honeymoon on a budget | Couple Wealth
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The honeymoon is one of the best times of a new couple’s early life together. It is a time to get away from everyone else and just enjoy each others company without distraction.

The cost of a honeymoon can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. This type of expense can put a serious dent in your finances, especially while planning a wedding, buying an engagement ring, and getting your life set up together.

Instead of worrying about the expense, here are some ways to have an awesome honeymoon on a budget.

1. Determine How Much You Can Spend

When you are planning your wedding and honeymoon, you’ll want to determine how much you are willing spend on each. With weddings costing $30,000 or more, there often isn’t much extra money left over for a honeymoon.

Even if you have a tight budget, try to set aside some money specifically for a honeymoon for just the two of you. You will always look back on that time together and remember the memories you made.

If you are planning your honeymoon that is a year out, think about how much you can save each month to put towards it. Add that amount to anything you have already saved to come up with your honeymoon budget. Use that budgetary number as your target for honeymoon planning.

2. Honeymoon Registry

When you create your wedding registry, you can often add an option to donate towards your honeymoon. Your guests can then give money to you that can be used towards your honeymoon.

Another alternative is to list experiences on your honeymoon registry that your guests can buy for you. This makes it a little more personal to gift a snorkeling session instead of just $100. To do this, you’ll want to make a list of what you want to do on your honeymoon and determine their costs.

Since not everything on a wedding registry is purchased by guests, you shouldn’t include these gifts in your honeymoon budget. Be prepared to cover the basic expenses of your honeymoon yourself and view any gifts as extras. This can help to cover excursions or a nice dinner out to make your honeymoon even more special.

3. Pick Your Honeymoon Priorities

You should figure out what you want to do for a honeymoon and what would make you both happy. These should be the priorities that you definitely want to include.

Do you want to go to the beach or a mountain getaway? Be outside or explore a city? Any specific activities you want to do, like parasailing, hiking, or bar hopping? By getting a sense of what your perfect honeymoon looks like, you’ll be able to start to design one that fits your budget.

4. Stay Local

When a tropical location is too expensive for your budget, consider staying local. There are probably a ton of things to do within driving distance of your home that you haven’t done before. By avoiding airfare, you can easily save $300 to $1,000, depending on where you want to go.

No matter where you live, there is likely somewhere new to explore within a few hours drive of you. Look for local attractions, hidden getaways, and resorts that might fit your criteria within a 3 to 6 hour drive.

To save even more money, you could do a stay-cation honeymoon. Consider staying home or at a local rental and just focusing on the two of you. Splurge on good meals, games, and having fun as a couple. Staying local can avoid many of the travel costs and keep your honeymoon affordable.

5. Go During Off-Peak Times

For most travel destinations, there is a clear in-season that is more expensive. Beach vacation spots will charge more money from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The summer and holidays are usually the most expensive times to go to Disney. Even for smaller getaways, hotels and rentals are more expensive on the weekends.

To save money on your honeymoon, try to schedule it for a time what is less expensive. If you were only planning on going for 3 or 4 days, think about going from Monday to Thursday. If your schedule is flexible enough to go during the off-season, there is the potential to save considerable money.

6. Plan Early

Traveling will always cost more money the later you book your trip. Airfare, hotels, cruises, and entertainment costs go up if you try to book right before you leave. As you start to plan your wedding and honeymoon, don’t procrastinate in booking the main costs of your trip.

It is likely that you are planning a wedding that is 12 months or more out. As you figure out those plans, start thinking about your honeymoon right away to get a sense of when and where you want to go. By booking a year or so out, you’ll be able to lock in the best deals and pick the best options.

7. Use Different Forms of Transportation

Driving is the obvious choice for avoiding more expensive flying. However, see if there are trains or buses that can be a cheaper alternative to get you where you want to go. If you want to go on a cruise, see if there is one that leaves from a port within driving distance. Avoiding a flight to get to your cruise can save a significant amount of money.

If you need to fly, look for alternative ways to save money on your flight. Certain airlines are known to have cheaper flights, especially if you don’t check your baggage or book one-way tickets. Instead of leaving from the large international airport near you, you might find cheaper airfare from a different airport.

8. Use Frequent Flier Miles or Cashback Rewards

Buying things on your credit card can really add up in the form of cash back or airline miles. When you book your trip, be sure to use those miles to help reduce the cost of your airfare. In my case, I get cash back from my credit card purchases, so that can be a nice bonus to help pay for a honeymoon.

9. Go All-Inclusive

I’m not going to lie, there is something about all-inclusive vacations that I love. It may seem like a lot upfront, but all-inclusive means that your costs are capped and known before you get there. No hidden expenses for meals, tip, taxes, and other fees, as long as you read the fine print. In many cases, you can find great deals on all-inclusive getaways that are less expensive than paying separately.

10. Cook for Yourself

If you don’t go the all-inclusive route, there are other ways to save money on your food. Part of the excitement of a honeymoon is enjoying good food prepared by other people. Take advantage of eating out at a few restaurants or getting take out to make your time special.

However, think about eating one or two meals a day in that you have prepared. Making your own breakfast and lunch can be an easy way to save money so that you don’t have to pay for every meal. Buying food at a grocery store and preparing it yourself for even a few meals can really add up.

When you are booking your lodging, take your food into account. A hotel room may be a little cheaper upfront, but generally doesn’t have a kitchen to be able to cook food. To be able to cook dinners, you may want to go with a rental that has a kitchen. Otherwise, you may be able to get away with a microwave and mini fridge.

11. Search for the Best Deals

Saving money on your honeymoon starts with finding the best deals for your trip. A travel agent may be able to help find savings, but there are also many travel websites that can do the same. Spend some time looking for what you would like to do and comparing prices. You can also track prices over time to see if there is an optimal time to purchase.

Websites like TravelZoo, Kayak, and Hotwire are all great places to start comparing prices. Look to see if there are packages that are more economical than buying separately. Do your homework to find a better deal than just buying the first hotel and airfare that you see.

12. Don’t Be Too Selective

When you’re trying to have an awesome honeymoon but save money at the same time, you will need to make some compromises. An option could be to choose the best hotel you can afford but then buy a less expensive room package. Or, go for a less expensive hotel but upgrade to a premium room.

This is the same idea for airfare and cruises. You probably won’t be able to afford first class seating or a room with a balcony. That’s ok since you will still have a great honeymoon, even with slightly less expensive options.

13. Tell People You are Honeymooning

This one might feel a little weird, but it is ok to brag a bit and tell people that you are on your honeymoon. When you book your hotel room and check in, tell them what the special occasion is. Sometimes, they will be nice and upgrade your room for free or give you a welcome package. You can also try this on your plane flights or when out on excursions to see if you can get anything free. While it won’t work every time, it is worth the try to share your happy news.

It is possible to save money on your honeymoon while still having a great time. It takes some extra planning and effort but will help to keep you on budget.

Congratulations on your wedding and have a great time on your honeymoon!

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