July 30, 2014

Affordable Ideas for Romantic Travel

Hoping for a hot getaway with your boo? While itís fine to splurge on a luxury vacation if you want to, the truth is grabbing some quality time away from the hustle and bustle might cost far less than you think. Here are a few suggestions for romantic travel that donít cost a mint.

Cabin Rentals:

Remote cabins are sexy, intimate and a great way to leverage vacation rentals into an affordable holiday. Whether you are renting a cottage in Papallacta for a coupleís spa getaway, or camping in Shenandoah National Park, the rustic atmosphere will provide a wonderful backdrop for getting back to the basics of your relationship. Bring easy, sensual food to prepare such as wine with a fruit and cheese tray or a hummus and falafel platter. If the weather is cold, then hot toddy supplies to enjoy by the fire are an absolute must.

Teardrop Trailers:

The teardrop camping trailers popular in the 1950s have made a comeback with thrifty travelers, who want more comfort than a typical tent can provide. Towable with a regular car, these campers provide a fuel-efficient way to get where youíre going and camp in comfort. Featuring sleeping compartments as large as a king-sized bed and full gourmet galleys, these campers allow you to begin having fun almost immediately. The candlelight al fresco dinners with full bar are an added bonus.

Boutique Hostels:

Todayís hostels are just dorm rooms with multiple bunk beds. Donít get me wrong. There are still plenty of those options out there if you want them. But if romantic travel opportunities are what you desire, there are plenty of hostels around the world boasting private rooms, fireside soft seating areas and picturesque courtyards. Hostelbookers.com is certainly one place to check, as is any independent guide book worth its price tag. My husband and I have enjoyed precious private hostel rooms in destinations such as Lima, Peru, Sloveniaís Lake Bled, Haifa, Israel, Prague and even Munich, Germany.

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Memberships:

Research your credit cardís membership perks to see if your reward program provides any deals or discounts. For example, there are a number Discover Card travel perks available to members including cruise discounts and other travel products you can purchase with your annual points. Similar programs are available with other credit cards. For example, some friends of ours visited us in the Tampa area and received two free admission tickets to Busch Gardens to use during their vacation. The membership benefits strategy also applies to hotel loyalty plans. During a Hilton stay for a science conference, my husband and I received complimentary access to the executive lounge where we received complimentary breakfasts, day-long beverage service, happy hour food and open bar in the evenings. (See also: Tips for Using Credit Cards Abroad)

Home Swaps:

If you own a home in a sought-after tourist destination, then arranging a home exchange is a great way to reduce accommodation costs on romantic trips. Iíve seen homes available for swapping in Paris, Amsterdam, NYC and in various picturesque locations throughout Italy. You just need to get online and start searching for an opportunity that suits you.


Planning:

Choosing to share travel costs with another couple on a vacation rental or booking your trip during shoulder season for off-peak travel savings are two very effective ways to get the most for your romantic travel dollar. The time of week you fly out is also a large part of the financial equation.

What are your favorite romantic travel ideas? Have any of them made the list?

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