Honeymoons are a chance to explore a new or favourite corner of the world with your other half, and not all epic adventures need to be expensive. Whether you want to spend a week in Tahiti or a month backpacking through Europe, you can use thrifty strategies to ensure you get the most out of your honeymoon without busting your budget.
You can make frugal travel choices and still plan the honeymoon of your dreams; all it takes is a little preparation. We have compiled honeymoon tips for newlyweds on a budget to keep your dream vacation from becoming a financial nightmare.
Plan Ahead. This is the most important factor in your honeymoon planning. This will help you not only put yourself in a position to snag early-bird deals on flights or total honeymoon packages, but will also set you up to start saving money for the big trip. If you leave the honeymoon to the last minute your options will be significantly limited due to availability in accommodation and transportation. If you find a last minute deal, be sure to research it fully before you jump into it. There is nothing fun about buying a cheap ticket to the Caribbean only to realize it is hurricane season.
Do your homework. Narrow down where you would like to go and check out different honeymoon packages available. Contact hotels or resorts that interest you to see if they have any newlywed packages; sometimes hotels and resorts have special offers in place that are not advertised. Use free resources already available to you at home. Ask well-traveled friends for suggestions on everything from hotels to must-see places on your trip. Visit your local library and check out books on local cuisine, travel guides, and phrasebooks in different languages.
Use a Travel Agent. If you want a full honeymoon package that includes flights, hotels, transportation, and everything in the middle, you might be better suited to get an agent to take care of the details for you. Provide them with your dream scenario and your budget, and work with them to create your dream trip. You can have a travel agent take care of the flights and hotels, or even register for a guided trip that includes day activities, meals, transportation, and entertainment.
Use your air miles points toward your flights to help keep the cost of travel down. Plan ahead for this by building points with other purchases you’re already planning to make, such as the floral arrangements for your wedding or your weekly groceries. Of course, not every air miles points system allows the flexibility you may need when booking your trip so if it is just going to cover a tiny fraction of your trip and shuts out ideal dates or locations, don’t use this as the only deciding factor in planning your honeymoon.
Plan free activities during your honeymoon. Whether you meander through an Italian village to admire the stonework, people watch in Times Square, head into the hills for a day hike, or explore tide pools, you have just given yourself hours of entertainment without spending a penny. Most hotels will have pamphlets about local activities that you can do during your stay, so snag a few when you check in.
Go when the time is right. Sometimes the best time to visit your dream honeymoon destination is not right after your wedding. Consider waiting for the off-season when flights and hotel prices drop, and as a bonus you will deal with fewer tourists and crowds when you arrive. Be sure to check the weather as well – some honeymoon destinations have drastic seasons so you will want to make sure the weather is suited to your travel plans. If your wedding lands during the rainy season where you want to go, you probably will not want to risk the thunderstorms on your honeymoon. The bonus to waiting a couple extra months is that you have more time to save money for the trip.
Sign up for a honeymoon registry. If you already have all the salt shakers, bread machines, and silver platters that your heart desires, you may want to funnel your loved ones’ money toward your travels rather than unneeded household items. This way you end up with the things you actually want or need, and you will have more money to put toward splurges or bonus adventures on your honeymoon. Hello, five-star dinner or horseback riding in the canyon! Snap a picture of the two of you while you are on the honeymoon and send it in a Thank You card to those who gave you money toward the trip.
DIY meals. Going out to eat at a restaurant three times a day will add up quickly, so prep a sack lunch or a bag of snacks to fuel your day instead. Take advantage of the fully equipped kitchen in your mountain cottage retreat or the mini-fridge at your poolside motel. Take this opportunity to check out local bakeries or markets and put together a tasty meal on the go, or use it as an excuse to spend lunchtime in a park.
Ask the locals. Just like you know where to get the best coffee and pastry in your own neighbourhood, the locals will have the inside scoop on everything from fabulous sight-seeing to cheap eats. This is a great way to get a real life reviews about popular places around town rather than having to rely solely on online reviews. You probably don’t always eat out at a five-star restaurant, so you can expect some reasonably priced recommendations as well. Along these lines, local people will know which spots are tourist traps and which ones are worth the splurge. This helps you stick to your budget and get the most out of the local culture.
Taking the time to prepare for your trip and making these little choices will add up to a big adventure and a small dent in your wallet. With these simple money-saving tips you don’t have to drain your savings when you jet off on your honeymoon.
Did you plan a honeymoon on a budget? We would love to hear how you did it!