Best Vacation Spots for Couples on a Budget

FT Contributor  | 

Between transportation, dining, lodging, and excursions, a vacation can be an expensive splurge for any couple. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway with scenic views and fun things to do, it may feel impossible to find an affordable destination unless you started saving for a vacation years ago. However, there are plenty of destinations that offer inexpensive vacations for two, both in the U.S. and abroad.

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway that doesn’t require you to save up half your paycheck every week, check out these vacation spots that won’t break the bank.

Affordable Romantic Getaways in the USA

Even if you’re traveling on a budget, you still have plenty of romantic getaway options throughout the U.S.

Savannah, Georgia

Historical districts, stunning architecture, manicured parks, and horse-drawn carriages are just some of the romantic and beautiful sights you’ll see in Savannah, Georgia. This coastal city is the oldest one in Georgia, so there are plenty of historic buildings and cobblestoned squares to explore. While you’ll want to check out some local restaurants and try the Southern fare, you can also just walk around town to view the sites for free.

There are many hotel, motel, and bed-and-breakfast options in Savannah. The average hotel in Savannah is around $135 per night. You’ll need to calculate your travel costs to the city, but there are usually smaller airline carriers that offer service to Savannah with inexpensive rates. If not, driving to the city may be a less costly option.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach is on the Oregon coast and offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic vacation. Beautiful scenery, colorful sunsets and sunrises, and quaint bed-and-breakfasts are waiting for you in this coastal town. Lodging at this destination can get pricey and the average double-occupancy hotel room costs about $600 per night.

However, you can make up for a costly hotel room by enjoying some free activities, such as marveling at Haystack Rock, an iconic coastal rock formation, or hiking at Ecola State Park. If you really want to save money on your travel budget, plan your trip in the winter months. You’ll need to bundle up but the crowds will be scarce and you can find some great deals on airfare and lodging.

Sonoma, California

If you love wine but Napa Valley is simply out of your price range, consider visiting Sonoma, California. This beautiful area boasts several vineyards, but in a laid-back atmosphere. As long as you don’t choose a fancy resort, lodging accommodations are usually affordable and a couple generally spends an average of $2,500 on a week-long trip to Sonoma. Visit the art galleries and 19th-century adobe buildings, then enjoy some free activities, like hiking at Sonoma Coast State Park.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is more than just a breathtaking waterfall. It’s a state park filled with tons of romantic and exciting activities, including a restaurant, hiking trails, and a discovery center. The Falls used to be called the “Honeymoon Capital of the World” because of the romantic scenery and activities available.

You can visit the U.S. side of the honeymoon capital on a strict budget, especially if you go in the colder months. The weather will be less than ideal but lodging is less expensive and you could find some great transportation deals during the fall and winter. For an average week-long trip to Niagara Falls, a couple can spend about $719 on lodging and food.

Glacier National Park

If you and your partner are outdoor enthusiasts, you can get away with an affordable yet romantic getaway to Glacier National Park. If you want to sleep under the stars, you’ll save money on lodging. The park has 13 different campgrounds and approximately 1,009 sites to choose from. A tent camping site will cost you between $10 and $23 during the summer season. If you’re camping, you can also bring your own food into the park, cutting down your food expenses. Your park activities, such as hiking and exploring, are also free.

Affordable Romantic Getaways Outside the USA

If your annual vacation budget is a little bigger, you may be able to travel abroad for a romantic getaway. Even if you leave the country, you can still find some inexpensive vacation spots.

Thailand

Traveling to Thailand is expensive and depending on where you’re traveling from, you could spend $1,000 or more on a flight. The least expensive flights to Thailand are usually between May and October, due to the British school holiday schedule.

Once you get to the area, hotels, restaurants, and excursions are generally inexpensive. Couples’ massages, traditional Thai inns, and countless dining options make Thailand the perfect location for a romantic getaway. Marvel at the city’s architecture and dine on local cuisine. Check out museums on Thai history and enjoy the beautiful coastline. Excluding transportation to this foreign country, the average cost for a week-long Thailand getaway for a couple is usually close to $1,000.

Dominican Republic

If your vision of a romantic vacation is an all-inclusive resort with a beautiful view of the ocean, the Dominican Republic might be the perfect destination. Not only are the resort fees usually inexpensive, but you can also dine on local delicacies for a low cost. For example, the main national dish, the sancocho, is a hearty beef stew that only costs about $4.

If you’re worried about travel costs, stay flexible with your vacation time. The cheapest flights to the Dominican Republic are usually in October, when you’ll pay $250 to $300; December is the most expensive.

Jamaica

Jamaica is another romantic destination with plenty of inexpensive resorts and beach views. This unique Caribbean island is also home to rainforests and mountains that are free to explore. If you’re willing to drop a little money on an excursion, you can go diving and check out the reef-lined waters that surround the island. You and your partner can enjoy live music and inexpensive local cuisine, while only spending an average of $1,500 for a week-long vacation.

Puerto Rico

You’ve saved your money for a vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend it all to get there. If you choose Puerto Rico as your romantic getaway destination, you can usually travel there for a low cost. Depending on where you’re coming from, September is usually the most inexpensive month to travel to Puerto Rico and you’ll spend about $200 to $250 on airfare. Stay away from traveling to the island in December, as airfare increases to $300 to $500.

Since you saved on travel, you can splurge on a hotel, which costs an average of $230 per night for a couple. Experience all the island has to offer with beachside horseback riding or surfing lessons. Relax on the beach or window shop in the capital city of San Juan.

Mexico

Popular Mexican destinations like Cabo and Cancun can be pricey vacation spots. However, Valle de Guadalupe and Loreto are less expensive options. At these lesser-known locations, you’ll still see white sandy beaches with crystal clear water and romantic vineyards, but there are typically fewer tourists and high price tags.

In Valle de Guadalupe, you can find hotel rooms from $70 to $300, depending on the location. A hotel in Loreto can cost $50 to $200 and may include features like a pool or on-site restaurant. If you want to save even more money on your lodging, consider renting a room with a kitchenette so you can buy groceries and cook your own meals. However, keep in mind you’ll want to have at least a few tastes of the local Mexican fare on your romantic getaway.

Vacations can be expensive, but there are ways to save money on travel, especially if you choose your destination wisely. Consider one of these U.S. or foreign vacation destinations and you can experience the romantic getaway of your dreams.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

This post was updated November 20, 2019. It was originally published November 20, 2019.