Thursday, February 9, 2017

Last Minute Romantic Getaways on the Cheap

Looking for a romantic weekend away from home without breaking the bank? Preach! I'm snowed in (at work) today under 14" of snow but managing to daydream about packing up my stuff and blowing this taco stand. Join me, it's warm in my daydream. Do I have your attention? Find out how Ross and I scored a romantic weekend getaway for only $200 with months minutes of planning.

Money is tight this year and vacations don't grow on trees. They obviously grow on bushes and I am looking into growing some vacation bushes this spring though in the open plot next to my money trees. I'll let you know how that turns out. Just kidding.

I am (un)lucky enough to get 1 day off at Christmas, 1 day off at New Year's and then nothing until Memorial Day in May. Let me tell you...that's a long time and it's easy to get burnt out in that 5 (almost 6) months. Ross had suggested a weekend away to celebrate Valentine's Day, which seemed like a waste of money given our new home situation and newlywed bliss. Upon doing some light Googling, the most romantic New Jersey getaways also happen to be the most expensive, running up $400/night, solidifying my thought that this was a waste of money. So, I let it go, which is where the Google robots picked up. When I came into work the next morning and loaded my email, there was a well-timed email from Living Social advertising a Friday-Sunday deal to Chateau Inn and Suites for $209. This deal included a late checkout and free bike rentals to jet around town, as well as DVD rentals for a warm night in. It was a sign, karma, whatever you want to call it. And now, off we will drive into the snowy sunset for our getaway.

Let this be your inspiration! Living Social and Groupon deals are real and they work. Check out their curated lists of romantic getaways and see what is in your area for a chance at some alone time with your hubby this month!  Companies run these deals to develop new clients, so don't be embarrassed about taking advantage of the promotions! Some business owners have made it seem like a hassle when I have tried to redeem a deal, making me feel cheap or embarrassed. Too bad! Be empowered as a consumer. Don't forget...although some deals allow you to book specific dates, remember you may need to be flexible about dates on some deals.

If you want to ensure a reservation on a specific date or weekend, I suggest Priceline or TravelZoo. Express Deals or the Name Your Price Tool from Priceline guarantee you a room in the neighborhood of your choice with deep discounts. TravelZoo compiles a list of deals, featuring a page of short stays and weekend getaways.

Afraid of a little snow? Don't let the weather discourage you. Consider what a romantic ghost town your getaway could become in the event of a storm. Be sure to pack some extra wine and snacks just in case, but also think about what there is to do within walking distance. Ross and I recently travelled to Chicago in the weeks leading up to Christmas. On the Saturday of our trip, we were hit with over 6" of snow, but we made sure to pack our boots, some extra gloves and socks and all was good. The city was quiet and extra beautiful with the twinkling lights and a fresh dusting of snow. Add in some mulled wine to really stay warm, and we made that snowy, windy city our bitch. Spring Lake, New Jersey: look out, you're next!

Cheers to a well-deserved getaway!