We are in a cash strapped economy, esp. Jamaica… are we ever not in a cash strapped economy, no matter how every other economy is flourishing, Jamaica seem to be perpetually in trouble!… GEEEEZ!… getting back to my point:)… everything is more expensive, yet our income remain the same,… how wrong is that!?… We have to be smart about what we spend on and how we spend it. We have to focus on the priorities, Light, water and Cable bills, mortgage payments, Credit Card payments etc. leaving little of no allotment for leisure activities, especially the romantic type…
Not to worry… I have cheap solutions for you!
Whenever I would Google “Cheap Date Ideas”, I always get stuff like–go apple picking, or go to a concert… I’m like what the hell!?!, I have to double check to see if I misspelt the word cheap!… there is no way going to a concert is cheap, and apple picking?!, where the hell would I find apples?, any Jamaican know that going apple picking is NO WAY romantic!…so, modified for the Jamaican audience, a list of cheap date ideas,…like, REALLY CHEAP!
Go on a Picnic
I remember when I mentioned the word picnic to my boyfriend; he was like “what”?! “Picnic”?!… Many Jamaican men are NOT the picnic type. They think it’s silly, but it’s really not. It is a cheap way to spend quality time with your significant other. Where would I go on a picnic, one may ask?…there are places all around you, places you may have overlooked:
A Football Field – It may sound silly, but a football field is a huge empty space where you can spread a towel with your basket and just relax. Make sure that you choose a cool, clean corner on the field, where you won’t be bothered. You can take an enormous umbrella with you, this act as a privacy screen and shield from the sun.
Your Font/Backyard – This is the most inexpensive option, as you don’t have to worry about transportation cost (and we all know they are HIGH). Select a cool, clean area of your front/backyard to spread your towel. If your backyard is grass-less, get a flat piece of big-enough board, lay it in a flat area and cover it with a towel, or sheet, you can even take pillows to soften the toughness of the board.
Parks, Gardens & Zoos – For persons living in the corporate areas, big empty spaces are not so available; the answer is parks, gardens & zoos. Emancipation Park, Home Garden & Zoo and Devon House are areas with big open spaces that are cost-free, and entertain picnickers.
Any Open Space–any open space can be transformed into your little nook. Just make sure that you are not trespassing :)… Choose an area you like, that is private, clean and easily accessible. For persons in Manchester, however, we boast one of the oldest golf courses in the Caribbean, the Golf View Golf Course. This course is open to the public; persons can run wild on the luscious manicured lawn. This is the perfect place for a picnic. Simply select a nice cozy corner, pull out your towel and basket, relax and enjoy the cool Mandeville weather. The good thing about it is, you don’t have to worry about people interrupting; the course is well over 2.6 km.
Go to the Movies
Going to the movies is a classic date ritual; it however, is one of the cheapest. Wherever you are, you can go a see a movie, for under $2,000.00. When selecting a movie night, make sure you are cognizant of and take advantage of the specials the movie theater offer, whether it be two for one night, couples night, of freebie Sunday…. If you cannot go to the theater, you can simply bring the theater to you. Simply select a movie you both would enjoy, get some popcorn, curl up in the couch or bed, and have yourselves a quiet, intimate night together.
Go to a Street Dance
If you are the partying kind, a street dance is the cheap alternative to exclusive, expensive parties or clubs. A street dance has a vast variety of people. You can get lost in each other’s eyes and no one will notice or even bother you. At a street dance, you can simply buy one drink for the night; with everything that’s going on, no one will notice that you have been sipping the same drink all night.
Go on a Hike
Many people will frown on this idea, but before you do, let me tell you a little secret about hiking… Hiking is just walking!:)… I always wanted to go hiking, but I cannot seem to find the time or the right place. Hiking can be fun, especially with the ‘mountain-o-sity’ of Jamaica. There are plenty of places to go. Hiking is most times done in groups, but it can be enjoyed in pairs. When going hiking, make sure that you select a safe location; map out the areas you want to go, ensuring that you know exactly how to get back to your starting point; inform at least two people about where you will go… have you seen ‘127 Hours’? I’m just saying! Ensure that you have water, food, and fun! :).
I love learning about my surroundings, my community and my country. I’m one of those truly patriotic Jamaicans. Jamaica is a gold mine for interesting places to see (Just the other day I discovered a museum almost in my backyard). Us having been the destination for slaves and the location for many plantations, the hub for pirates back in the 1800s, being the home of many rebellions such as the Maroon and Slave Rebellions, being the home of Reggae… there are countless places to see. You can learn about your history and the struggles that were overcome to afford us the luxuries we enjoy today.
Explore your surroundings with your special someone. You may be surprised how much you didn’t know about a place you have lived your entire life. It may even help you two to bond even more.
Go to the Beach
Oh the beach, the pleasant sea breeze, the white sand running through your toes, the warm sun, ah… the beach is the perfect place to have a couple’s day out. I LOVE the beach; it frees you; it relaxes you like you have never relaxed before; it is fun and just all around good!… Jamaica is the home of many beaches, some you don’t even need to pay to enter.
When selecting a beach to visit, try one you have never been to before. This way, you and your spouse can explore it together and learn something new. If possible, select a beach that is not so popular, this way, you can get to spend quite time together and not be distracted by the hot footballer who has the ripped abs of Boris Chestnut, or the hot chick with the perfect bikini body of Halle Berry… I know you know what I’m talking about!, as much as you won’t go home with them, or talk to them for that matter, you enjoy and are distracted by other HOT people at the beach!,…:)… so, whichever beach you choose, make sure you have yourself some F.U.N!
Go Camping… In Your Bedroom!
Ok, before you frown, it’s not as silly as it may kinda sound. Here is what you do… get some pillows, select a nice area in your bedroom, or any other room you desire, get some sheets, the nice comfy ones, get some finger food, enclosed candles or lamp, wine, or anything alcoholic. Get a plain sheet and card off the selected area. The sheet should drape and look like a camp tent; put the other comfy sheets inside your make-shift tent, add the pillows, candles/lamp and Voila!, you have yourself a camp!… this is a perfect way to spend the night differently, create some new memories, have some fun and bring out your inner child or tiger… whichever applies ;).
Whichever idea you may choose, make sure that you both are comfortable… Have fun! 🙂