General Tips for Planning a Honeymoon on a Budget
Honeymoons can certainly be pricey, but there are tons of ways to maximize your budget to go on a completely fab post-nuptial trip. Read below for our favorite tips, and keep checking our blog and Honeymoon Real Deals section for some pretty amazing prices on trips throughout the country and world.
1. Rent a place via Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO) and Homeaway. Instead of forking over a pretty penny for several nights at hotel or resort, rent a vacation home at the same destination for a week. Renting a home directly through the owners, and then using your kitchen to have a few meals in versus eating out for every meal, could save you hundreds or even thousands in honeymoon costs, but still give you that fabulous destination (and in some cases maybe even a better location or view!). You may be giving up daily maid service and the spa, but you are gaining lots of space, a unique experience, and tons of money.
2. Browse Bidding for Good. Do you know where you want to go or the type of vacation you are interested in? Check out Bidding for Good, a network of non-profit online auctions that is open to anyone to place bids. At any given time, you can find hundreds of travel options and packages to destinations throughout the country, from a weekend getaway at a local inn to a week’s stay at a resort in Hawaii. Many of the packages end up going for less than their value, which means this is a great way to score a discount on a vacation and support a non-profit at the same time. How much you save will vary by item, but you could easily end up getting 40 or 50% off a honeymoon package. This is also a good place to get deals on travel items other than hotels, like rental car vouchers, dining gift certificates, and flights. Definitely worth checking out! Can’t find anything? Keep checking back, as organizations are constantly adding items and opening new auctions.
3. Use your Swagbucks: Earning points for free and redeeming them for gift cards= free money to help with flights, dinner, or even coffee breaks on your honeymoon. For instance, right now Swagbucks is offering a $50 Southwest gift card for 5700. Since you can earn up to 50 Swagbucks for an internet search and hundreds or thousands of points referring family members, you could get to this pretty quickly! Read more about how to use Swagbucks to offset your wedding costs here. Ready to sign up? Register here and earn 30 Swagbucks right away!
4. Call in those favors. Does a friend, aunt, uncle, neighbor, etc. have a second home in a perfect honeymoon location? Ask them if they would be willing to let you stay for a week as their wedding gift to you or if they could give you a discounted family and friends rate. This is a wonderful way have that honeymoon on even the smallest budget.
5. Have a small budget and no relatives with a house in the Caribbean? It happens to the best of us. Consider setting up a honeymoon registry to still have that awesome vacation. This can work two ways—you can sign up for a general cash registry where guests can give monetary gifts to help offset the costs of wherever you decide to go, or you can set a specific registry where you identify your honeymoon trip (cruise, resort, hotel, etc.) and guests can pay for a particular aspect of it. For example, your friends could buy you a drink for your cruise, your grandma could buy you a nice dinner, and your cousins could put money towards the room. Either way, your guests make it financially possible for you to have that honeymoon of your dreams.
6. Keep on top of those online deals. In this economy especially, many travel websites frequently offer some pretty astounding deals. Our favorites are Cheap Caribbean, Priceline, and Expedia, which consistently have vacation packages and cruises for affordable prices, and can save you up to 75% off retail prices! Score!
7. Save your miles and points. Strategize about how best to use credit card rewards points and frequent flier miles to get you to your dream destination. If you are in the market for a new credit card, research your options to see which card offers the most sign-up bonus points that you can use. Then put all of your purchases on the credit card in the year or months leading up to your wedding and cash in when you can. You can also save up your points from any hotel or airline rewards programs and use those to score free nights or flights on your honeymoon.
8. Take advantage of the extras! Although some couples are shy about declaring themselves on their honeymoon, we highly recommend it! Not only is it a way to share your joy and fully experience your one and only honeymoon, but it might score you some free extras! Many cruises, resorts, hotels and inns will offer perks to couples honeymooning at their property like free champagne, massages, a discounted meal, yummy treats, invitations to special receptions etc. (No faking it, though! Many of these companies require proof via a copy of your marriage certificate, so come prepared if possible.) Plus, many resorts and inns offer you an anniversary discount if you come back to celebrate in the future.