15 Cheap Date Ideas – Bonding Without Going Broke

Okay, so you’ve bridged the distance and have finally come face to face with your long distance partner. So, what’s next? (I mean, besides the obvious). Some like to travel together, while others like to stay in one place and just have non-nomadic bonding time.

Here are some fun ideas that you and your sweetheart can do while staying in one city – but keeping it on the cheap or free side.


After all, it’s about the memories, not the price tag.



Take a class together. It can be something you’re both good at or something you both are trying for the first time. It’s great because you have to use your communication skills to solve whatever problems appears during the class. However, you can stay inside and use the wonders of the internet to learn something new.


Maybe you’re at your partner’s place. Maybe you’re both in a new city. Take a walk – but one without a destination. Take side streets, look in interesting shops, take photos of cool things, talk to locals. Embrace the adventure (just make sure you have your google maps locations set to help you get back – and take a totally different way home).



This might sound cliché, but there are many adaptations to this sort of date. You can go to a high point in your area with a bottle of wine and a blanket. You can stay in your back yard and make up new constellations with silly stories behind them. Pick one and image what worlds surround it – make up new lifeforms or civilizations.


DIY spas are the best. All you need is Google, a supermarket, and privacy. Make facial scrubs (or body scrubs if you want to get your hands all over each other). Give each other a sensual massage with base oils that are infused with essential oils. Yes, you can look up which ones are best at “creating the mood”.



This is an unending pool of ideas. Go jogging or exercise together. Take a simple walk (like mentioned before). Take a free classes in a park. Take in the landmarks and sights while on a rental bike or scooter. Go dancing – whether other people are dancing or not (maybe others will join in and you’ll have created a great memory for someone else).


There’s usually no fee to play (at least in the ones I’ve went to). You just have to pay for drinks and food – which you can keep to a minimum. If you don’t want to go out, there are plenty of apps or online games that will do the same thing, but it can just be the two of you and far more intimate.



Give back to a community in some way. You’ll still be spending time together, and you’ll also bond by giving each other a hand with whatever task is set before you. It can be building houses for the poor or homeless, cleaning beaches or parks, helping out at animal shelters.



Yeah, you could go out to a cinema – there are weekly cheap nights or end of month deals. Or, you could binge a new show together and slightly splurge at the supermarket with all the snacks you want to consume. You could also have a game attached – like every time they say “winter” in Game of Thrones you take a drink (or a sip, or just soda, you don’t want to go to the hospital with alcohol poisoning).



These are no brainers and they’re always fun. Gather your towels, umbrella, sexy bathing suits and whatever other doodads you want to bring along to have fun with. Heck, try to make one of those enormous sand castles or have a sand sculpture building contest between the two of you – you could even go as far as asking other beach-goers to be judges.


Not trivia, like I mentioned before. But something else you both love. Anything will do – Cards Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens, Zombie Apocalypse games, those old VHS interactive games. Have your favorite snacks and drinks … and don’t forget to turn off your phones.


Screw Thanksgiving. I saw this suggestion by another writer and love the idea so much I wanted to pass it along. Give it a name, decide what food you eat during it, figure out what decorations are appropriate, etc. Spend one day brainstorming, one day shopping and prepping, and a third actually celebrating it!



These can be ANYTHING you want. There are Geocaches (hidden boxes around the world with co-ordinates (you find them, look at the contents, and then leave a trinket or note to go with what others have left to discover and enjoy. You can also make your own – photography hunts, dollar store hunts, food samples, billboards, certain cars, various kinds of people (e.g. foreign exchange student) etc.



Sit down and have a nice, long conversation about … anything. It can be about future dreams, plans on closing the distance, plans of what you’ll do when you get home, or brainstorming about how to keep your LDR interactions fun yet meaningful. Also, this doesn’t have to be done in a serious tone. Do it while eating ice cream and naming the ducks while giving them backstories.


Yeah, yeah strip poker. But what about chess, Trivial Pursuit, or the plethora of other games you can incorporate getting naked (even some truth or dares mixed in).



I currently live in Spain and Madrid has many free walking tours of downtown – you can pay nothing or (if you want to be nice) give them a tip. There are also museum or gallery tours that are often included with your tour’s ticket price (just make sure to do your research ahead of time). You can also try a bike or scooter tour to landmarks, outdoor markets, famous/old shops or cafes, whatever strikes your fancy. It can be as serious or as playful as you want.


Have any other cheap date ideas you want to share? Leave a comment below!

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