People hear ‘honeymoon’ and think of 5-star hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and big expenses. It sounds amazing until we realize we have to pay for it ourselves. What happens if you don’t have that kind of money? Do you spend the money you were saving for someday buying a house or do you give up honeymoon?
Maybe there is a third option… Maybe you can have an unforgettable honeymoon without spending tons of money! It may be less comfortable, but since life usually begins at the end of your comfort zone, a budget/adventurous honeymoon could end up being even more awesome than 14 days of lying around in the sun, sipping cocktails. 🙂
Here are some tips on how to save money on your honeymoon. 😉
1. Plan your honeymoon in advance and be flexible with your travel plans
First-minute deals are usually pretty cheap. The best deals are often sold out quite early, so it’s better to make sure not to miss them. Planning in advance also gives you the time to study carefully which destinations, hotels, and airlines are the most affordable.
Last minute deals, on the other hand, can also be very inexpensive. Your flight, accommodation and other options, however, may be limited if you choose to book last minute.
Fly indirect, book off-hours flights, and make sure to check travel deal websites regularly and wait for a special offer.
2. Choose your destination wisely
Choose a good value destination. Some destinations are simply cheaper than others. You could save money on food, accommodation, transportation, and activities. Also, make sure to pick a country with a favorable exchange rate.
If you stay close to home, you will save a lot of money on transportation. You can even play a tourist in your own city, take some time to check out all the cool things it has to offer and skip all the preparation, accommodation, and transportation expenses. 🙂
3. Set up a honeymoon registry
If you prefer experiences over ‘things’, you could start a honeymoon registry and let guests pay for part of your honeymoon, instead of buying traditional gifts.
4. Set your priorities
You and your partner may prefer a fancy hotel room where you can relax over exciting activities or the other way around. If you don’t have enough money to have it all, discuss your priorities and try to find the best option.
5. Travel in low or shoulder season
Low season doesn’t necessarily mean bad weather, but it most likely does mean much more affordable hotel rates and airfares. As long as the weather isn’t too shabby, traveling off-season is your best option.
6. Join and use loyalty programs
Use discount cards, a travel rewards credit card, get a national park pass and a city tourist card, which allows you to see many attractions for a low price and finally, cash in your miles and hotel points.
7. Think outside the box
Budgeting is the easiest in all-inclusive resorts and cruise ships. If you’re not lucky enough to score a great all-inclusive deal, you can always consider couch surfing, staying in an Airbnb, a hostel, or camping. A road trip can also be a great way to save some money.
8. Talk to the locals
Locals can point you to hidden gems. With some insider info, you will be able to find cheap restaurants, attractions, and activities that are even more amazing than the highly publicized ones.
9. Eat like a local
Local restaurants are way cheaper than tourist restaurants. Besides, the food is often much more authentic and tasty in local restaurants.
If possible, stay in and cook. You could also go to the local grocery store, stock up on sandwich ingredients and have a picnic.
10. Travel like a local
Use local public transportation. It may be less comfortable, but it’s a lot more affordable.
11. Skip overpriced attractions
Some attractions are highly overpriced. Take a walking tour and admire the architecture, instead of visiting a museum. Have a picnic on the beach, instead of booking a sunset cruise. Massage each other, instead of spending money on expensive spa treatments. Not only will you save a lot of money, you could also end up having a lot of fun.
12. Learn how to bargain
Merchants will usually try to charge you the foreigner price, therefore you should learn how to softly negotiate the local price.
13. Set a daily budget
It’s important to set a daily budget and make sure not to exceed it. Make approximate calculations about how much money you’ll need for your trip. The usual expenses include preparation costs (travel documents, visas, required immunizations, health insurance, etc.), traveling arrangements (flight tickets, public transportation, car rentals), accommodation, food, drinks, entry fees and other activities, taxes, tips, and souvenirs.
14. Speak up
When making a reservation, make sure to tell them you’re on your honeymoon. You may get a free champagne bottle, a surprise dinner or even a room/seat upgrade! 🙂
15. Quality over quantity
Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better. Sometimes a midweek getaway can be even more spectacular than a long monotonous vacation. The key is to maximize every minute. 🙂
16. Postpone your trip
If you really can’t afford the honeymoon you have always dreamed of, consider postponing your trip. The beautiful places you would like to visit will be right there waiting for you. 😉