Hi Frugalistas! Are you, or do you know anyone getting married soon? Isn’t it a complicated and expensive exercise? It seems that just because it comes with the word “wedding” attached, everything suddenly doubles in price! But help is at hand. Here are my top 10 tips for the perfect honeymoon of your dreams, done with frugal first class travel tips of course!
1. Set a budget
Where can you go for your budget? Few of us have unlimited finances, so work out what is important to you. Somewhere close to home that is more luxurious, but for a shorter trip? Or go further afield, stay longer and moderate your accommodation and food expectations. It’s up to you!
2. Choose central accommodation
While I know you want somewhere romantic, don’t assume that should mean isolated. If you are planning on leaving your resort or hotel do book somewhere central, even if seems more expensive. What you may save on accommodation you’ll spend on transport, defeating the purpose.
3. Always tell your accommodation you are on your honeymoon
Even if the hotel or resort doesn’t advertise any bonuses for honeymooners, always tell them. You never know – you may get a better room, free breakfast, a massage, or even a free meal. Be prepared to provide evidence that you are married – some places do ask.
4. If Europe is on your list
Consider “new” rather than “old” Europe if you want to save money or travel longer. Think the Baltic States, Slovenia or Croatia. Malta can also be very good value, although is more expensive to get to. While not technically Europe, both Turkey and Morocco also can be good value if you choose wisely.
Paris and Venice are perhaps the quintessential romantic honeymoon locations but are definitely not budget. For budget options that still offer romance to the max go for Barcelona, Bruges in Belgium or the Cinque Terre in Italy. Fabulous food, lovely people, gorgeous ambience and a romantic 3star hotel for EUR100 – what’s not to love?
You can read more about my budgeting tips for a trip to Europe here, and here.
5. Consider traveling out of season
If Paris, Venice or any other romantic destination is definitely on your wishlist, think about going out of season to save money. For skiers, that means choosing shoulder season rather than peak, avoiding school holidays for destinations closer to home, or winter for non-skiing Europe. The romance doesn’t diminish, crowds will be smaller and you’ll still have the romantic trip of your dreams.
6. Self catering
Don’t dismiss an apartment or condominium. Visiting the markets together, choosing your menu and cooking it together can be more romantic than a cheap tourist restaurant or hotel breakfast room, as well as save you a lot of money. Set the table properly, buy some candles and flowers from the supermarket or markets and let romance do the rest……
7. Eat local
Even if you are in a swanky resort, save money by going outside, visiting the market or supermarket and buy yourself a lovely picnic of local foods. Out and about avoid the heavily touristed main drag restaurants. You know the ones I mean – pictures of the food, noisy, aggressive spruikers out the front, 3 courses for no money. All you will do is eat microwaved, mass produced food with tired, grumpy tourists. Definitely NOT romantic, and not the meals the memories are made of. Instead, head off the main drag and find somewhere with the locals. You’ll enjoy better food, at a better price, and maybe find “your” first restaurant as a couple!
8. Pack light
You’ll save money on taxis and other transport, as well as porterage in some countries. In Europe you will manage better in cheaper hotels. Your honeymoon should be about enjoying your first days as a married couple, and creating memories, not how many pairs of shoes you got to wear. Your partner won’t love you any less if you wear the same evening outfit twice, so don’t fall for that “perfect picture” trap. Concentrate on being in the moment and enjoying yourself and not on how many hair appliances you need to take…..
9. Planning the details
Plan the details of your honeymoon just as you would your dress or reception. You wouldn’t just go to the first reception place and book in would you? You’d shop around and find the perfect place for your budget. Treat your honeymoon the same. Research your honeymoon just the same and you’ll find the perfect honeymoon at the perfect price.
10. Funding your perfect honeymoon
If you plan ahead of time, can you use frequent flyer miles to help save money on your honeymoon? Look out for credit cards with mileage bonuses that you can take out ahead of time. Even if you can’t redeem your points for flights you may earn enough points to purchase a night or so at a really good hotel that you couldn’t otherwise afford, or to buy that matching luggage for your trip. Seek out offers via discount coupon sites, and subscribe to travel booking websites to get the latest insider deals.
Honeymoons are special trips, but the principles for having a perfect honeymoon are the same as for any great trip.
What are your top tips for saving money on your honeymoon? Let’s share our knowledge and learn together!
We honeymooned in Rome. It was only a four night trip and cost was a huge factor. In the end we flew Jet 2 which was budget, but definitely a decent standard. We chose a small hotel that occupied one floor of a fancy building. It was totally affordable luxury and they gave us a discount and collected us from the airport. I’d have liked to have gone on a full blown fortnight of honeymoon, but in the end I was glad we did the type of trip that was far more “us”. It’s easy to get carried away with honeymoons. I honestly don’t think you need to.
Couldn’t agree more, Clare. I think it is important to choose something that is “you” rather than what you are “meant” to do on a honeymoon. We got married, and therefore honeymooned in Mauritius – we were going there anyway, and when we realised we could get married there, decided to do it!
I bet getting a discount and being picked up made you feel just as special!