10 Romantic, Budget-Friendly Vacations for Couples

Considering a trip with your significant other can be exciting, but daunting –  on one hand, it’s an amazing way to get to know your partner on a deeper level, and to bring a uniquely enriching experience into your relationship. On the other hand, planning a trip together can get expensive, quickly. The last thing you want while on a romantic getaway is to be stressed out about your finances! If you’ve held off on that dream vacation because you didn’t think you could afford it, we’re here to tell you it’s entirely possible to visit some of the most romantic places in the world without breaking the bank. Below are 10 destinations that will have you – and your wallet – feeling the love.

Lorraine, France

Arguably one of the most romantic places in the world, France is a classic destination for lovebirds. With its cobblestone streets and gothic architecture, the country’s capital, Paris, is the perfect setting for romance. Though you can easily do Paris on a budget, if you really want to stretch your dollar here, try visiting the less-popular regions of Alsace-Lorraine. Located east of Paris, a trip to this region can find you and your partner biking past vineyards on a romantic bicycle ride that includes just the two of you. Stopping to sample some of the impeccable wine along the way is a must-do! Though this region is known for high rainfall, the natural beauty will take your breath away.

A couple in a bistro in Paris, France

Is anything more romantic than a quiet French bistro? | © Huy Phan/Unsplash

Tuscany, Italy

The Tuscan region of Italy has often played the setting to romantic movies for a reason. A landscape characterized by rolling valleys framed by the rugged Apennine Mountains, Tuscany will easily have you and your beau sharing wistful glances at its beauty; and each other. A major wine and olive oil producer, there are many ways to explore this region without spending a fortune. Skip the more crowded destinations like Florence and Pisa for quieter cities like Lucca, or explore the wine regions of Chianti to feel as though you and your beau are in your own Italian romance novel.

Castellina, Chianti

The romantic rolling hills of Chianti | © Rowan Heuvel/Unsplash

Edinburgh, Scotland

For the romantics amongst you looking to forge your own path, consider Edinburgh. Here you’ll find affordable trekking through the Scottish Highlands, whose beauty has inspired thousands of artists. At night, sample authentic Scotish whisky while hearing tales of the Loch Ness Monster – then snuggle closer to your sweetheart under a cosy blanket and marvel at the vast starry skies.

Calton Hill, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

The history and architecture of Edinburgh makes it perfect for a romantic getaway | © Adam Wilson/Unsplash

Turkey

Whether you’re into relaxing beach days or trying to cram your trip full of cultural exploration, there is something for everyone here, making Turkey a good compromise for couples wanting very different itineraries. Highlights include the country’s capital of Istanbul, as well as Pamukkale: a city in western Turkey famous for the mineral-rich thermal waters that pool and flow in white calcium terraces in the hillside.  

Frozen water in Pamukkale, Turkey

Some of the breathtaking views in Pamukkale, Turkey | © Daniela Cuevas/Unsplash

Chiang Mai, Thailand

A vibrant city in Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai’s sleepy vibe and old-world charm will take your breath away. Though this city is slightly out of the way, it’s not so far off the beaten path that finding affordable accommodation is difficult. For a romantic evening, visit the city’s night bazaar and feast on grilled corn with coconut oil or a steaming portion of pad thai. By day, explore the city’s many temples – just ensure to bring something to cover your knees and shoulders.

A busy market in Chiang Mia, Thailand

You and your partner can enjoy street food in Chiang Mai’s markets | © Zach Inglis/Unsplash

Bali, Indonesia

Whether you’re after volcano trekking, surfing, or daily morning yoga, Bali is a picturesque destination that will delight you. A hotspot amongst backpackers as well as vacationers, there are plenty of inexpensive activities on this beautiful Indonesian island. Rent bicycles and ride through the sprawling rice paddies in Ubud, or hop on a short boat ride to Gili T to snorkel hand-in-hand with your loved one. Private rooms in boutique hostels here are much less expensive than you’d think, running at approx. $25 CAD a night.

A temple over the sea in Bali, Indonesia

The warm shores of Bali are incredibly romantic! | © Harry Kessell/Unsplash

Maui, Hawaii

One of Hawaii’s more popular islands, Maui will satisfy both adventurers and beachcombers. Though the islands experience tropical weather year-round, temperatures do dip slightly in the winter months (their low season) – which also means less expensive prices. Though pricey resorts dot the island, opt for free activities, like taking a scenic walk through the city of Lahaina or exploring Haleakala National Park. Many bars and restaurants also offer happy hour specials, so stay on the lookout to save where you can.

Colourful kayaks in Maui, Hawaii

Maui is home to beautiful beaches, and plenty of couple-friendly activities! | © Abigail Lynn/Unsplash

Sri Lanka

Located off the southern tip of India, the island of Sri Lanka is well known for the kindness of its people and its lush, beautiful landscape. Wildlife enthusiasts won’t want to miss Yala National Park, where they’ll be able to safely and sustainably see elephants, leopards, and crocodiles in their natural habitats. If historic escapades are something you enjoy to do with your partner, Sri Lanka is home to many ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries teeming with information about the country’s rich religious history.

Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka

Who better to take in views like this with than your partner? | © Louise Burton/Unsplash

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a bustling city on the southernmost tip of Africa. Rent a car and take a scenic drive to discover the beautiful African coastline, or pack a picnic and head to Signal Hill for some of the most beautiful views in the city. Other notable activities include Shakespeare in the Park at Maynardville. If you’re a wino, you’re likely well aware that South Africa is home to some amazing Sauvignon Blancs and Pinotage varieties – buy local brands to save while experiencing the best this region has to offer.

An arial shot of Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is a haven for wine lovers and adventurers! | © John O’Nolan/Unsplash

Rajasthan, India

Located in the northwestern region of India, Rajasthan’s pastel palaces, colourful spice markets, and vast deserts will make you and your beau feel as though you’ve been transported back in time. Make sure you hit Udaipur (known as the Venice of India) or Jaipur (also known as the Pink City) for a one-of-a-kind romantic experience through market stalls filled with silver, leather goods, and small paintings. From there, take a day trip to the city of Agra to see the Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the 1630s for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Walking barefoot through the tomb, it’s impossible not to feel deep awe at the enormous structure built entirely out of the name of love.

Udaipur, the “Venice of India” | © Mitchell Ng Liang an/Unsplash

Planning a romantic destination with your loved one is exciting, and completely within reach regardless of your budget. There really is nothing like seeing a new part of the world alongside someone you love, and being able to share that experience together. We hope some of these destinations have inspired your imagination to make 2019 the year you set out on your romantic adventures.