15 Ways to Save Money on Your Honeymoon: I used a lot of these tricks and strategies while planning – and during – my honeymoon in Italy. It kept our costs down while allowing us to still thoroughly enjoy our holiday and not feel like we were missing out. Check it out below!
A couple of weeks ago I got back from my honeymoon in Italy, and as a budget-conscious bride, I’m pretty proud of the fact that I enjoyed a glorious, romantic honeymoon with my hubby for a reasonable price. Full disclosure: we went $432.17 over the amount we had received in cash gifts from our guests, but we had that in reserve in our own travel fund, so we didn’t blow our budget. Woo!
Like everything else to do with the Wedding Industrial Complex, there’s a lot of pressure and high expectations to make your honeymoon a picture-perfect, celebrity-luxury-level holiday where you indulge in every splurge you can imagine. But a vacation like that is out of most couples’ price range.
Don’t buy into the hype and break the bank to have that ‘perfect’ honeymoon (because newsflash: it doesn’t exist). The important thing is to spend quality time together, basking in the afterglow of your wedding. And regardless of where you choose to travel to, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune!
In today’s post, I’m sharing 15 ways to save money on your honeymoon. I used a lot of these tricks and strategies during our time in Italy. It kept our costs down while allowing us to still thoroughly enjoy our holiday and not feel like we were missing out.
15 Ways to Save Money on Your Honeymoon
1) Consider the exchange rate
If the value of your country’s currency isn’t strong compared to others, consider whether there’s anywhere in your own country you’d like to explore. For less than the cost of an international trip, you can fund a pretty damn swanky spa getaway and bask in the lap of luxury for a week not too far from home! Also – in most cases – renting a car is way cheaper than flying. Of all the ways to save money on your honeymoon, that’s one of the easiest!
2) Think a bit smaller (this isn’t a bad thing)
Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a month-long lavish 5-star Mediterranean cruise to be enjoyable and romantic. You can pack a lot of adventure and romance into a 1-week all-inclusive beach holiday, or even a 4-day long weekend in an exciting major city. You can rent a cottage/lake house, or even go camping if that’s your jam!
3) Eat on your feet
Focus on grab-and-go and street walk-up windows for lunch instead of sit-down restaurants. Bring a water bottle and fill it up at public fountains.
4) Don’t buy breakfast on the street
Book hotels that include breakfast in the price of the room. If you’re staying in an Air BnB, hit up a grocery store for a few key breakfast items on your first day to avoid having to buy breakfast at diners or cafes throughout the week. Obviously if you’ve opted for cottaging or camping, you’ll automatically save a huge amount of money on your meals.
5) Think ahead for snacks
Stop by a grocery or corner store and pick up some snacky items to stash in your purse in case you get hungry between meals. That’ll be way cheaper than a snack at most cafes and diners.
6) Don’t go nuts with the booze
You’re celebrating, yes, but those restaurant and bar bills can really add up! Instead, enjoy one glass during dinner, then pick up a bottle of wine and take it back to your hotel at the end of the evening.
7) Cash in on your age
Do you still have a valid student card, or one with no expiry date? Use it to get discounts on tickets to attractions.
8) Check out city passes
These all-in-one passes for major cities include entrance to top attractions and cover your fare for public transit. BUT… be sure to do your homework online beforehand. Look carefully at what’s included and what isn’t, and visit the websites of the attractions you’re interested in to check out ticket prices. Add up the things you’d like to do, plus the cost of any transit you’ll likely use, and do the math. Sometimes these all-in-one passes actually aren’t the best deal, or come with a lot of limiting fine-print. If it is the best deal for what you want to do, you can save a bundle!
9) Book tickets to attractions in advance
There’s often a 5-15% discount for advance purchases. It’ll also save you from being disappointed. If you’re travelling in high tourist season, tickets to top attractions frequently sell out days (or even weeks!) in advance.
10) Shamelessly milk it!
It never hurts to mention to waiters, flight attendants, and hotel staff that you’re on your honeymoon… It’s not unheard of to receive a few perks in honour of your newlywed status! Bat your eyelashes and flash that bling!
