Planning a great Valentine's Day date is about knowing the person you're planning for, and it doesn't have to require a lot of money - if you don't want it to. Ultimately, it's your creativity, effort and thoughtfulness that will make a lasting impression. Here are a few ideas, some more unorthodox than others, to inspire you.
A Home-Cooked Dinner - $$
A nice home-cooked dinner is a perfect way to show that you want to invest some effort into your relationship, instead of just money. They’ll be impressed by the fact that you went over the top to find the perfect recipe, prepare the decor, and set the mood. It’s important to foster a calm, relaxing environment for the evening, so be sure that you clean the kitchen as you cook. Nothing ruins a romantic mood for your significant other more than looking at a messy kitchen that they know they’ll have to clean up later.
International Voyage - $$$$
There aren’t many things as exciting and adventurous as exploring a foreign country together with that special someone. (Obviously, this option is on the pricier side of the scale, but for those of you with an adventurous spirit there are ways to shave some of the cost off, such as staying in hostels, rather than hotels.) This option takes some planning and saving, of course, but if you’re wanting to make a big impression why not surprise your significant other with an overseas trip to Australia to spend a romantic evening in one of the best cafés in Sydney.
An Adventure Date - $$-$$$
The most important thing about your date planning is to know the person you are planning for. For example, if you know your date is a wild spirit, you may want to plan an adventure date. Look at it like this; you can take them to the classiest restaurant in the city. In 10 years they probably won’t be able to remember the dinner, but they are bound to remember the guy that took them skydiving on Valentine’s Day. Skydiving is just one option. If it’s too extreme try kayaking, bungee jumping, mountain climbing, or horseback riding for example.
Time In Nature - $
Take advantage of whatever climate you live in, and plan a day in nature. Disconnect from your electronics and connect with your partner. If you’re in a warmer zone, a day at the beach, or a lazy hike through the woods are a perfect choice. Take along snacks for a picnic. If you’re in a colder region, rent some snowshoes and go for hike in the snow. Be sure to take along a thermos of hot chocolate to share.
For The Animal Lover - $$
If you and your partner are animal lovers, you can always plan a trip to an animal sanctuary like the The Wild Animal Sanctuary, for example. Another idea is to foster or adopt an orphaned animal for your significant other. This isn’t literal, of course. For example, you can “adopt” an orphaned elephant for your partner through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust by donating money. In turn they’re emailed photos and progress reports about the elephant they’re fostering.
A Spa Day - $$$
Sure, this may not be as adventurous or unexpected as some of the previous suggestions, but sometimes it can be exactly the thing your significant other needs! Some time at the pool, a massage and an overall relaxing day at the spa will give them time to focus on their well-being, which is harder and harder to do in our busy world. By giving them a chance to recharge their batteries, you are also recognizing that they are under a lot of stress (at work or privately), which is something they will definitely appreciate. In other words, Valentine’s Day spent at a spa center can truly be a fail-proof idea.
The list above offers diversity and flexibility to fit the character of both you and your significant other accordingly, as well as your budget. When planning an interesting and romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day go for the idea that you believe both of you will enjoy most. This is probably the most important thing to consider, because your date won't enjoy themselves if you're not enjoying yourself, too. After all, a successful Valentine's Day is really about connecting with your partner.
Do you have any unique or interesting Valentine's Day ideas to share with us? Let us know below!
Peter Minkoff is a men's grooming & fashion writer at The Beard Mag & High Street Gent magazines from UK. Beside writing he worked as a menswear fashion stylist for many fashion events around UK & Europe. Follow Peter on Twitter for more men’s grooming tips.