When I was in college my girlfriend and I wanted to celebrate our six-month anniversary in style. But we were dead broke.
I really wanted to impress her. She had just graduated from college and she was my dream girl. I wanted to give her a special trip to show her how much I cared. But going to Europe was out of the question. Even New York City was out of our budget. The most we could afford was a few bucks a day and gas for the car. But we also had one thing in our favor – time. We both had three weeks vacation time to spend.
I did a little research and came up with a plan that would make any PUA proud.
I decided to save up a few bucks and do it on the cheap. I went to the local Army Navy surplus store and bought super warm, inexpensive sleeping bags (that zipped together, of course) and a cheapo tent.
We bid our Los Angeles apartment goodbye, hopped in our beat-up hatchback, and headed south. We crossed into Mexico at the Tijuana border and stopped for a tasty lunch from a roadside vendor. (Hey, we were young with stomachs of steel!)
Every night, we would either rent a cheap hotel room in a small city or we would pitch our orange tent on the beach and join other campers at their fireside. My relationship with that girlfriend didn’t last, but that six-month anniversary trip was the most romantic vacation I’ve ever taken in my life.
We didn’t have any money, but we had our cameras and our sketchpads and our books and our portable chess and scrabble games. We met new friends as we traveled that I am still in touch with this to this day. I just wish I knew how to keep the girl I had. Nowadays, I know much more about How To Get A Girlfriend and how to keep one.
One memorable few days was spent at a beachside campsite hanging out with some professional chefs who had biked down from Canada. In the morning, the eight of us went digging for clams and scallops in the warm ocean waters. That night, the chefs created magic with a little butter and oil over the campfire and we had the most delicious, tasty seafood I’ve ever tried.
So even now, years later, I’ve taken much more involved anniversary trips – even to exotic locales, such as Jamaica, Cancun and the Bahamas, but I must say the best anniversary trip I ever took was the one that cost me the least.
The key was being creative and not getting caught up in spending money. The secret is to make sure your vacation or trip is completely focused on experiences, not things. Make sure that every minute is about the experience of the trip. Make it romantic. It doesn’t take a lot of money or effort to add romance to your trip. Sunsets are a great way to up the romantic feelings. Just make time to enjoy them.
If you walk into your anniversary trip – from the planning stages – remembering that it’s not about things or money, but that it is about the experiences you will share together, you will be bound to have a memorable trip that you will remember for a lifetime.