The cost of a honeymoon is enough to make any newlywed couple say, "Meh, we don't really care about seeing the world." According to CreditDonkey, the expenses of the average honeymoon add up to somewhere between $4,000 and $5,000. Yowsers. Fortunately, if you still want to cap off your nuptials with an unforgettable trip, there are clever ways to save money on your honeymoon that you maybe haven't heard of yet. All it takes is a little creativity, careful planning, extra time comparing prices, and throwing yourself across the desk of the hotel reservation lady and begging for a discount.
But not really.
The cost of traveling for a honeymoon can really sneak up on you. So many times, you book the flight and hotel and think, "Well, that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be!" And then all the fees make their entrance — paying extra to have the room with the view of the ocean, upgrading to a corner unit, extra baggage fees because you can't travel without 45 pairs of heels, the added cost of paying for a seat that allows for four inches of leg room instead of two.
It piles up, and before you know it, you've spent a pretty penny.
Listen, any way you cut it, you're going to have to cough up some dough. But with these eight tips, maybe you can hang on to a little more than you might otherwise.
1. Travel Off-Season
If you go on your honeymoon during peak travel season, you can expect the costs to go up. Why? Simple: because the demand has gone up. Instead, consider planning your trip around a less popular travel time. For example, USA Today noted the cheapest time to travel in 2017 for summer specifically was before June 19, because the most expensive summer prices usually kick in June 20. The other seasons have cheaper travel times as well. For instance, for springtime, plan to travel before April 1, as prices hike up between April 2 and 18.
Of course, there are many variables at play, and obviously, some times of year are more popular than others to travel for a reason. But just think about it: bumping your trip by even a day could equate to significant savings.
2. Forgo A Tourist Trap For Something Lesser Known
Traveler's Joy named Hawaii the top honeymoon destination of 2017. Guess what? It also might be the most expensive, according to one survey from AAA shared by the Los Angeles Times. Hawaii is undoubtedly a stunning honeymoon destination, but if you're looking to save money, it might not be the best pick.
Mexico, on the other hand, could be a solid option. Trips to Discover named it one of the best affordable honeymoon destinations. While some of the fancier resorts can be on the pricy side, there are other options that will set you back just $79 per person per night. The Florida Keys are another excellent idea for people who want to experience the Caribbean without the hefty price tag.
3. Book In Advance
You probably already know booking trips in advance can save you money — but do you know the specific sweet spot? When CheapAir.com did its annual airfare study, they found in 2017, U.S. flights were cheapest when booked 70 days in advance. (FYI: for 2016, that number was 54 days.) Their results were based on an analysis of 917 million fares across almost three million trips. This was the sweet spot.
4. Look For Smaller Airports To Fly In And Out Of
I know flying can be a real pain in the can, and we understandably want what's most convenient, but did you know booking a flight out of or into a smaller airport could save you serious cash? In some cases, it might even be closer to your destination.
For example instead of using O'Hare in Chicago, check out General Mitchell International Airport a hop, skip, and a jump away in Milwaukee, says the New York Times. Here are some other alternatives they provide:
- Hollywood Burbank Airport instead of Los Angeles International Airport
- Bellingham International Airport instead of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Dallas Love Field Airport instead of Dallas Fort Worth
5. Use A Travel Agent
Hear me out. It's understandable to think paying a travel agent will simply be an added expense on top of what you're already paying for the vacation. In reality, though, a travel agent has access to deals and savings you don't, and you might not even have to pay them for their services. This is because, Nerdwallet explains, they make money from the business they do with hotels and wholesalers. Even if they do charge you, you'll likely pay them way less than the money they're going to save you.
Check out their rates. Do your homework. Save big bucks.
6. Compare All-Inclusive Packages To Booking Everything Separately
All-inclusive packages look enticing, and they can indeed save you serious cash; but as the New York Times warns, you need to do all your homework and read the fine print. While the price tag might be cheaper, there are other things to consider. There might be hidden fees, like Wi-Fi and flight insurance, or the hotel could be far from the airport.
At the same time, all-inclusive might be the way to go. Sometimes, these packages offer everything you need at rates you couldn't get on your own, even during peak travel season, says the NYT.
The takeaway? Before you book anything, compare the prices!
7. Accept Donations Instead Of Gifts
Wedding gifts were traditionally meant to help set the new couple up in their home. These days, many partners have a home together before getting married. Do you really need that extra pair of silver candlesticks or a waffle iron? Probably not. In lieu of gifts, ask people to instead put money toward your honeymoon. Honeyfund is one such website that will help you do this.
8. Ask For A Discount
I know, I know, I just blew your mind. This is a simple one, and yet we forget about it. When you're booking flights, hotels, even reservations for dinner, tell them you're celebrating your honeymoon. You might get a discount or freebie because of the special occasion. Win!