Think you can’t afford a romantic getaway? Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to stay home, as there are multiple fantastic options for romantic escapes, including these.
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Inisheer Island, Ireland (Nearby Hotels)
Inisheer Island is situated just off Ireland’s west coast. The smallest of the Aran Islands, it’s an entirely different world from the mainland. Less touristy and much quieter than other isles, it provides the ultimate in peace and tranquility. Step off the ferry and onto the pier where you’ll be greeted with a postcard-perfect, powdery white sand beach edged by crystal clear turquoise waters looking as if it was taken from the Caribbean. The tiny, two-square-mile island can easily be covered on foot, but bike rentals are available, and there are also lots of pony and cart drivers willing to show you around their slice of paradise. At South Aran House, a waterfront B&B, budget-friendly rooms include a delicious full breakfast from the property’s own award-winning restaurant.
Key Largo, Florida Keys (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If you’re dreaming of the Caribbean, but can’t afford to fly overseas, the Florida Keys may be calling. Bargain flights to Miami can often be had from many major cities throughout the U.S. Once there, rent a car and head south on the Florida Keys Scenic Highway with its miles and miles of breathtaking ocean vistas. Once there, you’ll find plenty of romantic outdoor activities, where you can snorkel in the clear warm waters, swim with dolphins, and catch glorious sunsets together.
Estes Park, Colorado (Prices & Photos)
Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding area is renowned for offering some of the country’s most dramatic mountain scenery in the U.S., and Estes Park sits just outside the eastern border, offering a wide range of accommodation options, including affordable cabins, like Fall River Cabins, with each one boasting a spa hot tub and fireplace, perfect for cozying up to together, sparking your own flame. During the day, enjoy hiking through the wilderness and picnics in lush meadows with the impressive rocky peaks as the backdrop.
Tulum, Mexico (Nearby Hotels)
Mexico is rather well-known for offering a more affordable tropical vacation, with lots of options for romance-seeking couples. In Tulum, you can look forward to gorgeous beaches, outstanding snorkeling, ancient ruins and a host of activities that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Diamante K, located right on the strikingly white sandy shore, offers rustic-chic charm in cabins with awe-inspiring views of the turquoise sea, minus the frills and the high prices.
Cuenca, Ecuador (Nearby Hotels)
Ecuador is staggeringly cheap and astoundingly fabulous. And when it comes to romance, it’s also hard to beat, with roses everywhere, from public spaces and restaurant entrances to romantic hotel hideaways, as the flowers are one of the country’s top exports. The diverse terrain offers everything from beautiful beaches and dramatic volcanoes to hot springs and Amazon rain forest. Couples can also look forward to dining on multiple-course chef’s tasting dinners with wine at a fraction of the cost they’d pay back home. The colonial city of Cuenca, a popular destination with expats and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is especially ideal with all of its Old World charms.
Lisbon, Portugal (Nearby Hotels)
Portugal is one of Western Europe’s most affordable destinations, less expensive than the popular Greek Islands and neighboring Spain. Lisbon has managed to retain much of its Old World charm in its fascinating historic attractions, as it’s a place where you’ll discover ancient castles, olive groves as far as the eye can see and numerous lovely fishing villages. A week’s stay at one of the five-star hotels in Lisbon is about the same price as just one or two nights at a similar property in other European capitals – and, dining costs are budget-friendly too.
Jamaica (Nearby Hotels)
If you have your heart set on the Caribbean, Jamaica is one of the region’s most budget-friendly destinations and it’s one of the cheapest to get to as well, thanks to budget airlines like JetBlue flying between multiple major U.S. cities and Montego Bay. While the top resorts are pricey, you’ll find many lesser-known properties offering all sorts of outstanding specials and incentives, including free nights. Once there, you can look forward to being mesmerized by romantic waterfalls and swimming underneath the warm, cascading waters together, or enjoy simply soaking up the sun in between snorkeling among the exotic fish.
Orcas Island, Washington (Nearby Hotels)
The San Juan Islands are ideal for romance with their laid-back, stress-free atmosphere and unspoiled nature. Orcas Island is the largest of the islands, a green paradise that’s less populated than neighboring San Juan Island, providing a more tranquil setting for couples who want to enjoy solitude, scenery and outdoor adventures. Look forward to some of the best whale watching opportunities in the country, kayaking, biking, hiking, and more. Moran State Park hosts miles and miles of hiking trails, including a trek to Mount Constitution, the highest point on the island, where you can take in spectacular views of the island-dotted waters and snow-capped Mount Baker. There are a number of more affordable accommodation options too, including beachfront cabins at West Beach Resort.
Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico (Nearby Hotels)
While Cabo is home to luxury resorts, just a little over an hour’s drive will bring you to Todos Santos, one of the most charming towns in Baja, and plenty of budget accommodation options along with lots of free or inexpensive things to do. It’s also a food lover’s paradise, with an abundance of fresh seafood and organic produce making its way into tasty traditional as well as international cuisine, often at a very low price. All of that and this artsy town is nestled among ancient orchards of mango and palm, while offering jaw-dropping views that overlook powdery white sands and the expanse of the dazzling Pacific.
The Less-Visited Area of the Grand Canyon, Arizona (Nearby Hotels)
Havasupai is ideal for both adventure lovers and romance-seekers on a budget. This is the home to a number of magical falls, including Havasu Falls. Set in a remote corner of the Grand Canyon on the Havasupai Native Reservation, getting there requires a 10-mile trek, but your reward is some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, with crystal clear aquamarine waters that plunge into travertine swimming holes at the bottom. Accommodations on the reservation include hotel-style lodging and camping, starting at under $20 per person per night.