Getting married is expensive but your honeymoon doesn’t have to be. DO NOT CHANGE plans just because your projected costs are a little high.
There are many different ways to save money on a honeymoon, yet still be able to take that once in a lifetime trip that you always wanted.
Planning a cheap honeymoon with the goal of savings in mind is not rocket science. You essentially need to focus on the primary cost drivers of your honeymoon: airfare, hotel, food, alcohol, and activities.
From here, you need to plan ahead and be prepared. This will be the best way to save money on your romantic honeymoon trip.
The list below outlines how you can save money with each of these cost drivers. Just remember that the most important element involved is planning.
Booking a Cheap Flight
Flights are going to be your second (or first depending on the destination) highest expense when trying to plan an inexpensive honeymoon trip. For people on a budget and planning to go to certain exotic places such as Hawaii or the Caribbean, this is especially important as airfare is traditionally very high to these places.
In order to be successful at buying the lowest possible airfare, you must begin your search well in advance of your departure date. It is best practice to book your flight 8-10 months in advance to ensure the lowest possible airfare. As seats fill up and the time window shrinks, ticket prices gradually increase.
When booking flights, visit travel websites such as Expedia or Kayak and do some research. These are great tools to use since they compare ticket prices across all airlines (except Southwest – you must visit Southwest’s website to price out airfare).
What: Plane Ticket
Purchasing ticket 3 months in advance: $800 / ticket
Purchasing ticket 6 months in advance: $600 / ticket
Cost savings: $200 / ticket
Finding Hotel Savings
Lodging will likely be your top expense item on your honeymoon. Finding cheap resort rates and hotel packages can be as simple as visiting the resort’s website and seeing if it offers a discounted rate for paying in advance. Although not the best option for travelers with unpredictable schedules, this option works out great for those on their honeymoon.
Depending on the location of your honeymoon, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate. For instance, if you know you will be staying there for an extended amount of time (such as 7 nights), you can ask for a discount off the list rate. Many hotels, especially in Europe, will honor such a request.
Also, check what sort of honeymoon packages or all inclusive rates they have that fits within your budget. Many hotels will offer a special deal, however be sure to evaluate what’s included and if it’s worth it as not everything they include will be useful.
What: 7 Night Honeymoon at Beach Resort
Paying non-discounted rate: $200 / night
Paying upfront (discounted rate): $175 / night
Cost savings: $25 / night
Keeping Food Costs Low
Food can be expensive but planning for and sticking to these budget friendly meal ideas while on your honeymoon can drastically cut down on these costs.
Breakfast – many hotels offer complimentary breakfast. If this is the case at your hotel, take full advantage of any free meals offered. Snagging a couple pieces of fruit for later is harmless and will come in handy as a snack.
Lunch – the best way to save money is by visiting a local market and purchasing bread, deli meat, peanut butter and jelly, chips and water/soda. By eating in your hotel room, you can free up funds that can be used for more meaningful activities. This also answers the question for how to eat healthy while on the road or in this case while on a honeymoon.
Dinner – for the evening meal, you can still plan on eating at your hotel, however people typically prefer to splurge a little here and eat out. If this is the case with you, just be mindful of what you order. It can be as simple as grabbing desert down the street at the local ice cream shop vs. ordering the overpriced restaurant deserts.
What: Daily lunch expense
Eating out each day: $25 / day on average
Preparing food at hotel: $10 / day
Cost savings: $15 / day
Containing Alcohol Costs
We all know how expensive wine and cocktails can be and especially at bars/restaurants. To reduce this, buy a bottle of wine and enjoy a drink or two before dinner. By doing this, you will be spending a fraction of the price you would be paying for the same drinks at dinner. Just like it sounds, this is a very simple idea but is still often overlooked when on vacation.
Wine at restaurant: $40 for 4 glasses of wine @ $10 each (2 glasses per person)
Wine on a budget: $10 from grocery store
Cost savings: $30 per night
Finding Activity Savings
Many places offer discount rates/tickets. Methods for finding these include: online research, company’s website, hotel concierge or simply calling up the tour company and asking for a discounted rate. You would be surprised how much money you can save with such a simple yet effective question to the company.
What: Whale watching tour
Full price ticket: $50 / ticket
Discounted ticket by talking with hotel concierge: $40 / ticket
Cost savings: $10 / ticket
Putting it all Together
These simple guidelines will help direct you to a romantic honeymoon vacation and ensure that your getaway squeezes the most out of your hard earned cash. The total breakdown across all these areas can lead to significant savings:
Airfare savings of $400
Hotel savings of $175
Meal savings of $100 – $150
Alcohol savings of $100
Activity savings of $30
Total savings between $800 and $1,000
Who says honeymoon’s have to be expensive. Just remember the ultimate goal is to plan ahead, create a budget and minimize any deviation from the budget. If you and your partner can follow these steps, you should have no problem enjoying yourselves while simultaneously saving money.