Were you recently engaged? Now it’s time to start budgeting for your honeymoon. Yes, really. Ninety-nine percent of newlyweds who married in a traditional ceremony took a honeymoon, statistics from 2019 show. And those honeymooners spent an average of $5,000 on their post-wedding getaway.
If paying for the honeymoon is the only thing giving you cold feet regarding your upcoming nuptials, read on to learn how to create a budget, when experts say you should start planning your honeymoon, even some strategies to earn some extra cash.
What Do They Spend On?
Hotel accommodations and the cost of airfare are two of the biggest expenses for planning a honeymoon. Consider the top honeymoon destinations of Hawaii, Bora Bora, and the Maldives, and the average honeymoon length of eight days, and these costs can add up quickly.
Smaller expenses, such as spa treatments, food and drink, activities, and excursions, are other expected spends, along with souvenirs and tipping if you’re staying at a full-service hotel. Transportation costs, such as taxis and train rides, should also be factored into your budget.
And don’t forget about the pre-honeymoon spending. You and your partner may spring for self-care treatments like a manicure or pedicure, waxing, even some new clothing, swimwear, or lingerie. It is your honeymoon, after all.
If you plan to do any shopping while overseas, don’t forget about the value-added tax (VAT). In many countries, you can recoup your VAT before leaving the country and returning home.
Create a Budget
As with any financial milestone, it’s wise to create a budget for your honeymoon. Consider costs like flights, hotel or rental accommodations, tours and activities, and food. You should also factor in extras like spa treatments, special meals, or souvenirs.
As with any budget, decide what is most important to you and make it a priority. If you like to fly rather than drive, place that at the top of your spend list. If you prefer eating out while on vacation, that will be a bigger spend for you. Love pampering? Then factor in the spa. Just remember, you likely won’t be able to do it all, so prioritizing is key. After all, the last thing you want to do is start your new marriage out in debt.
Try to save money by using airline miles when purchasing flights. Use credit card points to book hotels and visit destinations in the off-season. You may also consider an all-inclusive resort or a shorter trip to save some cash.
Another fact to consider? Since the average couple pays for 45% of their wedding expenses from their savings, you’ll probably be simultaneously saving for your wedding, too.
Keep your wedding budget in mind when setting your honeymoon budget. That way, you won’t be surprised with a hefty honeymoon bill in the days leading up to your wedding when you are likely already strapped for cash.
Experts suggest booking your honeymoon at least eight to 12 months before you plan to leave. That way, you’ll get the best deals on airfare, hotels, and the like.
Strategies to Raise Extra Cash
Sticking to your monthly budget and allocating extra cash into your honeymoon account is a great place to start. You may also consider getting a temporary second job, such as driving an Uber or pet sitting, to help pay for your honeymoon.
Another great way to pay for the honeymoon? Cut from the wedding. You can expect to pay upward of $100 per person on your wedding guest list. Cut just five people, and that’s $500 earmarked for your honeymoon. Send out postcards instead of formal invitations, limit fresh flower arrangements, or opt for a DJ instead of a live band. These money-saving moves could save you thousands to put toward your honeymoon.
Chances are, you won’t miss those long-dead floral arrangements while you’re lying on the beach in Hawaii, sipping a cocktail.
Another budget-conscious move—consider putting your honeymoon off until a few months after the wedding. That way, you’ll have time to save and shop around for the best deals.
Before you start planning your honeymoon (and budgeting for it) consider these expected expenses for your first trip as a married couple:
- Hotel/rental accommodations
- Transportation costs such as taxi fares and train rides
- Pre-honeymoon spends on clothing, location-specific gear, or beauty treatments