25 Ways to Honeymoon for Less
Keep in mind that you can avoid paying full price about 99% of the time, even some early booking discounts apply to peak times. Here are 25 money saving tips to help you plan the romantic honeymoon of your discount dreams.
1. Set Your Priorities
First decide what your goals are for the trip and exactly what you can and can’t live without. Let’s say you have $1,000 for the honeymoon. If pampering is first on your list, book a long weekend in the suite of a nearby spa resort. If getting away from it all is most important, use that same amount of money to take a week long camping trip complete with gourmet eats and treats.
2. Work With A Travel Agent
For one stop, stress free trip planning, a travel agent can’t be beaten. They can save you money with air/hotel or fly/drive/hotel packages thanks to their high business volume. They have the skinny on last minute or on-going sales and can offer the wisdom gained from years of travel experience. For savings at sea, call an agency that specialises in booking cruises. And be sure to let the travel agent know your priorities so they know exactly what to cut and keep from your itinerary.
3. Consider A Honeymoon Registry
Here’s how it works: Some travel agencies and tour operators offer a registry service by which they collect, track and apply contributions from your wedding guests toward your honeymoon expenses. Go to travelregistry.com.au for more info.
4. Choose An Off Season Locale
Assuming your departure date is fixed, choose a destination or cruise itinerary whose low season coincides with your travel dates for drastic price breaks and less crowds.
Best of all: Low season is not synonymous with bad weather. Many destintations have ideal temperatures all year round so ask your travel agent or surf the net for some great deals.
5. Choose Cheaper Locales
Many variables can make a destination a dynamite deal, including a weak local currency or heavy tourist traffic. Other surprises such as natural weather disasters cannot be planned in advance, such as hurricanes etc, but have the same cost cutting effect. Although this is a disaster for the inhabitants of the country, you can do your bit to boost up the local economy again and improve conditions for the locals, by spending your honeymoon dollar there.
6. Stay Close To Home
In general, the shorter the flight, the cheaper the airfare. This is one reason why some Aussie’s head to Fiji or Bali. Another idea: Save the airfare and use the extra money to upgrade to a nicer hotel and room at a resort within driving distance.
7. Book Early
This guarantees that all the inexpensive rooms won’t be sold out. On cruises, which announce their itineraries 10 to 14 months in advance, it also means savings of up to 55%. On the other hand, if a ship is under booked, you may snag a last minute deal up to eight weeks before sailing although you may have a limited choice of cabins.
8. Shop The Sales
The best times to buy airline tickets are October through December and January through March. When booking, think like a budget traveller and stay over at least one Saturday night to make it cheaper. Airfares tend to take a dive when business travel is low such as over the weekend.
9. Read The Paper
Not only should you scan for travel deals for flights originating in your city, especially popular in a major airline’s hub city, but swoop in on the fine print. Too many disclaimers spell trouble. Look for ads that deal with major airlines, not charter flights, and familiar hotel chains. Comparison shop and trust your gut.
10. Consider Alternative Airports
Sacrifice convenience for savings: Try flying into or out of a smaller airport at one or both ends of your trip to reduce your airfare. For example, honeymooners may save money by flying into Long Island’s Islip Airport instead of New York’s La Guardia. Cheap carriers such as ryanair.com will fly you into smaller regional european airports in return for a small airfare.
11. Consider Alternate Modes of Travel
Instead of flying a major airline, check out no frills, low fare carriers or consider the scenic window views of a train, bus or car. If driving, break up the longer travel time, and enhance the journey, by planning some sightseeing pit stops along the way.
12. Cash In Your Frequent Flyer Miles
That credit card you’ve been abusing to pay for your wedding is now ready to be milked for airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals and upgrades. In fact, seat upgrades have a better exchange rate than ticket purchases and are invaluable splurges on marathon flights. Ask about partnerships, allow plenty of time for membership rewards or points to be transferred, and remember that blackout dates may curtail your plans.
13. Purchase An Air Pass
Many airlines, including those that service Europe, Southeast Asia, South America, Australia and the South Pacific, sell tickets that allow you to city or country hop within a specific region within a limited time frame for far less than had you arranged each leg of the trip separately.
14. Book Online
Some hotels and airlines offer internet booking discounts or bonuses such as frequent flyer miles. You can even pick up a cheap deal if your prepared to ‘bid’ for your flights in an online auction, go to bidrivals.com/au/travel and name your price.
15. Consider An All Inclusive Hotel, Cruise or Tour
The best part about an all inclusive deal is there are no surprises and no limits. You can live like a king and queen for one flat fee. You can even get married at no cost with a minimum night stay at some resorts. Most all inclusive rates include rooms, all meals, drinks, activities, entertainment, taxes and airport transfers. Knot Note: Packages vary. Club Med doesn’t include alcoholic drinks. Ask lots of questions and make sure most of what’s included appeals to you, otherwise, why spend the money?
16. Consider A Bed & Breakfast
True, this option some lack privacy, but not all. Most are packed with romantic nooks and deluxe amenities. Prices are usually favorable, especially during the week, and breakfast is obviously included. Knot Note: Kids and pets are allowed and even encouraged at some B&B’s.
17. Do Your Own Cooking
Book a unit or villa with cooking facilities, where you can whip up your own meals for two whenever you get the munchies. Be sure to pack candles and your favourite tunes for romantic ambience.
18. Call A Hotel Broker
These companies sell rooms that hotels need to fill or they buy blocks of rooms and pass the savings on to you. They may also have rooms at hotels claiming to be sold out. Two good ones to try are wotif.com or lastbeds.com.au
19. Call A Hotel Directly
For some of the best deals phone the hotel directly as this can sometimes be the cheapest way to get a spectacular honeymoon suite. This will also enable you to arrange airport transfers and perhaps book in a massage in the spa on arrival.
20. Ask About Packages
Not only do you get lots of extras when you sign up for a package but rates may include tax, tips and airport transfers which can save you big money over the regular room only rates, even with all the perks! Check honeymoon articles on The Knot for romance package details at featured hotels.
21. Sleep Cheap, Live Large
Book the cheapest room you can in the swankiest hotel you can afford. Choosing a room that faces the garden or pool instead of the ocean is no big deal if you plan to be on the beach or out of your room enjoying posh amenities most of the time anyway. Light sleepers should choose a garden view as pool parties or dance bands may keep you up. Save even more if you’re willing to stay a block or two from the beach.
22. Read The Fine Print
Compare rates based on what’s included. For example, tax alone can add up to 21%! Optional inclusions such as tax, airport transfers, breakfast and afternoon tea or wine and cheese in the evening can save you a bundle.
23. Don’t Be Shy
Don’t accept the first room rate quoted, especially during low season. Enquire about weekend rates, common at city hotels, extended stay discounts and seasonal promotions. Ask: Is this absolutely the lowest rate you can offer me? What would I need to do to get a better rate?
24. Pull Your Resources
Get intimate with the benefits of all your credit cards, dining cards and club memberships. For example, your car insurance or credit card may already cover collision damage and liability on car rentals. You may also be covered for other things such as travel insurance, which can protect your trip deposits and reimburse you for pricey medical expenses if something happens on your trip. It’s a relatively small price to pay for peace of mind.
When you’re inquiring about a rate or making a reservation, make sure the person knows it’s for your honeymoon. At the very least, you may get a better table or free flutes of champagne. At best, especially during the off season, you may get a room upgrade!
Is your budget still coming up short? Don’t worry, book a nice hotel room for your wedding night and start saving for a belated honeymoon blowout on your first anniversary. Bon voyage!