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You don’t need to spend a ton of money to have a romantic getaway. In fact, e-commerce and the sharing economy are putting lavish getaways within reach. With a bit of preparation, you can spend this Valentine’s Day weekend in the lap of luxury at a price point you can afford. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

5 Tips for An Affordable Romantic Weekend Getaway

1. Drive, Don’t Fly

Gas prices are back down and that means you can drive places a lot cheaper than you can fly. Even short flights are expensive and you can’t check things out en route as you can when you drive such as coffee shops, stores and towns along the way. On the other hand, driving gives you and your Valentine more control over your itinerary and more time to spend together. So when you’re looking for weekend getaway ideas, make it a romantic road trip. Put a special playlist together and watch the country go by as you get to your final destination at a fraction of the cost of flying. And hey — you’ll have more money to spend when you get where you’re going.

2. Airbnb is the Place to Stay

Why stay in a hotel when you can stay at an Airbnb for a fraction of the cost? For what you’d normally pay for hotel room, you can rent out an entire apartment or even a house for an affordable romantic getaway. It really is like staying at a lovely bed and breakfast without the high price tag.

3. Save on Entertainment and Dining with Online Deals

Websites like Gilt, Jetsetter and RueLaLa perform the same function for dining and entertainment that Airbnb does for accommodations. You can get tickets to amusement parks and museums, as well as fine dining, at a fraction of the usual cost. It’s going to take a bit of planning on your part to execute this properly, but it’s worth it. Whether you want to save money or punch a little above your weight class, social purchasing sites are the way to go.

4. Find the Free Fun

A lot of towns have plenty of things to do for free — perfect for affordable getaways for couples. Some museums have free days, and there’s always the option of visiting one of our country’s beautiful national parks. Check out WikiTravel and EventBright to see what your destination offers for free or cheap . We promise, you won’t just use this new information on Valentine’s Day.

5. Everyone Loves a Home-Cooked Meal

Few people are going to complain if you cook them a lovely meal. Do this at home or at that out-of-town Airbnb. This gesture never goes out of style, and food always tastes better when it’s prepared with love.

The point is that anyone can have a special Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank. After all, the real gift you’re giving this February 14 isn’t anything material — it’s the time you spend.

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