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Time with bae is priceless. Photo: Unsplash/Joanna Nix-Walkup

$0 Valentine’s Day Paktor Ideas For Cheap Romantics

Cue the red roses, boxes of chocolates, and the sight of couples at every nook and cranny – 14 February is right around the corner.

Unless you’re looking to impress a Tinder date to “seal the deal” this Valentine’s Day, it’s perfectly normal for couples to want to avoid splurging unnecessarily. As someone who was once a student in a committed relationship, I understand too well the pinch of blowing a hundy or two in one night.

Now, as an adult saving up to pay for BTO loans – read our guide to HDB’s flat portal – it’s even more important to keep the spending on the minimum.

The great Paul McCartney of The Beatles once wrote, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, and the saying can’t be more true. It isn’t about the money you spend, but about the memories you create.

And so, here are some Valentine’s date ideas that only require you to spend time. And maybe some transport money. Aiyah don’t be so cheap lah.


Netflix (or alternative sources) and chill

Yeah, yeah, I know Netflix isn’t free. A prerequisite for a date like this would be a working Netflix account, but you could also find alternative sources to stream movies. Or better yet, round up some old DVDs and an old DVD player, and watch some old gems from your childhood.

Staying home while restaurants are packed could be a blessing in disguise, especially with the pandemic still around. Do some home cooking to top off a cheap but romantic stay-home date with your significant other.

Pro Tip: It’s all about the setting and atmosphere. Close the curtains, light up some candles, y’know, that sort of thing.


Soak up the sun, sand, and sea

There are several beaches in Singapore and all of them are free. Spend the day just laying on the beach getting your tan on or having a relaxing swim with your loved one.

For some cheap dining options, prepare some homemade sandwiches at home and pack them along for your beach adventure. Other logistical items you may need are a picnic mat, sunblock, mosquito repellent, and, of course, your bathing suits.

Pro Tip: In Singapore, I would only ever swim at a beach in Sentosa. Those beaches seem to be somewhat filtered. I’ve seen stingrays and jellyfish washed up on the shores of Pasir Ris Beach. Probably not a good idea to swim there.


Take a hike or ride a bike

Not only is this free, it’s also good for your health. If you and your significant other are up for the challenge, take on the climb at the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, or test your fear of heights at the Macritchie Tree Top Walk. Scared ah? Here are 5 things to do other than the TreeTop Walk.

Otherwise, you can also take a more leisurely bike ride (bike rental not included) across the various parks in Singapore (here are 5 other parks in the East to visit besides East Coast Park). Use the park connector network to ride from park to park and enjoy the view and fresh air while working out those legs and glutes.

Want something less strenuous and just wanna jalan jalan with bae? Check out these walking trailsmakan stops included!

Pro Tip: Bring some drinks so you can have something to celebrate with once you’ve reached the summit or your destination (not included in the $0).


Hit up a free museum

There are many museums in Singapore that have free exhibitions. The National Gallery, National Museum of Singapore, and Singapore Art Museum are just three museums that offer free entry for Singapore citizens and PRs, so you could find yourself immersed in history and art with your partner on Valentine’s Day.

Since we’re sticking to the $0 rule, you could spend your afternoon museum-hopping as they’re all relatively close to one another. Food in the area isn’t exactly cheap, so you probably know the drill by now: prepare some homemade snacks for your date if you guys get hungry. Just make sure you don’t get stuck in the museum overnight.

Pro Tip: Put on your walking shoes. It’s not hiking or biking, but man, these museum walks can take a toll on your feet – be soulmates, not sore sole-dates. And since walking is free, be sure to check out two walking series of ours: Let’s Go Jalan Jalan and 10,000 Steps With Tosh.


Pretend to be tourists

It’s unlikely that anyone will actually think that you are tourists given the current climate, but it’s fun to be in your own world and explore our own backyard.

Grab an MRT map, remove all the lines except for the downtown line (the hipster line), and blindly pick a random MRT station. With your cameras in hand, head on out and explore the town, snapping Instagram-worthy photos at every available opportunity. Check out an area you’ve not previously explored, you’ll be surprised at some of the things you might find.

Here are some ways to be a local tourist and explore our many fascinating neighbourhoods.

Pro Tip: Have a friendly competition. Post your pictures on Instagram at the end of the date, the one with the most likes is the winner – and buys the other a meal (our Valentine's Day suggestions)! Sucks if your S/O is an influencer.

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