A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published January 7th 2013
Valentine’s Day Without the Price Tag
Valentine's Day is coming up, along with the expectation of expressions of love and affection, mostly in the form of extravagant gifts and expensive gestures. It doesn't always have to be a showcase of your spending generosity. Its origins lie with the celebration of an early Christian saint called Valentinus who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry.
February 14th has grown into a day where representation of love is encouraged. Some critics say that everyday should be a celebration of how much you care for your other half, not a day when commercialisation is now widespread. However, there is a reason why people celebrate special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas; the atmosphere and environment affects people's moods and it gives everyone something to countdown, plan and look forward to. And sometimes, that is enough to lift people's spirits. The anticipation of an upcoming celebration.
If you are not one of those people boycotting Valentine's Day completely, there are other options that won't burn your wallet. With a bit of creativity and the help of Mother Nature's plentiful bounty, you can transform your loved one's day and recreate the feeling of romance.
1) Picnic by the sea/next to the river/in a park It doesn't really matter where the location is as long as it is peaceful, quiet and scenic. You can set up a spot near a beach (Redcliffe, Sandgate, Manly or Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast if you would like a longer drive). There are also spots along the riverside at South Bank and Kangaroo Point which are suitable. If you choose riverside spots, make sure to check out the free ferry. A romantic picnic may just be the thing to wow your loved one as long as you plan well beforehand. This means putting a lot of thought into your picnic basket and creating a wonderful environment, similar to a highly rated restaurant. Cutlery, plates and wine have to be carefully selected and favourite food chosen. If you like decorating the immediate area with candles and fairy lights, pick a venue where you are allowed to do that. You may have to organize your picnic at home if you want to bring out a whole host of decorations. Bring a mix of songs which remind you of your time together to add to the ambience and you are guaranteed a night to remember.
2) Treasure Hunting for memories Most people are big kids at heart, they hold some of their childhood memories and curious nature inside. One popular children's game is treasure hunting. Instead of hiding little gifts, have a treasure hunt of memories. You will need a car and a plan. Prepare little clues which your other half has to figure out based on things you have done together around your neighbourhood and they will need to drive (walk or cycle if it's not too far) to the correct spot to get their next clue. The whole point is to reminisce at each spot about your time together and recreate the memories. Of course, you can also add little surprises in certain spots like a massage voucher they can redeem from you, an invitation to a future ice-skating date and invitations to future events you may plan to do together this year.
3) Romantic Camping Trip A night in the great outdoors can be incredibly romantic if you plan it right. Cuddling up to a cosy fire and playing music on the acoustic guitar can strum up hidden emotions. Since Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year, you can take a rain check and go camping during the weekend or take a day off on Friday for a long weekend trip. Camping spots in Brisbane include Moreton Island, North Stradbroke Island and Clontarf or venture further to Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
If you have a bigger budget and just want to sizzle up your relationship, see the linked article for some interesting activities to heat things up