You might be too busy planning a wedding to remember that after you say “I do,” you get a nice vacation.
A honeymoon is the vacation you take as a newly married couple to relax and celebrate your union. But honeymoons can be expensive. Couples spend an average of $5,000 for a post-wedding week, according to travel website honeymoons.com.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a great time. You can have a wonderful trip without breaking the bank. Here are seven ways to spend less and get more out of your honeymoon.
1. Try crowdfunding
When you’re thinking about what you want to do for your first trip as a married couple, consider enlisting the help of other people. If you don’t need a wedding registry full of things, ask people to contribute to a honeymoon fund instead.
There are a few sites, such as Honeyfund and Wanderable, that can help you plan a big honeymoon trip by crowdfunding. You also can look into YouCaring, which doesn’t charge platform fees like some other crowdfunding sites do. You can go on your dream honeymoon without having to pay for it all by yourself.
2. Stay stateside
Traveling the world is an amazing experience, but overseas flights and cruises can be costly. Sometimes, it’s better to stay closer to home.
Explore your own state or one you haven’t visited yet. If you’re landlocked, head to the coast. If you’re on the coast, explore the Midwest or South. There are plenty of luxurious honeymoons you can plan for cheap in the U.S. Visit state parks, theme parks, or even ballparks. Be versatile and open to new things — having fun on your honeymoon doesn’t mean you have to leave the country.
3. Skip the hotel
Hotels are nice and comfortable but can be pricey. Look for alternative lodging accommodations through sites such as Airbnb, VRBO, or HomeAway. You can book a house on the beach or a cabin in the woods.
Regardless of where you want to go, you have the opportunity to find lodging that’s cozier and comfier than hotels. Many people rent out homes that have full kitchens, washers, and dryers. You can save money on dining out if you make some meals yourself. Plus, if you can do some laundry on your trip, you won’t have to check a bag and pay baggage fees if you fly on an airline that charges such fees.
4. Use discounted gift cards
Online marketplaces such as Raise and Cardpool offer marked-down gift cards on airfare, lodging, dining, events, and more. You also can get gift cards for apparel stores or other shops, so if you need attire for your trip, you can stock up at a discount. These sites allow you buy a gift card at a discount, but you get its full value.
5. Travel during the off-season
Summer is a busy time for travel. Many families take holiday trips, and the warm weather gives everyone an excuse to be out and about. If your honeymoon is between Memorial Day and Labor Day, be prepared for more expensive fares. But if you travel during the off-season, you have the chance to get better deals on everything from airfare to lodging.
Aside from school breaks, spring and fall are busy times for families to be home, so those periods can be prime traveling times for you. Alternative travel could save you a bundle, especially if you’re vacationing overseas. Try to have an open mind about when you want to go on your honeymoon — maybe you can get married and have your big trip a few months later.
It’s important to keep in mind weather conditions no matter where you go. For example, if you’re heading to Florida or the Caribbean in September, be cautious of potential hurricanes during your trip.
6. Go on a ‘buddymoon’
Do you love your friends enough to take them on your honeymoon with you? Going on a “buddymoon” — or a honeymoon with your friends — might be a worthy investment. You might be able to save on lodging if you all chip in for a big house or a hotel room block. Large groups can get discounts on events and trips. So, if you like your friends enough to let them tag along, a buddymoon might be right for you.
7. Trim your wedding costs
If you’re in the beginning stages of your wedding planning and have the time to plan out a mega-honeymoon, there’s a chance you’ll need to cut expenses elsewhere, perhaps for the big day.
If you’d rather put more money toward your honeymoon instead of your wedding day, you can invest in the trip you want, not just the one you can afford. Consider the following options: a smaller venue with a pared-down guest list, a brunch instead of a dinner, or a DJ (or even a playlist) instead of a band. You might want to consider getting married on a weekday, when venues tend to be less expensive.
Honeymoons don’t have to be costly
As you figure out where you’ll go after you say “I do,” don’t let the cost of your honeymoon pull you down. You can have an unforgettable time while sticking to a budget. As long as you plan well beforehand, your dream trip can come true.
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