In the excitement of wedding planning, it’s easy to get carried away — especially on the honeymoon. After all, it’s your first trip together as a married couple, and for many people, that fact alone makes it easy to justify splurging on things that you might not otherwise. Official figures vary, but on average, most newlyweds spend an average of about $4,000 to $5,000 on their post-wedding trip, and in many cases, that’s more than they intended to spend.
The good news is that you can still have a romantic honeymoon getaway without breaking the bank if you follow a few simple tricks to avoiding the overspending trap. By following these tips, you can easily save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.
5 Ways to Avoid Overspending on Your Honeymoon
1. Pack Smart — And in Advance
Whether you over pack or under pack for your honeymoon trip, it can cost you money. Overpacking can lead to expensive surcharges on luggage when you fly; some airlines charge as much as $200 for a bag that weighs more than the allotted 50 pounds, and if you check more than one bag, you can expect to pay anywhere from $25 to $200 for that privilege. This can easily add hundreds of dollars to your honeymoon expenses, and you haven’t even reached your destination yet.
Underpacking can be just as expensive, though. If you are staying at a resort or taking a cruise, you can expect to pay a premium for even basic necessities like toothpaste or sunscreen. And while the idea of adding to your wardrobe with honeymoon purchases sounds romantic, it can add up. Your best bet, then, to avoid spending more than you need to, is to carefully plan what you need to bring and use a packing list to ensure you don’t forget essentials. Shop ahead of time and look for sales on items you need. If you are headed to the beach during the winter, look for bargains on summer clothes and tankini swimwear at the end of the summer, and put them aside for your honeymoon. Shopping for those items in the offseason usually means paying a premium.
2. Limit Shopping
Souvenir shopping is another area where newlyweds tend to splurge. When you are in vacation mode, you often make decisions that you wouldn’t normally and buy things that you wouldn’t otherwise look at twice. Therefore, to prevent overspending on useless trinkets that will probably just gather dust, limit your shopping and avoid overpriced tourist traps. If you really want to bring something home, consider buying from a local artist or craftsperson, and choosing something that is meaningful and unique — not just another T-shirt or snow globe.
3. Eat Local
Part of the purpose of a honeymoon is to unwind and reconnect after the craziness of the wedding. What better way to do that than with a romantic picnic? Try to find local markets and pick up the ingredients for a romantic picnic lunch or dinner, rather than eating in restaurants for every meal. Not only will you save money — you can usually fill a picnic basket with a bottle of wine and some sandwiches for less than the cost of one entrée at a restaurant — but you’ll make a great memory in the process.
4. Enjoy Downtime
Again, the purpose of the honeymoon is to relax, so don’t feel like you should be on the go and “doing something” every minute. Plan for some downtime where you lounge by the pool with a good book or take a nap. Even just taking a walk on the beach or through the downtown area is free, and gives you a chance to connect without spending a penny.
5. Plan Ahead to Score Discounts and Deals
Finally, planning can save you big bucks on your honeymoon. Sign up for deal alerts from your destination on sites like Groupon or Living Social; you might score a big discount on a fun activity. If you know that you’re going to visit a particular attraction, check the website for any advance purchase deals. Many museums, parks, and other attractions offer discounts when you purchase tickets in advance. Or, get your wedding party to spread the word about your honeymoon destination and plans. Your guests might help you out by giving you gift cards or tickets to use on your honeymoon, reducing how much you have to spend out of pocket.
Honeymooning on a budget doesn’t mean you must forgo the romance or luxury you’ve been dreaming of. By making a few smart choices and planning ahead, you’ll still have a dream trip without coming home to big credit card bills and tons of debt.