I love to travel. Some of my favorite places are oceans and continents away. Unfortunately, visiting them for date night is a little out of the scope of a graduate student budget.

That's why my husband and I have gotten a little creative. We go on "travel date nights" to honor the faraway places and cultures that we love. All we need is a little ambiance created by music and locale, a fun ethnic activity and the right kind of yummy food. Suddenly, we're a long way from home, together, and cracking up at our attempts at foreign accents. If this sounds like fun to you, read on to find out how to create your own travel date.

1. Find a location

One of the most fun things I ever did in college was go exploring in our middle-of-nowhere town, taking pictures next to everything that remotely resembled another place in the world. Dignified columns on a bank became a piece of Greece while cute bistro chairs and an impressive mural transported us straight to Italy. There are bound to be similar places like this around your town. Even if you opt to have your date at home, you can always use a few decorations or props and a little imagination to create the desired ambiance.

2. Choose an activity

This comes most naturally if you have visited your country of choice and have a sense of the culture. If not, a little Google searching goes a long way. Skiing gives you a taste of the Swiss alps while creating origami can satisfy more Oriental interests. Your activity is perfectly flexible depending on the time and resources you have. Remember that, if both spouses are willing, dancing is an excellent way to honor the unique style of almost any culture.

3. Play music to set the mood

Even if you have two left feet, turn on a little music. The ambiance of a band that is true to their roots creates a fun atmosphere that is reminiscent of warm Spanish nights or chilly Irish evenings. With the advent of Pandora and similar online tools, you don't even need to purchase anything. Assuming, of course, you don't mind that the ads are a bit of a mood-killer.

4. Incorporate a meal into the event

Given the wide variety of foods eaten all over the world, dinner is the easiest way to represent the interesting and unique things about your country of choice. However, the food element of your date doesn't have to be an evening meal. You can have huevos rancheros for breakfast if you'd rather be in Mexico. Bread, cheese and fruit make for a satisfying French snack. Gelato or Italian sodas can be found in most grocery stores and gives your date a little Mediterranean flair.

With these four elements, you can go globetrotting with your sweetheart for super cheap! For extra fun, don't just travel with these date elements - time-travel! Swing dancing and milkshakes lend a dance a 50's feel while a barbecue and sidewalk chalk plus not bothering to shower that day creates a prehistoric date to remember.

Whatever you decide, remember that it can easily be adapted to include children if you wanted to offer a little education and fun for the whole family.

So...where are you going to go for date night this week? As for my husband and I, we'll be in Paris. Très magnifique!

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