Planning a cost-effective honeymoon can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re also focused on creating a dream wedding. But with the right strategy, it can be done. Here are some tips to help you book a memorable getaway — without putting a major strain on your financial future.
Honeyfunds, or honeymoon registries, may help take some of the financial burden off your honeymoon. They allow your guests to contribute toward the cost of things on your trip like meals and activities rather than buy you a physical gift. Adding honeymoon experiences to a wedding registry can be another option for couples who already own many of the items traditionally given as wedding gifts, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine notes.
If you or your partner have a stash of airline reward miles (perhaps on a credit card you’ve used to help pay for wedding expenses), your honeymoon may be a perfect time to cash them in, especially if you’re hoping to travel to a faraway destination. But they aren’t just for plane tickets: According to The Knot, airline miles can be used for other expenses from seating upgrades to hotel rooms and car rentals, so you can choose how to redeem them to help make your dream trip a budget-friendly reality.
Travel agents’ business volume often gives them access to better deals on travel packages than you’d be able to get on your own, The Knot says. Plus, because it’s their full-time job, they will typically have good insight into sales and special rates. They’ll also likely have more experience organizing all the details that go into a trip, which can help take pressure off you and your partner.
If you have your heart set on a popular destination but can be flexible with timing, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine recommends looking into traveling during shoulder season to make your honeymoon more affordable. Shoulder season is the period between high season, when prices and crowds tend to be at a maximum, and low season, when the weather may be less than ideal. Planning your honeymoon during the month before or after the high season may help you get some of the best deals on airfare and accommodations.
All-inclusive resorts may sound enticing, but make sure you understand exactly what’s included in the price before you book. For instance, The Knot recommends checking whether taxes are included in the quote, as they can add up to a significant extra cost that you may not expect. Additionally, Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Magazine suggests making sure you’ll actually use everything offered in the package. Otherwise, you may end up spending money you wouldn’t have spent otherwise.
If a traditional honeymoon isn’t realistic right after your wedding, Real Simple suggests planning a “mini-moon” now and saving up to take your dream honeymoon at a later date. Maybe organize a long weekend with your new spouse to visit family or stay at a nearby bed and breakfast. It can be just as special as a longer trip in a foreign land, and will likely make your real honeymoon something to look forward to a few years into your marriage.