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Romancing the Wallet: 10 Tips for Romantic Getaways On a Budget

Whether you’re planning your honeymoon or simply looking for an exciting adventure with your partner that has romantic flavor to rekindle the fires of passion, you’ll be glad to know that such vacations do not have to drain your bank account. In fact, if you’re looking for a romantic getaway on a budget, there are more options than you might think. Whether you want to stay where you are or get away to another state or country, there are a wide variety of affordable vacation packages from which to choose. The real secret to successfully navigating the world of romantic getaways – affordably – is to know where to look.

Below is some information that should help you in finding a great romantic getaway at easily affordable prices.

Tips For Affordable Places To Visit

1. Hideaway Cottages – Calistoga, Napa Valley, California

The history of Calistoga is filled with stories of individuals who traveled to this destination for the natural healing properties of the hot springs there. The mineral waters are said to cure a wide variety of ailments. Given that, it has been a tourist attraction for decades. Hideaway Cottages was built during the 1920s and into the 1940s, and has been functioning ever since. It has 17 cottages, all manicured and luxurious to stay in. Not simply a hotel room, these cottages are like having your very own home. Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort is also owned by the same family as Hideaway Cottages, and you can experience a day of mineral healing while you visit. “The Works” spa treatment at the Resort is only $129, and the cottages are priced from $185. For a short vacation, they are perfect.

2. Amansala’s Casa Magna, Tulum, Mexico

For a healthy retreat, you might try this beautiful resort in Mexico. It was originally a hideout for a drug cartel, but after the leader died nature began to reclaim it. It caught the eye of a resort owner and she decided to build here. There are 22 expansive rooms that, although they still retain a minimalist feel, are bright and cheery. The rates start at just $180, perfect for a short and romantic vacation.

3. Rockhouse Hotel, Jamaica

If you’re looking for a beautiful, tropical destination without the chaos of most popular spring break tourism spots, then Rockhouse Hotel might be your best bet. All the rooms have air conditioning, mosquito netting, and fine accommodations. From secluded beach paths to spectacular sunset views, this is one of the favorite spots for couples looking to get a low-key and romantic view of Jamaica. While some of the rooms can cost upwards of $300 in the winter months, there are beautiful rooms available with sea views ($150) and garden views ($125) from which to choose.

4. Hotel de l’Atelier, Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, Provence, France

This hotel is much easier to afford than it is to pronounce. With 23 rooms available, each decorated in unique styles ranging from vintage movie set to art deco, you can experience the luxury of France without having to pay extraordinarily high prices. The rooms are all different shapes and sizes, hearkening back to its beginnings as a silk workshop, the structure still intact from those early days. This romantic getaway can be yours with rates starting as low as $83.

5. Mount Haven Hotel, Penzance, Cornwall, England

The owner of the hotel liked this spot because of its viewing of St. Michael’s Mount. Full of local folklore and tales of the past, this beautiful and eccentric spot is magical in every way. From views of an ancient castle atop the mount, and a stone pathway that leads to the other side of the island at low tide, making visitors appear as though they are walking on water, the draw of the place is unquestionable. The rooms, and even cuisine, are done in a decidedly Asian theme with furnishings purchased by the owner during his extensive travels. Breakfast is included in the stay, which can start at just $88.

Tips for Lower Rates

6. Use Sites Like Hotwire

Hotwire, and sites like it, are exceptional for finding lower rates. Many sites offer deals where you do not know the exact name of the hotel until you purchase the deal. While this is off-putting to some, it is actually a great way to save money, and as long as you choose hotels that have between 3 and 5 stars, you are usually safe as far as quality goes.

7. Join Groupon and Living Social

Daily deal sites and sites such as Groupon and Living Social can provide you with wonderful travel deals. Oftentimes it is just for a weekend, but they can be very romantic spots. In fact, some are even tailored for romance. The deals they offer can be up to 50 percent off or more, and the sites are free to join.

8. Book Early

If you book your stay in advance, you have a better shot of getting lower rates. The closer time gets to peak traveling seasons, or even just to the date you want to book, the higher the price will be. Book several months in advance, if you can, and it will save you money.

9. Book on Off Days

Sometimes this can be difficult due to work schedules. However, if you can manage it, be sure to book your stays on off days. Whenever you book flights and hotels on Fridays through Sundays, you are assuming a higher rate, just because weekends are always the favorite for travelers.

