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How to Honeymoon on a Budget
After wedding expenses many of us do not have the budget to go on a romantic honeymoon to a tropical island. There are those lucky few who get the luxury of having their honeymoon paid for or have the financial means to travel to the destination of their choice, but what about the rest of us?
As a young recent college graduate money is super tight. Even with what little savings my fiancé has, I knew there was no way we would be able to afford a beautiful wedding and an extravagant honeymoon.
Instead of paying more money than we have, and starting our future off in debt, I created a budget for our wedding and honeymoon. With this budget we are now able to have a beautiful do it yourself wedding and a romantic honeymoon without going into debt or breaking our wallet.
If you are looking to save money on your honeymoon and still have a fabulous time there are plenty of options available. Below are tips and tricks to help you save money on your honeymoon.
1.) Set your goals and make a plan: Making a list and setting your priorities for short term budgeting is the key to success. First and foremost you want to create a target amount, that means setting a dollar amount and sticking to that total. Make a list of places you want to see and stay at during your honeymoon and create a realistic monetary goal for your budget. Using budgeting tools can help you create a budget that allows for tracking spending and saving as well as show you how close you are to your goals.
2.) Know your net income: Any budget you try to create will fail if you don't know your true net income. This means you need to figure out how much you make monthly after all taxes and other items are taken out. It's impossible to follow a budget if it's not in working order.
4.) Track spending: This is a critical part of your budgeting success. Tracking is the only way to figure out if your budget is actually working. By tracking your budget you can figure out where your money is going and how you can take control of it and reallocate to where you want it to go.
5.) Personalize your budget: When budgeting for a honeymoon I would move savings to the top of my budget. This means I want to pinch every penny I can and find ways to save so that I can find more money in my budget to turn into savings for the honeymoon category. These guidelines and tips below are going to help you save every possible dollar.
6.) Have monthly check in's: Monitoring your spending/savings every couple weeks or once a month is crucial to sticking to your plan. By checking your accounts you can see how well you are doing sticking to your plans. If you find yourself continually over spending it might be time to reevaluate your plan and figure out why things are not working. Maybe your budget is too unrealistic. In this case it is best to adjust your budget and find other places that you might be able to cut expenses.
These are just a few easy budgeting guidelines that can drastically help you save money for your honeymoon. The guidelines above are great tools for short term budgeting and can help you figure out where you can trim some of your fluff spending and turn it into a romantic honeymoon getaway. This is also a great way to keep you disciplined and help you avoid the temptations to use your hard saved money for other things outside your honeymoon budget.
Tips for Saving Money on Your Honeymoon:
Start by planning a budget for your wedding and start saving money there. Add your honeymoon into your wedding budget to help you stay within your means.
- Lay down a plan and stay in the country: Planning for your honeymoon while you are making wedding plans will ensure that you can save enough money to go on a beautiful getaway with your new spouse. By planning early you can save money and the hassle of trying to find the perfect destination. Early planning gives you the luxury to shop around and truly find the best deals.
- Pick a location that is in off-season: Many places will have drastic price breaks during there down seasons. You will get the luxury of beautiful places with half the cost and as an added bonus, you won’t have to deal with many crowds.
- Consider alternative modes of travel: You may find that driving to your honeymoon destination will be cheaper than flying, or maybe the scenic train or bus is more your style. If driving you also have the ability to stop and sightsee along the way which allows you to break up long hours of traveling. Driving and sight seeing also adds adventure and more opportunities for new fun destinations.
- Look for discounts: Many museums, parks, and other tourist attractions have special offers and discounts for booking online. If you can’t find any, you are likely to find coupon codes through groupon or other sites for some of the places you’d like to stay or visit. Even a few dollars of savings here and there will add up and pay off in the long run.
- Book on-line: Many hotels and airlines give discounts to those who book on-line. My fiancé and I booked our hotel and camping reservations on-line and we got some great deals. We booked our hotel two months in advance through Travelocity and were able to get a good deal on our two night stay in Niagara Falls. Without Travelocity we would have spent an arm and a leg on the hotel alone.
- Sleep cheap: If you don’t plan on spending much time at all in your hotel book a cheap room in a nice cheaper motel and you can save money to go out and do more of the things you want to do. Whether it be shopping, spending all day at the spa, or eating out at a fancy sit down restaurant. Your expensive amenities could be endless if you choose to sleep cheap.
- Do your own cooking: Rather than going out to eat at fancy restaurants for lunch and dinner, pack non perishable food items for picnic lunches and bring enough money to buy food to cook while you are at your place. Many condos and villas have full or half kitchens that you can easily make your meals in. Bring some candles and your favorite music and you can easily create your own cheap yet romantic dinner at home.
- Pack and bring necessities instead of buying them: You may not think that a pack of batteries, or a bottle of Tylenol would add up to much, but you’ll be surprised just how much tourist destinations charge for simple items. You are likely to pay double even triple the cost you would pay at home. Don’t get caught paying more than you need to. Plan ahead and bring necessity items from home. I always recommend packing a few weeks ahead of time. That gives you time to recheck your bags and check lists to ensure that you have indeed thought of and packed everything you need.
2 nights in Niagara Falls—$256.00
1 night in Pennsylvania--$80
4 days in Ohio--$220
Gas, Food, and Miscellaneous--$300
Home sweet home after a week traveling the United States—Priceless
*Note: These are only estimated prices that we budgeted after figuring costs of attractions, and overnight stays as well as food. If we should run into car problems or price changes then these prices would change as well.
My honeymoon on a budget:
My fiancé and I used many of these tips to help save money for a wedding and to create for ourselves a romantic getaway. We are choosing to drive which allows us to see several great places and still save money. Driving allows us to stop and sight see along the way if we decide we see something that peaks our interest.
Although we didn’t spend more than 1,200.00 dollars we get to see Niagara Falls, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and the Columbus Zoo, as well as some of the top rated state parks.
When we first started planning our honeymoon I didn’t think we could afford a trip to Niagara Falls in New York nonetheless to all the other great places we had planned and wanted to go see, but through saving and pinching pennies we are going to have a great honeymoon.
We have two hotels booked for the week and the rest we get to spend under the stars camping. I’ll be the first to admit camping isn’t for everyone, but for us it’s perfect and we saved tons of money! Whether it be at the 4 star hotel, in the little cabin, or our simple tent I know we will have a blast enjoying the great outdoors with each other.
Having the perfect honeymoon does not have to break your wallet. Plan ahead, be flexible, and research to get the best deals. Saving money is as easy as stowing away a few bucks for a rainy day. Those dollars add up to some serious cash and you can dream up a honeymoon perfect for you and your significant other with this simple and easy to use money saving tips.
Our Honeymoon Destinations on a Budget:
© 2012 Cholee Clay