The best time to go on a honeymoon depends mainly on your preference. However, no matter where you plan to go, if you plan it well, and are willing to be flexible with your travel dates, being strategic about your honeymoon will save you money and give you more.
So when is the best time to go on your honeymoon?
Always consider what sort of honeymoon you want first. Have a discussion with your future spouse about what your top three honeymoon priorities are destination, dates & budget. Work out what your day-to-day spend will be including food & activities. PREPARE! Make your honeymoon a priority early on.
Planning your dream honeymoon doesn’t have to cost you the earth, as long as you are flexible and do your homework.
In this article, I’m going to go over some key ideas that you really need to consider in order to enjoy your honeymoon for less.
Tips for planning a cheaper honeymoon
Choosing the cheapest season
The cheapest time to go on a honeymoon is usually fall or winter if you avoid the major holidays. The climate will be cooler but hotels and restaurants will be cheaper. There will also be fewer tourists about and things will feel a lot more relaxed. However, you could find some local attractions and restaurants are closed due to the cold weather and the atmosphere may not be as much fun without the energy of a crowd.
Discuss the activities you want to do or the things you want to see before you book in the low season. There would be very little point in booking time at a ski resort when there is no snow if you want to ski, for example, and although hurricane season is considered low season in the Carribean and Florida, you may want to rethink this option for a honeymoon.
Consider booking during the shoulder seasons, the months that precede or follow the peak seasons.
- The weather will generally be better but without the high seasons’ crowds and prices.
- It may not be as cheap as a low season but you may find it will offer you more for your buck because you can enjoy it more.
Crossing the equator
Not all destinations will experience seasons the same. The best and most affordable time to visit the destination you’ve decided on really will depend on where you’re going and what you want to do.
- A Ski resort will obviously have a very different high season to a resort on the beach. High demand for accommodation, transport, and food in winter, makes a ski resort most expensive during its winter season, which is generally the low season at a beach resort.
- The Caribbean experiences a high season mid-winter because the weather in the U.S is colder and people want a getaway.
- The northern and southern hemispheres experience opposite seasons. If you go to New Zealand to ski during the US winter, for example, you’ll find that all of the locals will be at the beach enjoying the summer sun.
Take a look at your location on Instagram and blogs. Read what others have to say about it. You may find some great money-saving tips or realize you shouldn’t go when you had planned to.
How to get the best deal
Consider using a travel agent. They really can get the best deals on flights and accommodation, and will have the best knowledge of the discounts, packages, and deals you could get. They can also give you advice on the best times to go and will work within your budget.
If you opt to do it yourself, find the cheapest airfare prices, but be aware of hidden costs.
- The high season for airline tickets is generally between Easter and mid-September, but the best time to book is the 23rd of August.
- For the entire week around the 23rd of August, airfares will drop because it is the official end of the high season.
- If you can’t book at the end of August, you can count on airfares generally being at their lowest about three to four months before your departure.
- Always read the fine print before you book and be aware of visas, airport taxes, luggage fees or stopovers.
- Transport can add up, so be sure to know what to expect and budget accordingly. You might have found a cheaper flight by landing in a bigger airport but your taxi fare to the hotel might not be worth it.
Accommodation prices rise when demand increases.
- National and school holidays are the times’ hotel rates will be their highest, so it’s best to book outside these dates for the most affordable accommodation.
- Accommodation can exceed the cost of a flight and so it may be a defining factor when it comes to your booking dates. If this is the case, find out when hotel rates are lowest and then book your flights.
- You should also take advantage of any early bird discounts your hotel may offer, you can phone or email them to find out.
- Subscribing to your favorite hotels’ mailing list could also mean you will be notified if any good deals come along.
- Forget hotels completely and take the Airbnb route, but remember that this will mean doing your own cooking and perhaps cleaning!
Cruise ships often offer great package deals and you’ll get to visit some beautiful ports too.
- Cruise deals include most meals, some drinks, entertainment, ocean transport, and ship accommodation.
- Do read up and understand what is not offered free of charge, and what extra costs you might face onboard. Photography, alcoholic drinks, room service, and shore excursions, for example, would be an extra charge.
