Planning a wedding is a memorable and stressful experience. And for many, a honeymoon is the reward at the end of the tunnel of this stressful experience. Some even look forward to this aspect of wedding planning. However, for couples looking to avoid credit card debt, there may be doubts about having a honeymoon at all.
If you are trying to reduce spending, know that taking a unique honeymoon is still possible. You can avoid financial strain and stress by saving up in advance, using methods such as cutting down on entertainment costs and sticking to a strict budget. With the right planning and research, you can plan a trip that you and your new spouse will remember for the rest of your lives.
Book your trip in advance
One easy way to save money on your honeymoon is to start planning it far in advance. If you wait too long to book your flights, accommodations, car rentals, and activities, the prices may rise due to an increase in demand.
Booking the larger expenses in advance, like the flights and accommodations, allows you to adjust your budget and take your time planning activities. You can focus more on making reservations for different meals, and making a more in-depth itinerary for the trip. If your flight is cheaper than you originally planned for, you might be able to afford to do activities you originally didn’t plan on doing.
Check for package and all-inclusive deals
Many hotels, and some travel websites, sell packages that bundle the price of airfare and accommodations (or other costs like activities and car rentals) into one fee. These packages may come with a large price tag, but overall, they are cheaper than purchasing each part of your trip individually.
Some hotels also offer all-inclusive packages, where the price of your stay includes accommodations, drinks, food, spa treatments, and other activities. If you are looking for a truly all-inclusive experience, you can look into traveling with a cruise line for your honeymoon. This would mean that all of your destinations, activities, food, and drinks would be included in one package.
Travel during the low season
When you travel during the busy season, the destination you pick will be full of other tourists and you may end up wasting precious vacation time waiting in line for attractions and seats at restaurants. The prices of accommodations and flights are always higher during the busy season as well.
If you are flexible about when your trip takes place, you can save money by booking your honeymoon during the low season at your chosen destination. There are some places where this is not a good idea. For example, going to an island in the Atlantic during their rainy season puts you at risk of being caught in a hurricane. However, in many cases, visiting a month or so after a destination’s busy season can help you save a great deal of money.
Use credit card rewards
Having the right credit card and knowing how to use it can help you to make the most of your trip. Some credit cards allow you to rack up airline miles, and taking advantage of those miles can greatly reduce the cost of your airfare. Other credit cards offer free concierge services, meaning you can have some help with booking activities like concerts, spa days, restaurant reservations, and more.
If you are looking to sign up for a new credit card, you can find one with a sign-on bonus, additional points, cash back and miles—that can be put towards your honeymoon fund, and using the credit card wisely can help you build a great credit score.
Utilize wedding gifts and honeymoon funds
Some couples choose to forgo a wedding gift registry in favor of creating a honeymoon fund. Friends and family can contribute to the cost of different activities on your honeymoon, instead of buying you a new toaster that you don’t really need.
You can use these gifts to add to the savings you have already set aside in your honeymoon fund, and it can allow you to splurge more than you planned on different experiences at your chosen destination. As a thank you, you can attach photos from your honeymoon to the thank you cards.
Travel to lesser-known destinations
When planning your honeymoon, spend some time researching lesser-known destinations. These destinations might not be on a “Top 10 Most Romantic Places to Honeymoon” list, but they are beautiful, affordable, and unique.
If you are interested in going to Europe for your honeymoon, avoid cities like Paris, London, and other cities in Western Europe. These famous destinations are beautiful, but they are also highly popular and therefore very expensive.
Instead, look for destinations in Eastern Europe, a region that is filled with the quaint villages you might find in France and the same bustling cities you’d find in Spain, but at a fraction of the cost. Some countries in Eastern Europe to visit for an affordable honeymoon include Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania.
For a more tropical experience, consider options in the Caribbean such as Barbados, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic instead of places like Hawaii. Hawaiian honeymoons are not only highly expensive for tourists, but many locals have been increasingly pleading against tourism, as their local environment and culture have been negatively impacted by negligent tourists.
If you aren’t interested in traveling out of the United States, you can research domestic destinations such as national parks, U.S. territories, and cities—an option that would save you quite a bit of money on airfare.
Come up with a budget and stick to it
Before you start planning your trip and booking your flights and accommodations, you need to create a budget. When making a budget, be honest with yourself and with your partner about how much you are willing and able to comfortably spend on the honeymoon. You don’t need to cause undue financial stress for something that is supposed to be a fun vacation. This means you need to establish how much you are willing to spend on:
- The total cost of the trip
- Rental cars or public transportation
- Alcoholic beverages
- Shopping and souvenirs
Once you have set your limits for each of these categories, you can begin planning and booking your trip. If you spend less than you planned on flights, then you can choose to spend a little extra on your accommodations. If you get a great deal on your rental car, maybe you can use the extra money to treat yourselves to a fancy dinner reservation. You can track your spending using a budgeting app or by making a spreadsheet.
By following a strict budget, researching as much as you can, and making the most of online deals, you can plan a unique honeymoon and kick off your marriage in an amazing way.