station is Kottayam which is 18 km away and it is ideal to hire a car to reach Kumarkom and costs Rs. 3000 one way.
Costs: Kumarakom offers wide range of accommodation. Backwater Retreat Theme House offers comfortable stay at Rs. 2000 per night. For luxury hotels and spa you can choose Vivanta by Taj or Kumarakom Lake Resort with tariff ranging from Rs. 15000-2000 per night.
Joe Gibson XIV of Best of World Travel
Boracay Island is a world renowned travel destination in the Philippines. It has received numerous titles and awards such as “2012 and 2014’s best island in the world”, and “top 10 destinations to watch in 2016”. Because of the island’s perfect natural beauty, tourists and travelers love going into this place, especially during summer, Christmas break and Valentines.
For budget seeking love birds, did you know that you can go to Boracay and back to Manila for only 1 Peso ( $0.02 USD) per flight which is served by the Cebu Pacific? This is a discounted fare that the airline promotes from time to time. But for regular fares, tickets may range from 3000-5000 Pesos ($60-100 USD) depending on the time that you are booking.
On the other hand, a sea route would be cheaper which only costs around 1100 Pesos ($22 USD) served by 2GO Travel.
As for budget lodging, tourists can choose rooms from 500-2000 Pesos ($ 10-40 USD) per night of stay. Meals and other foods may be bought or cooked that may cost you 35-300 Pesos ($ 0.7 – 6 USD) per day.
Stunning views, fresh air, clean waters and romantic settings are all free of charge as Boracay serves these kind of experiences that will mark in a lifetime. Other activities may also be experienced in the island such as stylish spa and massage, romantic ocean adventures, nerve wrecking encounters and of course a colorful night life.
Michelle from Cheeky Passports
One of the countries in Europe that we really enjoy travelling to is Croatia and Brac island encompasses all that we love about the country. Packed with lovely beaches, exceptionally good food, hiking opportunities and sleepy villages, the island is perfect for a short romantic getaway from the hustle of everyday life. Brac can be reached via a short ferry ride from the mainland (Split) and is best explored by car. Renting a car is very affordable and vehicles can be rented out from the mainland or even from the island itself. The cost of ferrying a car and two passengers is about Eur 25 each way and a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets is available. Restaurants dish out some very tasty fare with the island being well-known for its own culinary specialities. We feel that Brac is the the perfect place to spend some quality time with your significant other and look forward to spending more time on the the island the next time we are in Croatia!
Anuradha from Travel Highway
We had been to Masinagudi on an impromptu road trip last year. Driving through Bandipur and Madhumalai forests was a treat on its own, but as soon as we entered our property (Jungle Retreat), we were awestruck. It was literally a Jungle. The view of hoards of Deers welcomed us, looking at us whimsically. A Malabar Squirrel (Indian Giant Squirrel) was right outside our room, this squirrel is the largest squirrel in the world and only found in the Western Ghats region. And the best part was, we were disconnected for the entire 2 days from the outside world. No mobile network, no TV, no Wi-Fi = No distraction. Even the restaurant there didn’t have a Television!
Since its a reserved forest we had to return to our rooms by 5:30pm! So we had no one but each other for company throughout the stay. We stayed up and talked for longer hours and woke up early to the chirping sounds of birds (Though the occasional trumpets from wild elephants in the midnight scared us ;)). And it was relatively under budget as well. The rooms start from as low as INR 4,000 (Approx $60). If you are visiting only for a weekend, this would probably be one of the inexpensive romantic getaways! This trip was a highlight for 2 reasons, one, we were in the lap of nature once again. Two, we re-connected with each other and this trip was more romantic than we thought it would be.
Gábor Kovács from Surfing the Planet
Since I am Hungarian, I can’t be objective about it, but Budapest is undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in the world, and is a perfect destination for Valentine’s day. In addition, although prices have increased in the latest years, Budapest is still a budget destination for most travelers. There are so many things to see in Budapest, here are just some great tips for romantic activities.
One of the most romantic things you can do in Budapest is enjoying the views from either the Castle Hill or the even higher Gellért Hill. The view of the city with the Danube cutting it in half is absolutely stunning, and this is completely free. Another really great romantic thing to do is taking a sunset cruise on the Danube for around 12 euros, and if you want something more fancy, some of these boat services even offer a romantic dinner on board (for around 50 euros). The views from the Danube, especially when the Parliament, the Castle and all the bridges are illuminated is one of the most romantic sceneries you will ever see. Finally, after visiting the city you can enjoy one of the famous thermal baths in Budapest. We can recommend you the outdoor pools of Széchenyi Bath (day ticket around 18 euros), where many times in winter you can sit in the hot water, while outside the pool everything is covered with snow.
Another plus is that many activities and things to do in Bali are free! Yes, you heard it right! Explore the rice paddies, visit the local temples and the beach hopping are free. You can rent a scooter and venture yourself through the Island of Gods, enjoying the nature and the freedom. Some of the attractions like the big temples, the trekking to Mt. Batur or the water activities you need to book with local tour operator, but they are always open to negotiate, what means you can still save while having fun. When it comes to food Bali is heaven! Go to the local restaurants called Warung and have a feast for less them 5 bucks. And don’t forget to watch the sunset everyday, in Bali they are stunning [and free]. There is no better way to celebrate love than share this moment with you soulmate.
Matilda from The Travel Sisters
Although Singapore has a reputation as an expensive city, many of the best and most romantic things to do are actually free. One of the most romantic and free things to do in Singapore is to visit the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens. The Gardens are so impressive they are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a romantic night out that won’t break the bank, check out the Supertree Grove light and sound show at Gardens by the Bay and take a walk on the waterfront promenade to enjoy the Singapore skyline.
