Honeymoons are a significant event for a newlywed couple. In many cases, it’s the first big overnight trip that partners take together. But, even if that’s not the case, going on a honeymoon is still important. It provides a much-needed stress relief after planning and preparing for a wedding. When you think about it, the wedding is more so for your guests, so you need something for you and your partner. Honeymoons are an opportunity to have fun and bond as a couple before you begin working hard for your joint future. Your honeymoon will also set the tone for your life together and leave you with long-lasting memories.
While you’re probably convinced that honeymoons are important and that you definitely deserve one, you’re likely concerned about the expenses that come along with such a trip. This is understandable, as the average couple spends about $4,500 on their honeymoon! After spending a big chunk of your savings or taking out a loan to pay for your wedding, how can you afford a decent honeymoon? Well, there are plenty of tips and tricks to save on a honeymoon. Here are 25 of them that will have you planning your dream honeymoon in no time!
25 Consider A Honeymoon Registry - Imagine Your Guests Contributing To The Funds For Your Trip
In an effort to make gift-giving a bit simpler, most couples set up a wedding gift registry to communicate their product preferences to guests. Couples select items from the store stock and an accessible list is created for guests to view. While this sounds fine and can be convenient for both you and your guests, a honeymoon registry sounds even better. Imagine your guests contributing to the funds for your memorable trip! That beats receiving dishes and other household items–which you probably already have–any day. With a honeymoon registry, your guests can even choose what their gift will specifically go towards. For example, they may help to pay for a spa day, the airfare, or the hotel room.
There are different types of honeymoon registries out there. Some are provided by travel agencies or resorts and serve to hold money to be used with specific companies, while others are more general and can actually be used for anything your heart desires. The most popular honeymoon registries are Honeyfund, Honeymoon Wishes, Wanderable, and The Newlywed Fund by The Knot. Most of these allow you to customize your page with images and templates. Your guests can pay via PayPal or most major credit cards.
24 Pick A Wedding Package With A Honeymoon Discount
You may be thinking that if you host your wedding at a hotel–whether it’s local or international–you’ll end up having your honeymoon there too. But, this doesn’t have to be the case! There are certain hotel chains that have pretty sweet reward programs, which allow you to earn points when you host your wedding with them and redeem these points at any of their other locations around the globe!
Starwood Hotels and Resorts have a program called Starwood Preferred Guests, which provides you with up to 100,000 Starpoints when you host a wedding at any participating hotel (for example, Marriot or The Ritz-Carlton). These points can be redeemed for free honeymoon nights at their hotels and resorts in Hawaii, Paris, and other locations. Hyatt hotels have a similar program called Hyatt Gold Passport. When you spend $10,000 on a Hyatt wedding package, you will receive enough points for two free nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort in the world. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? The best part is that there are programs that also allow you to redeem for flights to your honeymoon destination, in addition to hotel nights! HiltonHonors is just one example of such a program.
23 Check Out Bridal Shows
Most major cities host an annual bridal show and some even host a honeymoon expo. You may be under the impression that bridal shows only consist of a wedding dress fashion show. While it’s true that they are great events to learn about wedding dress trends, they also have so much more to offer!
All sorts of different vendors come out to bridal shows to display products and services that most couples would want at their wedding. This includes vendors who sell flowers, decorations, photography packages, cakes, tuxedos, and spa packages. There are also travel agents and hotel representatives at bridal shows. You can make connections and score some exclusive discounts on your honeymoon here. Not only that, but bridal shows often have prize draws for attendees. If you’re lucky, you can win a wedding dress, your dream honeymoon, or even your entire wedding! How amazing would that be? We think it’s totally worth the price of the ticket to be able to have the chance at such great prizes! Of course, you’ll have to plan ahead if you would like to attend one of these shows since they are only held once a year in each host city.
22 Combine The Wedding And Honeymoon
There are conflicting opinions about destination weddings. Some people feel guilty about the thought of their guests having to pay for their own flights and accommodations. And friends who are invited may feel sad if they are not in the financial position to attend. But, if you plan it out right and speak to your family and friends long in advance, a destination wedding could save you a lot of money. It’s not necessary to host your destination wedding in a faraway country either (unless that’s what you really want). For example, if you live in the USA, simply visiting another state may be a totally new and exciting experience for you.
