After being in a long distance relationship for a few years, my fiance and I noticed another problem looming over our heads.
It was the cost of a long distance relationship.
Let’s face the facts here, LDRs aren’t cheap, you have to account for the cost of travel, sending gifts to each other.
Not to mention the experiences you want to have with each other when you have a meet-up or are able to finally close the distance.
Since Tuomas and I have finally closed the distance, we have found ourselves to be more conscious of our spending.
Especially since I was the one who moved to Finland.
Meet-Ups can sometimes feel like vacation mode for couples. For some people that can mean going out a few nights of the week or traveling to a new place together.
While we really want to do those things and take awesome pictures to post to our Instagram; the reality is we have to be mindful of our spending.
So whether you are a couple about to have a meet-up or if you are about to close the distance, you will appreciate these frugal date ideas.
Play Video Games Together
Since Tuomas and I met each other online playing Pokemon, it’s only fitting that we continue to play video games with each other during our past meet-ups and even now that we’ve closed the distance.
Most of the games we own are RPG games so that means we take turns playing, our general rule is 3 quests or 1 death and you have to hand the controller over.
It’s moments like these that we often take for granted 🥰
Playing a video game with your partner also helps y’all to discover each other’s playing style.
Your partner could be surprisingly good at the parts you have a hard time with and vice versa.
If you hate video games, maybe try to find a game together that you would want to try. Trust me if your partner is a gamer they would love for you to find a game that you want to play.
Go to a Museum With Each Other
Honestly, Tuomas and I are huge nerds. We both love history and love learning new things about the area we live in.
During Meet-Ups we would always go to a local museum. This is a great frugal date idea because most museums are free or cost has very little cost.
I would get so annoyed because Tuomas had a student ID and would get in for free, while I had to pay 😂
Museums are also a great date idea because they allow you to explore your own interests while also learning about your partners.
You don’t have to worry about not finding anything to talk about, as museums bring up a lot of conversations on personal tastes.
Bake a Dessert Together
One of my friends in the LDR community actually inspired us to do this frugal date idea after we closed the distance. I am so glad she did because it was a lot of fun.
Tuomas and I had never baked together, we have baked each other things but never had we baked together.
Let me just tell you baking together and cooking together are two different things. Especially if you are converting measurements.
Thank broken US system, I mean really why do we even have our own system 🤷♀️
It’s also a lot of fun because you will learn more about the local ingredients in your partner’s country.
Something that could be common in yours might not be in their country.
Watch a Show + Movie You Have Never Seen Before
I think every Meet-Up we had in the US, Tuomas and I binged watch the hell out of some tv shows.
I got him into so many animes 😉
We also did this because when Tuomas came out to the US for a Meet-Up, I was usually working, unlike when I went to visit him in Finland.
So we couldn’t go out and explore the entire time, we had to spend a lot of nights at home chilling together.
Looking back I am so glad we slowed down and spent that kind of time with each other.
Doing this also gives you time to take a step back and find out how living together with your partner would actually look like.
Go for a Walk Together
Since we have closed the distance Tuomas and I go on at least one walk a day together. It’s nice to get out of the apartment.
Which is all of 19 sq meters (200 sq ft) 😅
This is also something really beneficial to do as a couple. It doesn’t matter which one of you are moving, you will both need to learn each other’s areas.
Trust me it will help you out in the long run.
When I moved to Finland I was so thankful that I already had some basic paths mapped out in my head.
It meant that I was able to do things on my own, which gave me a sense of independence.
It will also help you out if an emergency occurs, you’ll know exactly where to go and who you can ask for help.
Play a Board Game
This is another love of ours. Well, actually it is a love that Tuomas’ family shares. I have never been around so many board games in my life.
It was nostalgic like I was a little kid again, just very exciting.
And compared to American Boards games, Finnish Board Games are among the Elite; they are the best Board Games to be created.
If you are in an international long distance relationship, play a board together in your partner’s language.
By playing the board game together you are able to learn more words and have a better understanding of your partner’s language.
If there was one book you had to take with you when you moved to a new country, what would it be?
For me, it was “National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Night Sky” I have had this book forever, it has been with me during so many phases of my life.
Tuomas also loves stargazing and talking about the different constellations, you can learn so much more about each region’s mythology that way too.
Growing up I was taught that when the big dipper is upside down it means you’ll get a lot of rain.
It also gives you time for you and your partner to snuggle up together under a beautiful starry sky. You could also bring some tea or hot cocoa and maybe a little snack too.
Go on a Day Trip
Staying anywhere overnight can be pretty expensive especially if you are planning on going out to eat for every meal.
Yeah, that’s too expensive, let’s just skip that.
Instead, you should plan a day trip. It might mean you and your partner have to wake up early but trust me it’ll save you money.
When you and your partner plan for a day trip try to make sure it’s not more than 3 hours away, remember it’s supposed to be a day trip.
Also, definitely pack a backpack with some waters and snacks for later. You’ll want to grab lunch when traveling, the prices are always cheaper.
And finally, try not to over-plan your day, again it’s supposed to be a day trip, keep yourself limited to what you want to do on that day.
Make Pizza Together
Do you and your partner like different pizza toppings? Or do you want to make your own personal pizza?
Then you should try this frugal date idea.
Have you ever really given yourself full reign to make a pizza however you want to?
Mine would have ricotta cheese, prosciutto, and egg. Whereas, Tuomas likes some combination of everything and tuna.
We would also never eat each other’s pizza. That’s why making your own personal pizza is so much fun.
It’s also pretty hilarious seeing the different creations you and your partner can come up with and try together.
Dinner at a Restaurant You Have Never Been to Before
Because of the global event that shall not be named, Tuomas and I couldn’t visit each other this past spring.
Because of that, we decided to look up different restaurants we would want to go to together when I got here.
It’s such a nice date idea because you both get to discover something new together. You will both get to experience it at the same time. Instead of being told over a call how great this new place was.
Sure getting dinner together is such a cliche but honestly, in a relationship like a long distance one how many of these chances do you really get?
A great frugal way to end the dinner date is by stopping at a convenience store and grabbing some ice cream.
Frugal Dates Are the Best Dates
My favorite dates with Tuomas are the ones where we don’t have to spend a lot of money.
It helps us appreciate the moments we are spending together now as well as helping to prepare for closing the distance by saving money when we can.