How to Honeymoon on a Budget

A glass piggy bank with a palm trees inside.

Let’s be honest: weddings are expensive before you factor in the honeymoon. After you’ve paid for the wedding of your dreams, there may not be much left in the bank for celebrating with your spouse. Is it possible to celebrate your first days as a newlywed couple without coming home to a mountain of debt? Yes! With these simple suggestions, you and your husband or wife can have a cost-friendly honeymoon.

Make a Priority List

When you search for honeymoon destinations, it’s easy to get swept away. Those views! That amazing food! That gorgeous pool! But if you want to stay within your budget, you have to be realistic. Sit down with your spouse and figure out what matters most. Do you two want a warm climate? Fine dining? Plenty of activities? Once this is figured out, it’s easier to pare down your choices.

Pick a Low-Cost Locale

The easiest way to save money on your honeymoon is to choose a cheap(er) destination. Plan your visit for the off-season, take your honeymoon closer to home, or pick a place with a weaker currency than your own. All of these are perfectly viable options—some of them may even be preferable (visiting Caribbean islands in the fall or winter gives you the same tropical climate, cheaper prices, and fewer people)!

Try Other Airports

A young man and woman with suitcases walking through an airport holding hands.

Let’s say you want to visit New York City for your honeymoon. You’re planning to fly from your hometown to John F. Kennedy airport—but did you know you could save a lot of money by flying into Long Island MacArthur Airport instead? When you start looking into airfare, see if there are cheaper options at nearby airports. Just double-check that the taxi or Uber to your hotel doesn’t eat up those savings!

Sleep on the Cheap

How much time do you actually plan to spend in bed on your honeymoon? Wait…don’t answer that! But realistically, you and your new spouse will probably spend a lot of time relaxing at the pool or exploring your destination. You can save tons of cash by opting for a cheaper hotel room. This is particularly true if you’re staying in a swanky hotel because rooms will be marked down simply because of a subpar view!

Book in Advance

Most of us know that booking our flights super early results in lower prices, but just how far ahead should you book? According to a recent study from CheapAir.com, the best time to book a flight is four to six months before you take off (though this varies from place to place). On the other hand, cruise ships sometimes offer savings up to 55% off if you book 10-14 months in advance!

Go All-Inclusive

A couple in a pool at a tropical location on their budget honeymoon.

During your honeymoon research, you’ve probably come across the phrase “all-inclusive.” This refers to a resort that covers everything (your hotel room, meals, drinks, entertainment, and even tips) for one flat fee. If you’re looking for a way to relax, enjoy delicious meals, and try resort-curated activities, this option will get you the most for your money. Just make sure you’ve read the terms of your package—you won’t want to get a surprise bill at the end your honeymoon!

Do Your Homework

When you’re trying to save money, every penny counts. This is exactly why you should take the time to understand everything you’re booking for this trip. Compare rates before you buy anything so you know you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Read your rental agreements and see if there are places you can save—sometimes, skipping optional perks like airport shuttles can save you quite a bit.

Cook Your Own Meals

A young couple cooking dinner together in a kitchen.

Not everyone wants the carefully-curated vacation experience that an all-inclusive resort can offer. But if you’re flying solo, you may discover that dining out every night is a real strain on your wallet. You can avoid this by booking a condo (if it’s within your budget) or a room with cooking facilities (Airbnb makes this easier) and cooking your own meals. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll save with this trick!

Let ‘Em Know You’re in Love

A pair of champagne flutes with the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

When you’re booking your hotel or making a dinner reservation (assuming you’re not making it online), let the person know it’s for your honeymoon. Most folks love people in love—and if you’re lucky, you just might end up with an upgraded room, a table with the prime view, or a free bottle of champagne. Of course, this tip is hardly a guarantee, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try!

By taking a little extra time to prioritize, plan carefully, and read the fine print, you’ll have the freedom to relax and enjoy your honeymoon without stressing over how much it costs. After all, this is your time to celebrate being a newly married couple! Try to leave all that “real world” stuff behind and just enjoy each other.

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