So, how exactly can a destination wedding save you money? Well, for starters, your guest list will be much smaller than if you were to host a traditional wedding. This means reduced wedding favors and food costs. You also don’t need to go with the complete black-tie attire, especially if your ceremony is being held on a beach. Of course, you can also incorporate your honeymoon into your wedding by staying a few extra days at your destination to have some fun.
21 Stay In A Rental Home Or Villa (And Live Life As A Couple Already)
If you must fly off to an exotic location, there are still ways to save on accommodations. Hotels can cost a couple hundred dollars per night and that’s not even including the cost for room service and other extras yet (like entertainment, those irresistible goodies from the mini fridge or even WiFi). It all adds up in the long run and the sad part is that you’ll only spend a few waking hours in your hotel room if you’re in a location with lots to see.
Choosing to stay in a rental home or villa is a much more wallet-friendly option. The prices are typically lower per night and you’ll have a much larger space to enjoy. Plus, these villas and rental homes will have their own cooking facilities, so you don’t need to order room service or pay for fancy meals. Instead, you can shop for groceries like a local. This may also allow you to feel like you’re immersed in a new culture or, at the very least, give you the opportunity to experience living together as a new couple in a beautiful setting. You can always purchase some scented candles and play music to create a romantic atmosphere too.
20 Get A Room With No View (It's Not Like You'll Be In Your Room The WHOLE Time)
If you live for that comfy hotel, bedding or cooking is not even an option for you while you’re on your honeymoon, so go ahead and book a hotel room instead of a rental home. But, if you want to save on this, ask for a room with no view. Typically, rooms with a view of the ocean are super expensive. Rooms with a view of any major landmark (for example, the Eiffel Tower) or garden are also bound to put a huge dent in your bank account. But, think about this, will your honeymoon be much less spectacular if your view is one of a tree instead of an ocean? Probably not. You’ll still get to order room service, enjoy a comfy bed, and spend quality time with your significant other. You’ll also have a chance to see the ocean or other attractions when you come out of your room anyway.
The only thing you’re really missing out on, when you choose a room with no view, is an epic Instagram post with #views from your hotel balcony. But, you can get great pictures and views from observatory decks or rooftop restaurants in your honeymoon destination anyway. So, it’s likely not worth the extra few hundred dollars for that oceanfront room.
19 Go For An All-Inclusive Resort And Expect To Save A Few Hundred Dollars
You may be shocked when you add up the cost of your hotel, food, and entertainment during a vacation. You may not expect to spend so much on food, but you have to consider the fact that you’re eating out for three meals every single day of your trip. Typically, when you’re at home, you may only go to a restaurant once a week. So, of course, your food bill will be sky high during a honeymoon. That is, unless you choose an all-inclusive resort.
You’re likely aware that there are all-inclusive resorts throughout the Caribbean (with the most popular ones being in Cuba, Jamaica, and the Bahamas), but there are some scattered across Europe too. These resorts are all less costly than the conventional vacation because they include unlimited food, beverages, and even entertainment (boat rides, parasailing, and more). You may be thinking that the food won’t be as impressive as an off-site restaurant, but that isn’t the case. Many resorts have multiple restaurants on site and highly-rated swim-up bars and other food vendors. On top of that, you won’t need to spend money to travel to the beach, as they often have private beaches or large pools. Do your research online and you can find some pretty awesome deals. Expect to save at least a few hundred dollars!
18 Don't Forget To Say You're On Your Honeymoon
You’ve probably seen movies or TV shows (for example, Friends) in which a couple receives free upgrades because they mentioned that they’re on their honeymoon or are newlyweds. This is one thing that happens on the screen that actually happens in real life too! People in the service industry are usually very happy to hear about couples that just tied the knot, and they take pride in going the extra mile to make your honeymoon perfect.
