5 Luxurious Honeymoons for Under $3,000

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luxurious honeymoons on a budget

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Getting married is romantic, exciting, and fun — but it’s also expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $33,391, according to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study. That’s a lot to shell out, especially if you have student loan debt and other expenses.

Oh, and you can’t forget the honeymoon, right? Well, couples spend an average of $4,466 on that on top of the wedding, according to a 2018 study by TripSavvy. That’s three times the amount of an average vacation. And if you want a luxurious postnuptial getaway, you’re looking at spending nearly $10,000.

But if you don’t want the possibility of years of financial headaches for a week of marital bliss, you should look at some more budget-friendly honeymoon options. Here are five amazing trips all over the world for less than $3,000. And don’t worry, they’re still luxurious and packed full of romance.

1. United States

Total cost: About $2,155

budget honeymoon charleston

Uber-exotic honeymoon locations tend to be uber-expensive. Why venture far away when you have so many incredible options to choose from in the U.S.? Take Charleston, South Carolina, for example.

The historic city oozes romance with cobblestone streets, iconic plantations, and Instagram-worthy sunsets on the harbor. After all, there’s a reason “The Notebook” took place here. But it’s also an affordable honeymoon option.


There are quick and affordable direct flights from major airports starting at about $116 round trip, according to Expedia’s data from April 25, 2018. That’s $232 for two people.


For as low as $229 a night, couples can book a romantic two-story town-house suite at the historical Andrew Pinckney Inn. That’s about $1,375 for six nights, including breakfast, which will reduce your costs.


Speaking of meals, it wouldn’t be a trip to the South without barbecue. Charleston has plenty of delicious and affordable options. No matter what you’re craving, some spots have menus for around $10. You could spend less than $300 for a week’s worth of dining if you go out for meals twice a day.


Travel back to Old Charleston by exploring the gardens of Magnolia Plantation ($20 entry fee) and browse the shops along famed King Street for free. Peruse the stands at Charleston City Market and the grounds of the haunted Battery Carriage House Inn for no cost, or take in a panoramic sunset aboard a Schooner Pride sailboat cruise for $54 a person.

Even if you did all those things, you’re spending just $148. Let’s be generous and add in another four activities for roughly $25 each, and you’re spending about $250 total for a week.

2. Europe

Total cost: About $1,840

budget honeymoon lisbon

Vacations to Europe hit both ends of the budget spectrum, from super expensive to dirt cheap. Yes, you could backpack and stay in hostels to save money. But that’s maybe not exactly what you had in mind for your honeymoon.

So, where’s a good spot to go that’s romantic, beautiful, has lots to do, and won’t break the bank? Lisbon, Portugal. The capital city is filled with pastel-colored buildings, castles, great food, and water views.


Flights from the U.S. to Lisbon between June and September cost an average of about $515 a person round trip.


We tapped the folks at HomeToGo to find out some of the best budget accommodations available. HomeToGo found that you can stay in stunning homes and apartments in the heart of the city starting at $31 a night. Even top-rated accommodations (4.5 stars or higher) started around just $60 a night. A luxury studio apartment near Castelo de Sao Jorge goes for around $73 a night. So, you’re looking at spending between $186 and $438 total for six nights.


According to HomeToGo’s data, a meal at an inexpensive restaurant such as Tasco do Vigario costs about $9.50 per person. Or you can spend $36 for two people for three courses at a midrange restaurant such as Mercearia do Seculo. If you had one inexpensive meal and one midrange meal a day, you’re still only spending about $330 for six nights.


You could spend a week walking around gazing at the architecture and quaint streets. But you also have the option of taking a free city walking tour, lounging in Jardim do Principe Real, and taking in spectacular views from Miradouro da Senhora do Monte. Spend about $22 a person for a hop-on, hop-off boat tour.

3. Asia

Total cost: About $1,550

budget honeymoon thailand

Like Europe, Asia is home to some of the most expensive cities in the world — and some of the cheapest. While going on a weeklong trip to Japan might be out of your budget, traveling to beautiful Thailand might not.

Plus, it’s home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world, an insane culinary scene, and tons of culture. No wonder it’s a top choice for many honeymooners.


Flights from the U.S. to Bangkok between June and September cost an average of about $490 a person round trip. And you’ll want to spend some time at the beach. So add a flight to Phuket for as low as $24 a person round trip, and you’re paying $1,028 total for flights.


HomeToGo helped us again to find some honeymoon-worthy accommodations that started at an incredible $19 a night. Even a luxury property with a pool started at $20 a night. Spend two nights there before heading to Phuket’s beaches, and you’ll spend just about $40 total.

