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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Your Cheap(ish) Valentine's Getaway

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many people are racking their brains for what to get for their sweetheart. You want to show them how much they mean to you, but coming right off of the Christmas holidays, money can sometimes be tight this time of year. Maybe you’ve even socked some money away, but still haven’t come up with any great ideas with what to do with it. A romantic getaway is always an appreciated gesture and enjoyable for both of you. It doesn’t have to bust your budget to be luxurious, though. With just a bit of planning, your trip can feel like a million dollars without even coming close. 

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Pick an affordable destination. Winter is an excellent time to plan a trip, because it’s the off-season for most touristy spots and is a great time to snag a bargain. They’re practically giving away rooms and incentives. Some of the best locations to choose from right now are: 
  • Mexico, where all-inclusive resorts are really trying to lure vacationers to idyllic spots like Punta Cana, Cabo and similar beachfront locations.
  • The Caribbean has more all-inclusives fighting for your dollar by dropping rates and adding big bonuses, like room upgrades, kids stay, play and eat free and resort credits. There are also huge cruise deals for the Caribbean right now. Sail from under $200 per person!
  • South America is a non-traditional romantic getaway for those that love nature, but also the conveniences of a modern city, like Quito, Ecuador.
  • Las Vegas is high on the list of budget destinations, since you can usually get a solid deal on a package or even purchase airfare and hotel separately for amazing prices. There are so many things to do in Vegas that are cheap or free, which can be paired with a candle-lit dinner and a fantastic show to cap off a fun holiday. It’s also perfect for those that can only slip away for 2-3 days.
  • Europe is ideal for the romantic at heart and right now airfare and hotel rates are at some of the lowest of the whole year. If you can find a bargain, you can spend your days walking along the Seine and eating baguettes in Paris with your valentine. Choose some affordable activities – like visiting Notre Dame and Musee D’Orsay – so you can splurge on a ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
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Walk more. Walking gives you a chance to spend more time with your significant other, get some fresh air and see more of the city. Tell them you want to take a stroll and hold their hand…and also save money over taxis and public transportation.

Use daily deal sites. No matter where you are in the world, there is a daily deal site that services a major city near you. Groupon, Living Social and others offer 50-90% off activities, dining, tours and more things you’ll want to do, but maybe can’t find money in your budget for. Now you can! Signing up is free and easy. Choose your preferred destination and check your email each day for discounted deals.
Purchase a city pass. Almost every big city that attracts tourists has a pass that gets you into all their best attractions (and some fun and obscure ones) at a considerable discount. Your honey will love you even more for being budget-conscious and not having to wait in ticket lines for anything. That means more time to enjoy your destination with each other. Some even include transportation or dining. For a start, check out CityPass, SmartDestinations and VisiTicket.
Find discount codes on Broadway Box. If you’re looking to take in any shows or tourist attractions, but maybe won’t do enough to make a city pass worth the money, check out Broadway Box and get promo codes for discount prices on everything from Blue Man Group to visiting the Statue of Liberty to staying near Disney World. Visiting Orlando, Vegas, London or New York? Broadway Box should be your first stop on the web.

With so many ways to save your dollars, you’ll be able to stretch the budget you have even further. The love of your life will surely wonder how you managed it all. Of course, then you have to figure out how to top yourself next year, but by then you’ll have had a whole year to plan.

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