Saving Money on Your Honeymoon
Ok, so you’ve scored a fabulous deal on your trip, but now what? All of those expenses while you are actually on your honeymoon—the food, coffee, drinks, and activities, can certainly add up quickly. Here are some tips for keeping those costs manageable while you are actually on your honeymoon- because who isn’t going to enjoy their honeymoon bliss more knowing they are saving that hard earned cash?
1. Become friends with Restaurant.com. Yes, this website will become one of your best friends for your honeymoon, and for that matter, married life on a budget. Restaurant.com offers discounted gift certificates at select restaurants throughout the country. You just need to type in your destination, and you’ll be presented with various dining options in that general area. The typical price is $10 for a $25 gift certificate (with a minimum purchase that varies by restaurant—usually around $35 is required) or $4 for a $10 gift certificate (also with a min. purchase- typically $20). BUT the best part is that there are almost always discount codes available so that you can score these gift certificates at 70-80% off the already discounted prices, making a $25 gift certificate around $2 or $3!
2. Check out Groupon and Living Social. Each of these sites offers a daily deal for cities throughout the U.S., usually featuring a restaurant or activity for 50% and more off the retail price. Groupon is a collective buying site, so they usually have a minimum amount of gift certificates that have to be sold in order for “the deal to be on” (if they don’t meet the minimum, your credit card won’t be charged) while with Living Social, you can purchase it right away. Once you have decided on your honeymoon destination, see if a nearby city is featured on either site, and sign up for the emails or check the sites daily. You may end up getting the majority of your meals, spa services and activities before you even leave- and at a fraction of the full price. Love it!
3. Start Earning Swagbucks! Swagbucks is one of our favorite rewards sites, because you can earn points (swagbucks) quickly and redeem them for some great rewards- including gift cards. If you can’t use your swagbucks towards your honeymoon, use them on your honeymoon! Stock up on Starbucks gift cards to grab coffee at the airport or for that caffeine fix at your destination, or use them at one of the many retailers to buy some well deserved honeymoon clothes! ;) Swagbucks is constantly updating prizes, so check back often to see what else you can score. We are huge fans of this site - check out our thoughts on how to use swagbucks to help defray wedding costs. When you are ready to sign up, click here to register and get 30 Swagbucks right away!
4. Buy an Entertainment Book for your destination. You may already be familiar with the awesome entertainment book—they are regional coupon books that include hundreds of coupons for restaurants, stores, and attractions in a specific area. Usually the coupons are for Buy One, Get One Free, which means you can pretty much cover the cost of your book after a dinner or two. A couple of months before embarking on your honeymoon adventure, order an Entertainment Book online for that area. (Online has the best deals available—depending on the time of year, you can end up with pretty hefty discount off the cover price!). The Entertainment Book website even lets you preview some of the coupons in the book, so you can decide if it is worth the cost to buy it or not for your specific area. This is such a great way to save big money on a trip —if you wanted to, you could use a coupon on the majority of meals on your honeymoon—talk about savings!!
5. Go with a twist on the Honeymoon Registry. Besides registering for money towards your hotel, flight, resort or cruise, you can register for excursions, drinks, or dinners at your honeymoon destination.
6. Make a stop at the Visitors Center. Visitors Centers are absolute hidden gems- teeming with free coupons and maps and guides! So many times they are overlooked or bypassed, but please- make a point of stopping at the Visitors Center at your honeymoon destination! Besides being properly welcomed, you will leave with a stash of goodies and coupons, and hopefully some insider information about local attractions.
7. Take coupons with you. Yes, yes we know- who wants to deal with coupons when you are on your honeymoon? Well, if it means the difference of going to that fancy restaurant or experiencing that exciting activity, we do! Plus, if you are anything like all of the Belles contributors, you’ll get that rush from saving money- a perfect addition to honeymoon bliss!
8. Cash in on those credit card rewards. If you don’t have enough points or miles to use towards your flight or hotel, spend those rewards you’ve been saving on gift certificates for food, rental cars, or experiences. Can’t think of a better time to spend them than on your honeymoon! These will either help to really cut down on your expenses or allow you and your new spouse to enjoy an activity you would otherwise not be able to afford.
9. Find a local market or store. Whether you are a couponer or not, one of the easiest ways to save big bucks on your food expenses when traveling is to find a local market or grocery store at your destination. Stock up on basics like bottled water, granola bars, and snacks as well as breakfast foods like fruit, muffins, and pastries, and beer and wine. This will save you tons of money from breaking open the mini bar, plus having breakfast in your room and snacks on hand will spare you from the offensive prices for small meals at restaurants nearby. Of course, if you have a refrigerator and microwave (or kitchen) in your room, you could save more by having additional meals in.
10. Come prepared! Buy basic supplies like sunscreen, aloe, insect repellent, toiletries, or even disposable cameras at home and take them with you. They will most certainly be more expensive at any tourist destination, plus at home you’ll have the time to take advantage of fabulous couponing deals, so you can get all of these for cheap!
11. Bid for Good. As we've mentioned in other sections, Bidding For Good is a website dedicated to online auctions for non-profits throughout the country. These organizations auction off various kinds of items and services that have been donated to them to raise funds for their mission. The cool thing about Bidding For Good is that you don’t have to be affiliated with the organization to bid- it is open to anyone! So go there and search for your honeymoon destination. You could find anything from a dinner at a new hot restaurant to ice cream at a local creamery to a sunset cruise to admission to a local museum. Then, bid away!!! These items rarely sell for their full value, which means big discounts for you, but since most of the items are donated, anything you pay will go directly to raise money for that non-profit!