I would pay a significant amount of money to be done with wedding planning TODAY and move directly on to the honeymoon. Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this, we’ll be on that honeymoon. Originally, Tim and I were going to spend just a couple of nights camping or stay at a cabin in the nearby Laurel Highlands, rather than taking a full week to ourselves, but I am so glad that we decided to take the time to get away after the wedding. Our dream honeymoon (which we still might take someday) is to either go to New Zealand and explore (yay Lord of the Rings) or go west to Yellowstone and Yosemite with our families. The pattern there is that we like the woods, and we like exploring. Based partially on that, and partially on our love of drinking and eating, we’re going to the Finger Lakes in New York for five nights. Here are some general tips to consider if you are looking for budget savvy honeymoon ideas:
- Are you and your fiancé comfortable on road trips? Draw a big circle around your house containing everything within say, a 5 or 6 hour radius (go wider if you have more time or really don’t mind driving). Chances are, there are quite a few honeymoon destinations contained within that circle. Look beyond standard resorts and destinations that market to honeymooners. Do you like hiking or camping? Try a national park, or park-hop between state parks. Enjoy restaurants, shopping, and culture? Pick a big city and find a great deal on a hotel, and then explore. The money you save by driving, rather than flying, can loosen up funds for dinners out, tickets to a show, or renting kayaks.
- Check Living Social Escapes and Groupon Getaways regularly for deals on hotels and vacation packages. Sign up for an account (both are free) and you’ll get emails daily. If you are flexible on location, you can grab a ridiculously good deal. Hotel in New Orleans looks good? Book it! Nearby spa is 50% off? Done. Flexibility is key, and don’t forget to read the fine print on which dates the deals are valid for.
- Use a credit card with a good rewards program for your wedding expenses. By the time your honeymoon rolls around, redeem your points for fuel cards, restaurants gift cards, or cash that you can use for your honeymoon.
Tim and I are splitting our time in the Finger Lakes between a larger hotel right on the lake near some excellent hiking where we can walk to breweries and trails and enjoy a drink and a cheese plate right on Lake Seneca, and a small cabin on one of the smaller lakes with no one around for miles. I don’t know which one I am more excited about, but I have definitely been converted to the idea that a honeymoon, no matter how close to home, is good for your soul and good for your marriage.