Tight on time or money? You can still fit some romance into your Summer itinerary. It's amazing to look forward to a one-on-one trip out of town with your significant other, but there are plenty of travel-free ways to escape everyday life together and make meaningful memories. You can plan for a special meal in or out, or take advantage of the sentimental offerings of your own town or city. Here are more specific ideas to help you feel the excitement of escape without ever leaving home.
Plan a fancy dinner out. Without waiting for a special occasion like a birthday or an anniversary, make a reservation at one of the best restaurants you can afford at least a few weeks in advance. The intimate dining experience will give you something to look forward to, and you can count down the days just like you would for a vacation.
Play hooky together. It might be impossible to fly away to Hawaii or Paris, but you can still enjoy some time off from work together. Schedule a vacation day and spend it sleeping in and cuddling, lounging on the couch in your PJs, or picnicking in the park. Promise each other you won't do your laundry, clean the house, or worry about any errands that normally take up your free time.
Get nostalgic. To feel like young kids in love, grab a chocolate-dipped ice cream cone and enjoy it hand in hand, head to a bowling alley for some friendly competition, or pack a blanket and catch a drive-in movie. The old-fashioned fun will likely put you in a flirty mood.
Do something new in your town. Pretend you're a tourist in your own city, and do what a couple on a romantic vacation would do if they were visiting your hometown. If you're in San Francisco, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, or in New York promise to meet each other at the top of the Empire State building after work à la An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle. As a local you may sometimes scoff at tourists participating in clichéd activities, but playing romantic traveler for a day can fill your Summer quotient of unabashed love. And exploring a part of town you've never seen can give you the feeling you've traveled far away.
Cook a special dinner at home inspired by your last romantic vacation. Did you bond over a mutual love of paella on your last trip to Spain or fall for gumbo on a weekend away in New Orleans? Plan a night in with each other based on your last vacation or the destination you're dying to explore together with a menu to match. From a local cocktail to a traditional dessert, there are plenty of ways to experience a different place and culture together from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Source: Flickr User Tohr, l'Alkimista