Written by: The Knot
Photo by: Jared Rice
It’s hard to think about planning your honeymoon while planning a wedding, and that includes figuring out how to pay for it. Ultimately, the secret to getting the most out of your honeymoon without breaking the bank is to be really good about planning ahead and doing your research. Remember, you can avoid paying full price almost the entire time, since even some early booking discounts apply to peak times. Here are 10 honeymoon budget tips to help you save without sacrificing on the quality and romance of your newlywed trip.
1. Set Your Priorities
First, figure out your honeymoon priorities: What are you most excited about? Which aspects of this vacation are non-negotiable for you, and what can you live without? If dreamy accommodations are the most important to you, consider staying somewhere local (or at least domestic) so you can allocate your budget to enjoying deluxe rooms and a spa rather than roundtrip international flights. If exploring a faraway place is what you’ve always wanted, focus your funds less on the hotel (especially if you know you’ll barely be there) so you have more in your pocket to afford really experiencing the destination.
2. Work With a Travel Agent
For one-stop, stress-free planning, a travel agent can’t be beat. They know how to save you money with air/hotel or fly/drive/hotel packages. It’s their job to be in the know about last-minute or ongoing sales, and they can offer the wisdom gained from years of travel experience.
3. Go During a Destination’s Off-Season
Choose a honeymoon location or cruise itinerary with an off-season that coincides with your travel dates. You’ll almost always notice drastic price breaks along with way fewer crowds. The best of all, off-season isn’t always synonymous with bad weather. For example, many islands in the Caribbean have ideal temperatures year-round, but rates skyrocket from January to April due to high demand from winter-weary East Coast travellers. In other locations, off-season means high temperatures, cold or potential hurricanes, so many hotels and activities in the area shut down completely until more hospitable weather returns. It depends on the place, so definitely do a little research to find out about your dream spot.
4. Choose Cheaper Locations
Many variables can make a glorious destination a total steal, including favourable exchange rates (in Mexico, Vietnam and Croatia, for instance) or being just under-the-radar enough.
5. Consider a Bed-and-Breakfast
True, some lack privacy, but not all. Most are packed with romantic nooks and luxe amenities. Prices are usually favourable—especially during the week—and breakfast is obviously included.
6. Don’t Procrastinate
Booking early guarantees that all the inexpensive rooms won’t be sold out. On cruises, which announce their itineraries 10 to 14 months in advance, it also means savings of more than 50 percent. On the positive side, if a ship is under-booked, you may snag a last-minute deal up to eight weeks before sailing (although you may have a limited choice of cabins).
7. Consider Alternative Airports
As in, sacrifice convenience for savings: Try flying into or out of a smaller or farther airport at one or both ends of your trip to reduce airfare. But always call your hotel to make sure the round-trip cost of a taxi or car service from the farther airport won’t wipe out your savings.
8. Think Beyond Flying
Instead of flying a major airline, consider getting to your destination via train, bus or car. Turn a long drive into a road-trip adventure by planning some sightseeing stops along the way. And once you’re there, get around like locals by relying on public transportation instead of cabs or ride apps. You don’t have to take it everywhere, but replacing a few long, pricey cab rides with a subway or bus ride can definitely save you.
9. Consider an All-Inclusive Hotel, Cruise or Tour
The best part about all-inclusives? There are no surprises and no limits: You can live like royalty for one flat fee. Most all-inclusive rates include the room, all meals, drinks, activities, entertainment, tips, taxes and airport transfers (adventure tours also include guides and equipment). Just remember that packages vary. Ask lots of questions and make sure most of what’s included appeals to you (otherwise, why spend the money?).
10. Ask About Packages
Not only will you get lots of extras when you sign up for a package (which may have a romance, honeymoon or spa theme), but package rates may include tax, tips and airport transfers, which can save you a lot over the regular room-only rates.