When you’re calling to book a hotel room, don’t be shy to mention that you’re going for your honeymoon. You might receive an upgrade or at least a few perks (champagne, anyone?). This tip doesn’t just apply to booking hotel rooms, though. Feel free to brag about your new status at the airport and you may receive a bump up to first class or a free glass of wine during the flight. Be vocal about it in restaurants and you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy a much more Instagram-worthy dessert or even a free dessert. Or, try telling the coordinators at tourist attractions too. You never know what sort of discount or free stuff you’ll receive! This opportunity doesn’t come around often, so take advantage of it!
17 Ask About Packages - Free Champagne, Anyone?
If you’ve done your fair share of traveling, you may have noticed that everything in hotels is overpriced. But, when you’re on your honeymoon, you’ll likely want to go all out—with wine or champagne, chocolates, candles, and flowers everywhere. Buying each of these luxury items separately is not a good idea, though. Most hotels offer a honeymoon package, which includes a combination of items and services that add a little romance to your stay at a cost that’s less than the total of each separate item. In other words, you’d be getting more for your money when you purchase a package.
Some hotels even offer a free honeymoon package when you book for at least the minimum specified nights and present proof of your marriage. For example, Grecotel Hotels welcomes newlyweds with complimentary chilled champagne, fruits, a decorated bed, and one breakfast in bed when you stay at least two nights. Others offer packages with butler service and couples massages, but these will be pricey (although, not as pricey as purchasing as a non-newlywed couple). Just be sure to do the math before booking a honeymoon package. Sometimes, you may not want everything in the package, so in these cases, you may be better off selecting individual items to purchase.
16 Choose A Fancy Resort In Your City
It’s not mandatory to fly off to an exotic location right after you tie the knot. But, it is nice to have private, entertaining surroundings where you don’t need to worry about a thing (three cheers for room service). You don’t have to look far to find this. Sometimes, a few of the best resorts and hotels are in the city that we already live in. Why not stay there instead? You’ll save money because you won’t need to book a flight or buy new outfits to match a different climate. You may even save on food, since you’re probably familiar with where the best deals are.
It can be a great opportunity to spend time exploring your city with your spouse. This is something you’ve likely never done since you’re busy working or studying when you’re at home. Perhaps you’ll stumble upon natural wonders in your city, like a waterfall or lake. Maybe you can finally go to that cool little art gallery you always pass by with curiosity. Who knows what you’ll discover? The best part is that you’ll be able to have these adventures as a couple and may probably even gain a new appreciation for your hometown.
15 Consider Alternate Modes Of Travel
When you’re planning to go on vacation, your preference is probably flying. Although it’s convenient (for the most part), flying is so expensive! If possible, consider taking a train, bus, or driving to your destination instead. Not only will you save a lot, but you might make some great memories on your journey, stopping at different landmarks along the way and having that extra time to bond with your partner. The only thing you’ll have to consider if you do drive is the price of gas and possibly spending a night or two in motels along the way.
If you do decide to fly, pay attention to your local transportation costs once you land. How much does the taxi cost if you use it twice a day for a week? It may be cheaper to rent a car or take the local bus. Figure out how the residents get around their city and copy them! There might be a special bus pass you don’t know about or perhaps using old-school methods such as walking or biking is the best way to explore the location. Do your research beforehand if you want to start saving right away!
14 Use A Travel Agent - Don't Be Afraid To Ask A Million Questions
With all the awesome travel apps and online booking systems available, you’re probably wondering whether or not travel agents still exist. Well, they do and they can help you to score a great deal on your honeymoon! Not only that, but they can also help to save you a ton of time and energy (both of which you’ll be running low on after planning an entire wedding). You don’t need to worry about all the tiny details when you book with a travel agent. They’ll provide information on attractions, hotels, transportation, foreign currency conversions, safety concerns, and more.
Travel agents can be found at malls or bridal shows. There are even some who specialize in honeymoons and destination weddings. You can connect with them by searching “travel agencies for honeymoons” online or by calling reputable travel associations, such as CCRA or Travel Leaders. Travel agents have access to exclusive deals, honeymoon packages, and insider information about lesser-known locations. Before you speak to one, it’s good to have some idea of what you’re interested in and your budget. It may also be beneficial to be flexible, as travel agents compare prices across a variety of companies and dates. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either! Your travel agent will be happy to answer them for you.
