A few lucky couples are given a honeymoon trip as their wedding present, others have the financial means to travel to the destination of their choice. But what about the rest of us? What if the all-inclusive to Jamaica or Maui is simply out of our reach?
We have some good news for you. There are plenty of options for the honeymooning couple on a budget, especially if you start to plan early.
Laying the Plans
When you make your initial wedding budget calculations, set aside an amount for the honeymoon. This way you will have a trip fund and the possibility of taking a honeymoon will seem real, rather than a pipe dream. You don’t have to allow for the entire cost, but once the fund is set up, you can treat it as the home for any stray money. It will grow.
Stay in the country.
It is difficult to plan a trip overseas without incurring substantial expense. The airfare alone will put a healthy dent in your finances. Sing that song America the Beautiful to yourself: "…for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plains…" The United States is replete with places of natural beauty and man-made excitement. If you set your mind on finding a destination within the continental U.S., you’ll have a better chance of cutting the budget.
Take to The Road
Choosing a destination you can drive to, virtually guarantees a reasonably priced honeymoon. If you live in a state where you have easy access to the Canadian or Mexican border, you can even honeymoon abroad without breaking the bank. If you plan a trip to a distant destination, check out airfares before you pull out the road maps. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to find a reasonable deal.
There are 48 National Parks in the United States and literally hundreds of state parks and forests. If you plan to honeymoon during months with pleasant weather, you may consider a camping holiday in one of these beautiful locations. From Gates of the Arctic, to Everglades National Park, if you are nature lovers, you’re sure to find a park you’ll enjoy. Just imagine… alone, together in the wilderness… no one around for miles and miles… hmm. The facilities at these parks vary widely, and some have no running water and only limited facilities. Be sure to research your camping destination to determine if it meets your needs. The National Park Service has a comprehensive website at www.nps.gov
"The couple chose a six week Caribbean holiday to celebrate their marriage." Which couple was that? Not us. But you can still have fun on an island without going into debt. Visiting some of the beautiful islands off the coast of the continental U.S. can be quite pricey, especially places like Nantucket and the presidential choice, Martha’s Vineyard. But there are dozens of reasonably priced island spots to investigate. Here are a few suggestions: Cottages and bed & breakfasts dot the coastline of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The windswept beaches and rolling surf make an ideal honeymoon destination. You may wish to look into the barrier islands off the coast of Georgia and Alabama such as the Golden Isles. For an even more tropical vacation, try the Florida keys, though these popular destinations often fall on the more costly end of the spectrum. If you are closer to the west coast, California’s Catalina Island with its old fashioned hotels and lovely harbor make a romantic honeymoon destination.
It’s on the block
Participating in an online auction is a new and exciting way to secure a wonderful honeymoon trip. Of course, in an auction there is no guarantee that you’ll get the trip of your choice, but maybe, just maybe, you’ll be leaving on the honeymoon of your dreams.
Appeal to Their Romantic Souls
Chances are you know someone who has a vacation home or time-share at the beach, a cabin by a lake, a condo in the mountains. If they’re close friends, they may be willing to rent you their house, or better still, loan it to you for a honeymoon getaway.
"Register" for your honeymoon
Let it be known through your attendants that family and friends have the option of contributing to a fund for your honeymoon. In lieu of a physical wedding gift, they can be a part of the trip you’ll remember for a lifetime. If you decide to go this way, assign a bridesmaid and a groomsman to handle this as a team; this way you’ll share the work and any chance of awkwardness is lessened.
Along similar lines, you may have people in your family who travel extensively for their jobs. Often such people will have accumulated thousands of frequent flier miles that can be used to acquire tickets for family members. If you find someone willing to share their miles with you, be sure to check with the airline first to determine the rules for such transfers. The airline policies vary widely, some even allow friends to share their miles.
If you’re marrying during prime wedding season, May through September, your honeymoon will be taking place during high season for vacations as well. The costs of accommodation and travel are at their peak during these months. If you can manage it, you may wish to spend a few nights in a local hotel but delay your real honeymoon for a while. The country goes back to work after Labor Day, but summer goes on for another month or so, and many romantic seaside resorts drop their rates dramatically once "the season" is over. You could easily find yourself alone on a deserted stretch of beach with the undivided attention of the hotel staff.
Just Thought I’d Mention
The mere mention that you are on your honeymoon can send service providers into overdrive. You could get bottles of champagne delivered to your table in restaurants, upgrades on flights, a hotel suite instead of a standard double room. These acts of kindness tend to occur in places where honeymooning couples don’t make up 95% of the clientele. In other words, it’s the innkeeper in the country rather than the hotel concierge in Waikiki that is more likely to do special things for you. But even if you do wind up in Hawaii, don’t hesitate to mention the recent nuptials. Who knows what boon will come your way? A couple of mai tais perhaps?
Start planning your honeymoon with our Honeymoon Checklist.
See More: Honeymoons , Planning , Budgeting