It is almost the holiday season and you may be searching for a travel destination for a romantic getaway with your significant other. Places like Paris, Fiji, London, the Bahamas, and Vegas are all extremely popular options. However, those places will also be crowded with other tourists and prices (for both amenities and travel) will be much higher. This holiday season, consider these underrated romantic destinations where you can experience more privacy and also save some money.
Forgo the other common Western European tourist spots and take a trip to the East. Budapest is a city juxtaposed with modern architecture and historical buildings. Not only that, beautiful natural sights are within a short distance from its bustling metropolis.
From beautiful ruins to garden pubs, to thermal baths and spas in the remote hills, Budapest offers great opportunities for a romantic getaway full of history, nature, city life, and culture in Europe without the price tag and the crowds that other more popular European cities may attract.
Currency exchange: $1.00 = 267.41 Ft
Must do before leaving: Visit the historical breathtaking Royal Palace, first establish in the mid-1200s. Over the past seven centuries, the palace has been razed and rebuilt by the subsequent royalty that lived in it. Today, it houses the Hungarian National Gallery, the Castle Museum, and the National Széchenyi Library.
For a slower-paced, relaxing getaway in the tropics, visit Bocas Town in Panama. Its distance from the United States makes it great for a shorter vacation – it’s distance from New York City is shorter than the distance from New York City to Los Angeles!
The board houses along the clear blue Caribbean waters make it a beautifully colorful and vibrant scene for photographs. For less than the cost of a Starbucks Latte, taxis Marinos (water taxis) can take you from island to island in the archipelago where you can soak up the sun on the clean beaches and go swimming or snorkeling.
Currency exchange: $1.00 = 1.00 Balboa
Must do before leaving: Get up close and personal with nature. Have a tour in the Finca Los Monos, or the “Monkey Farm” Botanical Garden, spanning over 10 hectares and buzzing with wildlife activity. It is famous for its white-faced capuchin monkeys and howler monkeys, sloths, and a myriad of birds of paradise that live in the hundreds of species of native and introduced trees.
Budva, also known as “Montenegrin Miami”, is a popular choice for most locals to vacation in. It has a busy, booming nightlife complemented by numerous bars and nightclubs, and an old town with breathtaking sites.
The Old town is surrounded by a medieval defense wall built in the 1400s including a medieval fortification system with city gates, defense walls, and towers. Its quaint and narrow streets are filled with monuments showcasing a variety of Mediterranean cultures that have subsequently dominated the town one after the other.
Currency exchange: $1.00 = 0.86 Euro
Must do before leaving: Hike the town walls. This “wall” contains a walkway approximately three feet wide. It leads to the landlocked Stari Grad and offers a glimpse across the rooftops down onto lush, hidden gardens. At the height of the tourist season during the summer, admission is only 1.50 euros, but other times it is free.
Since it is located in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be summer during the holiday months. Here, you can tour the numerous Winelands that offer exotic wine tastings with locally grown grapes exclusive to the area.
Since Cape Town is on a peninsula, it is surrounded by water that is perfect for diving, snorkeling, surfing, and swimming. Taking a sunset cruise and whale watching is also a popular activity since most whales migrate from the north during the months of December to March.
If all that does not interest you, you can always just lay on the beach and soak up the summer sun with your significant other while drinking some wine.
Currency exchange: $1.00 = 14.14 ZAR (South African Rand)
Must do before leaving: Visit the Cape of Good Hope and the Boulder’s Penguin Colony – both of which are part of the Table Mountain National Park. The Cape of Good Hope is home to over 250 native bird species. Bus tours are available, but so are hiking tours – which are so much more rewarding since the path is not too steep and you get more exposure to the scenery.
The Boulder’s Penguin Colony is a once-in-a-lifetime picturesque and surreal experience where you can step directly onto the sandy coast and immerse yourself in a colony of over 2100 waddling, energetic African Penguins.
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is one of Asia’s busiest cities in which its skyscrapers and highrise building are interspersed between magnificent temples and palaces.
With its city streets and canals, busy markets and a vibrant nightlife, Bangkok is a great getaway for a couple who may have very diverse interests. The huge and numerous amounts of street markets here mean that you can often score great deals on clothing and souvenirs, watch street performances and cultural dances, try out authentic Thai cuisine and interact with the locals.
Currency exchange: $1.00 = 33.23 baht
Must do before leaving: Go watch a Muay Thai match. Also referred to a Thai Boxing, the competitors can use their feet, elbows, legs, knees, and shoulders to defeat the other opponent.
Some matches may last over two hours, with most of the action happening towards the end. In Bangkok, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and Ratchadamnoen Stadium host matches virtually every day. While you watch, traditional Thai music also plays.
Chattanooga is one of the most bike-friendly and greenest cities in the country. Water-front trails, electric buses, and pedestrian crossings over the Tennessee River make it easy to get around and offer stunning views of the city.
Rock-climbing, trail-hiking, open-water swimming, and parasailing are some of the popular activities that locals do here to take advantage of the mild climate and beautiful surroundings. In addition to being a great destination for the outdoorsy types, downtown Chattanooga is also home to some restaurants that blend together BBQ and South American cuisine, breweries, and distilleries.
Must do before leaving: Take a wild cave tour on Pigeon Mountain in which you will get down and dirty. After you put on your helmet, knee pads, gloves, and complete your ensemble with a headlamp, a professional guide will take you on a trip inside the cave, where there are no lights except headlamps, no handrails except for the rocks that stick out, and human-made paths.
You and you're significant other will get a full-body workout from climbing, ducking, crawling, and trudging over cold-water pools as you embark on this adventure.
A romantic getaway does not always have to take place in the same old overrated popular tourist destinations.
Try the recommended destinations above this holiday season, where you and you're significant another can bond over a unique experience. Not to mention, it will make dinner conversation with your relatives more interesting, too!
Currency exchanges are all as of Oct 2017