13 Prioritize (Do You REALLY Need A Room With An Ocean View?)
In order to save on your honeymoon, one important tip is to prioritize. If you don’t, then you may end up spending out of control. With your partner, decide what it is that you want in your honeymoon. Do you simply want to relax? Perhaps spa services would be at the top of your list. Are you looking to have an adventure as a couple? Maybe a honeymoon to a location with natural attractions such as waterfalls and mountains would be ideal. Are you a social media fanatic? Then frequenting top-rated restaurants may be a priority. Make a list of your top five activities or attractions that you want to visit. Also decide what you want to spend your money on. Are souvenirs really that important? Do you need a room with an ocean view? Whatever you decide, make sure that you are both happy with your goals and that you stick to them. This way, there will also be less stress and arguments while you’re on your actual honeymoon. Remember, you have the rest of your life together and there will likely be many more vacations spent together. So, there’s no need to struggle to fit everything into one trip.
12 Check Out Groupon
If you’re not using Groupon, then you are missing out on some incredibly fun deals. Not only does the company sell vouchers for cool products, group activities (such as paintballing), services, online classes, and local restaurant deals, but it also has local and international vacation packages at unbelievable prices. These aren’t your typical packages either. Groupon’s getaways often include flights, transportation to and from the airport or between local destinations, some meals, hotels, tourist attractions, and guided tours. Many of these getaways also include a detailed itinerary, so you don’t even need to worry about planning activities! Just show up and be prepared to have a great time!
Groupon is ready to use, and once you get started, you’ll probably become addicted to it! You can use their website or download their free app onto your phone or tablet. Once you sign up for your free account, you can start browsing and making purchases right away. Groupon allows you to pay with credit cards and, in many cases, debit and PayPal. Once you purchase a voucher, you may be required to call the vendors to book your reservations. The instructions are always on your voucher, though, so this makes things simple!
11 Go On A Cruise - Everything You Can Possibly Need, And All In One Place
If you like the idea of an all-inclusive resort but don’t want to be stuck in one place for your entire honeymoon, try going on a cruise instead. With this option, you can see multiple places, beautiful sunsets (which will be a total winner on your social media accounts), and have your itinerary all planned out for you. You won’t have to worry about meals, transportation, booking hotels, or finding ways to stay entertained. Most cruise fares cover all meals (oftentimes, there are buffets) and include nightly dancing and movies. There’s usually something for everyone too. Many cruises offer a wide variety of activities including art classes, history classes, yoga, swimming, and more. So, if you feel like having a romantic night and your partner feels like doing something active or adventurous, you don’t need to compromise. Even if you just want to relax and do nothing, cruises are a great option because there are spas and swanky bars on board. You’ll have personalized service for the entire duration of your honeymoon too. What more can you ask for?
There are many popular cruise lines out there. Princess Cruises offers honeymoon packages and romantic Caribbean cruises, while Disney Cruise Line caters to couples who are still kids at heart.
10 Dine Away From Tourist Attractions (And Ask Locals For Recommendations)
Have you ever noticed how jacked up the prices at tourist attractions are? A simple t-shirt with an attraction’s name printed on it may cost you $50, as opposed to the $10 it likely cost to make. Even a bottle of water at the zoo or other outdoor attractions cost about five times as much as the ones at your local dollar store. Don’t even get us started on menu prices at restaurants on or near popular landmarks! The prices for food and beverages are so high because the owners of these attractions and eateries are aware that there are thousands of people passing through each day and that at some point, tourists become hungry and thirsty. Plus, it costs a lot to maintain a tourist attraction to the point that people actually want to return or recommend it to their friends.
If you’d like to save on food while on your honeymoon, then dine away from tourist attractions. You’ll find the prices becoming cheaper as you go further and further away. You should do your research beforehand, though, if you really want the best deal on meals. Better yet, pack a cooler of beverages, sandwiches, and snacks to bring with you on your long excursions.
9 Plan Your Honeymoon Before Planning Your Wedding
Many couples look forward to their honeymoon more than their actual wedding. This is understandable, as a wedding is often about pleasing your guests and requires a lot of effort (yet it only lasts one day). If you have a certain amount of money set aside for your wedding, remember that you don’t need to use all of it. You can look for ways to cut your wedding costs so that you can put some of your funds towards your honeymoon.
