After the stress and the endless to-do lists you’ve navigated leading up to your wedding day, the honeymoon is so much more than a well-deserved vacation. It’s the first time you and your significant other get to be alone in the world as man and wife, heading off the grid to ground your relationship with the sort of memories you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life. But the realities of budgets and markets will have their say, and most people must make concessions with the honeymoon. It’s just a part of the process, and you’re probably used to it after all of the tough choices you had to make when planning your wedding. But you definitely want the trip to live up to your lofty expectations. Here are five ways to save money on your honeymoon without sacrificing what’s most important to you.
First of all, consider sticking closer to home. All things being equal, perhaps you would spend an entire day flying to some remote corner of the world and that completely empty beach. But consider cutting the mileage traversed to save a ton of money. If you can drive or take the train to your honeymoon destination you’ll save thousands of dollars on airfare, and you also won’t lose entire days of travel. That means a seven-day honeymoon will actually be seven days of enjoyment, not five days with two travel days tacked on.
You also shouldn’t be afraid to skimp on less important elements. If you absolutely must have that five star hotel room, splurge for it. Be be prepared to cut back on dinners out or expensive add-ons. Perhaps you’d prefer that four-hour meal at a Michelin rated restaurant, and you’re happy to stay in a simple room as a trade off. Saving on your honeymoon will be all about concessions. Hold your ground on the big stuff, and trim where you don’t mind missing out.
You should also keep an eye peeled for discount honeymoon packages. This is a great option if you’re willing to be flexible about exactly what you do and where you go, just as long as you get that full week or two away. So sign up for all of the discount travel sites and start your shopping early. Also get yourself on mailing lists that send email alerts when unique specials come out. You should be able to find packages that combine airfare, hotel and amenities designed with honeymooners in mind. As long as you aren’t particular about the details this will always save you money.
Savvy shoppers and planners use their credit cards to help save money on the honeymoon. Before you book anything for your wedding, open a credit card that’s tied into a rewards or points program. The goal is a program that pays you for your purchases in points you can put towards anything. Then use that card to buy everything for your wedding. When you’re through, you should have enough built up to trim a few line items off of your honeymoon budget.
Finally, don’t be afraid to book a honeymoon last minute. This can be nerve-wracking if you’re a planner, since you’ll know when you’re leaving but not where you’ll go. Then when you’re a month or less out from the big day, start hunting around. At that late date you’ll often find discount airline tickets and hotel rooms as companies struggle to fill their vacancies. You won’t necessarily have your exact pick of date and flight time, but you’ll have a great honeymoon without breaking the bank.