5 Tips for the Ultimate Valentine’s Day Adventure (on a budget)

Red heart resting on a wood top.

Whether it’s your favourite day of the year or an occasion to dread, Valentine’s Day is difficult to ignore. Struggling to think of what to do this V-Day, without putting too much strain on your credit card? Step this way for some great recommendations, whatever your relationship status.

If You’re Single On Valentine’s Day

The choices for a single person on Valentine’s Day can seem fairly limited. There’s the “hibernation” option - where you cocoon yourself in a duvet with dangerous amounts of junk food and spend the evening weeping over terrible romantic comedies. Or the “desperation” option - which basically involves a hastily arranged night out at your dodgiest local nightclub. If you haven’t resigned yourself to either of those yet, a great way of shaking off your self-imposed misery and meeting people is to go along to one of the many dance-based social nights around the country. From swing dancing in Dublin to tangoing in Galway, there are loads of nights around the country which allow you to meet fellow singles while killing it on the dance floor. And if Strictly Come Dancing is any indicator, the odds of you embarking on a torrid romance with your dance partner are almost 100%. Bonus.

Single on Valentines Day

If You’re Newly Dating

Negotiating Valentine’s Day can be a tricky prospect for the not-quite-single. If you’ve only been on a few dates, it’s difficult to know whether you should go all out to impress or treat it like it’s not a big deal. To ease the romantic pressure, a great option is to head online and book an adventure weekend away. Whether you’re surfing in Galway or river rafting Waterford, it’s a fantastic way of getting to know someone without the pressure of trying to come up with witty conversation over a candlelit dinner. And when you’re hurtling down some white water rapids at hair-raising speed, it’s hard to be preoccupied with questions like “but where is this relationship really going?”

Newly Dating on Valentines Day

If You’re Married

For many married couples, a romantic night out can be an afterthought. And when it comes to Valentine’s Day, the fuss and expense can seem like a hassle you just don’t need. For something a little different, why not try to recapture the thrill of your first date by recreating it down to the last detail? Whether it’s pints and a packet of crisps down your local, or a trip to the cinema followed by a slap-up meal of burger and chips, this is one V-Day option that definitely won’t cost the earth. For added authenticity, dig out your most out of date clothes and get a truly terrible haircut. It’s essentially a love time machine.

Married on Valentines Day

If You’re Planning to Propose on Valentine’s Day

With 2016 being a leap year, marriage proposals are definitely on a lot of minds. You don’t necessarily have to jet to Paris or Rome to find the ultimate Valentine’s getaway for popping the question, but if you really want to impress, a weekend in a drafty mobile home isn’t going to cut it. For something a little more dramatic, The Landmark Trust is a charitable organisation which protects historic buildings by restoring them and turning them into self-catering accommodation. The Trust maintain 25 buildings around the country ranging from spectacular lighthouses to adorable miniature castles.

Planning to Propose on Valentines Day

If You Want To Avoid It All Together

If you really want to get away from all the hoopla surrounding Valentine’s Day, why not go all out? For the truly committed hermit, Ireland has an abundance of offshore islands which combine spectacular scenery with potentially terrifying amounts of solitude. In terms of distance offshore, Tory Island, off the north-west coast of Donegal, is officially Ireland’s most remote island. But with a population of around 150 it could be a little hectic for someone with your needs. Much more suitable is the little island of Inishfree, which lies 1km of the west coast of the county. Tiny, windswept, and barely inhabited, Inishfree, whose last permanent resident left in 2013, is pretty much the perfect getaway if you’re determined to avoid any mention of the dreaded V word.

Avoiding Valentines Day

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Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995