It may even be wise to plan your honeymoon before you even plan your wedding. That way, you’ll be able to include all the things you want in your honeymoon and see how much you have left over for a wedding. You may then decide to have a smaller wedding, a simpler venue, or cut out some extras (for example, fresh flowers). It’ll also give you plenty of time to search for better honeymoon deals and book your flight early. If you plan your honeymoon at the last minute, you’ll probably end up paying more for things due to a lack of research and knowledge.
8 Have A Staycation
What strategy will save you the most on your honeymoon? Not going on one! Don’t worry, though, we’re not suggesting that you continue on with your normal routine right after your big day. Rather, we’re suggesting that you have a staycation. In other words, stay at home while you’re on vacation. This might sound a bit boring to some couples, while it sounds like paradise to others.
So, how can you make your staycation a special and memorable one? Act like you would while on vacation in a different location. That means putting your phone on “airplane mode” right away. You don’t want your face on your screen the entire vacation. This is a rare opportunity to spend time as a couple, without having to worry about work or any other responsibilities you may have. So, don’t waste it by scrolling through social media or checking your work emails (unless you are absolutely required to do so). Acting like you’re on vacation also means wearing nice outfits! When you look good, you feel good. And getting all dressed up will give your staycation that special touch. You can stay at home and have a homemade candlelit dinner, watch movies, or play board games. Or, you can be a tourist in your hometown and visit all those cool places you pass by on your way to work or school each day.
7 Go On A Themed Retreat (That Caters To BOTH Your Needs)
If you and your partner are both highly interested in a specific hobby or movie, a themed retreat may be a good idea. There are affordable weekend retreats and week-long retreats held all over the world. You can find out more information by searching online or calling resorts or tour companies and inquiring about themed packages. It doesn’t matter where your interests lie, there’s most likely a retreat or resort out there that caters to your wants and needs. If you’re both into spirituality and like being active, you can try a yoga retreat. If you’re fans of wine, a vineyard retreat may be ideal.
You can also create your own themed retreat or vacation if you’d like! There are lots of themed AirBnBs and hotels to choose from. For example, there is a hotel in Montana, USA based on The Hobbit. There’s also a James Bond-themed suite at Hotel Seven in Paris, France. You can have a movie marathon with your partner while in your unique accommodation or go on a tour to all the locations that the movies were filmed. One of the best parts about themed retreats is that you’ll probably meet others who have the same interests as you too. These could be your future double date buddies!
6 Bid On A Travel Auction
There’s just something intriguing about auctions—especially silent auctions. They seem so old-school and intense. You’ve probably seen people bidding on rare items during auctions in movies or on TV shows, but auctions actually happen in the real world too! So, where can you bid on a honeymoon? Sometimes, wedding or bridal shows hold auctions for honeymoons (along with other products such as wedding rings and dresses). In the year leading up to your wedding, you should also check out if your city or neighboring cities have any major charity events going on. These events may have exotic trips up for bid, and you’ll feel good about purchasing them because you’ll also be supporting a worthy cause.
Alternatively, you can go the modern route and bid online. Of course, there’s always eBay, one of the most popular online platforms for buying and selling goods. In 2015, one man made headlines for auctioning off his honeymoon after he was dumped. There are websites dedicated to bidding on trips too. One such website is SkyAuction, where you can bid on flights, hotel room nights, cruises, and all-inclusive vacations. It’s free to register for SkyAuction and you can get some unbelievable deals.
5 Go Camping (If You BOTH Like The Outdoors, Obviously)
If both you and your partner love the outdoors and are adventurous, then a camping honeymoon may be right for you. Not only is it fun and super affordable (no expensive hotel fees or restaurant bills to pay), but it’s also a great opportunity to really get to know each other. Depending on where you choose to go, you can end up far away from potentially annoying crowds of tourists or in an area with other people who share your love for nature.
