After planning a fantastic wedding, you and your spouse deserve to have some alone time on an amazing honeymoon. Whether you choose to go to Europe or an Island in the Caribbean, you want the memories to last a lifetime, not the bills. So with a little bit of planning, you can have a perfect getaway without breaking the bank. Here are some tips from Martha Stewart Magazine about how to pay for your honeymoon.
Start Saving Early
Before you and your fiance get too carried away dreaming about romantic beaches, cozy casitas, and foreign capitals, have a heart-to-heart about where you want to go, what kinds of activities you want to enjoy, and how much you think it's going to cost- do some internet research before you sit down to talk. Ideally, you'll start planning-and saving- six months to a year before the honeymoon.
Don't forget about all the daily expenses. Tally all of your expenses, divide that number by the number of months until your wedding day, and start setting money aside each month. Some couples like to incorporate their honeymoon into their overall wedding budget, but it may be easier if you set up a separate honeymoon account!
Make the Most of Rewards Programs
It rarely pays to finance your honeymoon with credit cards, but it may make sense to apply for a credit card that earns points toward free hotel stays or upgrades when you charge wedding expenses. Look for cards with low annual fees, low interest rates, and bonus points for signing up. You can earn enough points for a couple free nights just for acquiring the card.
If you're using airline miles, book your flight six months ahead; that's when airlines set aside rewards seats. The best available flights are most likely on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.
Hire a Travel Professional
The honeymoon is one trip for which for which even savvy travelers may want to enlist the help of a travel agent. Some agents charge clients a flat fee or a percentage of the booking, while others are paid by the hotels or resorts to which they send business. Still, you could save money by working with an agent, particularly for an international trip where insider knowledge is key to finding deals. Good agents can steer you to off-season discounts, book the best accommodations for your budget, and give you tips for saving on everything from train fares to local cuisine. Better yet, they can help arrange for newlywed perks, such as room upgrades and complimentary gifts- like Champagne!
Be Your Own Online Agent
Determined to plan your own trip? There are dozens of websites designed to help couples find honeymoon hot spots, search for hotels, and book flights. Sign up for the FareWatcher at travelocity and get e-mail alerts when prices fall on the routes you're monitoring. At sidestep, search more than 150 travel sites simultaneously to track down the best deals. You can book luxury hotels around the world at luxurylink. There is an auction feature that is a great way to find accommodations that might otherwise be outside of your budget.
There was a time when airlines upgraded honeymooners to first or business class. This is now a rare occurrence. But many hotels still give newly married couples first-class treatment so let the hotel know it's your honeymoon when you book it! When you check in, kindly remind them. You may not score the honeymoon suite, but you might get a bigger room or an ocean view!
Register for Your Honeymoon
If travel is as important as new place settings or fine linens, create a honeymoon registry with a travel agency or directly with a resort. When registering for travel, you generally book your trip, then set up the registry. If booking with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, for example, you can register the trip on Wedding Channel; then guests go to your registry and buy you "Honey Money" to help pay for your stay. At Distinctive Honeymoons, guests can shop for specific items on your honeymoon registry such as spa treatments and dinners.
Hope some of these tips help you save some money on your first vacation as husband and wife!