8 Great Dates: Top 8 Budget Backpacker Dates for Valentine's Day
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, wouldn’t it be very topical to talk about fun on-the-road date ideas. But, isn’t travelling as a couple pretty much like being on a 24/7 date. Well, yes… and no. In this post I will tell you why, and give you 8 great date ideas to make this Valentines’ Day one to remember, without blowing the backpacker budget.
But isn't travelling with your partner like a permanent date?
Travel is amazing and exciting and full of fresh, new experiences for you to share as a couple. Nevertheless, travel is also filled with lots of intense research, sitting in some gloomy accommodation (if you are travelling on a budget like us), waiting around in airports, bus depots, train stations etc. It is safe to say that travelling has its fair share of challenges which can put a strain on your relationship, if you let it.
Throughout these challenges, it is important to appreciate your relationship, and in particular the person you are in a relationship with, and not let the little things affect you too much. For that reason, it is imperative to carve out time to preserve the romance with your travel partner/significant other.
Having said this, even whilst travelling, you often settle into some semblance of a routine consisting of the activities that you both typically like and need to do. Wake up, wash and dress, eat breakfast, explore, do some research/booking/planning/work, eat dinner, drinks, sleep, repeat. The ‘explore’ section in the middle of the day may look different from day to day, but you can see that most people would fall into some sort of habitual routine and it is this that makes travelling as a couple, not seem quite so much of a 24/7 perpetual date.
My Top 8 Travel Dates for Budget Backpackers
So here are a few ideas on how you can make create that ‘date’ experience for your special someone this Valentine’s Day. Even if you spend all of your waking hours (and sleeping for that matter) with them…
1. Drinks on the Beach
Grab a bottle of wine or a couple of beers, maybe even pack up a picnic with your favourite snacks and head to a local park or beach. Put the afternoon aside, with no other plans. Spend some time away from the adventures, planning, and budgets. Put away your phones and any other distractions. Just talk and chill out in the moment together.
2. Go on a new adventure
Ok, so maybe you are beach bums like us and so a trip to the beach is more of a daily habit for you these days. Pick an activity that is a little out of the ordinary for you and give it a try! Go for a hike, try a water sport together, ride bikes. You might hate it and it’ll become a funny story for you in the long run. Or… you might really enjoy it and it becomes a new hobby for you to share going forward.
Whilst we were in Kuala Lumpur, we took an afternoon out to hike through the beautiful Eco Forest. We enjoyed it so much that we now look for walking routes in many of the places we visit. It was exciting to do something new together, and to share the gorgeous scenery.
3. Play a game
Grab that pack of cards that is essential to every packing list, or see if your hostel/guesthouse has any board games lying around and play. Focus on the game and being together without any other distractions. Relationships are about fun and laughter, so play to your hearts content and let the amusement of game play bring you closer together. After all, the couple that plays together, stays together, right?
4. Stay in and watch a movie
So maybe you are usually those busy go-getters, always out exploring and being active from dawn ‘til dusk. Maybe a break to your routine would simply be a night in with a movie, or binge watching the new show on Netflix or Amazon Prime. You could even order in for once, or treat yourselves to some room service if that is an option to you. Break the routine of constantly running around for the next experience, and just have quiet, uninterrupted moments together. Every couple needs some time to themselves and to just chill out, so don’t feel guilty for staying in!
5. Go through your photo collection
Spend some time going through your photos together. Use these as prompts to talk about some of your favourite moments thus far. “Remember that funny time when…”, “We had such fun when…”, “I loved our time at…”. This will give you an opportunity to reminisce on the great times you’ve had on your travels together, highlighting the experiences only you two share, and the memories you’ve created as a couple. You could even start putting together your favourite snaps in a scrapbook or gallery as a keepsake of your travels to look back over on future date nights. (Side note- you could also use this opportunity to delete some of the duds that no-one needs to see upon your return, as you’ve no doubt collected a few along the way.
6. Go out for a fancy candlelit dinner
Yes, this one seems a little cliché, but you probably haven’t done it for a while because, lets face it, what budget backpacker splashes out on fancy food and cocktails on a regular basis. Clichés are clichés for a reason – candlelit dinners are romantic! And all the more so if you are eating great food! So, forget the budget, and treat yourselves!! If money seriously is tight, you could try sharing a dish rather than ordering separately to make the experience all the more intimate and romantic.
7. Take a class together
Whilst exploring new cities in far-away lands, you will often find classes offering insight into local life, particularly cooking classes. This is a great way to learn more about the culture and cuisine together, whilst hopefully impressing each other with your culinary skills – or maybe just highlighting your lack of!
But if cooking isn’t your thing, you may also find local classes in dance, yoga, art, surfing, etc. Learning a new skill, or enhancing the ones you have, is a great way to grow and develop as a unit. You will learn more about each other as well, and have fun along the way.
8. And lastly, watch the sunset… or sunrise
Another cliché but, again it is romantic! Find a spot where you can sit and watch the sun set across the horizon. This is one of our favourite things to do, either spontaneously or as part of a planned date. Sunsets also inspire new thoughts in me and so we have great, in-depth discussions while we watch the daylight dwindle. This provides us with memorable, magical moment before we typically head off to grab some food.
Alternatively, if you are morning people, maybe the sunrise is more your style. Find yourself a special spot to watch the sun come up for a fresh new day and set the tone for romantic day for you both the experience together.
Throughout all of these dates, let the conversation flow fairly between you. Laugh a lot. Remember not to take yourselves too seriously. Ask questions you wouldn’t usually ask. Be open, honest and forthcoming with your answers. Talk about your hopes, dreams, plans for the future, your ultimate bucket list… You are travelling together for a reason, so talk about what you want to achieve with your journey and your life together beyond it.
When your ‘normal’ lifestyle consists of travelling to new and different places all the time, eventually, ‘new’ and ‘different’ becomes normal. And the best way to create a renewed sense of romance within the relationship, even while you are supposedly always going on ‘new adventures’, is to do something that is out of the ordinary for you. Even if that means just doing something “normal”, for once. Allow yourselves to reconnect over a new kind of experience.
So go ahead, try out some of these ideas. Prioritise your date night (or day if you prefer).
Do you have any other date ideas for us to try? Let me know in the comments.
Lots of Love…