Your Dream Honeymoon on a Budget: 7 Tips to Help You Save

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Honeymoon on a budget

First comes love, then comes marriage… then comes the honeymoon! It’s more than just a trip. You and your new spouse can destress from the wedding and spend some much-needed quality time together as a newly married couple.

According to The Knot, the average cost of a honeymoon is $5,342. That’s in addition to the cost of a wedding, the average for that right now is $33,931. But don’t let these numbers scare you. The good news is that you can plan an amazing post-wedding getaway that won’t deplete your bank account or cause you to go into debt. 

Just like planning a budget-friendly wedding, an affordable honeymoon requires some creativity and flexibility. Your honeymoon photos will still look really nice on Instagram, and your wallet will thank you for it later. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Know your budget

Just because the average is around $5,000 doesn't mean you need to spend that much on your honeymoon. But you do need to know how much you can afford and are willing to spend.

Make a list of all the potential expenses and include how much you are willing to spend on them. For example:

  • Hotels
  • Flights
  • Additional transportation costs (car rentals, train tickets)
  • Food
  • Excursions (guided tours, snorkeling, sunset cruises)
  • Pampering (Spas, massages, room service)
  • Tickets (theatre, sports, events)
  • Shopping (including any items you want to buy for the trip)

Be sure to include an additional subsection for unplanned purchases or events. 

2. Time your purchases

Sometimes timing makes all the difference. Airfare expert and CEO of FareCompare Rick Seaney says that the best time to buy plane tickets is on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Eastern time. Why? “Many U.S. airlines begin airfare sales that appear on their websites late Monday or early Tuesday; the competition then matches these newly lowered prices and this is generally finished by Tuesday afternoon. That’s when shoppers have the most deals to choose from.” Seaney also advises travelers to shop for domestic airline tickets three months to 30 days before departure and international tickets 5 ½ to 1 ½ months before departure. 

Additionally, CheapAir.com says airfare pricing can vary by season. For example, for winter flights you can expect a good deal 94 days before traveling

3. Be flexible with travel dates

During the summer months and on holidays, travel is much more expensive and far more congested with people. Instead, opt for low-season, non-holiday travel dates. Your honeymoon destination will have fewer travelers at the airport, and thus cheaper flights.

4. Fly during the week

Similarly, weekend travel to popular vacation destinations is usually busier. Flights tend to be much cheaper if you choose to travel in the middle of the week. CheapAir’s 2019 Airfare Study found that Tuesday and Wednesday flights are cheapest days to fly while Sunday and Friday are the most expensive.

5. Set up alerts for deals

Nowadays it’s easy to track prices on a variety of websites. Scott’s Cheap Flights is a great resource because unlike other airline ticket websites, they actively look for flights that airlines have made mistakes during the booking process. This could potentially result in saving almost double on airline tickets. 

Google Flights works like a search engine (of course) and allows you to set up customizable alerts and offers a lot of flexibility. Plus, the Google Flights Explore Map helps you find great deals. This is perfect if you have a general date range but aren’t set on where to go just yet.

Don’t shy away from signing up for deals sites. For example, Travelzoo sends out a weekly Top 20 list with deals for hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more. If you’re unsure of where to go for your honeymoon, choose one of their best deals and go there. It’ll be an adventure no matter where you end up.

6. Choose less expensive destinations

Another way to save even more money is to avoid hotspot destinations. Instead, look into places that will not make a major dent in your budget due to the high exchange rate. Destinations in Asia, South America, and Africa can provide you with the same quality hotels and experiences at a much lower cost. 

You can even forgo a trip overseas all together and opt for beautiful locations in the United States. For example, Texas and Puerto Rico are great options for couples to vacation without spending an excessive amount of money.

7. Work with a travel agent

Other options you may want to consider in your budget are vacation packages and travel agents. Travel agents may be able to work with your current budget or offer packages that are more affordable than the amount you would have originally paid putting together your honeymoon package on your own.

In closing

Overall, be cautious and look into the various costs before you book your trip to avoid going over your budget. Take a day to sleep on potential purchases that do not fluctuate.

Lastly, a honeymoon does not have to be an endeavor that occurs right after your wedding. You can delay taking your honeymoon until you have saved up enough money. Many people end up going on their honeymoon a year or two after the wedding, and it is still just as enjoyable.

{Updated by Cristy S. Lynch}

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