Marriage is the ultimate investment, pouring your lives into each other and committing to one another endless devotion, energy, and love. As your first married getaway together, you want your honeymoon to reflect that importance, and, thankfully, that doesn’t have to come in the form of the amount of money you spend. Here’s how to ensure your celebration is big on meaning without overstretching your finances.
Set a realistic budget
Begin planning your honeymoon by deciding how much you can realistically afford to spend, and decide where those funds will come from. Do you have cash set aside? 20 Something Finance cites statistics showing many couples set themselves up for stress by going into significant debt when they marry, but a cash-only honeymoon ensures that won’t happen. Is someone gifting some or all of the trip to you outright, or are you considering using a honeymoon registry to help pay for things? To help ensure you don’t miss any details, use a printable worksheet for tallying numbers. Once you decide how much you can spend, stick to it!
Thinking road trip?
One of the best ways to ensure you stay within your financial constraints is to do some driving. A domestic road trip can save substantially by avoiding customs, airfare, passports, and the like, and having your own wheels means freedom to do as you please. And as Martha Stewart points out, a road trip could turn out to be the most romantic adventure you ever take, as well as being a cost-saver.
Whether staying close to home or heading overseas, consider investing in a used vehicle for your journey. On top of avoiding mileage and wear and tear on your car, you avoid spending money on taxis, rentals or other forms of transportation. Use an online search tool to find the right vehicle for your excursion, and when your honeymoon is over, resell whatever you buy to recoup your money.
No matter how you get there, the options are nearly endless when it comes to great honeymoon destinations. Many couples struggle with narrowing their choices, especially if they have very different ideas of what the ideal honeymoon will be. To make sure nobody is just along for the ride, Traveler’s Joy recommends fishing out grounds for compromise. To mesh your budget, destination, and desires, plan a pizza night and open a bottle of wine.
More bang for your buck
What kind of location will make you both happy, for instance, city, country, beach, or safari? Think about whether your honeymoon should include multiple locales or just one, and consider options that can blend both of your hearts’ desires. For instance, if one of you prefers museums and cosmopolitan hustle, and the other wants to lounge in the sand, a trip to a coastal city might be in order. A hotel with a fabulous spa can provide an opportunity for relaxation in a location also boasting a great nightlife. A destination which offers variety can mean not only satisfying both of you, you also enjoy more experiences for the same expense.
No matter where you go, there are ample ways to have a great time and stretch your money. A travel card which doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees can save if heading abroad, and one with good rewards means you can reap gains throughout the trip, regardless of your destination. Another idea is to decide where to splurge and what will be a comfortable area for give. For instance, do you prefer to spend your money on luxurious hotels, fine food, or activities and entertainment? You can stretch your lodging funds by camping or staying in hostels, make the most of your meal budget by choosing accommodations with a kitchen, and there are cheap or free things to do in nearly any location.
Planning a budget-savvy honeymoon can sound contradictory. However, with the right frame of mind you can plan a perfect trip that’s about your new life together without overspending. Start your marriage out on the right foot by making budget-savvy decisions, and have a wonderful time.
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