10. Pick Off-Season Months and Flight Times

Timing is crucial, particularly when it comes to flight times and the months you travel in. Keep these tips in mind.

  • Don’t fly out on major holidays or book stays for around that time; it will be more expensive.

  • Try to keep in mind when other travelers will likely be going on vacation, and book another time to save money.

  • Be willing to take very early and late flights because they are often much less expensive.

Whatever your idea is for your romantic getaway, it doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive. By seeking out destination spots that have year-round low rates but top quality, you can find a great deal almost anywhere in the world. Additionally, by making sure you keep timing in mind when you make your travel arrangements, you can be at peace knowing that you have the lowest rates possible. Signing up for coupon sites can also help to give you an additional means for saving money on romantic getaways.


European Crisis and the Effect on Greece’s Travel Safety – 5 Things To Watch For in 2012

Greece, a country that has everything, is now experiencing hard times in its history. The financial crisis that has affected almost all sectors of the Greek economy also affected tourism. The vacation  industry in Greece is one of the major sources of income for the country. If you do decide to


1. Strikes and there effect on Transportation and Waste management.

Visitors should expect regular strikes. These are sometimes called at short notice and can cause disruption to public transport in and out of Greece (including air travel and ports) and to waiste management services. The city is currently dealing with a crisis in garbage which has also become a health hazard.

2. Demonstrations

Demonstrations regularly take place around Syntagma Square in central Athens. Demonstrations have also taken place in a limited number of other towns and cities. You should avoid demonstrations and protests and observe instructions and advice given by local security authorities. Violent incidents have occurred at and in the margins of such protests.

3. Terrorism

The U.S. Government and State Department report that they remain deeply concerned about the heightened threat of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests abroad. Like other countries that are members of the Schengen Agreement for free cross-border movement, Greece’s open borders with other members of the EU’s Schengen zone allow for the possibility of terrorist groups entering/exiting the country with anonymity. As the first entry point into Schengen from points south and east, Greece’s long coastline and many islands increase the possibility that foreign-based terrorists might try to enter Europe through its borders.

4. Crime

You should take the usual safety precautions you would in any urban or tourist area during a visit to Greece. Crimes against tourists (such as pick-pocketing and purse-snatching) occur at popular tourist sites and on public transportation – especially the Metro – and in some shopping areas in and around Thessaloniki. If you travel by Metro, keep track of your purse/backpack/wallet at all times. Thieves will often try to create a diversion to draw your attention away from your immediate surroundings. These diversions can include “accidentally” sneezing or spilling something on you and loudly accusing you of having bumped into them.

5. Health

Medical facilities are adequate, and some, particularly the private clinics and hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki, are quite good. Some private hospitals have affiliations with U.S. facilities, and generally their staff doctors have been trained in the United States or Europe.

For more information please visit the US Department of State and Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Looking for Adventure, Beauty, Culture and a Unique Vacation? Then Choose Ecuador

The Inherent Beauty of Ecuador

The Inherent Beauty of Ecuador

Ecuador isn’t always the first place that comes to mind when you are thinking about planning an ideal vacation or a unique getaway. With that said, it really should be. Ecuador is located in the Andes and is full of unique experiences, idyllic attractions and offers intrigue and excitement for all kinds of travelers. You can trek through the Amazon, lay back on pristine beaches and climb your way to the top of volcanoes. While there is no end to the places you can visit in Ecuador, you would regret not visiting the historic and world famous Galapagos Islands. Here are some of the best places to visit and a few reasons why you should put Ecuador on your list of possible vacation destinations.


Quito is the capital of Ecuador and is full of culture and majestic architecture. It is widely recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in all of South America and is covered in awe-inspiring white houses with red roofs. If you are used to living in a large city you will be pleasantly surprised by the lack of lights, bustle and concrete design in Quito.

The climate in the area is considered to be eternally spring as it is surrounded by snow covered mountains, yet warm enough to enjoy the beaches. Quito is referred to as the gateway to the Amazon and is full of lively outdoor cafes and entertainment. There are economic problems in the area, so be sure to keep your cash hidden and be weary of pick pockets.

Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands can be found approximately 600 miles off of the mainland of Ecuador and are home to some of the most mystifying creatures and inherent natural beauty. There are 13 different islands that you can tour and there will be no shortage of experiences and wildlife that you will come across. The best way to get there is via boat and you will have to purchase an affordable entry permit, but it will be well worth it.

