It just seems to be implied that wedding travel is part of the whole wedding experience. When you get married, you go on a honeymoon. And there can be a lot of pressure to have a huge, once in a lifetime experience when it comes to planning the honeymoon.
Well, as with many things we are learning about weddings nowadays, it does not have to break your budget for the year. It is possible to be thrifty and dare I say even frugal, when it comes to planning your wedding travel.
Personally, I think the real point of the honeymoon gets lost when planning it becomes stressful. If you are able to afford a two month honeymoon traveling through Europe, then by all means, live it up! But not all of us can afford transatlantic airfare...or even airfare out of our home state.
Photo Courtesy of Boom Eye Design
Jon and I were working with a really small budget for the wedding - about $3000 total. That included the honeymoon! On our honeymoon night, a friend gifted us with a hotel stay where he worked so we didn't have to return home to our tiny studio apartment after the wedding.
The following day, we ended up driving up into Canada and taking a ferry to Victoria Island at sunset. The ferry ride itself was part of the vacation because we don't do that everyday. It was beautiful!
We found a Bed & Breakfast that gave us a discount for booking two nights in advance. We kept our activities on the inexpensive side by spending time in nature down by the ocean, walking along the country roads and visiting natural parks. We splurged on one very expensive meal that we could have honestly done without (food wasn't very good but it had a great view!). Then we went home!
Photo Courtesy of Boom Eye Design
It was very inexpensive wedding travel and we did not feel like we were missing out. The entire time I was holding his hand thinking of him as my shiny new husband, do you think I was wishing I was on the beaches of Greece? Not at all. Don't get me wrong - I would LOVE to go to Greece someday! But my honeymoon was exactly what it was supposed to be. . . time with each other.
There are a lot of things you can do to save money on your honeymoon and wedding travel.
Here are some money-saving tips:
- Stay local. Find some undiscovered part about your area and explore it for a few days. That way you can save money on airfare and gas.
- Spend your money on a nice hotel suite instead of traveling far from home. You will want to become acquainted with your new spouse in new ways so find a place you won't mind not leaving for a few days. Less time traveling away from home is more time together!
- If you decide to travel to a new destination, go through a travel agent. They can help you package things, ultimately saving you money. But remember, anything with the word "wedding" in front will make it more expensive. So instead of saying this is wedding travel, just go in to book a romantic vacation.
- You might even consider choosing an off season locale. We love going to the Oregon Coast early in the year simply because things are cheaper and there are less people there. Win/win!
- How about considering a completely different method of travel and making that your honeymoon, like a week train ride through the mountains? You get room and board with a non-stop view and your travel covered!
- Don't eat out for every meal. Get your food from the local grocery store and prepare a few meals. This works well for breakfast and lunch mostly. And if your hotel has a continental breakfast included every morning, all the better!
- Tell people it is your honeymoon! When the other couple staying at the bed & breakfast heard it was our honeymoon, they sacrificed their room, which was the largest one there with the best view, for a smaller room. They also left a nice bottle of wine for us. Free! They've got good karma coming their way.
- Let your friends and family gift you with your honeymoon. Sign up for a Honeymoon Registry. That way you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner as a gift from your loved ones.
- If you are a gambler at heart, try to make money on your honeymoon and visit a casino! My friends at CrippleCreekBUZZ.com (an Unofficial Guide to Cripple Creek, Colorado; the "World's Greatest Gold Camp") can help you GAMBLE, EXPLORE, & LIVE-IT-UP!
- Wait it out. Hold off on going on your honeymoon until you can pay for it all in cash. It's a bummer starting off a marriage with debt - especially if it is debt from your wedding day or the trip you took after.
- Break it up into smaller trips instead of one big trip. Take two or three days after the wedding and then take a few more weekend trips together through out the year. This gives you the advantage of not spending a ton of money at one time, as well as having many little getaways to keep you stress free and excited through out the year!
What are some of the things you have done to save money on wedding travel? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Share them with me here.