How to Have a Memorable Honeymoon on a Budget
After the “I do's" are done, there's no better way to celebrate your new life together than a honeymoon.
But one way you don't want to start married life is by racking up credit card debt to finance a deluxe getaway — especially after you've just paid for a wedding. Couples spend an average of $4,5001 on their honeymoon, but an amazing trip can be had at any price point. And while you don't have to spend a fortune to create a romantic and memorable holiday with your new mate, you can kick the extravagance up a notch if you've saved accordingly.
Check out our post-nuptial trip ideas for three budget ranges, along with some bonus tips on making your vacation dollar stretch even farther.
While couples spend an average of $4,500 on their honeymoon, the great news is that an amazing trip can be had at any price point.
Modest but magnificent ideas for under $1,000
Ever been a tourist in your own town? Consider a staycation: you can stay in a posh hotel, indulge in spa treatments, and dine at top-tier restaurants while avoiding pricy travel costs. You can also choose more budget-friendly accommodations and score a day pass at a nearby resort to take advantage of their lavish amenities for less.
Alternately, if you'd like to get out of town, choose a locale within a short driving distance. Take a look at a map or search online for “your city" and “nearby destinations." You might discover ideas for a beach, mountain resort, national park, or other landmark you'd never considered before. Stay as many nights as you can comfortably afford, all the while remembering that the beauty of a relatively local spot is that you can make it “your place," and visit as often as you like.
More indulgent options up to $3,000
Always wanted to take a bite out of the Big Apple or revel in Los Angeles' star power? Most domestic destinations are well within reach of a mid-tier budget. The trick will be to decide where you want to economize and where you want to pull out all the stops. For example, you might decide that more reasonable lodging allows you to relish upscale dining every night, coupled with blockbuster shows or one-of-a-kind adventures.
Before planning your trip, prioritize the various aspects with your partner to make sure you're on the same page about where you'd like to splurge and where you can save.
All out opulence for $5,000+
With a more extravagant budget, you can plan a holiday that's a little farther afield — and a little more exotic. Maybe you envision chilling with your mate on a tropical island or heating up the slopes at a luxury ski resort. To simplify the planning (and avoid any budget surprises), consider an all-inclusive resort or cruise. You won't have to track your expenditures or skimp on dining or activities, since one rate covers most amenities.
Another option is to stick with one of the more affordable trips and use the extra funds to add quality or quantity: upgrading your accommodations or adding a few more nights.
Go for the gold
No matter what your budget allows, no one wants to spend more than they have to. These tips will help you conserve your hard-earned vacation funds, while still having the experiences you crave.
Become a savvy travel planner
Discounts abound — you just have to know where to look for them. If you have settled on a destination, check out its visitor's site and register to receive newsletters and discounts from local attractions. If you have specific hotels and airlines in mind, sign up for their emails and follow them on social media — you'll be the first to hear of flash sales or special discounts.
Don't forget that planning ahead works for your money, too. Talk to your banker about starting a dedicated savings account or buying a CD or other short-term investment that will allow you to save up and pay for your vacation without incurring debt. (You're in good company: A survey by wedding planning site The Knot2 found that 60% of couples paid for their honeymoon from personal savings.)
Have you been hoarding points from loyalty clubs or credit card travel rewards? Now is the time to use them. Check with your partner to verify what each of you has and combine them to get even more bang without spending a buck. Book plane tickets, rental cards, or accommodations through your credit card rewards portal to get the highest point redemption value — often a 20% bonus.
Let your guests sponsor it
Consider collecting funds for your trip via a honeymoon registry. You've probably heard that it's increasingly popular to give the gift of experiences rather than goods. Well, that trend is expanding to include gift-giving for weddings.3 This trend means you can think outside the wedding gift box and ask guests to forgo the usual blenders and cookware and instead help sponsor some part of your trip, such as a rock climbing lesson at a national park or a tickets to a Broadway play. As an extra thank you, you can share pictures of your trip on social media with the giver — or text them a photo from your destination.
Ask for the upgrade
Everyone adores lovebirds so take advantage of that newlywed status to see what extras you can score, whether it's a first-class seat, an upgraded room, or even a free appetizer or dessert. You never know what might come your way just by asking (politely!).
Time it right
Remember that some destinations will be much more expensive at certain times of the year—think the tropics in the winter and tourist hot spots in the summer. If you have flexibility with your timing, consider visiting on the shoulder season, which is the period right before or after peak travel that often costs far less. Research the optimum time to go if you and your partner don't mind delaying the vacation. The bonus is you're likely to be a lot more relaxed if you go a few weeks or more after your wedding — and have something else to look forward to.
And remember the most important thing about a honeymoon — this is just the first of many trips you'll take together as a couple. Enjoy the moment but don't stress about every detail.
Synovus can help you budget and save for a big expense like a honeymoon. Stop by your local branch to talk with one of our bankers.
Important Disclosure Information
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
- WeddingWire.com, “WeddingWire Newlywed Report 2019," accessed February 4, 2020. Back
- Lee, Esther, “The Top Honeymoon Trends and Destinations for 2020," The Knot, accessed February 4, 2020. Back
- Fromm, Jeff, "Millennials Shaking Up the Wedding Industry," published August 15, 2018, accessed February 7, 2020. Back
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