Volcano Avenue

Just south of Quito you can find the infamous volcanoes that run down the side of the valley. The mountain sides are covered in dormant volcanoes that provide a uniquely beautiful backdrop. There are a number of old fashioned villages dotted throughout the area that really give it a classic, old fashioned feel.

San Lorenzo Railway

If it is adventure and a unique experience that you are after, then grab a ride on the San Lorenzo Railway. It is more than just a train ride as you will be taken through some of the most beautiful landscapes and scenery in the world. The truly unique part is that the train is not necessarily a train. It is an old fashioned bus that has been converted into being able to ride the tracks.
Ecuador can best be described as an exotic location, full of unique experiences, that is off the beaten path. The entire country is full of attractions and beauty. The next time you are planning a vacation getaway, it is in your best interest to look into Ecuador and consider the memories that you can create there.

For more information on a vacation to Ecuador and facts you need to know, please visit http://www.fodors.com/community/south-america/ecuador-and-galapagos.cfm

A Memorable Trip to Fiji; The Perfect Cheap Holiday

A Sunset you will Never Forget

A Sunset you will Never Forget

There has been a lot said about Fiji and the surrounding islands in the last few years, and to be honest, not much of it has been positive. There has been economic turmoil and political instability, along with some severe weather conditions. However, whether you are an adventure seeker or looking for that perfect romantic getaway, Fiji can be the perfect cheap holiday. A lot of the issues have been resolved or were blown out of proportion and you can take advantage of this. There are an abundance of cheap vacation spots in Fiji and it is easy to barter and negotiate for lower prices when it comes to renting villas, booking flights and engaging in daily tours. At present, the islands of Fiji provide the ultimate mix of relaxation, romance and adventure at an affordable price.

Let’s take a look at what your typical cheap holiday in Fiji may look like. For starters, if you have traveled before then you know just how costly resorts and hotels can be. You are looking at easily paying upwards of a couple of hundred dollars per night. If you do your research and look around, especially on websites like www.vrbo.com, you can find a number of villas for rent that will allow you to create the perfect self catered holiday, at a very impressive discounted rate. The longer you stay, the better price you will receive. You may notice that some villas hover around the $900 USD a week mark, but if you inquire about a month stay, the owners will usually give you a considerable discount of sometimes even up to half price. This is why so many people are leaning towards self catered vacations for the perfect cheap holiday in Fiji.

Fiji offers some of the most dazzling and memorable attractions in the world, and you can tour the islands easily and get from place to place quite quickly, especially if you hire a car service or rent a vehicle of your own. You can start out visiting the Naihehe Caves which offer an excellent look into the culture and history of the Fijian people, and then end up on one of the world’s best beaches. Natadola Beach has everything a beach lover could want from shaded trees to endless white sand and even the opportunity to ride a horse along the water.

After that you can make the short trek to Nadi and visit the temples and historic religious sites and simply enjoy the majestic architecture and flavor of Fiji in all its glory. From there it is just a hop, skip and a jump to Suva which is one of the most festive areas of the island. You can enjoy a cheap night out on the town and visit the colorful flea markets around town. It is the perfect place to stock up on souvenirs from your cheap holiday to Fiji.

This is just a small glimpse of some of the things you can enjoy in Fiji while stretching your dollar as far as possible. You also do not want to miss out on Taveuni Island where you can find one of the top natural trails in the world, the Lavena Coastal Walk and the spectacular Tavoro waterfalls.  Possibly the best part about a trip to Fiji is that there are all these options when it comes to entertainment, but you are not forced into any of it. You can simply kick back in your villa, relax in the sun and sip a cocktail if that is what you are into. Fiji is a one place fits all destination and an affordable opportunity that you do not want to let slip away.

For more information on the wonderful activities and opportunities available in Fiji, feel free to visit


Top 10 Places to Travel on a Budget

If you are like most folks these days you are on a budget. Whether you have been affected financially due to the slumping economy or not you are probably watching what you spend. Fortunately, even if you are on a budget there are some places you can travel that offer fun and excitement even when you don’t have much to spend. Read more

Budget Travel for the Unemployed

Regardless of whether you are gainfully employed or not you will still want to take a vacation to enjoy your family, friends, and some free time away from the stress of looking for a job. Luckily, there are quite a few ways you can travel on a budget even if you are currently unemployed. The following are a few of the ways you can save money and still have a great vacation!

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