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10 tips for a romantic holiday location on a budget

  • 4 minutes

Oakura Bay, Northland, New Zealand

Romantic holidays are often promoted in glossy magazines and online as getaways to expensive luxury locations. The enticing scenes of tropical palms, drinks in hand and platters of nibbles at the elbow are an advertising staple. It costs money. Your holiday can be romantic, have romantic moments and here are ten tips to inspire you think beyond the budget planning of a luxury resort.

Auckland public bus network, AT Metro, NZ
Auckland public bus network, AT Metro, NZ
  1. Public transportation is efficient, we arrive where we want to be usually on time and we are not behind the wheel. Aren’t we meant to be practicing sustainable tourism and ensuring our journey is not gobbling up carbon miles. Public transport is the get of jail ticket for carbon free emissions. And you have time to focus on the important person next to you. It’s all about yourselves without a care in the world for the traffic conditions.
  1. Picnics with delicious gourmet food are a great way to indulge without spending up large in an expensive restaurant. Have you checked out the local deli in your area (this is not the supermarket deli), usually owner operated, passionate about food and lots of takeout treats in the chiller cabinets.  Pack a lightweight aluminum lined foldable bag for storage, sling it over your shoulder and everything is ready to go. The advantages of a picnic are numerous from
  • Toilets and seating
  • Privacy is a given in the large public spaces
  • Shelter is usually available check before going where it is actually located
  • There are walks and things to look at which make the venue interesting
Picnic for two, a bit of planning, foldup table and nature provides the glorious setting Coromandel Peninsula, NZ
Picnic for two, a bit of planning, foldup table and nature provides the glorious setting Coromandel Peninsula, NZ
Pottery workshop, New Zealand @The Pottery Studio
@The Pottery Studio
  1. Have you thought about a workshop and the potential of a shared hobby. These range from delicious sounding foodie / chef encounters where you both conjure up all sorts of yummy treats or perhaps forging a knife under the guidance of a blacksmith. Art and craft to flower design and then garden inspiration workshops on growing vegetables. The list has endless possibilities to inspire the together time. While the workshop does cost money it is practical. Remember the workshop is not a competition between you and your partner who does the best, that would muck up any attempt at romance and togetherness.
  1. Romantic settings are not your usual daily bustle of workplaces and the routes to work with weekends at the local entertainment venues rather it is about the difference, the sense of space and attractiveness of the location. This is easy to answer in Australia and New Zealand as some of the glorious locations are free. Parks, walks, beaches, museums, heritage sites, forests, rivers and lakes have no entrance charges. The setting is perfect for a photo moment, background beautiful is ticked off the list. Just remember a rug to sit on the grass.
Whangarei Quarry Garden elevated picnic area overlooking gardens
Whangarei Quarry Garden elevated picnic area overlooking gardens, NZ
Boardwalk, national park Omana Regional Park Auckland New Zealand
Omana Regional Park, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Romance can mean you repeat a visit to a favourite location. Let’s build the memories of laughing and sharing into the landscape and make it a favourite place to go. With seasonal changes you get a refresh anyway of what you are looking at.
  1. Nighttime is considered romantic, soft lighting and the sense of intimacy as the corners of the location are blurred. Outdoor settings are great for mood settings, forget the sunrise ideas as that is a form of punishment, rather maximise sunset and locations such as lighthouses, jetties and hilltops with their sweeping views and the setting sun. A few snacks in the backpack and check whether you are allowed to consume alcohol and it’s romance in the sunset.
Archway rock at Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay
The archway rock illuminated by the sunset, Wharariki Beach, Golden Bay, New Zealand
Picnic ingredients and remember alcohol is often banned in public spaces,
  1. You do not need to leave home and travel to a tropical island to find a romantic setting. Tasmania has Maria Island which is usually brisk any time of year while Melbourne has Anakie Gorge (Brisbane Ranges National Park) as potential romantic places to visit. New Zealand has laughter on the wild west coast as you are battered with the power and might of the ocean surges and the soft bird song of native reserves.
  1. It’s all about timing. The weekend is not really romantic, rather it is about catching up with household chores, kids playing sport and weekend shoppers. Your holiday romantic moments have the best chance during the week. You are on holiday and the worker bees are banished from the landscape. Even Wilson’s Prom (hordes of visitors) can feel spacious during the week. Plenty of space to feel as though it is just the two of you in the beautiful spaces with the cycle of nature as a backdrop. The best days for a bit of peace yet facilities are open are Wednesday and Thursday.
Cultural identity, clothing All Blacks, NZ
Cultural identity, clothing All Blacks, NZ
Mapu, Nelson, picnic table anyone with cafes nearby, just in case, NZ
Mapu, Nelson, picnic table anyone with cafes nearby, just in case, NZ
  1. Holiday magic is about schedules and plans working. Nothing spoils the romance as the plans go up in smoke. Check opening hours and how to get to the desired location before announcing the dream romantic trip. Always check for up to date information on the website of operators, vendors and all that other good stuff. We’ve all been somewhere, got excited and we turn up and it’s closed. Not very romantic, actually it’s the damp squib raining on the romantic gesture.
  1. Holidays are fun, enjoying the difference and having a good time. The location is the supporting cast; it is the people who make it fun with attitude. Attitude does not cost anything, you can have fun in your backyard. Give it a go and picnic at home on the porch.
Hunua Regional Park frame great for couples selfie moment, Auckland, NZ
Hunua Regional Park frame great for couples selfie moment, Auckland, NZ


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