11) Skip buying those cheesy souvenirs for loved ones
Don’t feel obligated to buy souvenirs just for the sake of buying souvenirs. They’re often tacky and way overpriced. Your loved ones still know you love them regardless of whether you bring them home a plastic Prince Charles bobblehead. If you happen to find something unique that they would truly love, by all means, buy it – but hang on to it for a future birthday or Christmas gift. Because honestly… no one is expecting you to bring them souvenirs from your honeymoon.
12) Walk the walk
If you don’t have any mobility issues and you like walking, skip the transit passes altogether and use your feet to see the city. Just be sure to wear very comfortable shoes! If you do use transit, avoid taxis.
13) Book your flight well in advance to secure the best possible deal
Booking through a third party site like flightnetwork.com can offer price-drop protection too, so if the price of your flight lowers between the time you book and the time you fly, they refund you the difference. Also, if you have a cash-back credit card, this is a great time to use it! You can give yourself a little kickback on the cost of the flight.
14) You don’t need an entirely new wardrobe just for your honeymoon
Nowadays most couples don’t leave for their honeymoon immediately after the wedding dance is over anyway, so you really don’t need that ‘going away’ outfit. That’s a bit of an outdated wedding expense that’s still listed in some budget suggestions. Raid your own wardrobe and borrow any other key items from a girlfriend. Save your cash for once-in-a-lifetime experiences on your honeymoon!
15) Be selective about what you splurge on
It’s easy to fall into the mindset of “Well it’s my honeymoon!” Do that too much, and you’ll quickly see your credit card bill skyrocket beyond your budget. Instead, focus on a couple of things that are really important to you, and splurge on those. For our honeymoon, my hubby and I traveled economy class but stayed at slightly nicer hotels than we would have on a regular trip. We ate at average restaurants most nights while treating ourselves to something a bit fancier for one or two meals. Instead of spending money on souvenirs for ourselves, we decided to splurge on a pasta-making class with a local cook, and a photoshoot with Localgrapher as a ‘souvenir’ we’ll have forever.
An Important Note on Asking for Cash Gifts to Fund Your Honeymoon
If you’re banking (no pun intended) on cash gifts to fund your honeymoon, you can politely ‘ask’ for money, despite what your grandma’s outdated opinions may tell you. Times have changed!
As a certified wedding planner I can tell you that your guests want to know what you actually want for your wedding. If they’re going to spend money on a gift, they want to make sure it doesn’t go to waste on a juicing machine you’re never going to use. Most people opt to give cash gifts now anyway (for a number of very good reasons), but if you want to make sure your guests are aware of your wishes, here’s how you do it without seeming impolite. It’s all in how you approach it:
Do NOT mention anything about gifts on the wedding invitation itself. Your grandma is right about that. It’s in poor taste to assume your guest will want to give a gift. By technical wedding etiquette, they are not obligated to give you a gift. (Yes, really!) Also, if your guests decide to keep your wedding invite as a memento (which many people do), it’s cheesy to have your note about gifts included on the invitation itself.
With that said, as I mentioned above, people do seriously want this information to ensure their gift goes to good use. So the happy medium is to include a separate card within the wedding invitation suite that mentions your preferences for gifts, or a URL to your registry or wedding website where they can find this information.
However, the tone matters big time here. You want to be as modest as possible, and you should never mention ANYTHING about a specific amount. That might seem glaringly obvious, but you’d be amazed at what some brides think is acceptable wedding etiquette. Seriously… Have you seen that facebook post that went viral about the woman demanding $1,500 from each guest??? Crazytown.
Here’s the phrasing I used for my wedding gift preference. I included it on a discreet little card that matched my invitations and RSVP cards (the size of a business card, designed and ordered through vistaprint):
“A Note from the Bride and Groom: Your presence at our wedding is the greatest gift you could give us (aww). However, we appreciate that some of our guests may want to keep with tradition and give a gift in celebration of our marriage. If that is the case, we would sincerely appreciate contributions to our dream honeymoon or exciting home renovations.”
A nice follow-up is to send a photo of you on your honeymoon enclosed in your thank you cards, and mention what a great time you had and how much your guest’s contribution helped you realize your travel dreams. <3
What strategies did you use as ways save money on your honeymoon? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!