Wowing your date should not cost an arm and a leg. More times than not, the cheapest – even free – date plans turn out to be the greatest plans to spend some quality time with your loved one. Here are 10 great travel-inspired date ideas for couples that love traveling and, subsequently, their 10 free alternatives:
1. Book a Glamping Experience
Head to a cabin in the woods or spend the night in a cozy treehouse. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!
✴ Free alternative: Pitch a tent in your friends’ backyard or a nearby free camping spot. Or simply take a blanket and your special human to the nearest open space on a clear night and get ready to sleep in a thousand stars hotel without breaking the bank!.
2. Take Your Date on a Surprise Getaway
Get everything ready beforehand without letting your best half know: pick a romantic city, book your flights, make some hotel reservations and do some research on what’s to do, see and eat where you are headed. But make sure to keep it for yourself and do not tell your loved one anything. Only small hints as to do not make any plans for those days and what to pack are allowed. After all, it is a surprise. If they love traveling as much as you do, they are in for a treat!
✴ Free alternative: Turn your place into a hotel, prepare a delicious dinner, and stay in all day. When sick of being inside, head outdoors, and explore your surroundings.
3. Wine and Dine Them
A classic for a reason. There’s nothing quite enjoying a slow-paced candle-lit dinner for two. Do we need to tell you that dessert is the best part? Bonus points if you manage to book a table at a world cuisine restaurant. Whether it is Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, Spanish, French, or anything else; enjoying a different cuisine for a change will surely make you talk travel and even plan a future adventure together!
✴ Free alternative: Enjoy a lunch picnic alfresco or prepare a delicious and exotic dinner at your place. Not entirely free but significantly cheaper.
Related: Best 15 cuisines in the world
4. Make a Reservation for a Truly Unique Stay
Whether it is an overwater bungalow, a private villa, or a luxurious suite, this plan will most likely wow your date like no other on this list.
One of the most romantic places I have ever stayed in was a private Phuket villa during our Thailand adventure a few years back. With its infinity pool, spa area, lounge cabana, and total privacy; booking something like that near a touristy spot in Europe or America could set you down over $1000 per night. In Thailand, though, the price tag was way more affordable.
However, as it is the rule of this article, should you wanted to offer a similar experience to your favorite person on earth, here’s a cool way to do it without breaking the bank:
✴ Free alternative: The way to go is housesitting! Many many wealthy individuals with luxury properties around the world are currently looking for people like you to take care of their gorgeous houses and pets while they are traveling.
As this option is not as straightforward as simply booking a luxury apartment or villa where and when you decide; it is one not to be overlooked. Set up your profile on a couple of housesitting websites, verify it, and start applying to house sitting opportunities around the world. The more references you get, the easier it will become to get accepted.
5. Treat your Date to a Spa Day
Picture this: a couples massage by the beach or an afternoon at a private urban spa. Although not everyone might like the idea, if your girl or guy loves to be pampered, this is a safe bet!
✴ Free alternative: Learn how to massage and treat them every once in a while. The dream!
6. Go on a Road Trip
Rent a van, burn a CD with some cheesy Valentine’s Day songs, and get ready to hit the road. There are endless options and your imagination is the limit. As far away or near to your base as you want, this is ALWAYS a great date idea and a way of exploring the many benefits of traveling as a couple!
✴ Free alternative: Use your car instead if you have one, hitchhike if you are adventurous AF or even have a look at the relocation opportunities companies like Imoova put online every week. For as little as $1 per day, you could have a gorgeous camper van for yourselves to take from A to B within the given period. And here’s the best part, sometimes they even cover tolls, ferry and gas expenses!
7. Give Him / Her the Travel Present of their Dreams
No one knows them better than you do. Here’re a few great travel-inspired date ideas depending on what they love that the adventurous and worldly will appreciate:
- Yoga people? A meditation and yoga retreat in India!
- Winter sports addicts? A week skiing in the French Alps!
- Language maniacs? A course to study Chinese in China, Spanish in Spain, or German in Germany!
- Adrenaline junkies? A skydiving experience.
✴ Free alternative: Be creative and find something they like nearby, teach them something you know, or even prepare everything for a movie night showcasing a film that truly speaks to their passions.
8. Walk an Epic Trek Together
Spending a few days walking an iconic trek with your date is guaranteed to make you two bond like no many other activities. Whether it is reaching the Everest base camp, walking the Araroa trail in New Zealand, or trekking to Machu Picchu; the options are endless.
✴ Free alternative: Go on a Pilgrimage adventure. We can vouch for The Way (Camino de Santiago) and Via Francigena. Although not 100% free anymore, the current rates of hostels and lodges along the path are usually a bargain, with options that go from 5€ in the first one. And there’s always the possibility of carrying a lightweight tent with you; something that will lower the costs even more!
Finally, if you are truly broke or want to explore other alternatives, give Couchsurfing a try and get ready to do something for your hosts instead. Like cooking a nice dinner or helping them fix something around the house. I once hosted a guy that created a small paint for the house I was living in at the moment. The only limit is your imagination!
9. Set Sails for an Exciting Sailing Adventure
If you guys are healthy – as there are no doctors in the sea! – and down for one of the most sustainable ways of travel there are; then there’s a sailing boat with your name on it! One of my favorite travel-inspired date ideas of this list, we are usually denying over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. Good news, it was never easier to make it happen.
The benefits are so many. From honing your sailing skills to being able to reach awe-inspiring spots and witnessing some of the best sunrises and sunsets of your life; whether you choose to island-hop the Mediterranean, cross the Atlantic or circumnavigate the world; this adventure will either make or break your relationship as no one said spending 24 / 7 together was easy. One thing is for sure though, if it is long enough, it will change your life.
✴ Free alternative: Did you know that hitchsailing was a thing? Well, now you do.
10. Buy a Couple of Tickets for a Music Festival
One that she or he will love. Wild or tame, huge or teeny, if you guys love both music and party, this plan is definitely for you.
We love music festivals over here so our opinions aren’t unbiased but seriously, attending a music festival with your significant other, is 9 out of 10 times an excellent idea.
✴ Free alternative: Downright simple! There is a huge choice of free music festivals out there, so you will have no issues finding one. However, if you do, simply ask us and we’ll make sure to give you some sweet tips for your region.
What did I miss? Do you have any cool ideas for travel-inspired dates? Looking forward to updating this list with your suggestions. Drop a comment below!