Hooray! You or someone you know is getting married! Once the initial butterflies calm down and you start writing checks you’ll notice two things: (1) weddings can be really expensive and (2) honeymoons can be really expensive. Everyone will tell you it has to cost tens of thousands of dollars but I just don’t agree. Where there’s a will there’s a way to save money on your honeymoon!
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1. Honeymoon in the right season.
There’s always a “right season” when it comes to engagements and weddings. There’s a good time to buy the ring and even a good time book the honeymoon.
Choosing the right season depends on your desired location. For example, hurricane season in the Caribbean runs from June to November and will likely be less busy. We honeymooned there in the middle of July. Thankfully, there were no hurricanes and it was a risk that paid off!
If you’re date is flexible, try to avoid popular travel times for families and couples. Anything on or around spring break, summer months, Thanksgiving, or Christmas will probably be a little more expensive.
2. Location, location, location.
Which one will cost more? A week in Niagara Falls or a week in Paris? Obviously, the trip to France would hurt your wallet a bit more so think twice about your honeymoon destination.
If you’re content to travel domestically you could really save a lot of money! A roundtrip flight ticket to NYC or the Grand Canyon would be a fraction of a ticket to France.
3. Ask for a donation to your Honeymoon Fund.
No really, people actually do this. We were recently invited to a wedding where the bride gave us the option to make monetary donations for their Royal Caribbean cruise. The site showed that other guests had already paid for cruise perks like a couples massage, romantic dinners, and complimentary alcoholic beverages.
If you're not headed for the seas anytime soon just do a quick Google search to find independent honeymoon registries. I've heard that Honeyfund and GoFundMe are good places to start.
4. Cash in all your points.
Use this opportunity to cash in on any airline, hotel, or credit card points you have. I've also heard of people opening a credit card to receive promotional points and then using those to fund a trip. I've never personally done this before but if you play your cards right it may actually work for you.
We used cash back bonus points from our credit card to pay for a few hotel nights and receive a discount on the rate. We also used our debit card rewards to order an entire luggage set for free! It took some planning ahead of time but it definitely paid off and we still use that luggage to this day.
5. Get creative with your transportation.
Be creative with your modes of transportation if you're not crunched for time. Don't pay for cabs if you can use the public bus or subway. Don't fly if it's cheaper to arrive by ship.
For example, take a cab to and from the airport but purchase a bus or subway pass for everything in between.
In our case, the cost of two roundtrip flight tickets to the Caribbean was the same as a 7 day cruise. And a cruise comes with the accommodations and food! We cared more about the location and less about the way we travelled so a'sailing away we did.
6. Compare all flight and hotel options.
Never purchase without comparing prices from other sources. I live by this rule regardless of whether I'm shopping for a honeymoon or a pair of shoes.
Don’t buy the first ticket with a major airline carrier when a smaller one might have a better price. The cheapest-looking hotel won't necessarily have the best price. Be patient and compare all of your options before you choose.
7. Go grocery shopping.
It’s nice to kick back and relax while you're on vacation. “I want to cook every meal,” said no one ever while on their honeymoon. But eating out three times a day, every day, adds up very quickly!
Try to do cold cuts or fresh fruit and veggies for at least one meal a day. At least you won’t be broke by the time you get back home.
8. Make it short but sweet.
My coworker almost had a heart attack when she realized I didn’t want to come in to work the Monday following my wedding. While I think she lacked the viva la romance attitude I had at the time, she was right in thinking that honeymoons shouldn’t last forever.
Make your honeymoon long enough to catch your breath and enjoy being newly married but short enough so you don't spend all of that wedding cash you just received. We saved money by traveling for most of our time off while spending the last few days in the quiet of our new home together.
Always remember that you should only spend as much as you feel comfortable with on your honeymoon. There's no need to live up to the hype of someone else's $10,000 getaway.
Use some or all of these ideas and you will definitely save money. A pretty view is nice but you've already got the most wonderful thing in the world with you and that's your new spouse!
How do/did you save money on your honeymoon? Where did you go?