How to honeymoon on a budget

If you believed all the hype, you’d think it wouldn’t be possible to have a honeymoon without spending a lot of money. But you really don’t need to despair if you don’t have a lot of cash to spare – a honeymoon is essentially about the two of you, spending time together and enjoying being married, and you’ll  have a great time wherever you go. But, if you are on a tight budget, here’s a few things worth bearing in mind:

Decide on a budget The most obvious point is often quite easily overlooked when  you get swept away in planning everything – but figure out how much you can afford to spend and stick to it.

Look close to home Generally, the further you travel, the more expensive your honeymoon will be as you pay more to get there. Think about staying in country, or visiting a neighbouring one that has good transport connections to your own.

Take a short honeymoon One sure fire way to save a bit of money is not to go away for too long – or take a “mini-moon” immediately after the wedding, with a view towards taking a longer honeymoon later on, once you can afford a bigger trip.

Figure out what’s important to you If it’s a plush hotel you’re after, there’s no reason why you can’t have one – though it may mean you have to restrict yourself to somewhere closer to home, or go away for less time. Equally, if you want to go somewhere exotic, you might have to stay somewhere a bit cheaper to balance it out.

Shop around Don’t be afraid to check prices both online and in person/over the phone with travel agents – you’ll be surprised how much prices can vary from place to place, whether you’re looking for flights, hotels, or a package. Travel agents are often privy to the best prices, so you may find that you can get a cheaper price through a good agent than you could directly with the hotel.

Book ahead The cheapest tickets for flights and trains can usually be found by booking as far in advance as possible. That said, don’t despair if you can’t book as soon as the flights are released as airline and travel agent sales can often provide great opportunities for cheaper deals.

But, if you’re willing to take a risk…..You could take your chances and book a last-minute honeymoon. Travel agents and tour operators often discount their prices quite heavily at the last minute, though of course there’s no guarantee of what would come up and where. Sign up for mailing lists in advance so you can see what deals are available.

Book a package Don’t immediately discount the idea of a package if it brings to mind the awful cliché of a package holiday – a package refers to any trip where transport and accommodation are booked together. This can be done through travel agents, online with companies like Expedia and Ebookers, or directly with airlines and train companies like Eurostar. Booking your transport and accommodation together can often save thousands of pounds, compared to booking each component separately.

Don’t forget to consider other costs Unless you decide to go for an all-inclusive honeymoon, where all your meals and drinks are included in the price of your stay, you should also anticipate how much you’re likely to spend once you’re there. The cost of a flight to the USA may be a fair bit cheaper than travelling to Thailand, but eating out and seeing the sights will cost you a lot more.

Don’t be afraid to tell people your budget Speak to travel agents and tour operators about what you’re looking for and don’t be shy about telling them how much you can afford. They will tell you if your budget isn’t quite realistic for your preferred destination, and a decent travel agent will recommend good alternatives that fit within how much you can afford. Also, don’t forget to mention that you’re on honeymoon – you’ll generally find that people will go out of their way to find the perfect trip for you (and to throw in some of those all-important freebies).

Consider a honeymoon gift list If you’ve got your heart set on a certain destination and can’t quite afford it yourselves, consider having a gift list where your guests can contribute towards your trip – see my posts here and here for further information.

Stay tuned for the next in my “Luxury for Less” series about gorgeous honeymoon hotels that won’t break the bank, or check out the first post in the series here.

If you’re on a budget and need a pointer in the right direction or some advice, feel free to drop me a line, either in the comments below or by emailing me.

Photos courtesy of Sanctu and Ian Britton.

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