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The big audacious holiday of love is almost here and the world (well, some parts of it) just can’t wait to celebrate. If you ask us, it feels like Valentine’s Day is losing its relevance. More and more people around us (including Max and I) choose to refrain from celebrating the holiday, yet the statistics are still astounding.

According to the survey results published in Forbes.com earlier this week, 54.8% of consumers will mark the holiday in some way in 2016, spending an average of $147 on gifts for their friends, family and romantic partners. And what’s even more surprising is that amount is most commonly spent on candy, flowers, jewelry, clothing or an expensive meal. We just can’t help but pipe in with our opinion on the subject.

Love heart. Beach Costa Rica

In short, our advice is, don’t do it! There are so many amazing things you can do in the world with your significant other for $300 that will beat that restaurant meal, that bouquet of flowers, and that new watch in a second. Today, we wanted to share just a few of our favourites!

P.S. They are all activities you can do on your next holiday together!

Take a Cooking Class in Thailand

Plan a trip to Thailand and sign up for a full day cooking class in one of Thailand’s many cooking schools. Learn your favourite Thai dish recipes and bring the flavours of your Thai holiday back into your kitchen when you return. You can spend next Valentine’s Day enjoying a home-cooked Thai meal with your significant other.

Inside the Thai Farm Cooking School, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Inside the Thai Farm Cooking School, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cost: $36/person at the Thai Farm Cooking School in Chiang Mai

Take Surfing Lessons in Australia

Australia is an awesome place to give surfing a try and doing it with your partner means double the fun. Sydney’s Bondi Beach and Byron Bay’s Main Beach are the ideal spots to ride your first wave, but if you are looking for an all-immersive experience, check out Spot X Surf Camp located just north of Coffs Harbour.

Catching a wave at Spot X Surf Camp, NSW. Australia

Catching a wave at Spot X Surf Camp, NSW. Australia

Cost: 2-Day Surf and Stay Packages start at $265/person

Go Island Hopping in Palawan, Philippines

Just you, your loved one, a private boat (ignore the boat driver), crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. Base yourselves in El Nido and enjoy hundreds of islands ready to be explored right at your doorstep.

Island hopping in Palawan, Philippines

Island hopping in Palawan, Philippines

Cost: $125 + for an all day island hopping tour with private boat rental

Dive in Indonesia

Discover a whole new world together by diving in one of the most beautiful places in the world – the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. Choose to escape real life for a 4-day liveaboard or go on 3 dives in 1 day.

Max & Oksana diving in Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia

Underwater in Komodo National Park, Flores, Indonesia

Cost: Starting at $110 with our friends at UberScuba Komodo.

Relax and Disconnect at an Off the Grid Resort in Malaysia

Turn off your phone, put away your laptop and sink into a hammock on the beach at the Manana Borneo Resort in Sabah, Malaysia and enjoy the surroundings with your special someone.

Hammock overlooking the beach in Mañana Borneo Resort. Sabah. Malaysia

Hammock overlooking the beach in Mañana Borneo Resort. Sabah. Malaysia

Cost: Villas at the resort start at just $45/night

Go Zip-Lining in Costa Rica

Don’t just sign up for any average canopy tour. If you are going to go zip lining, you’ve got to do it right! Experience the thrill of the longest zip line in Latin America while flying through 1590mt zipline in Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Zip lining in Costa Rica

Zip lining in Costa Rica

Cost: Just $50/person with Aventura Canopy Tour

Go White Water Rafting in Austria

Tyrol, Austria is considered to be one of the best places for white water rafting in all of Europe. So grab your loved one and sign up for what’s bound to be a thrilling ride through deep gorges and foaming waves.

Cost: Starting at $50/person with Tirol Rafting

Take a Yoga Vacation in India

Stay at one of the world’s best yoga spots, Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram in Kerala, India. Connect with your loved one on a much deeper level and take this new healthy practice back home with you!

Max and Oksana doing acro yoga on the beach in Costa Rica

Couples that do yoga together, stay together!

Cost: Daily rates for Yoga Vacations start at just $16/night. 2-week stays are recommended.

Go on a Desert Safari in Morocco

Ride your camels into the sunset, enjoy authentic Berber tagine and delicious Berber Whiskey, dance the night away to the tunes of traditional Berber music and fall asleep gazing at the millions of stars just outside your tent.  

Max and Oksana in Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert. Morocco

In Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert. Morocco

Cost: 1N/2D Camel Trekking Tours start at $45/person

Go Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

We’ve enjoyed our fair share of wine tasting tours in Australia, but if traveling to the other side of the world for some good wine doesn’t sound like a feasible option, why not head to the Napa Valley and enjoy a weekend of wine with your loved one.

Cellad Door entrance at Coldstream Hills Winery in Yarra Valley

Tasting room at a winery

Cost: Wine Tasting tours start at $125/person
Inspired yet? We certainly are! So go on, call that fancy restaurant, cancel your dinner reservation, return your chocolates and stuffed bears to Walmart and book you and your special someone a trip to enjoy one of these amazing activities instead!

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10 Alternatives to a Valentine’s Day Celebration

So where will you choose to travel to?