Whether it’s two weeks or two days, your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime holiday… but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to make it special. And nor should you. Here are five tips and tricks to help you not only budget for a honeymoon but make your hard-earned pennies go further when you get there.
1. Timing is everything
Traditionally, honeymoons kick off the day after the big day, but prime wedding seasons often coincide with peak travel seasons and that can immediately hike up the honeymoon price tag. If you’re getting married during the school holidays, consider pushing back the honeymoon until kids are back at school – especially if you’re getting married in summer, when beach destinations are packed with families. Also check events calendars to ensure your location isn’t hosting a festival or concert, as that will drive up accommodation prices too. If you have your heart set on heading off into the sunset as soon as you exchange vows, get creative with your destination and choose somewhere not in peak season at the time – shoulder seasons in many destinations like the Sunshine Coast or Margaret River can still enjoy lovely weather without the crowds.
2. Break down the costs
Most of us plan our wedding budgets down to the dollar but forget about the honeymoon. If you’ve got a destination in mind, research the average hotel room night price, the cost of cocktails, food, even spa treatments. If the budget comes before the destination, think about your honeymoon priorities. Are you more interested in a glam hotel than a gorgeous dinner? Do you want to spend the day on the beach or do you want to pamper yourself for five hours in a day spa? Once you have a list of priorities, use these as a guide to work out where you want to go – for example, you might pick cheaper accommodation in a spa destination where you can indulge in a couple of treatments, or a resort with an epic pool where you’ll read your book each day.
3. Do some maths
Once you’ve got your breakdown of numbers, do some maths! Get out the calculator and work out how much it will cost for each of your categories – accommodation, food, drinks, pampering, activities – and divide the total by the number of months you’ve got until the big day. That’s your savings goal. Can you reach that? If the answer is no, take a look at what you might be able to cut back on. Can you go somewhere cheaper? Where the activities are free (hello beaches!), can you travel in a quieter time when the rooms cost less?
4. Set some goals
You’ve worked out the rough cost of your dream honeymoon – it’s a lump sum and boy does it seem daunting. Instead of focusing on the total, break it down into smaller amounts. If you like monthly savings goals, that’s easy, but to make it more motivating, try breaking down the budget into fun goals that make the sacrifices easier to stomach; ‘this week it’s only one coffee a day because we’re saving for a candlelit beach dinner for two’, ‘next month I’m doing my own nails so that we can have a couples massage’. Write it down, tick it off, trust me, it’s satisfying!
5. Know your limits
Word to the wise, it’s very easy to say ‘it’s my honeymoon, it has to be special’ as the costs creep up. Suddenly you’ve got a very big credit card bill, on top of the costs of a wedding. That’s a recipe for some serious post-holiday blues. You’ve got a lifetime of loved up holidays to look forward to, so don’t blow it all here. Special doesn’t have to mean five star, it can mean a picnic on the beach at sunset, a walk to a hidden beach, a bike ride through the vineyards. Remember, the most important part is being with your special someone.
Image via Margaret River’s Most Romantic Moments
About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.