How to Maximize Your Honeymoon Budget

A couple on their honeymoon in Greece.

In addition to the wedding itself (never mind getting married to the love of your life), the honeymoon is one of those things we lovebirds look forward to. Unfortunately, they can quickly get expensive!

If you’re one of those people who considers a honeymoon to be the “trip of a lifetime,” you’re more likely to be lax with your spending than if you were in a different scenario. And that can turn your little vacation into a big expenditure very quickly.

To maximize your budget, you need to adopt (or maintain) a money-conscious mindset. This means sticking to your spending limits and never forgoing a discount opportunity. In addition, it can also help to know a few cash-saving tips that will help keep your dream trip affordable. And that is exactly what we’re about to share with you!

Finances First

An aerial view of a couple in the ocean by a beach resort.

As with all wedding spending, it’s important to stick to your budget. And just because you’ve allowed yourself to spend a certain amount of money doesn’t mean you have to burn through all of it! So, before we get to the good stuff, let’s go over three key things.

Predetermine Your Price

Setting a budget is more than just picking a random amount you’re willing to splurge on your dream vacation. It’s also about being realistic. Know how much you can afford, and leave at least 20% room for error for unexpected expenses, which you’re likely to encounter.

On a related note, you shouldn’t ever go into debt for a wedding or a honeymoon. Sure, you can put some of the spending on a credit card you expect to pay back in a few months, but never take out a loan. In either scenario, you’ll incur interest charges that will only add to your expenditures—meaning, it’ll make your honeymoon more expensive in the long run.

Don’t Forget Discounts

Even if something sounds cheap, that doesn’t mean it can’t be cheaper. Ask if you can save money whenever possible and look for special sales —such as booking excursions midweek instead of on a Saturday. And if you find something that ticks all your boxes on the first search, take an extra day or two to see if you can find a better offer. This is especially important for big-ticket items such as travel tickets, accommodations, and certain activities.

Prioritize

When planning your honeymoon, take some time to make a list of what’s important and unimportant to both of you, and in order of priority. For example, you might find that you are keen on having a luxury setting by the beach with access to outdoor activities, but the food options or country don’t matter. Meaning, you can look for a five-star hotel in a low-cost country such as Thailand and skip the multi-course fancy dinners for some local authentic street food.

Ways to Maximize your Honeymoon Spending

A newlywed couple on the bow of a boat with cocktails.

Now that we’ve covered some basics, you’re likely eager to know some insider tips on how to save more money and make the most out of your honeymoon budget. So, here are some great ways to do just that.

Consider All-Inclusive

Hotels and/or resorts with all-inclusive or half-board packages can save you a ton of money during your stay. If they offer an accommodation-only option, you can compare it yourself and you’ll likely find that the added cost of having two or three meals is cheaper than paying for them out of pocket. It’s also worth noting that some all-inclusive resorts include more than just meals—you may be entitled to access to special events or tours that would normally cost you a significant share of your budget.

Go Off-Season

…or off-weekend. Any time you travel, at least when it comes to hotels and plane tickets, it’s best to book when everyone else is likely to stay at home. Therefore, avoid peak travel times such as summer or major holidays. It can also help to book things starting from midweek instead of the weekend, as prices will likely be lower then.

Ask for Upgrades

Don’t be shy when it comes to your honeymoon! Let the hotel know that it’s your honeymoon and you’re likely to get an upgrade or at least an unexpected surprise. This is even more likely if you book direct versus through a secondary travel agency. However, travel agents, despite being a third party, can be a highly useful asset in getting all the perks for pennies on the dollar. Keep in mind that this isn’t guaranteed, but it also doesn’t hurt to ask.

Create a Honeymoon Fund

Instead of creating a classic wedding registry, you can start up a honeymoon fund for your guests to contribute to. Most likely, a wedding registry is redundant, especially if you’ve already been living together for a while. Therefore, make the most out of the money your loved ones are going to spend and have it go where it matters most.

Charge it to the Card

If you don’t have a good credit card that gives you points on travel already, now is the time to get one! Or, at the very least, have at least one card that charges no foreign transaction fees if you’re going overseas. Those things can add up fast!

Many credit cards not only give incredible cashback on travel-related purchases, but also offer a bonus when you complete your first minimum spend. It’s not unheard of to get two free first-class flights after spending just a few thousand dollars. Depending on your credit rating, you can open up more than one credit card and get double or triple bonuses on expenses you would’ve normally gotten next-to-nothing for. In other words, organize your purchases right, and you could have a good portion of it paid back in rewards!

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