A honeymoon is meant to be a time of relaxation and enjoyment following your wedding celebration, but figuring out how to pay for your dream getaway can quickly dampen your excitement. Whether you're looking to honeymoon on an island with white sand beaches or you're more set on a romantic getaway to wine country, it’s possible to create the perfect honeymoon on any budget. The key to achieving a high-quality honeymoon at a budget-friendly price is to plan early and do your research. Here are 15 budget honeymoon ideas to help you get started.

1. Know Your Must-Haves

Consider which parts of your vacation you’re most excited about, and which elements you can’t live without. Are you searching for white sand beaches? Do you plan on going scuba diving? These are the factors of your honeymoon that will make it feel like a dream, and will help you prioritize your budget items. If luxury accommodation is a top priority for you, you might want to consider a honeymoon destination in the US. In contrast, if far-off destinations are the key to a fantastic trip for you, finding affordable accommodations can help mitigate your travel costs. Knowing what you, as a couple, value during your vacation will help you allocate your budget appropriately to create your dream honeymoon.

2. Start Early

When working on a budget, it is best to start planning early. Not only does this afford you the time to shop around for deals and discounts, but it also ensures that inexpensive rooms at your accommodation of choice are still available. In contrast, you may also benefit from some last-minute planning—if you are feeling lucky—as many hotels will heavily discount rooms in an effort to fill them, although your options will be limited.

3. Use a Travel Agent

Not only will a travel agent help minimize your planning stresses, but they will likely also have knowledge of discounts and deals you may not otherwise have access to when searching honeymoon destinations. A travel agent can help create travel packages, bundling flights and hotels, to save your money. Be sure to communicate with your travel agent about what your priorities are so that he or she can help curate your itinerary and search for the best accommodations and activities on your behalf.

4. Leverage Your Registry

It has become increasingly common for newlyweds to use the registry as a means of securing additional funds for their honeymoon. Zola’s Honeymoon and Cash Funds tool is an easy way to allow guests to make contributions toward your honeymoon expenses. This tool can be used to add a general honeymoon fund to your registry, or to create individual items for specific activities, experiences, and other costs, depending on what you desire.

5. Travel Off-Season

It’s no secret that certain months of the year are popular for traveling, and that increases the price of flights, hotels, and other expenses. Plus, not only will you save money, but you’ll likely benefit from decreased crowding in popular locations. For most destinations, the peak tourism season is during the summer months and around the winter holiday season. To avoid these drastic price increases, consider scheduling your honeymoon during the fall or spring. However, you’ll want to do some research about your dream honeymoon destination, as some locations have extreme weather conditions and the potential for natural disasters during those months.

Honeymoon Budget Tips Photo Credit // Unsplash

6. Pay Attention to Exchange Rates

When traveling internationally, look for destinations that have a favorable exchange rate, such as Mexico, Vietnam, or Croatia. This helps your funds stretch further, allowing you to book higher quality accommodations, relish luxurious meals, and enjoy extravagant excursions while ultimately spending less money overall.

7. Look at Alternative Travel Options

An often overlooked area of budget honeymoons is the way you travel to, from, and among your final destination. If possible, consider traveling via train, bus, or car to cut down on your expenses. Should flying be a necessity, consider booking through smaller or farther-distanced airports at either end of your trip to reduce your airfare. However, be sure to research the cost and availability of a taxi from the airport to your accommodations, so you don’t mitigate your savings upon arrival. In some cases, your hotel or resort may provide a complimentary airport pickup. During your stay, travel like a local by using public transportation to save money and experience the culture.

8. Use Travel Rewards and Benefits

Whether you are cashing in airline miles for free tickets or using a hotel rewards program for discounted rates, knowing the travel rewards of all your credit cards and other memberships can help you get the most value for your money. For example, many airlines and large hotel chains have partnerships with local resorts, car rentals, and other vendors to provide favorable rates to their members. Additionally, some credit cards may provide collision damage and liability coverage or other travel insurance benefits. Research all of the rewards programs that you are a part of, and understand your credit card benefit offerings before you head out on your trip to save money and increase your peace of mind.

9. Purchase an Air Pass

Honeymoon ideas on a budget all focus around getting the most value for every dollar you spend. If you are planning to travel among multiple destinations throughout your honeymoon, purchasing an air pass could be a great value option. Many foreign airlines servicing Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, and the South Pacific have ticket offerings that allow you to city- or country-hop within a limited timeframe through a specific region for far less than you would if making individual bookings for each leg of the trip.

10. Consider All-Inclusive Options

Arriving at your destination and knowing you won’t have to pay for anything during your stay sounds like a dream for newlyweds, but that is the best part about booking an all-inclusive resort or cruise. Most of these rates will include your room, all food and beverage, activities and excursions, shows and entertainment, tips, taxes, and round-trip airport transportation. However, these packages may vary, so be careful to research your options and speak directly with a representative to clarify what is included to avoid any surprises. As an added benefit, many all-inclusive options will allow payment plans so you can spread your payments over time.

11. Dine Differently

One of the best inexpensive honeymoon ideas is to cook for yourself and eat in for at least a few of your meals during the vacation. Dining out can quickly add up to a hefty line item on your budget. If your accommodation has a kitchen, cook a few meals in together and enjoy a quiet night. Otherwise, eating at a casual, local restaurant is a great money-saving alternative to expensive hotel or resort eateries.

12. Book Direct

While booking through discount travel websites can offer you some savings and deals, working directly with hotels or resorts can give you the scoop on sales, best room rates, and other amenities, such as airport transfers. When you call the hotel, ask about specialty rates, such as weekend packages, extended stay discounts, and seasonal promotions. However, do not accept the first rate you are quoted. Instead, ask if that is the lowest they can offer, or inquire what you need to do for a better price. You would be surprised how many hoteliers are willing to negotiate.

13. Get the Cheapest Room

You may be able to stay at a luxury resort for a more affordable price by booking the cheapest room available. While oceanviews may be desirable, booking a garden-view room can save money and may not be a big deal if you don’t intend to spend a lot of time in your room.

Honeymoon Budget Tips Photo Credit // Unsplash

14. Check for Honeymoon Packages

Many tourism vendors and hotels offer honeymoon packages for newlyweds. These packages typically have a theme, such as romance or spa, and can provide a range of added amenities and services. In most instances, the price paid for a honeymoon package will include tips and taxes, offering you substantial savings.

15. Share That It’s Your Honeymoon

It can feel awkward, but when you are making your reservations, don’t be afraid to let the booking agent know that your upcoming travel is for your honeymoon. Many hotels and restaurants will do whatever they can to upgrade your experience, such as giving you a better table or providing a complimentary bottle of champagne. In exceptional circumstances, you may even benefit from a free room upgrade or entirely comped meals.