Budget Savvy Honeymoon Ideas for your Post-Wedding Vacay
A honeymoon, no matter how close to home, is good for your soul and good for your marriage! Check out these budget savvy honeymoon ideas!
Marriage is the ultimate investment. As you carefully budget for your dream celebration, it’s important to factor honeymoon plans into the equation. As your first vacation as a married couple, the honeymoon is an opportunity for you both to relax and really enjoy newlywed life together.
The best part? A great honeymoon doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are many exciting ideas and strategies you can use to guarantee the best return on investment. Here are some general tips to keep in mind as you plan your budget savvy honeymoon:
It seems there’s always another purchase to take care of when you’re planning a wedding. Capitalize on these costs by using travel rewards credit cards to rack up points towards your honeymoon. So long as you use your credit cards responsibly – always pay off the balance before it’s due – this is a fantastic way to save money on hotels, airfare, rental cars, travel insurance, and more.
While travel hacking is relatively easy to do, it pays to do your research first. Before you sign up for a new card, be sure to review the signup bonuses, annual fees, cashback rewards, and any other benefits the card offers. Avoid rushing into signing up for a card just because a friend sends you their referral code. Instead, take an honest look at your honeymoon goals and see which card will benefit you most per dollar.
Rent an Airbnb
Lodging can make or break a vacation. Thankfully, there are some truly incredible Airbnb rentals on the market these days. From hip desert houses to cozy cabins and dreamy treehouses, there’s no shortage of romantic places to stay. In many cases, these rentals are destinations in themselves – once you arrive, you may not want to leave!
Renting an Airbnb is a great way to live like a local for a few days. A home allows you to experience your destination in new ways – instead of calling for room service, you can shop at the farmer’s market for fresh ingredients before cooking a meal at home. This saves money and gives you new insight into your surroundings. Many Airbnb owners serve as informal tour guides, too, so you’ll get the very best recommendations for local restaurants and activities.
Millions of timeshare owners worldwide plan for recurring vacations with brands like Disney, Marriott, and Wyndham. Sometimes, though, these owners cannot use the time and space for which they’ve already paid. Renting to vacationers helps them cover their fees instead of letting a good stay go to waste. This budget-savvy honeymoon hack can save you and your sweetie serious cash with zero commitment to engage with timeshare salespeople.
Maybe you’re picturing a resort in a beach town for your big honeymoon trip. While that’s certainly one option, the sky is really the limit when it comes to timeshare rentals. You can find affordable options almost anywhere you want to go, including spots like New York and San Francisco. What’s more, timeshare rentals are often two to three times larger than your average hotel room and frequently feature full-sized kitchens. If you love to cook and are hoping to save some cash while on vacation, cooking at the timeshare is an excellent option.
Plan a Staycation
Sometimes, a big international trip just isn’t in the cards. While a staycation honeymoon might not sound exciting at first, our own backyards are often more romantic than we realize. With fewer logistics to worry about, you can spend your free time relaxing and connecting with your new spouse. You’ll also save a lot by staying local, freeing up your budget for things like dining, spa treatments, and excursions.
Just because you’re sticking around town doesn’t mean you should throw all vacation planning out the window. In fact, creating an itinerary for yourselves can add some structure to your staycation. Pick one activity each day and build the rest of your plans around it. Picnicking in a park? Opt to stop into your favorite bookstore and browse for a new favorite when you’re done. Going stargazing in the wilderness? Pick a fun restaurant to dine at before hitting the road. By playing tourist in your own town, you’ll gain a new appreciation for the little things – and each other.
Take a Road Trip
A recent survey found that 79 percent of people plan to drive to at least one of their vacation destinations. 51 percent of those destinations will be at least five hours from home. There’s a reason Americans love their road trips; the freedom of the open road leaves a lot of room for sightseeing and saving money. After all, what could be more romantic than exploring the rugged countryside and vast open roads with your new life partner by your side?
Make as many stops as you’d like on a romantic road trip honeymoon. Whether you’re picturing yourselves camping along the route or powering through to your final destination, the journey is half the fun. Road trip honeymoons can be incredibly cost-efficient while helping you to travel to areas of the country you might not normally go to. You can also shop small, local businesses along the way if that’s important to you. As you plan your trip, be thoughtful about your values, goals, and budget. In a way, planning a road trip isn’t so different from marriage itself!
Home swaps are another fantastic option for couples looking to save some money on their honeymoon. Like an Airbnb rental, you’ll stay in a private home equipped with everything you might need for your stay. Unlike a rental, though, you’ll be lending out your home in exchange for your stay. Anyone who has ever seen the 2006 film “The Holiday” has likely dreamed of such an arrangement!
Home swaps are often completely free of charge. While you may be tasked with pet sitting or plant watering duties during your stay, it’s otherwise a responsibility-free way to travel without shelling out for accommodations. Be aware that many home swap websites require an annual fee, though. While nominal, such fees should be factored into your overall honeymoon budget.
Rent an RV
The #vanlife movement has taken social media by storm. It’s hard to scroll through Tiktok or Instagram without stumbling upon carefree road warriors vlogging their experiences. While adopting such a lifestyle full-time might not be in the cards, renting an RV for your honeymoon is a great way to try it out. After all, why choose a single destination when you can take your honeymoon on the go?
An RV honeymoon can be surprisingly affordable. Campgrounds frequently offer RV parking for as little as $20 per night – or less if you decide to go off the beaten track. RV parks tend to be located in lush, preserved settings that actually make for some of the most romantic honeymoon spots ever. The whole point is to enjoy each other’s company, not big crowds. Whether you’re setting out for the Grand Canyon or the RV park down the road, you’re sure to make memories to last a lifetime.
Take a Trip by Train
Trains are romantic by nature. They offer stunning views of the countryside and remind us of bygone eras. It’s no wonder more and more couples are opting to plan their honeymoon around rail travel. The convenience is hard to deny, especially if you’re not a fan of driving or flying. Instead, hop aboard a train where you’ll enjoy plenty of legroom and views for days – literally. Some of Amtrak’s most stunning journeys require you to spend the night in a sleeper car. This is a great option if you’re hoping to save some cash on lodging while also making good time en route to your final destination.
If spending a night on a train isn’t your thing, day trips can be just as fun. The Napa Valley Wine Train, for instance, offers a relaxing three-hour, 36-mile journey through California wine country. In between vineyard tours and wine tastings, you’ll enjoy gourmet meals on board. Culinary train tours like this can be a bit of a splurge, but the overall experience tends to be a great value for the money.
Take a Minimoon.
Perhaps you’ll spend just a couple of nights camping or stay at a cabin in the woods for a long weekend, rather than taking a full week to yourselves. No matter what, we recommend you take the time to get away after the wedding.
Think about your interests.
Maybe you and your partner are huge Lord of the Rings fans, so your dream honeymoon is to either go to New Zealand and explore where the movies were filmed. Or you both love scuba diving, so you plan your trip around an epic dive location. Or maybe you go west to Yellowstone and Yosemite for some rustic camping. The pattern there is that you should consider planning a trip that incorporates your interests!
Consider Alternative Destinations
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.
Check Daily Deal Sites
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. The hotel in New Orleans looks good? Book it! The 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. Another great resource for excursions, packages, and activities is Viator.
Don’t Let Lack of Funds Stop You from Taking a Honeymoon!
A honeymoon, no matter how close to home, is good for your soul and good for your marriage! Start your new life off right by taking some intentional time away to reflect on your wedding day, connect with one another, and dream for your future!
Learn how to travel hack for your honeymoon!
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