A wedding is undoubtedly one of the biggest occasions a couple will invest in together. And while there are plenty of smart ways to save on your big day couples are still spending nearly $20,000 on the average wedding in the U.S. With an investment that steep, chances are you might not have much, if anything leftover at all, to spend on an equally fabulous honeymoon to celebrate your newly cemented commitment to one another.
But you don’t have to shell out thousands to have an unforgettable honeymoon experience. In fact, the more you stick with a minimal budget, the happier you both will likely be once you get back home from your own version of paradise and find that there’s still money left to spend. With these budget-friendly suggestions, you’ll still have the honeymoon of your dreams and be able to start your future life together without having any negatives in that bank account.
Think off-season locale
While many prefer to have their weddings during the peak season for prime weather, it doesn’t mean your honeymoon has to follow suit, especially when other regions of the globe offer gorgeous weathers temperatures year-round. Traveling during off-peak season translates to cheaper flights, lodging, and getting to explore without having to compete with the crowds. It’s perfectly normal to celebrate your honeymoon during a later date, especially when that means less worries since you get to keep more money in your pocket and you don’t have to penny-pinch when you do travel together.
Stay close to home
Have you been able to fully explore the state or country you’re living in yet? Having a fulfilling honeymoon doesn’t always mean traveling far and wide when there are new experiences just a drive away. Research attractions in surrounding towns that you haven’t been to yet, or even stay completely local by having a staycation in your own city. This can even serve as a more romantic and authentic solution for laidback couples who grew their love in the same city. On top of adventuring unchartered local land together, try frequenting milestone locations, like where you had your first kiss, as they’ll feel even more special as a married couple now.
Experience the Caribbean from your own shores
You don’t have to book a flight to an island overseas to enjoy a tropical honeymoon experience when continental shores offer the same sandy beaches, spectacular ocean vistas, and breezy palm trees. While Bali and Fiji are breathtaking, Florida’s beaches and beach towns are just as gorgeous in their own right. Depending on which side of the country you live on, you can drive straight down to the Sunshine State or find bargain flights to Miami from practically any major city in the U.S. Rent a car and enjoy the Florida Keys scenic highway, a 106 mile stretch featuring America’s tropical wonderland. While you’re there, you can go snorkeling, swim with the dolphins, or sway in a hammock as you watch the sun set with your special person by your side.
Consider alternative airports for cheaper international flights
Did you know it’s actually possible to catch a one-way flight to Europe for under $200? With Norwegian Air, you can. The affordable European airline currently flies out of 5 major U.S cities: Boston, New York, Oakland/San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale. If you’re not located in or around any of these hubs, try booking a connecting flight from your home airport for an all-around cheaper deal on your flight. Also, keep in mind that the day you leave can also save you a pretty penny, with mid-week being the optimal outbound flight time. Now you don’t have to miss the opportunity to toast to your love under international skies.
Use a honeymoon registry
We can all get by with a little help from our friends. One of the latest wedding trends is swapping the traditional brick-and-mortar wedding registries for a honeymoon registry, where family and friends can donate cash to be used for your honeymoon in place of buying you items you might not need. Honeymoon Wishes, Honeyfund, and Traveler’s Joy are among the most popular honeymoon registry sites that you can join. Simply include your registry page URL to your wedding website so guests know they have the option of chipping in for your unforgettable honeymoon experience, a gift they’ll know will be put to good use.
Utilize price-monitoring apps and book ahead
The beauty of a honeymoon is the flexibility of getting to take it when YOU want to or are ready to, as opposed to a set-in-stone wedding date. With flight price tracking apps and booking ahead, you can be sure you’re getting the absolute best deal on flights for your honeymoon. Set the notification features to “on”, sign up for price alert emails, and sit back and get real-time monitoring and updates straight to your phone once prices drop to your desired destination. Among the best flight-tracking apps are Hopper, Airfarewatchdog, Hipmunk, Jetradar, and Skyscanner.
Pay attention to travel deals and all-inclusive packages
When looking for ways to save on a dollar, finding a good honeymoon package that can save you hundreds of dollars is definitely worth the search. Plus, it takes the stress out of itemizing your trip by grouping together major purchases like flight, hotel, car, and other amenities. Cruises are also a great option, as food and lodging is already included in the price. Don’t forget to check on super-saving sites like Groupon for can’t-pass-up travel deal steals as well.
Sleep cheap, live large and local
Next to air-fare, lodging is the next big area you save most when traveling on a budget. Instead of staying at an expensive hotel, look into staying with the locals with Couch Surfing, a company that connects you to residents who are willing to offer you free accommodation, while serving as a trusted guide to the ins and outs of their city. Get more bang for your buck when you eat like a local, too. Sites like EatWith pairs you with local down home chefs who host you in the comfort of their own personal tables, their homes. Share your love over good eats and good conversation.
Pool your resources
Become the ultimate coupon-er of honeymoon budgeting by cashing in on any resources you might have so you can pay the least amount possible. Milk that credit card you’ve swiped to the bone for your wedding day for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, and other upgrades, and use up those frequent flier miles now.