- If you plan on cruising, the highest seasons are summer break, Christmas and new year, so it’s best to book just after these times.
- Tickets drop in March and August because of low demand and because most tickets are sold at the beginning of the year when prices are highest.
- The cheapest Caribbean cruise tickets are generally from September to January, except for holidays.
Getting more for your dollar
It may be helpful to set up a honeymoon wedding fund as part of your gifts list. That way, guests can choose to pay for some of the activities, romantic dinners or some special spoils on your honeymoon.
Let your hotel know it’s your honeymoon. They might offer an upgrade or at the very least a free drink at the bar. Hotel staff will usually make an effort to ensure honeymooners have a good time as they want you to return for your anniversaries. Make the most of this.
Delay your departure
You could also opt to take a mini-moon after your wedding and plan to take your real honeymoon later on. It can be tough to plan a honeymoon while you are still trying to hire a photographer and choose your table decor, and so it may be better to just go on something short and sweet nearby for a few days after the wedding and wait to have your honeymoon later on.
You’ll also get to spend more time with your family and friends after the wedding, and you’ll be able to enjoy the wedding party you paid for. Many international flights also leave early in the morning, so you’ll have no time to rest if you leave right after the wedding.
Planning in advance and getting started as early as 6-8 months before your honeymoon, means that you can be more flexible with your time. It gives you the time to save up and to plan properly, but also to earn some rewards and points on credit cards that will help you save money when you book your flight and accommodation.
Using credit cards the smart way
Pay for your honeymoon with credit card rewards.
If you give yourself the time to plan your honeymoon, you can start earning points for every dollar you spend with a rewards credit card. Later, you can redeem your points for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals or even cash.
- Different rewards cards offer rewards for different spending habits. Some cards offer points for gas, others for groceries, online shopping, dining and entertainment, and even for people who like to use mobile payment apps.
- Get a card that is best for you and the type of rewards you want. Opt for a credit card that gives you a large sign-up bonus. Best rewards credit cards.
- Get yourself multiple cards to use on everything. If a rewards card offerers triple points at gas stations, for example, then use it to fill up your car and use the card that offers rewards on your groceries at the supermarket. You can label your cards so you will know quickly what card to use for what.
- Buy gift cards for a place you know you’ll shop, for the extra points.
- Pay your rent, utility bills, mortgage, income taxes, and even car payments and tuition fees with a credit card.
- Use your card to pay for your wedding, and really rack in the rewards.
- Use your cards when you pay for dinners, movies, online shopping, and even your friends’ meals and movie tickets. The more you use the cards the more rewards you will receive.
- Be Careful! You should only be spending what you would have, so don’t get carried away. Have a budget so you don’t overspend.
- It is important to pay your bills in full each month so you don’t get charged the interest if you miss payments, the interest you’ll be charged will quickly exceed any rewards you might be earning.
Take the time to save up.
Your honeymoon doesn’t have to break the bank. If you learn to save and wait until you have enough money, you can have the honeymoon of your dreams and avoid getting into any unnecessary debt.
For Lea and I personally, we had two weddings within the space of a year and decided to put off the honeymoon until we had the time and money to do it justice. We actually only ever had a short weekend away together but it was worth the wait to save up for a real romantic break later on.
Discuss your options together and note your combined net income and monthly expenses. Start a budget and set up a time-frame, creating some common goals to save together.
- Use a budgeting app that can sync between your phones. Shared information will make you both accountable for your spending. You might not want to buy an extra pair of shoes if you know your partner will know you broke the budget because of the extra spend.
- Try living off one income and save the other.
- Evaluate any unnecessary spending.
- Reevaluate your bills, it may be possible to find cheaper deals for your insurance, cable, or internet.
- Work some extra hours and talk to your boss about the extra pay, or offer your services elsewhere over the weekend. You could even get a part-time job.
- Spend time not money and stop going out to eat. You can plan your meals and eat at home, this way you’ll save money on groceries too.