It’s easy to visit Singapore on a budget by focusing mainly on free attractions, eating at inexpensive hawker centres and using the cheap and efficient metro system. A meal at a hawker centre typically costs less than $6 SGD a person. A ride on the MRT costs less than $2 SGD per ride depending on distance and certain passes even allow unlimited travel for one to three days.
The only major expense on a visit to Singapore would be accommodation but with so many available hotel options finding an affordable place to stay is easy.
Suman Doogar from Nomadic Shoes
A `hidden place`, Orchha does justice to its name, a small laidback town 15 kms away from Jhansi in Madhya Pradesh is a perfect weekend getaway for those looking for some alone time. Best time to visit Orchha is from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and the Sun will take mercy on you. Not many people know about this place, it`s still away from the clutches of tourism. This rural town takes you back in time with its exquisite murals and diverse architecture. Walking or cycling is the best way to explore and if you are a lover of history then don’t miss the light and sound show inside the Fort.
Visit Ram Raja Temple, Chaturbhuj Temple and Jahangir Mahal for the love of history, roam around the village and eat with the locals, take a walk around the 14Cenotaphs along the Betwa river. There is something for nature lovers too, the cenotaph complex is a favorite hangout of Vultures.
Approximately 15000/- for two days for two people ($225)
- Transport – 4000 [inclusive of train tickets back and forth from Delhi 3rd AC train plus local transfer]
- Accommodation –4500/- per day [inclusive of breakfast and dinner for one day]
Barbara Wagner from JetSettera
Cinque Terre in Italy is an ideal romantic destination. The famous walk, Via dell’Amore (the Way of Love) is a footpath along the sea across the five villages of Cinque Terre. The path starts in Riomaggiore and ends in Manarola. Along the walk couples can see small villages, beautiful views of the sea, colorful houses. The walk is only about 1 km long and most people can do it within 20 minutes. The Way of Love is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is one of the most important tourist attraction of the region. The best time to do the walk the Way of Love is during sunset or sunrise. It is especially romantic to see the sun going down, behind the colorful houses of the small villages.
Medhavi from RavenousLegs
I fell in love with Hoi An the moment I landed there. All the streets of this town were decorated with creative Vietnamese lanterns, giving a feeling of “love is in the air” even on a regular day. Tranquil homestays and hotels are located at the banks of a beautiful river that runs through the town. A pleasant walk leads to a picturesque beach with pretty mountains in the backdrop, a great place to witness some romantic sunsets. The central town had boutiques which sold tailor-made first copies of all high-end brands, I was spoilt for choice! Hoi An is a world heritage site influenced by Chinese, Japanese and Dutch architecture. It had chic garden cafes serving the Vietnamese coffee, which I rate the best I’ve ever had, the best places to sit down with your valentine for candid conversations. The central part of the town had some charming cafes overlooking the vibrant river. Artists play live music under the lantern-lit streets, making it a perfect moment to hold your partner for a dance.
You don’t need to make special efforts or expenses to have a romantic time here.
A quaint accommodation + romantic dinners + Vietnamese coffees would cost not more than $70 per day for the couple.
A surf trip in Midigama, Sri Lanka is definitely one of the best adventures you can do as a couple. While this area is popular to surfers, there are many things to do for non-surfers such as whale watching, boat riding or simply having a chill time by the beach. Luxury Resorts in this strip are also very affordable. Imagine, you can be stay in a 5-star hotel for as low as $130 USD per night! For the quality you will be served, food is very cheap. A meal costs 1,000 SLR ($12 USD) for two people.
Raksha Prasad from Solo Passport
Camping under the Milky Way at the outback in Australia is a perfect and the most romantic way of spending the Valentine’s Day. Uluru or Ayers Rock is an ancient sandstone monolith in the state of Northern Territory in Australia. It is known as the ‘Red Centre’. It is the best known landmarks and is believed to have been created over some 600 million years ago. For visitors who do not want to camp, there are various options of staying at the resorts, which is about 15 kilometers from the monolith.
Veronika from VeronikasAdventure
Belgrade is without a doubt one of the cheapest capital cities in Europe. You can get there a lot of great food and quality accommodation on very limited budget. Your money go a very long way in Belgrade.
Private rooms start form $15 per night (for two people). It he hostels you could find even more budget options. Also the food is quite inexpensive – and very tasty. You can eat your way around Belgrade for about $15 daily (per person).
Belgradians love meat so many restaurants serve the local specialties from $4-$6 – daily lunch menu sometimes even has 3 courses. The best thing is there are bakery shops on every corner where you can get a tasty snack (I recommend burek with cheese flavor) for as little as $4.
Most monuments and museums in Belgrade are free of charge. You won’t spend a fortune on transportation either – the city is easily walkable and it’s even the most enjoyable way to get around.
Sarah O’Farrell from FitTravels
While the thought of travelling in a campervan might not initially seem like a romantic vacation it does provide the ability to enjoy an affordable getaway in some amazing locations. We took a campvan around the Australian state of Tasmania and found Cradle Mountain to be a highlight. Perfect for couples who like to stay active on their trips, there are plenty of beautiful walks to do (including climbing Cradle Mountain itself) plus activities such as kayaking, canyoning and horse riding. I loved settling in at night in the campervan, cooking together and enjoying a bottle of wine without distractions such as TV or internet (yep – not much service at all at Cradle Mountain!) Once it gets dark you might even have some kangaroos and wombats hanging out by your van!
Flights between mainland Australian and Tasmania can often be as low as $30 each way. A two berth campervan starts from $45 per day. Fuel in Australia is around $1.10 per litre. National Park fees start from $10 per person. Campsites start from $30 a night – but you can be a bit cheeky like us and risk a fine by parking in the park office car park (free).
Inspired yet? Grab your partner and head for these inexpensive romantic vacations now!