So, how should you go about choosing a location and planning a camping honeymoon? First, you need to think about your personalities. If one of you is a bit afraid of insects or getting dirty, maybe glamping (AKA glamorous camping) is a better choice. This would allow you to see the stars and be surrounded by nature while having the luxury of staying in an upscale cottage or resort. If you both want a true camping experience but prefer being fairly close to people, there’s a long list of national parks in North America from which to pick. Of course, you’ll still need to make some purchases in preparation for a camping honeymoon. You’ll want a tent, sleeping gear, comfortable shoes, and items commonly found in a survival kit (this includes a flashlight, bandages, a blade, fire-starting materials, and a compass). The total cost for all these products is still extremely low compared to a traditional honeymoon.
4 Book Non-Refundable Flights (And Pay About 30% To 40% Less)
When you book a flight, there are always attractive add-on options. It’s common to always choose the refundable option, so that you can get all of your money back in case of an emergency which requires you to change your departure date. But, these refundable flights cost 30% to 40% more than non-refundable options. Is it really necessary? You may have your date already set in stone and in the rare case that there is some sort of emergency, you can always pay a fee to change your date. This fee is usually about $100 to $200, plus any difference between your old and new fare. The chances of having to pay this fee are really low, though! If you do want to save while still being on the safe side, you can purchase travel insurance. The premiums are usually 5% to 10% of the total cost of the trip.
Non-refundable options aren’t just for flights either. You can save on your lodging options by going this route too. Websites such as Hotwire and Hotels.com offer discounts for non-refundable bookings. You’ll want to carefully consider this option, though, because it takes away any flexibility to extend your stay at a certain location.
3 Ask Your Guests For Cash “No Gift Required; Your Presence Is A Gift”
It may seem tacky to ask your guests for cash, but if you do it in a classy way, your guests will probably understand. This is especially true if you’re relatively young. Many of your guests have been at this point in their lives, so they know how expensive it is to host a wedding and start a new chapter in your life.
There are cute poems you can include with your wedding invitations or lines such as, “No gift required; your presence is a gift.” You can even set up a cash wedding registry online. If you’re not comfortable with asking your guests for cash directly or setting up a honeymoon/cash registry, you can subtly nudge your guests to give you cash instead of material items. You can do so by keeping your gift registry sparse and including low-cost items. You can also highlight your honeymoon plans on your registry website or social media. Alternatively, you can tell your closest friends and family about your preference for cash and hope that they spread the word. You’ll probably end up with a lot of cash, even if you don’t try any of these methods. But, it doesn’t hurt to have extra cash that you can put towards your dream honeymoon.
2 Use Reward Miles (For Huge Bonuses!)
Signing up for a travel reward program is one of the easiest things you can do to save money on a flight. It literally doesn’t require you to do anything besides signing up for the reward program and shopping for products, such as groceries and clothes, as you normally do. When you’re checking out, you simply present your card and collect your points or your air miles...at no extra cost to you. Typically, you can earn about two to four points for every dollar spent at a participating store.
There are so many different travel reward cards out there. Some are credit cards and some are simply points cards (which can be converted and accepted by most airlines). Some also have a huge signup bonus, which provide you with enough points for a free domestic flight or a huge discount on an international flight. Others give you bonus points when you reach a certain number of points. There are even some which allow you to have free checked baggage or priority boarding. A few of the most popular travel reward cards are American Express Business Gold Rewards Card, Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express, and AIR MILES Collector Card.
1 Blind-Book Your Hotel (And Be Spontaneous!)
Unless there’s a particular hotel or resort you’ve been dying to go to, you should blind-book your hotel to save money. What is blind-booking, you ask? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It involves booking low-cost accommodations without knowing which one you’re actually paying for. It’s an awesome option for couples who get a kick out of surprises and enjoy being spontaneous.
To assist you with the process, there are blind-booking websites which allow you to specify the quality of hotel you prefer (for example, three to four stars) and the type of area you’d like your hotel to be in (for example, near the beach or in the city). After selecting your preferences, the websites generate the best deals, including taxes and other fees, but you won’t know the identity of the hotels until you book and pay for one. Of course, you can’t expect to get a five-star hotel for the price of a two-star hotel when using a blind-booking site. But, you can expect really good deals. Blind-booking options are also available for rental cars and other travel expenses. Give it a shot. You may be pleasantly surprised!