- Try the 30-day rule. If you want to buy something, wait for 30 days. Deposit the money into a savings account and if you still want it a month later buy it, otherwise the money will stay in your savings account.
- See what you have that you can sell. Sell unwanted items or even sell your car and get an older model.
- Avoid shopping if you’re feeling emotional or hungry. These are the times that you will splurge the most.
A cheaper paradise
Save money by choosing a cheaper location with a similar environment.
Another way to save money is to opt for a more affordable location, but with a similar environment to where you want to go. Research the best exchange rates and take advantage of favorable rates. Countries such as Costa Rica, Vietnam, Romania or even South Africa are cheap and offer great value for money.
Alternatively, you could also consider staying within driving distance or taking a train or bus. If you avoid airfares you could use the extra money to upgrade to a better hotel or room. You might enjoy the trip together and you can plan some stops along the way too
If you have ever dreamed of quitting your day job and traveling the world, you might consider Geoarbitrage for your honeymoon. The idea of Geoarbitrage is to have the income from a high wage country or city but to live or do things in a low wage country or city where your expenses will be less. This way you can save money for things like travel.
The idea may sound strange initially, but it can work out very well if you aren’t looking for luxury. It’s sort of like a working holiday. Not everyone will have to quit their jobs either, if your current job allows you to work flexibly or be independent of location then it could work out quite well for you.
Want to build up an online business so you can travel further and for longer? Well, the easiest way to do that is to become an internet affiliate marketer. Here is a course from the leading affiliate marketing website on how to use their own network to make a full income online. Check it out here.
Alternatively, you could start up your own online business, or find location-based work such as teaching English.
Save money by going to a doctor
But geoarbitrage doesn’t just mean living for a long time in a cheaper part of the world, you can also simply combine your trip with expensive necessities of life.
Increasingly more and more Americans are traveling abroad to have medical procedures such as dentistry and other elective surgeries. The world is full of countries where health care is both excellent and cheap, even for foreign nationals. Many of these medical professionals speak perfect English and may have even studied in the States. What could cost you $1000s in your own country could cost less than $100 abroad.
By planning your honeymoon, and indeed other vacations, around your annual medical checkups you could end up receiving outstanding medical care for a fraction of the price at home, thus paying for your vacation itself.
Have a semi-self-catering honeymoon
You can save quite a lot of money on a honeymoon if you don’t eat out all the time. Try to purchase food you can eat in your hotel room such as breakfast bars or even fruit.
Go to the local supermarket and pick up some ingredients to have a picnic if the weather is good, or just eat in your hotel room. If you do go out, opt for cafes rather than formal restaurants or eat your main meal at lunch when prices are generally cheaper.
Other Articles to read
You may also be interested in how to save money on your wedding photos, check out my article on this here
Why is having a honeymoon important?
A honeymoon is meant to be a couples time to be together alone, away from their busy schedules and the mundaneness of life. A honeymoon can bring a sense of togetherness for a newlywed couple who will be able to spend quality time together. A wedding can be very stressful and most couples also feel they need the time to relax and unwind and reconnect with each other without any interference.
What is the cheapest place to go on honeymoon?
Due to the great exchange rates, the cheapest destinations are:
- Asia: Thailand, Philippines, and Bali – Indonesia.
- The Carribean: Puerto Rico, Florida Keys, Riviera- Maya Mexico, St Maarten and Jamaica.
- The Pacific: The Cook Islands.
- Europe :Croatia, Portugal, Romania
- North America: Lake Tahoe , Nevada and Canada.
- Africa: South Africa.
Can you go on a honeymoon before you get married?
Though it is not traditional, most modern couples already live together before the wedding, and so it is not so unusual to take a honeymoon before the wedding. Your decision regarding your honeymoon is entirely up to you and your schedule.
What are honeymoon packages?
A honeymoon package will include almost everything at the resort in one price. Accommodation, food, drinks, and most activities will be included. You can also book a package with special touches such as champaign, couples spa treatment and petals on your bed.
A good place to find a honeymoon package that will suit you is with a travel agent, They have the experience and can customize a package to suit your preference.