Saving and Budgeting for Your Honeymoon
Weddings are expensive affairs, with news outlets and blogs regularly exclaiming over the cost of this momentous life event. There are plenty of websites, vendors, and blogs to show you how to DIY your way through your wedding to save on cost, but what about the honeymoon?
With the average honeymoon hovering around at $4,500, most engaged couples should plan and save for their post-wedding getaway as soon as possible in order to avoid putting it all on credit cards. But never fear, there are many options to pay for and make a swoon-worthy honeymoon vacation a reality without going into debt!
As with most other goals of saving money, there are two ways to go about it: spending less money and/or making more of it. When saving for a honeymoon, however, there are a few more options for doing both.
One option is to trim part of your current every-day budget and put that extra cash aside for your trip. If you have a long engagement, consider putting the money in a high-interest saving account to earn a little extra. You could also decide to spend less on the wedding so you can spend more on the honeymoon. If you’re unsure if you want to do this, every time a wedding expense comes up, think about if you’d rather pay the money for the item or a financial equivalent on your honeymoon. If you’d rather use the money on your honeymoon, then find a cheaper alternative or scrap the wedding item altogether!
If cutting wedding and current living costs doesn’t appeal to you, find some ways to bring in extra money. Consider selling any items you know will likely be replaced by better versions on your wedding registry, take on a part-time job, or create a honeymoon registry.
These days, honeymoon registries on sites like Honeyfund or Wanderable are more and more common, allowing friends and wedding guests to contribute money toward your trip. On some sites, you can even list specific experiences that people can buy for you! And of course, you can always decide to dedicate all cash and even some gift cards toward paying for your honeymoon.
A final way to save even more for your trip is to delay it. This gives you more time to save for it, spreads out the huge costs of both the wedding and the trip, and allows you more time to decide where and when to go for even more savings.
Any way you do it, the goal is to build saving for your honeymoon into your current budget and keep that money separate from your wedding funds, so it doesn’t accidentally get spent!
Once you have an idea how much you’ll be able to save and spend on your vacation with your dearly beloved, it’s time to decide how you’re going to spend that money to get the most out of your trip. Crucial to this is deciding what’s most important to you and your spouse and making that a priority.
If you and your significant other are adventurous types, perhaps sea kayaking, scuba diving, or hang gliding are top of the list for you. Find out how much these types of excursions cost and put them at the top of your budget as items you don’t want to budge on. The same could be said about spa experiences, wine tasting, five-star dining, or first-class plane tickets. Just know that selecting what you’re willing to splurge on means deciding what things you’re willing to give up entirely or scrimp on.
Costs to consider and account for in your budget include:
- Transportation to and from locations (airfare, rental cars, taxis, etc.)
- Food and drink
- Spa treatments
- Excursions and upgrades
- Getting a passport
- Baggage fees and/or buying new luggage
Saving on costs
Where you go on your honeymoon—and when—can mean a difference of thousands of dollars. Consider the cost to reach your desired destination as well as associated location costs, like the general added expenses of things in remote locations and any currency exchange rates. To save money, look at less-exotic destinations, staying for a shorter period of time, or traveling during the shoulder- or off-season. And nothing says you can’t plan your wedding around when you want to take your honeymoon!
Airfare and hotel accommodations are two of the biggest expenses in planning most trips, which makes them a great place to start looking for ways to save once you’ve selected your destination. Consider driving to your honeymoon, look for hotels and airfare on discount websites, or book accommodations on a site like AirBnB. Don’t forget to look into using airline miles when booking flights and credit card points when reserving hotels.
For one-stop, stress-free planning, a travel agent is a great option. Afterall, if you’re taking your honeymoon right after your wedding, planning for both can easily turn into a headache! Travel agents know how to save you money with various packages, all-inclusive trips, and other discounts only they have access to.
With all these options to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak, when it comes to your dream honeymoon, the most important thing is to start planning and saving as soon as possible!