As a couple, you have just been through the most exciting time of your lives.
You said I do, and now it’s time for the honeymoon!
It is such an important decision that needs to be made carefully. What should you do? How will you decide where to go? Who will help plan this incredible trip?
Luckily for you, we are here with some helpful tips on how to plan a honeymoon!
Table of Contents
- 1 Ways to Plan a Honeymoon on a Budget
- 1.1 Plan Ahead
- 1.2 Book Early
- 1.3 Shop for Deals
- 1.4 Get on the Same Page
- 1.5 Go Big
- 1.6 Set Your Budget?
- 1.7 Now Get the Most from That Budget
- 1.8 Be Realistic
- 1.9 Set up a Honeymoon Registry.
- 1.10 Put Wedding Gifts to Work
- 1.11 Use Rewards
- 1.12 Consider Waiting
- 1.13 Don’t Crowdsource Your Honeymoon.
- 1.14 Use the Right Name
- 1.15 Protect Your Honeymoon Investment
- 2 Do’s and Don’ts of Honeymoon Planning
- 2.1 Don’t: Let the Photographs Fool You.
- 2.2 Do: Consider a Honeymoon Gift Registry
- 2.3 Don’t: Plan Your Honeymoon by Yourself.
- 2.4 Do: Book Special Activities in Advance
- 2.5 Don’t: Head Off Too Soon After the Wedding.
- 2.6 Do: Ask for Honeymoon Specials
- 2.7 Don’t: Plan an Intense Itinerary.
- 2.8 Do: Check the Weather
- 2.9 Don’t: Forget the Medical Side.
- 2.10 Do: Consider the Ratio of Travel Time Versus Holiday Time
Ways to Plan a Honeymoon on a Budget
Just like event spaces and venues book up quickly, so do airline seats. As soon as you have your ceremony date confirmed, find out how many days of vacation the two of you have accumulated.
Decide how many days you’ll need to prep before the wedding. Give yourself a day or two after the big day to catch your breath.
Then determine how many days you’ll have for your honeymoon and make sure to request these days off from work, school, line up necessary child care or any other obligations you may have.
Airlines and hotels usually publish pricing and schedules about 300 days in advance. Booking as early as possible will give you the best pricing and choice of availability.
Locking in plans early is a way to save money when planning a honeymoon. We recommend booking your trip at least six to nine months in advance. That’s when you will truly see the best discounts.
There tends to be a lull in wedding planning just over six months out—once you’ve booked all of your vendors but before the last-minute rush of getting out invitations and making seating arrangements.
That’s the perfect time to do the heavy lifting on booking your honeymoon.
If you’re trying to save on airfare, the sooner you book, the better. Typically, significant airlines get more expensive the closer you get to the destination time. If you go last-minute, you’ll end up paying double.
If you’re able to pay for some or all of your honeymoon ahead of time—perhaps by paying for it with a credit card and paying that off in full before your trip—you may enjoy the journey even more.
Paying in advance means you won’t have to spend time worrying about the cost during your vacation or in the middle of wedding-planning madness, even if it initially took a large bite out of your bank account.
Shop for Deals
To save money when planning a honeymoon, you’ll need to do some comparison shopping.
Package deals, which bundle your hotel and flight, can be an excellent way to plan a honeymoon on a budget.
All-inclusive resorts and cruises may offer value, but alcohol or excursions may not be included and can quickly add up.
Get on the Same Page
Have a heart to heart talk with your fiance about their ideas, dreams and expectations for your honeymoon.
Does your future spouse have a bucket list of destinations they have always dreamed of visiting? Are the two of you active adventurers, or would you prefer to kick back and relax on a beach together?
Discuss the good and bad of past vacations that you’ve taken separately. Set a date night for these critical conversations.
Once you’re married, “life happens…” and often more quickly than couples realise.
One of my elderly aunts, who was known for being very frugal, gave me some great advice, “Spend money on a big honeymoon”, She said. “You can cut corners on the reception, and no one will notice. The things you need for your home can wait, but time waits for no one”. She was 100% correct.
Experiences and memories together are far more precious than things.
Set Your Budget?
While we believe a honeymoon is one of those perfect moments for a splurge, we also don’t think couples should start a marriage arguing about money.
Often affordability is a matter of priorities when it comes to setting a budget.