Once in Phuket, you can find accommodations from $21 a night. A two-bedroom private pool villa is only $39 a night. That’s $156 for a four-night stay, or a total of $196 for a week in Thailand in two cities.


A meal at an inexpensive Bangkok restaurant such as Hung-Sen costs about $2.50 per person, or it’s $27 for two people for three courses at a midrange restaurant such as Le Du, according to HomeToGo’s data. In Phuket, you’ll spend about the same on cheap eats at spots such as The Sweet Restaurant, or about $22 total at a nicer spot such as Thong Dee for three courses.

An inexpensive meal and one midrange meal a day means you’re only shelling out about $192 for food for a six-night trip.


Wandering around Bangkok could keep you busy for weeks. But you’ll want to see some highlights such as the Temple of Reclining Buddha, which costs about $3 a person to enter, and The Grand Palace, which is about $15 a person.

In Phuket, you’ll probably want to lounge by the pool or on the beach. If you do feel like venturing out, you can visit the Big Buddha for free or take a half-day snorkeling trip for about $50 per person, according to HomeToGo. That’s still only about $136 for a week of activities.

4. Central America

Total cost: About $2,840

budget honeymoon costa rica

For the adventurous couple looking to start their new life together with a thrilling bang, a nine-day Costa Rica trip will do it. Yup, we found a trip through STA Travel that hits all the major highlights, such as relaxing in the thermal hot springs at Arenal Volcano, a coffee plantation tour, and zip lining.

Oh, and it only costs $899 a person.

Note: This trip is no longer offered by STA Travel.


Flights from the U.S. to Costa Rica between June and September cost an average of about $295 a person round trip.


Since the trip is all-inclusive, you won’t have to worry about finding your own place to stay. The company said you get eight nights in two-star accommodations.


Only one lunch is included in this trip, so you’re looking at spending about $25 a person per day for nine days. That comes to about $450.


The best part about this trip is that all your activities are covered in the $899 price. You’ll get to experience the Monteverde Cloud Forest, go horseback riding, and kayak at Manuel Antonio National Park. That sounds like all the makings of a perfect honeymoon.

5. Caribbean

Total cost: About $2,300

budget honeymoon cruise

Image credit: Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Lines

After a hectic few months of planning a wedding, there’s probably nothing you want more than to relax on the beach and not think about an itinerary. Well, a cruise to the Caribbean checks both those boxes. Everything is planned for you, it’s all-inclusive, you get to visit multiple beach destinations, and it all starts at around $549 a person for seven days on Norwegian Cruise Lines.


Although the cruise is all-inclusive, flights are not calculated in the price. But it only adds a couple of hundred extra dollars to your honeymoon cost. Many Caribbean cruises take off from Miami, and the average round-trip flight is about $112 per person. That’s only about $225 total for two people.


An interior stateroom is included in the $549 price, but you’ll have to pay more if you want to upgrade to an ocean view, balcony, or suite. But upgrading could save you money on other details such as shore excursions, specialty dining, and port fees, which can be more than $300.

Opting for a midship ocean-view room for $999 a person gets you an unlimited bar tab and a $50 shore excursion credit at each port of call. Plus, you don’t have to pay the port fees.


You have more than 25 dining options available as part of your all-inclusive price. Specialty dining options cost more, but there’s plenty to choose from without it. You will also have to pay for alcoholic beverages if you don’t upgrade to a package that includes them. Even if you each have two cocktails a day for around $10 a pop, that’s only $280 for seven days of dining.


The ship is packed full of experiences for which you don’t have to shell out extra money, including five water slides, a sports complex, and a Broadway show. On the shore, you can just relax on the beaches in Belize, Mexico, and Honduras. Or you can opt to buy excursions, which range in price. Allocate an additional $200 each for activities, and you’ll still keep costs down.

A budget (but luxurious) honeymoon is possible

It might seem like you have to spend a lot of money to make a dreamy honeymoon a reality. But you don’t.

There are plenty of options available around the world where you can enjoy your first few weeks as newlyweds without the financial burden. With a little research, planning, and flexibility, you could have a luxury getaway without the luxury price tag.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.990% APR to 16.240% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.75% APR to 14.60% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 18, 2019 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.75% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.50% plus 4.28% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  5. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  6. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 5.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 5.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.79% – 20.89% (6.79% – 20.89% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 9.99% APR to a high of 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.

†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com

**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.

7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

5.75% – 16.24%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

7.46% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.99% – 35.89%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

5.99% – 24.99%2$5,000 - $35,000

Visit Payoff

5.99% – 29.99%3$7,500 - $40,000

Visit FreedomPlus

6.79% – 20.89%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

9.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $25,000

Visit LendingPoint

6.95% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000

Visit Earnest

9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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