Wondering how to afford a honeymoon after paying for your wedding? These five affordable travel ideas can put a great trip within the reach of even cash-strapped couples.
#1 Affordable Honeymoon Idea: CRUISE FROM HOME
Cruises are fun and romantic. Most honeymoon couples love them, not just because they're affordable but because you get so much for your money: a cabin, more food than you could eat available day and night, free onboard activities and entertainment, one (or more) swimming pools and the opportunity to visit multiple ports without having to re-pack.
Two of the best cruise lines for honeymoon couples are Princess, the original "Love Boat" and Celebrity Cruises, which has dedicated spa floors on its newest ships.
Couples low on cash can still swing a cruise honeymoon; just opt for a sailing of a few day's duration. You'd be surprised how even a brief "cruise to nowhere" can transport you to a world of pampering. If you're spa aficionados, make an appointment to indulge onboard.
To make a honeymoon cruise most affordable, drive to your embarkation point. While many cruise lines sail out of Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which requires non-residents to fly to the Sunshine State, there are cruise ports within driving distance of 40 percent of the United States population. Find one nearest to you. Since most cruises embark after noon, if you leave early you won't have to pay for a night in a hotel beforehand.
#2 Affordable Honeymoon Idea: COMBINE THE WEDDING & HONEYMOON
Weddingmoons enable you to have both your wedding and honeymoon at one tropical resort location. It was Sandals Resorts, which has locations in Jamaica, Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, and St. Lucia, that popularized the concept. Today, many resorts like Sandals offer couples who stay for at least three nights a modest free wedding.
A destination wedding isn't for everyone, but if it's right for the two of you, it's a spectacular way to have both a lovely wedding and a memorable honeymoon in a romantic place. It's up to you whether to invite the whole gang, just a few near-and-dear pals, or make it private for just the two of you.
#3 Affordable Honeymoon Idea: WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE
Weddings normally take a long time to plan, as do honeymoons. In fact, the sweet anticipation of a honeymoon is one of its delights. But if you're really pinching pennies because you must have an affordable (or downright cheap) honeymoon, think counterintuitively. Don't rush your plans: Wait till the last minute. That's when you can score last-minute deals.
If you delay planning your honeymoon, you can save on last-minute opportunities that include fare sales and vacation deals. But you have to be willing to be flexible; you may have your heart set on one destination or vacation package that sells out early. Beware that you may not get the best room at a resort, either — although if you tell the front desk or general manager that you are on a honeymoon, there's a chance you will be upgraded.
#4 Affordable Honeymoon Idea: BUY FROM A DISCOUNTER
A well-known brand has recently gotten into the travel arena: Costco is selling cruises, vacation packages, and Disney trips. It's also selling rooms in Best Western and several Hyatt Hotels brands. The latter include luxurious Hyatt Regency properties and the trendy Andaz brand. If you order through Costco, you can get 10% off the rate (admittedly, no great bargain; you can do better if you have an AAA membership). We also noted that although Costco came up with some very low cruise prices, they were for less-desirable cabins on the lowest decks.
#5 Affordable Honeymoon Idea: GO CAMPING
If you hear the call of the great outdoors, plan to spend part of your honeymoon camping. In order to overnight in a national park, you'll need to reserve a space well in advance, so jump on it. If you're uncertain you'll like sleeping and cooking outdoors, consider renting a tent and camping equipment before buying. And to hedge your bet, reserve at least one night in a romantic hotel where you can get clean in a shower and sleep on a real bed.