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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

How To Save Money On Your Romantic Getaway

As someone who hasn't celebrated Valentine's Day since I was a teenager, and even then didn't love it, I say make the holiday whenever you want and skip the crazy prices on the day/weekend/week itself. Take a getaway later in February or even March. Your money will go a bit further and you won't be fighting with a ton of other couples for overpriced "romance packages". 

These tips can help you take an alternative Valentine's Day getaway, or even a regular trip another time of the year.

Here are ways you can get away for less:

Use Groupon for things to do or places to eat

Groupon is an amazing site that offers deals on a wide assortment of things, not least of which is dining. I always set up notifications for my upcoming destinations and have the app on my phone, so I never have to print out a certificate if I don't have to. Dining certificates can be purchased quite often and many times you can grab a half-off gift certificate to a new local restaurant or one just trying to bring in new customers. 

We've used it for city tours, dinners, escape rooms, and even concerts. Sign up at Groupon for the destination of your next vacation (they cover many international locations as well as the United States and you can change your notifications at any time) and eat and go to attractions for less!

Scour Travelzoo's Top 20

Travelzoo has a Top 20 each week that they put out with their best deals, but you can also search for trips and portions of your trip directly on their site for cheaper activities, tours and more!


Invest in a city attraction card

If you have a list of must-dos on your list, check the ones offered on the city card of that destination to see how many are offered on that card. You can save up to 55% on a list of attractions and activities when you use GoCards or CityPASS. If they aren't available for either of these cards, because you're going out of the country or just because they aren't, just Google "city card [destination city]" and often you'll find something that works.

Get a vacation rental

Hotels can be expensive and don't give you great privacy or make you feel like you're that far away from others, so I usually opt for a vacation rental. You can find something for any budget and for however you like to travel. We almost always go for Airbnb when we aren't staying in a timeshare and are doing a stay of more than a couple nights. We've stayed in everything from a studio up to a three-bedroom, apartments, homes and even an Airstream trailer, from one night to one week and have been happy with our choices and always felt safe and like locals. 

Pick one splurge meal

If you're on a strict budget, pick a splurge meal and go to affordable restaurants the rest of your trip. If you have a bit more leeway in what you're spending, choose one meal to go big on. I do some research before I go and try to make reservations at restaurants I definitely want to eat at and choose the meal that won't totally break our bank. When we were in Palm Springs, I mostly chose breakfast to reserve and then filled in with more affordable options. If you're on a really tight budget, I recommend using the kitchen in your vacation rental.

Rent someone else's car

I try to use my own car when I can, but I am a big car renter. Rentals have almost always been kind of expensive, but since the pandemic and the rental companies sold off most/all their fleets they have been outrageous pretty much at all destinations now. I have been exclusively using Turo for my rental needs for 4 years now. Cars are owned by individuals and you rent from them through the app. I've had cars dropped off for me and also done contactless pick-up. Both have been great and all the cars we've had have been awesome. Think of it like Airbnb, but for cars.

Sign up for Turo for free (they will ask for your driver license info to do a quick background check on your driving record) and get a $25 credit, + refer a friend and you both get a $25 credit once they travel with Turo.

Hopefully, these tips can help you take an alternative Valentine's Day getaway, or even a regular trip another time of the year. What are your favorite romantic destinations?

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through them, I may be compensated monetarily. Thanks in advance for any purchases you make. It helps me continue to run this blog and bring you my best budget travel tips.

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