A romantic getaway doesn’t need to be an overly lavish affair. Ain’t nothin’ sexy about a heart-stopping holiday price tag that requires you to sacrifice your basic human needs like food and toilet paper just to afford it.
You know what is romantic though? Whisking yourselves away on an escape that doesn’t break the bank. Keep your lover and your savings account happy with some of these budget-friendly getaways.
Gili Islands, Indonesia
It’s no lie, Australians love visiting Bali. It’s so close and the cost of living it up each day is very minimal. This does, however, mean Bali is jam-packed with Westerners – many of which unfortunately fall on the high end of the Bogan spectrum. Escape the mess of Bintang singlets and muscle bros, and head off the coast of Bali to the more secluded Gili Islands, where life is just as cheap and much more chill. Airfares from Aus to Bali are usually pretty low, as long as you travel outside of holiday periods, and fast boats from Bali to Gili can be found between $30-$50. Airbnb is great place to look for private villas on the island – most of them look like your very own tropical dream house and start from just $30 per night.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Lazy days on the beach, soaking up the rays next to your sweet thang, sipping on endless margaritas… If this doesn’t sound like the most chill time ever, then you need to go back to relaxation school and learn a thing or two. Playa del Carmen is like an island paradise straight out of your imagination, and there’s just something about sun, sand, and crystal blue waters that seems to get people feeling all loved-up. There are plenty of all-inclusive resort packages available in the Playa area for around $2500, which includes flights, a week’s accommodation, meals and drinks – and yes, that includes alcohol! If you stick to all that the inclusive package offers, you essentially won’t have to pay a cent after you touch down in sunny Me’hico. Ariba!
There’s no other place quite like Santorini; sweeping coastal views, striking cliff side architecture, and renowned sunsets that will make every other sunset seem pale in comparison. Passions will definitely be running high as you fall in love with this incredible corner of the world. Santorini may look like a million bucks, but a trip to the stunning island is actually much cheaper than you’d expect. The economic crisis that rocked Greece in 2015 has helped to keep their prices lower than other parts of Europe – bad news for Greece, good news for thrifty travellers. Flights may set you back around $1800 return, but once you’ve arrived, the cost of living is relatively cheap – especially when you can get delicious street food for around $3, or an authentic Greek meal with wine for under $20.
Blue Mountains, Australia
Cosying up by the crackling fireplace on a Winter’s night, red wine in hand, lover by your side… Throw in a fur rug and you’ve got yourself the makings of an evening so romantic Barry White would be jealous. Spend your days hiking through the forest-filled mountains, taking in the scenery and crisp country air. Or, you know, just spend all day inside, “keeping each other warm” (c’mon people, this is a romantic getaway – there’s really only one physical activity you know you want to be doing and it ain’t hiking). The Blue Mountains are just over an hour’s drive from Sydney CBD, close enough to save on travel expenses, but far enough away to feel like a real holiday. You’ll find a lot of cosy cabins on Airbnb starting from around $50 per night.
Your Own Backyard
It may not be as exotic as jet-setting overseas, but as Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross taught us sometime in the early 90s, “the best things in life are free” – especially when you’re with your one and only ‘bay-bayyy’. Wherever you are, there’s bound to be a beautiful place you take somewhat for granted simply because you see it everyday. Rub your eyes, re-focus, and take a real look at your surroundings – be it white sandy beaches, wide open fields, or lush green forested campgrounds, pick a sweet spot you can settle in for the weekend, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. Because after all, isn’t that what romantic getaways are all about?