Budget Honeymoon: How to save money when planning your honeymoon
With all the wedding expenses, often there aren’t many funds leftover for a truly exciting or exotic honeymoon. Don’t worry – a budget honeymoon doesn’t have to mean a stingy honeymoon. Here are some ways you can save money when booking your trip…
Budget Honeymoon Tip #1: Consider a travel agent
Travel agents are often overlooked by our generation. The conjure up images of middle-aged couples travelling in package holiday groups or messy 18-year-old girls getting drunk in Gran Canaria. However, travel agents have come a long way since the 90s and early-2000s and they can actually create a unique and exciting experience for you and your new bride, while allowing you to avail of their industry discounts. Just be very clear with your agent about the kind of holiday you both want and let them work their magic.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #2: Forget gifts and start a honeymoon registry
There are travel agencies who allow you to set up an honeymoon registry with them that your wedding guests can donate to. This way, instead of getting an ice cream maker you know you’ll only use once, you can get a little closer to the honeymoon of your dreams.
If you’re not using a travel agent, there are also services like ZankYou who allow guests to make cash donations to a general fund you can then use to book elements of your holiday individually.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #3: Book early
Often you’ll get great deals by booking at the last minute, but that’s a pretty big risk to take with a honeymoon considering you can’t depend on it. Instead, your safest option when trying to save money is to decide on your honeymoon early on in the wedding planning process (if you’re honeymooning directly afterward the Big Day) and book flights and accommodation then.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #4: Consider off-season options
If your honeymoon isn’t directly after your wedding, you have a lot of flexibility to work around this and visit your dream destination during its off-season, but if you’re honeymooning directly after the wedding, you many need to reconsider where you holiday is you need to save money.
Keep in mind that off-season isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Less tourists mean you get to experience the destination in a more authentic way and you can still get nice weather, depending on where you go.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #5: Research local festivals
We all know midweek is the cheaper option, but many people tend to forget that local bank holidays or festivals tend to bump up the prices of flights and accommodation. Yes, you’ll be aware of Christmas and New Year, but what about the annual Venetian Carnival that happens during February? Or the Festival of San Fermin that includes the Running of the Bulls and jacks up prices in Pamplona throughout that week? Do your research and make sure you won’t be flying into a city during a big local event.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #6: Take currency strength into account
Budget Honeymoon Tip #7: Check out alternative airports
There are two options here:
1. Fly to a smaller airport close to the city you want to visit and spend a bit longer getting to the location by bus or train;
2. Fly to a smaller airport in the region and spend your honeymoon in that area.
If you’re going to New York, it will probably cost you more to fly into JFK; similarly, flying to CDG Airport when visiting Paris usually costs more than flying to Orly. If your heart is set on a specific city, research the extra cost of transport from the airport and see if it will still save you money.
If your honeymoon destination was a little more general, for example, Greece, then you could fly into a smaller airport and explore that area. Not only will it save you on flights, you’ll probably find cheaper accommodation than staying in Athens.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #8: Consider an all-inclusive
During the 2000s, there were a number of programmes exposing the horror of the all-inclusive package, causing a lot of people to shy away from them. The reality is, once you do your research, these packages can be really great and can also save you a lot of money. Be sure to look at online reviews outside of the booking site to get a feel for quality.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #9: Forgo the view
Yes, it’s nice to send a few pictures home of the view from your hotel balcony, but just how important is the view from your window?
You’ll be out exploring and eating most of the time and when you’re back in your room, well let’s just say there will be more important things to focus your attention on.
Pretty views often cost extra, so make sure you let the hotel know you don’t mind.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #10: Phone the hotel
And speaking of the hotel, don’t be afraid to stray from the booking page on their site. Phone them up and see if they can offer you a discount or if there’s anything you can drop to lower the price.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #11: DIY meals
Hotels are nice, but there are other options when it comes to accommodation. Personally, we’re big fans of self-catering accommodation and often favour sites like Airbnb when travelling. Not only do you get a lot more room for the price, you also get a kitchen where you can prepare meals. Even if you go out for dinner every night, you’ll be surprised at the amount you can save by preparing breaking and lunch in your apartment.
Budget Honeymoon Tip #12: Don’t be afraid to ask
Finally, whenever you book anything, don’t be afraid to mention it’s your honeymoon. Hotels and even restaurants will often take a little off the price or give you something extra if they know. Everyone takes a honeymoon and they know you’ll spread the word about the special treatment you go. Just don’t be pushy about it – if they don’t do anything, it doesn’t necessarily reflect poorly on them and you aren’t entitled to free things just because you said ‘I do’.