Summer provides dozens of opportunities to spend quality time together as a couple. And it doesn’t take loads of money for summer romance—just creativity and planning. These five ideas for cheap getaways will help you get started.

1. Take short drives.

Long trips can be pricey. But a one- to three-hour drive provides a change of scenery for little cash. Spend the afternoon walking around shops or having lunch in a café with a view. If you can afford it, spend one night in a hotel; or for an inexpensive and fun adventure, camp out. Roasted marshmallows taste awfully sweet when shared with someone you love.

2. Spend a day at the lake together . . . alone.

Families often retreat to favorite summer swimming spots. This year, find a sitter for the kids and plan one day of fun in the sun with your spouse. Pack your favorite goodies in a picnic and bring cut flowers to brighten the atmosphere. Or borrow a friend’s boat. Whatever you plan, take the time to admire and enjoy your spouse. and while soaking up the sun, soak up each other’s affections as well.

3. Transform your home.

If getaways aren’t possible, turn your home into a new world. In the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, George and Mary miss their exotic honeymoon, so Mary transforms their home into a getaway using Hawaiian music and travel posters. In the same way, you can go anywhere without leaving your own backyard (or bedroom). Choose your “destination.” Then brainstorm matching decorations and activities.

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4. Visit a national or state park.

Have you seen all the parks and landmarks in your area? Most people have never explored the area they have lived their whole lives. Take a day to visit some of the local and state parks or museums. Most states have websites providing visitor’s guides and information. It’s a great way to make new memories and enjoy an adventure together.

5. Date regularly.

You can’t always spend several days away, but you can connect for an evening. Trade babysitting nights with a couple from church. Then go out for movies, bowling, miniature golf . . . anything to take your mind off everyday life and help you reconnect. Plan for date night at least once every two weeks, and make it a priority on the calendar.

Regular getaways with your spouse help you remember why you first fell in love, and they give you a chance to make new memories. It’s something that both of you can look forward to, especially on those weeks when life just gets hard. All couples need time to invest in their marriage so it can be the firm foundation for the family that God intended it to be.

Copyright © 2019 by Sabrina McDonald. All rights reserved.