AMERICANS SPEND AN average of $4,000 on their honeymoons, according to WeddingWire’s 2018 Newlywed Report. That often follows an engagement ring purchase, ceremony and reception that cost $32,000, on average, according to the report.
Starting off your married life with a $36,000 expense is going to have financial ramifications for years to come.
While there are many strategies for reducing the cost of the wedding, let’s take a look at ways to trim down the cost of that honeymoon without taking away the special nature of the first days of married life. Here are seven valuable things to consider while planning your honeymoon that might just keep you from breaking the bank.
Focus on things you enjoy doing together. When planning your honeymoon, focus less on the place that you’re going and more on the types of things you enjoy doing together. Focus your trip on spending time together when you’re able to do activities you love as much as possible.
By doing this, you reorient your vacation away from a typical destination and toward something that’s genuinely meaningful for the two of you. It becomes a trip that’s really about what brought the two of you together, rather than the same old honeymoon that most couples enjoy. Plus, a honeymoon centered on the activities you share is going to be a lot cheaper.
Consider camping. If you both enjoy the outdoors, pick an amazing, secluded place to camp, a place you probably wouldn’t ordinarily have time to visit in depth. Consider a week in a national park or a national forest that neither of you have visited and fill your days with hiking and exploring and time together in a gorgeous natural setting.
Camping trips for people who are well-prepared for camping are quite inexpensive, and if you use your window of time for a honeymoon to visit a new camping location that you’ve both wanted to visit, it can be a deeply meaningful and memorable experience, too.
Consider a road trip. The journey is often more meaningful than the destination. Consider the possibility of just getting in the car after your wedding, picking a direction and driving there. Let serendipity strike. Stay at a relatively inexpensive hotel wherever you happen to be and explore whatever you happen to find together.
This type of vacation also typically winds up being pretty inexpensive, and it becomes memorable because of the unexpected moments and the surprises along the way. You’ll wind up in places you never expected, trying things you never considered, but you’ll be doing it together, and you’ll never forget it.
Go off-season. If you really want to have a destination honeymoon, consider going to that destination outside of the typical tourist season. Most resorts are still open but offer lower rates. And the places you’ll visit will have smaller crowds.
An out-of-season destination trip is a great way to center the experience around the two of you while still enjoying an amazing destination that you’ve always dreamed about while saving a lot of money.
Stay close to home. A staycation, where you enjoy a vacation in your hometown, or a honeymoon at a place relatively close to home are other options to consider. Simply having a week or two in the area with no commitments or responsibilities to settle into your new married life can be a deeply enjoyable experience for many couples.
The advantage, of course, is that a staycation is incredibly inexpensive while also offering you a ton of freedom in terms of your time. You don’t even have the mechanics of travel to worry about. You can fill your days with whatever you want to do together.
Plan activities very loosely. Again, the journey is often more valuable than the destination. The more breathing room you have on your schedule, the more time you have for serendipity.
Whatever you choose to do, make a very loose schedule. Don’t fill your honeymoon with all kinds of tickets and planned events. Rather, give yourself tons of space on either side to let the unexpected happen. Often, it’s the incidental and free experiences that end up making the best memories.
Consider better uses for the money you save. As you’re considering your honeymoon plans, think about what you’ll do with that saved money if you go on a less expensive honeymoon. The money you save can be a part of your financial foundation going forward, paying off debts or building toward a down payment on a house.
By celebrating your marriage with a simpler honeymoon, you start off your married life on the right foot and put a cornerstone in place for the rest of your lives. There’s hardly a better first step you could take in your lives together than that one.