How to Save Money on Your Honeymoon
Did your credit card start crying when the bills came in for your big day? Weddings are expensive! Sometimes, adding a costly trip on top of the wedding expenses is a bridge too far. But you don't have to worry; there are all kinds of ways that we can get your fantasy honeymoon at a price you can afford. How do you save money on your honeymoon? Read on to find out.
Hire a Travel Advisor to Plan Your Trip.
Travel advisors are professionals, after all. My whole job is to help you plan the perfect trip for a price that doesn't break the bank. I have the time to and the contacts to find you the best deal possible. I know when and where to book. As a luxury travel consortia member of Virtuoso, I often can automatically add perks and amenities to your booking. Spa credits, free meals, and complimentary upgrades can help give you the luxury honeymoon experience you desire without adding to the bill.
Just because you got married in the middle of July, doesn't necessarily mean you need to honeymoon right away. Prices for cruises and hotels are cyclical, so they go up and down all the time. For example, the most expensive time to go to an exotic Caribbean Island is January through March, but summer is also quite pricey. Traveling during off and shoulder seasons can save you thousands. If you want to learn more reasons to work with a travel advisor, read my You Would Be Crazy Not to Use a Travel Advisor.
Research Flights Like a Scientist
Depending on where you are heading, flights are often one of the most expensive trip components. If you can bring down the flight price, you can afford to splurge in other areas. I use Google Flights to aggregate travel data from all across the internet. Google Flights allows you to determine the least expensive dates to fly. Flight prices can change quickly; the website will enable you to track your desired flight. They will email you when the price starts to increase or decrease.
Cash in Your Points
I recommend keeping your wedding expenses on a credit card that provides travel rewards. You can rack up awards and snag sign-up bonuses. Co-branded airline credit cards are an excellent source for miles. You can always cancel it when it has outlived its usefulness. Then you can use these rewards to book flights, hotels, and incidentals. Consider moving your desired dates to match points-available flights and rooms to squeeze the most out of each point. I had clients' honeymoon two weeks after the wedding to save a thousand dollars on their trips.
Take Advantage of Frequent Flier Miles
When I signed up for the Capital One Venture Card, I received 50,000 frequent flier miles. When I combined that with 75,000 Delta SkyMiles I already had, I was able to pay for roundtrip flights to Paris. Upgrading the seats for more legroom cost us $300. The frequent flier miles saved us about $1,500 in total. I used that money to upgrade our room and pay for activities. I had a client that paid $42 for roundtrip tickets to Miami.
Tell Everyone That You are Newlyweds
Resorts, airlines, and cruise ships aren't romantic; it's smart marketing to cater to honeymooners. You are more likely to return if they pamper you. When I book honeymoon clients, I notify everybody that this is a special occasion. And I make sure to mention that fact whenever I contact them. It would help if you told everyone from the ticket agent at the airport to your resort's front desk. You will be surprised by the free amenities and upgrades afforded to you.
Limit the Number of Stops
If you are heading to Europe, consider reducing the number of destinations to decrease incidentals. Transfers to and from airports checked bag fees, and porter tips can add up quickly. You also get a break on the cost of your hotel room if you stay longer. Make a wish list of your must-dos and prioritize the top three to four. I recommend staying in on stop at least three nights; any less and you will be exhausted from all the traveling. You can always go back on your anniversary to see the places you missed on your honeymoon.
Use a Larger Airport
Compare prices on flights into all the major airports surrounding your destination. A visit to the Amalfi Coast can be pricey if you fly directly into Naples, which is the nearest hub. Flying into Rome (a much larger airport than Naples) can be half the price—not to mention that you get to spend some time in the Eternal City, and then take the train to Naples.
Honeymoon packages help you get the most bang for your buck. When you package everything together, you save money on each component. A package also provides you the cost upfront. It will make it easier to see when and if you want to add extras.
Consider Wedding Venues That Give Honeymoon Rewards
Are you thinking about having a destination wedding? Many all-inclusive resorts will give you a free honeymoon if you get married there. Every resort has different inclusions and restrictions, so ensure that you meet the minimum stay and guest count to qualify for freebies.
Consider a Cruise
Cruises are an economical way to see multiple destinations without worrying about the cost of getting from place to place. Also, luxe cruise lines, like Seabourn or Crystal Cruises, are super inclusive. They include all meals, drinks, and activities both on the ship and off, so they are great.
Don't Eat Every Meal Out.
If you're going on an extended honeymoon, consider eating at a restaurant once per day. When I travel, I pick up quick and cheap lunches at a local market and save our money for a nice dinner. If there is an iconic restaurant you must try, consider going for lunch; prices are usually less in the afternoon than at dinner.
Avoid Over Priced Extras
Groceries from a hotel shop are insanely overpriced! Head to a local grocery store to save money and meet new people. If you're a snacker, pack some grab and go snacks in your bag. Lastly, make sure you pack necessities like toiletries and medicine; buying them at a resort will cost an arm and leg.
When I was in Amsterdam, I spent hours looking for an "IAmsterdam" shirt. Two years later, I still haven't worn it except to work out. Avoid wasting money on things you will never use. Better use of time would be to take tons of photos and make a honeymoon scrapbook when you return. The book will help keep the memories alive.
Say "No" to the Mini-Bar
On our Disney Cruise, my youngest son, Jonny, got into the mini-bar. Luckily it was full of candy, not alcohol. But paying $12 for a bag of gummy bears was very painful! Alcohol is expensive, especially at hotels. Avoid spending by creating a bar in your room. You can pack it and bring it with you or buy it at a duty-free shop. Even if you can't take it home with you, it will save a ton of money over the mini-bar.
Use Public Transportation Whenever Possible
Taxies, Ubers, and private cars are luxurious and convenient. But they are not the best way to explore in honeymoon-worthy cities. Going more than ten miles, opt for public transportation. For a more local experience and a little adventure while traveling, consider renting a bike for a day. Most major cities in Europe now have bike-sharing programs, making it easy to rent a bike by the day or the hour. It's a great way to explore and fully immerse yourself and save you a bunch of money.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
In the days leading up to your wedding, tag your resort on Facebook and Instagram. Share your excitement all through the honeymoon planning process, and wax poetic about your final choice. The hotel will notice; you may get a congratulations tweet from them. Resorts LOVE good publicity, and often they will reward couples that have been singing their praises.
Stay in a Villa
Consider staying in a villa instead of a traditional hotel. You will get more privacy and relaxation at a fraction of a resort's cost. You must be thorough with research and pay attention to the property's reviews—or contact me, and I will send you curated villas. You want to make sure there are no issues when you arrive. If you want to learn more about villa rental, read my Reason You Need to Plan Villa Trip.
Utilize a Honeymoon Registry.
Finally, skip the traditional wedding registry and set up a honeymoon registry instead. Your friends and family can contribute to activities, flights, hotels, and more. Honeymoon registries are perfect for twosomes who don't need household items and find contributions to the honeymoon of a lifetime far more useful. If you have questions about them, read my: Is a Honeymoon Registry Right for You.
Is your dream honeymoon a little out of price range? These 19 tips should help you get the price down. The most important thing you can do to manage costs is to hire a professional honeymoon planner. I plan 50 honeymoons a year; I am an expert on saving money on your honeymoon.