Booking a honeymoon is one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process—but after a costly wedding, couples sometimes feel they don’t have enough money left over for their dream destination. You might know that booking early and checking travel sites often can land you a great deal, but here are 10 other lesser known money-saving tips you must try to score your ideal vacation for less.
10 Honeymoon Ideas On a Budget
1. Choose an off-season location
For many prime vacation locations, October through December are considered off-season. Booking your honeymoon during this time can save you up to 50% in costs, and you won’t have to battle the crowds. If you are getting married in the spring or summer, consider postponing your trip to the off-season travel months. This will allow you to have time after the wedding to recuperate and settle into your new married life.
2. Use flight layovers to visit more areas for less
See more countries for less money by strategically booking flights with longer layovers. Travel-aggregation sites such as Skyscanner and Flyhacks can help you find affordable flights with the longest layovers. For example, for less than $400, you can get a one-way ticket from New York City to Rome with a 23-hour layover in Portugal. Additionally, some airlines such as KLM, Etihad, and Hawaiian Airlines also offer free stopovers in their hometowns (with some conditions). Do some online digging to find the most advantageous layovers at the best price.
3. Save up for travel using a gift registry
Honeymoon registries, such as Honeyfund, The Knot, and Traveler’s Joy, are a fun and personable way for guests to give the new couple cash. Create a honeymoon registry with a wish list of activities you want to do. Include both affordable and expensive items on your list; for example, if you plan on going to Italy for your honeymoon, you can create a listing for a tour of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or a fancy dinner in Rome. Family members and friends will feel like they are gifting you something special, and you will get the cash you need for your trip. Make note that these sites might have fees and take a few weeks to deposit funds into your shared bank account.
4. Choose destinations with a favorable exchange rate
Make your vacation dollars go further in a country where the currency exchange rate is in your favor. Countries such as Argentina, Turkey, and Mexico currently allow you to get upwards of 20% more value for your U.S. dollar, making them affordable honeymoon destinations. Pair the strong U.S. dollar with an all-inclusive resort for the most affordable honeymoon package.
5. Choose an all-inclusive trip
Cruises and all-inclusive resorts are wonderful for budget-minded honeymooners, since the price tag includes all of your meals, room fare, and sometimes even the taxes and fees. Some resorts even include alcoholic beverages as part of the all-inclusive deal. Eating in restaurants for three meals a day can add up quickly, especially in a costlier spot such as Hawaii or Europe. Choosing an all-inclusive trip means you don’t have to worry if you are overspending on food or where you should eat next.
6. Check out Costco’s deals
Costco may be the home of bulk groceries and affordable rotisserie chickens—but it can also be the key to booking affordable honeymoon packages. The biggest savings can be found in its Hawaii packages and theme-park packages, such as Disney World. If you already have a Costco membership, then purchasing a rental car or vacation package through their travel portal might save you more than a competitor vacation-booking site.
7. Ask to borrow timeshares/rentals
Talk with family members and friends to see if any have a timeshare or vacation property they will allow you to use either for free or at a cheaper price. It’s important to note, however, that timeshare rules vary. For example, some timeshares only allow owners a fixed time at a specific location, while others allow users to redeem points for a stay whenever they want at other resorts within the company’s plan. This means you might have to be flexible on your travel plans.
8. Look into Airbnb
Airbnb has more than just rooms and condos for rent. The company has expanded its profile to include a product it calls Experiences, which travelers can use to hire locals to take them out on adventures, such as sailing with a seasoned pro or taking a cooking class. Look for Airbnb listings that include an accessible kitchen to save on eating-out costs. Airbnb rentals also often include free parking and WiFi, which could save you even more cash when compared to a hotel.
9. Don’t overlook a travel agent
We often assume using a travel agent is expensive, but a good one can actually save you money, time, and stress because they usually have access to offers and pricing not always available through direct-to-consumer sites. Let a travel agent know your travel plans, desired activity list, and budget, and they will work hard to put a package together for you. Need help finding a travel agent in your area? TravelSense.org allows you to sort agents by travel destination and specialty, i.e., budget travel.
10. Make a Staycation Into an Adventure
You don’t need to book an exotic vacation to have a memorable honeymoon. Consider fun cities that are two-to-five hours’ driving distance from your home as affordable honeymoon destinations. Choosing a locale closer to home can save you a considerable amount of money on airfare, hotels, and rental cars. Research fun hidden gems to visit and try exotic restaurants to make the most of your experience.
When it comes down to it, you and your future spouse are going to remember the amazing trip you took together over the flower details or table cloth fabric used at your wedding. Don’t pay more for minute details at your wedding when you can funnel those funds into your dream honeymoon.