A fruity cocktail by an infinity pool in some exotic locale is often the idealized picture of the dream honeymoon. Staying in accommodations fit for the celebrity set and dining on award winning meals while taking part in surreal activities by day comes with a bank breaking price tag. Especially after a wedding of stresses and details, couples can fork over their credit cards and rack up quite the bill, truly signaling the end of the honeymoon.
However, you don’t have to limit what should arguably be the most extravagant vacation of your married lives or even dip into your savings to do so. You can still have a luxurious honeymoon without coming home to the biggest of bills.
Ditch The Hotels, Rent a Vacation Home Instead
On my honeymoon to Greece, we spent a great deal of our honeymoon budget on accommodations, mostly at hotels. If you want to have a five star honeymoon experience, hotel nights will quickly eat away at your budget. One of the best ways to save is to go with a vacation rental instead. You can often rent these properties for weeks or months at a time for far less per night than you would with a 5 star hotel. These properties can also offer a bit more privacy than a hotel and much more space in the end to relax and unwind from the wedding.
To make sure the vacation rental is lending you more bang for your buck, price out how much it will cost for each night, comparing that number with a hotel per night. Generally vacation rentals allow your wallet more flexibility than the price of a hotel per night.
Honeymoon When The Rest of the World Doesn’t
From restaurant meals to flights and accommodations, if you want to honeymoon during peak travel times, you will pay more in the process. While you might have a summer wedding planned, you can have a more luxurious honeymoon by waiting to travel until the shoulder or off-season in your desired location.
If you are dying to get away on a five star honeymoon right after your high season wedding, couples should research destinations experiencing more of a lull during this time of the year. For example, you might be able to score a better deal to New Zealand when it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Regardless, if you travel at peak times, you will pay more, in many cases double, for each day that you stay. Those properties and restaurants often cut their fees in half if there are fewer tourists around town.
Be Cautious of Package Vacation Deals
Most honeymooners at least do a search before booking their dream trips to see if there is a package deal on the market. While many newlyweds do end up going the package travel route where flights, hotels and even meals are included in one lump sum, these deals aren’t always what they seem. They can appear more convenient and easy, but you might be paying up for the lack of groundwork required on your end.
You can still have your resort level of luxury, even if your flight isn’t tacked on to the room rate. Before you book a package deal, do a quick search to see if it is cheaper to add up all of the components separately instead. Sometimes when the word “honeymoon” is slapped on to a vacation package, the costs are higher for not quite luxury services.
Prioritize Your Luxuries
When most newlyweds think about their dream honeymoons, far off destinations and private infinity pools tend to come to mind. Even if you don’t have a five star budget for your honeymoon, you can still have many of those dream luxuries. You merely need to prioritize your luxuries. If it is important to you to just unwind and relax in glamorous accommodations, you don’t necessarily need to fly half way around the world. You will spend a great deal on your flight, leaving little room for other luxuries.
Long haul destinations can create a strain on your wallet. Couples shouldn’t count out locales closer to home with luxurious offerings. Your budget will often go farther than if you choose to fly far away from home. At the same time, if you value seeing a new far off place as a newly married couple, you can splurge on the flight over, maybe even with an upgrade. Couples merely need to prioritize their luxuries on their honeymoon to make it possible. Super plush accommodations might require sticking closer to home. Experiencing a new culture and place might require scaling back on the luxuries once you get there.
Steer Clear of Over-Planning
Over-planning a honeymoon won’t just create more stress while you are on vacation, it will also cost more if you have too much going on each day. On my honeymoon, we visited five different Greek islands in the span of two and a half weeks. Each island required renting a new car, checking in to a new hotel, more ferries and more activities to squeeze in to maximize each stop.
In the end, we paid more for being over planned on our honeymoon. If we had cut out an island or two, we would have had fewer ferry costs bogging us down and more time to enjoy the simple luxuries of each island. Over-planning a honeymoon will always translate into more dollars and cents.
Play The Honeymoon Card
While you can feel a bit silly throwing down the honeymoon card, your travels can certainly benefit from doing so. When our in-flight audio wasn’t working on our return flight home from Greece, my husband played the honeymoon card to the flight attendants. Shortly thereafter, we had two glasses of champagne in front of us and some more airline miles as an apology for the inconvenience.
Also throughout our honeymoon, we frequently emailed our hotels in advance saying we were on our honeymoon and looking forward to having a nice stay. Some greeted us with champagne while others gave us a room with a nicer view. It doesn’t hurt to play your honeymoon card while you still have it for upgrades or complementary services to make your newlywed getaway a little more luxurious.
How did you have a five star honeymoon without breaking the bank? Share your tips with us below.