While I had been planning weddings for about 4 years before I got married, one part of planning that I had no clue on was the honeymoon. I got married at the young age of 23 so before then, I really had never even planned a vacation. I mean, my husband and I had planned plenty of weekend getaways (well, I guess he planned most of them) and I had gone on big family vacations at least once a year for as long as I can remember but in that case, my parents were the ones doing all of the planning. I was just along for the ride!
And then it came time to plan our honeymoon. We really didn't want to spend a fortune since we had already spent plenty on the wedding, but of course, we wanted to have a nice, luxurious, and relaxing time!
At the end of the day, we decided on a cruise not only because they are inexpensive for what is included - the food, the multiple destinations, the hotel, the excursions - but because they were nice and simple to plan. Planning our entire honeymoon only took a couple of clicks which was the best!
Whether you decide on a cruise, a faraway destination with a 15-hour flight, or a destination close to home, you're going to be stuck with a bill that always seems like a fortune, since it is being stacked on top of a recent wedding bill.
While I am not an expert in this area by any means, I did learn a lot while researching destinations for my own honeymoon. So from bride to bride, here are my top tricks for savings money on your honeymoon:
1. Book in Advance
I know it may sound simple, but with so many wedding ideas swirling around your head at all time, the honeymoon is often put off until the last minute. So my advice to you is to book your venue first and book your honeymoon second, before any other wedding plans are taken care of. That way, you know that you will be getting the best deals for advance booking!
2. Search...and search some more
Talk to your friends, talk to your family, and see what they had to fork out for a similar vacation so you have some bearing on what you will realistically be spending. Then do your research! There are deals all over the internet so continue searching as much as possible. I know you may get excited and want to pull the trigger, but a little extra research isn't going to hurt. Well actually, it will pay off in the long run!
3. Save Wherever Possible
If there is a 5:00am flight that you would prefer not to wake up for, do it anyways if it means you're going to spend even $40 less. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it all adds up! And think about it, that $40 could mean a nicer dinner, or extra drinks, an extra souvenir or just altogether savings!
4. Look for Packages
Oftentimes, there are packages that allow you to get a discount for booking all at once - such as flight, rental car, and hotel. On our honeymoon, we purchased drinks in advance and although it seemed like a pretty penny at the time, we ended up spending far less than we would have if we bought outside the package!
5. Ignore the Packages
Tricked you! Although the easily-booked package may seem enticing because of it's ease, sometimes they actually end up being more! Is there a less expensive form of transportation that would do just fine if you booked it on it's own? Is there a spa day package that includes far more than you really want? Explore package options AND itemized options to make sure you are always getting the best deal!
6. Travel Off Season
You don't HAVE to leave for your honeymoon right from your wedding. There is definitely no rule! So check off-season prices and see how much you may be able to save before determining when you'd like to go. And remember, the "off season" differs depending on the destination you choose, so do your research!
I know, this one really won't save you money but your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime experience so you don't want any regrets! If you do your research ahead of time and save all that you can while planning, you'll have a little extra left over for a nice dinner, some souvenirs, or an excursion you've always dreamed of. You never know when you will be there again and even then, it won't be your honeymoon. So enjoy every minute!