One of the best parts about travel is getting to try new foods in new environments. Don’t deprive yourself of that experience just because you’re on a budget! There’s always a new restaurant opening in Vancouver, and it can be hard to keep up with your foodie friends. Maybe you won’t be able to try the most expensive menu items, but here’s a cheap and fun way to experience the ambience of restaurants you haven’t checked out yet.
Date idea #5
Cook dinner at home and book a 9 p.m. reservation at Royal Dinette, Hawksworth or the restaurant of your choice for a dessert and drinks date.
We tend to forget how beautiful Vancouver is, but that feeling you get when you land at YVR and see the mountains and trees with fresh eyes... that sense of appreciation can be easily recreated.
Date idea #4
You’ve paid for walking tours of Paris, so what’s stopping you from planning your own in Vancouver? Since you already know the city, pick a place like Gastown or False Creek and make a bet to see who can take the most instagram-worthy photos.
Sometimes you miss the witty banter of a new relationship when your partner asks you what’s for dinner. Everything about travelling to somewhere you’ve never been before is novel. An easy way to bring a similar kind of newness into the relationship is to engage in a new activity together.
Date idea #3
Many fitness studios offer complimentary intro classes. Hit up a spin, cross-fit or fencing class. Create some fun challenges for some friendly (and romantic) competition.
When you’re on vacation, do you notice yourself ordering what you really want from a menu, taking more risks or even going out of your way to talk to people? You can experience this freedom anytime; they’re called staycations—the perfect solution to a thrifty weekend getaway in your own city.
Date idea #2
Get great hotel deals on Groupon and Hotwire, or browse Air BnB for the upscale suite of your dreams. The St. Regis (pictured) is a great choice for a boutique hotel in the heart of downtown; it’s walking distance to shopping on Robson Street, innovative restaurants in Gastown and entertainment on Granville Street.
Get lost and found
You know those stories you have about getting lost? For example, how you two got lost at Heathrow and but somehow figured it out and made it to Paris? Getting lost and finding your way is all part of the journey. But in the age of the Internet and GPS, getting lost has become a lost art.
Date idea #1
Drive out somewhere far, perhaps explore a new neighbourhood or use this as a reason to try that out-of-the-way restaurant in Surrey. Turn off your phone and try to make your way back without GPS. You can also check out local joints like cafés or bars while you’re out there; but of course, hands off Google Maps!
Get creative the next time you're planning a local date
We all love to be pursued. But once you lock it down, routine takes over. You want to feel that spark again and it’s actually quite doable. All you need to do is to do a new activity together or explore new territory.
Travelling traditionally covers the bases, but a little creativity will save you the cost of a plane ticket. You can still experience the same feelings of travel (finding your way, experiencing new cultures) without leaving the city.
Here are our top five fun and cheap travel-inspired date ideas...
Marketer by day, writer by night, what Miranda loves best is working with the written word. Her writing has appeared in The Georgia Straight, Huffington Post, and Vitamin Daily. She also runs Style by Fire—a Vancouver fashion events and retail news blog. When not working, you’ll find Miranda practicing handstands, obsessing about retail design, and figuring out what to do next with her hair.