Money and budget is another essential conversation to have during your date night honeymoon conversations.
Rest assured, there are lovely honeymoon destinations for all budgets.
Now Get the Most from That Budget
Travel costs are determined by supply and demand.
Travelling to your preferred destination during low or shoulder season when prices are lower could save you 30% or more on your travel costs.
Travelling during holiday weeks or school holidays could cost you up to 75% more.
Travelling to destinations where currency conversion buys you more for your money is another way to help extend your travel budget.
One of the essential ways to plan a honeymoon on a budget involves determining what you can afford.
Review your finances to figure out how much you can realistically spend on your honeymoon without having trouble paying your bills or incurring new debt.
While it can be tempting to use a credit card to cover your trip and pay off over time, going into debt for a honeymoon may not be the best long-term financial move.
High-interest credit card debt can become a significant drag on your finances just as you’re starting to build your life as a married couple. Plus, credit card interest can significantly increase the actual cost of your trip.
A $4,000 honeymoon charged on a credit card with an APR of 16% would incur about $2,800 in interest if you paid only the minimum due every month.
Set up a Honeymoon Registry.
If having a considerable honeymoon experience is a priority for you, then ask your friends and family to give the gift of travel.
This doesn’t mean asking them to pay for the entire trip. They can give money towards the actual trip.
Or they can also choose to help pay for an excursion or a cooking class at your destination. Allow your friends and family to help make your honeymoon special.
Put Wedding Gifts to Work
Nearly a third of wedding guests give cash or a check to the happy couple, and guests spend an average of $118 on the wedding gift.
Among the ways to plan a honeymoon on a budget is to put some of the cash you receive as wedding gifts toward the honeymoon.
Putting some of that money in online savings account specifically dedicated to honeymoon expenses could help fund the trip and help you avoid making an impulse purchase with your honeymoon cash.
Consider setting up a honeymoon registry if you want to plan a honeymoon on a budget.
Wedding guests prefer to give something the couple wants, so the wedding registry is the most popular place to choose a present.
Couples could save money when planning a honeymoon by setting up a honeymoon registry on websites like My Gift Registry, which allow gift-givers to fund honeymoon expenses or activities (think fancy dinner or couples massage).
Assuming you can pay off the balance each month, a sound rewards credit card can save money, either by providing cash back on purchases or giving you points that can be used to pay for travel expenses like hotel stays and airfare.
A year before you start planning your honeymoon, make sure you have the best card. That gives you a whole year to build up your points with spending.
If you’re wondering how to plan a honeymoon on a budget, a co-branded airline card could help you earn miles or upgrades.
Bonus: Some wedding vendors will accept credit card payments.
If you use your card to cover wedding bills and pay the balance off immediately, you could rack up serious airline miles.
Those points can be a significant way to save money when planning a honeymoon.
If you want to skip credit for your honeymoon travel, consider the benefits of rewards checking account, which can help you earn cashback on expenses incurred during travel prep and on the actual honeymoon.
Hotels, airlines and rental car companies also often have loyalty clubs you can join to save money when planning a honeymoon.
Many programs offer instant perks to members, like no-fee Wi-Fi or discounted rates.
If you’re debating how to plan a honeymoon on a budget, remember that no rule says you have to take your honeymoon right away.
If your budget is tight or wedding planning is time-consuming, consider taking a “mini-moon”—a long weekend or short getaway—now, and give yourself time to save for a more extensive trip later.
Plus, saving for a future honeymoon will give you something else to look forward to once the euphoria of the wedding has started to wear off.
Your honeymoon is going to be amazing no matter what. You’re with the person you just married.
Don’t Crowdsource Your Honeymoon.
Imagine while planning your wedding if you put out a survey for your guests asking them things like:
What day should we get married?
What type of food should we serve?
What style of dress should I wear?
The result would be hundreds of conflicting answers. As a result, the wedding would not be about you, but it would be about them instead. There would be so much confusion that it would be much harder to make the right decisions.
This is why you shouldn’t ask for honeymoon advice on social media!
This will only lead to stress, confusion and FOMO at a time when you need focus and efficiency.
While folks online mean well, they are not professional travel planners.
We often see well-meaning advice being offered online that can lead to vast and expensive travel hassles and problems.
That is not the way you want to remember your honeymoon!
