For couples on a budget, planning a romantic weekend away can be a challenge. When you envision a nice weekend together, you might think of pricey hotels, expensive fancy food, and costly outings in an extravagant city. However, with a little creativity, you can still enjoy a romantic getaway while remaining within your budget. It will take a little planning, but you can achieve the ultimate romantic getaway on the cheap—read on to learn how.

Get in Touch with Nature

One of the most economical ways to have a private getaway with your partner is to visit a state or national park. Campsites have minimal fees and there are a variety of free or low-cost outdoor activities that are available – hiking, biking, boating, fishing, picnicking, etc. Campfire meals are be warm and delicious, not to mention cheap. An escape to nature will provide you and your loved one with a change of scenery without being too expensive, and there is no end of activities to keep you entertained. Tip: catch the sunset (or sunrise) for an extra dose of romance.

Off Season

Bed and breakfasts near northern beaches in the fall and spring, amusement parks between September and May, and ski resorts in Colorado in the summer – the key to savings is to travel in the off season. Prices are slashed, crowds are smaller, and the environment is often just as fun. While you won’t be able to ski in Colorado in the summer, there are plenty of other outdoor activities available for the adventurous. If amusement parks are more your style, avoid the summer months and you will easily find discounted accommodations and deals on tickets. Tip: look for all-inclusive incentive packages to these locations.

Bidding for Hotel Rooms

Lodging is typically one of the greatest expenses for travelers. One of the best ways to save on hotels is to bid on rooms through one of several bidding websites. While you can’t choose the exact hotel, you are able to choose a star level of hotel and area in which you wish to stay. It is often possible to get twenty-five to fifty percent off the price of rooms. Tip: this is a great way to experience a new city with your sweetheart.

Planning Ahead

Often the best way to save a buck on a romantic getaway is simply to plan ahead. Researching local free or low cost attractions – think museums, annual festivals, tours of historical or factory sites (usually a nominal fee) – can save you from splurging unnecessarily. Tip: check out Groupon when planning your trip for discounts on romantic activities such as wine tastings, spa treatments, etc.

Don’t let the expense of traveling keep you from finding romance with your partner. With a little preparation and creativity, your weekend getaway can be great for the relationship and easy on the wallet.

The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Cartier Place & Towers Suite Hotels, who provide hotels in downtown Ottawa.