Use the Right Name
For security reasons, the names used on your reservations need to match your identification documents precisely to prevent hassles and name change fees.
For spouses planning to change their legal names, you will need a copy of your marriage license to change your name on your driver’s license and passport.
Often it will take some time after the official ceremony to obtain your marriage license and get these tasks completed.
If you plan to travel directly after the wedding, brides need to use their maiden name on their travel documents.
If you plan to honeymoon well after your ceremony and prefer to use your married name, then allow at least six weeks to update your passport.
You can go ahead and confirm reservations using your new name, but to travel overseas, you MUST have your new passport in hand on the day of travel.
Protect Your Honeymoon Investment
Travel insurance is a crucial way to protect your honeymoon investment.
While it can save you a great deal of money making travel plans far in advance, none of us has a crystal ball when it comes to the future.
If you need to cancel your travel plans, you’ll want peace of mind knowing you won’t be out of pocket for the cost of your honeymoon.
Travel insurance generally runs around 7% of the total cost of your trip. Even more critical is medical coverage if you are travelling internationally.
Most medical insurance does not cover you when travelling outside of the country.
If you or your spouse needs emergency medical care while on your honeymoon, this could end up costing you far more out of pocket than the cost of your trip.
Do’s and Don’ts of Honeymoon Planning
After months of planning a wedding, the honeymoon can be the sweet relief you need and a chance to relax and enjoy the company of your new spouse. But there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your honeymoon.
Don’t: Let the Photographs Fool You.
Seek the help of a travel professional, or read reviews from people who have been there before.
There are misleading promotional images out there, and you don’t want to fall victim to that and be disappointed when you arrive! Book through a reputable website or agent you can trust.
Do: Consider a Honeymoon Gift Registry
The wedding can be a bit of a financial drain if you are paying for it yourself, so consider looking into options to set up a honeymoon gift registry.
This means guests can buy you things like spa treatments, helicopter tours, or romantic dinners to enjoy at your destination.
Alternatively, you can set up a wishing well and inform guests their contributions will go towards paying for your honeymoon.
Don’t: Plan Your Honeymoon by Yourself.
This is a holiday where the opinions of both parties are equal and should be heard.
You may share many things in life and values, but holiday destinations may not be one of them.
While you might want to go cruising and spend each day at a different destination, your partner might prefer to find a secluded place in a tropical rainforest where you can disconnect entirely from the world and not be surrounded by other people all day.
Talk it over with one another before launching into planning.
Do: Book Special Activities in Advance
If you have your heart set on a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the desert, or a couples massage at an exclusive day spa, don’t wait until you get to your destination and potentially miss out on the experience.
Book ahead, and rest assured you will get to cross those things off your bucket list.
Don’t: Head Off Too Soon After the Wedding.
Traditionally, the honeymoon starts the moment your final guests leave the reception, but experts recommend waiting for at least 24 to 48 hours before heading off to your honeymoon destination.
This is so you can have time to wind down from the vast wedding day, and so you won’t have the added stress of meeting travel deadlines, like getting to the airport or cruise terminal so soon after the wedding.
Do: Ask for Honeymoon Specials
As the saying goes: if you do not ask, you do not get.
When booking elements of your honeymoon, ask if they offer any special or additional touches for honeymooners. You might be surprised at the special upgrades or freebies you can get.
Don’t: Plan an Intense Itinerary.
Adventure can be fun and exciting, but make sure you find the delicate balance with relaxation as well. You will need some time to combat the wedding exhaustion.
Do: Check the Weather
A quick online search will give you an indication if your destination is set to experience anything out of the ordinary, like unseasonably hot weather, a cold snap, or (gasp) bucketloads of rain during your honeymoon.
This will ensure you are prepared when you get there and not left with light summer clothes when it’s blowing a gale and raining.
Don’t: Forget the Medical Side.
If you are travelling to more exotic locations, ensure you research which immunisations are needed.
Ensure you get them well before both your wedding day and your honeymoon to ensure they give you adequate protection.
Do: Consider the Ratio of Travel Time Versus Holiday Time
Everyone wants their holidays to last forever, but it can be a real downer to spend 36 hours travelling there and back when you only spend a week at your chosen destination.
If you are flying halfway around the world, consider extending your honeymoon to ensure you are well relaxed before you have to head back to reality.