All stressed-up from wedding planning? Maybe take a breather and plan the honeymoon for awhile instead (if you're taking one, of course). Here are our honeymoon planning tips to save money, save time, and save your ass, because, seriously, planning a vacation shouldn't make you NEED a vacation, right?
Travel agents are still a thing!
In the age of the internet, you'd think travel agents would have less to do, but they can actually save you money as well as time. Travel agents have relationships with hotels and can get you honeymoon-specific upgrades like champagne in the room or private meals and amenities. Plus, it's like hiring a wedding planner for your honeymoon — often totally worth it.
Start planning early
Planning ahead allows you time to budget accordingly and get necessary documents you'll need, like a passport, which can take weeks. You may also want to wait to do any name-changing (if you're doing that) so that you won't have to deal with any issues with your ID.
Starting early also means you'll have flexibility to choose a less expensive season, find better deals on flights and accommodations, and avoid Mother Nature's rage during hurricane season.
TIP: Look for “shoulder season”: the months that fall between high and low seasons, when rates and crowds are down, but the weather’s not the worst yet.
TIP: Try booking your flights for a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday since they tend to be the cheapest days to fly.
Plan your trip length accordingly
If you only have a week off of work, for instance, consider a desination closer to home so you're not spending most of your time off traveling. An exotic location is ideal if you have enough travel time and don’t mind long flights.
Namedrop “honeymoon” often
Be sure to let the hotel know at the time of reservation that you are celebrating your honeymoon. There are lots of perks to be had. You could even score a honeymoon-specific package at the time of booking. Think massages, free upgrades, and free champagne. Because hey, “We need the stuff!”
Payment questions to ask
Here are questions to ask when thinking about your budget:
- What kind of deposit do I need?
- When is final payment due?
- When do I need to pay the balance?
Typically, tour companies require a minimum deposit, with final payment usually due about 45 days prior to your departure date. Some require full payment within 24 hours of making reservation.
Consider a honeymoon registry, if that's your thing
We've got a whole bunch of online registries that can get you help paying for your honeymoon, if you're down to go that route. We know it's not everyone's style. It might be worth a look if you're going sans traditional registry. Some guests really would prefer to give you amazing experiences instead of more stuff.
International travel tips
Check if you need a visa and vaccinations before embarking internationally. This is where travel agents also shine: they can help you get what you need. Also double check that your passport is a-okay. Some countries are now requiring passports valid six months after entering the country.
You might need insurance
Force majeure in your own life can totally happen. Man, have I been there myself. Travel insurance provides some protection in case you need to cancel and don't want to lose all your money that you invested.
Check out our full archive of honeymoon posts on Offbeat Bride AND our travel archive on our sister site Offbeat Home & Life.
Comments on Cover your ass and save some cash with these honeymoon planning tips
Namedropping “honeymoon” totally works. We have gotten a lot of perks – even though we are only doing a weekend trip because that’s all we can afford right now. I’m really looking forward to it!
Yep! We made sure to mention it in the notes section of every hotel reservation. No swanky room upgrades, but we did get a few bottles of champagne and scattered rose petals. And having “Just Married” on our car got us upgraded parking at Universal Studios and lots of happy honks on the road. I wish every trip were a honeymoon! People are so nice!
Using a travel agent was probably the best uplanned thing we did. We actually got our honeymoon for a steal at an amazing resort because there was a computer glitch. AND they did the legwork for us – we just provided them a budget and dates.
I can see how a travel agent might be helpful if you’re traveling internationally, but if you’re traveling domestically, I wouldn’t bother. I’ve been working in the hotel industry for quite some time now (at 8 different hotels in 5 different states) and I’ve never seen a travel agent get anyone a better deal than they could have gotten themselves. I HAVE seen reservations get screwed up due to a communication breakdown somewhere along the chain between the guest, travel agency, and hotel. If you’re really busy and it’s worth it to you to save the time, then ok, but you’re giving up a lot of control by letting someone else book your honeymoon stay.
Any hotel worth a damn will at the very least give you free champagne if you tell them it’s your honeymoon, and upgrade you if they have the availability. My advice would be to just take a few hours to do preliminary research online, then pick up the phone and CALL THE HOTELS and ask a few questions. Hotel employees are there so you can ask them questions, and they would all rather you call ahead than show up with a bunch of misconceptions and/or false expectations. AND BOOK DIRECTLY with the hotel. Don’t book your honeymoon on Expedia! You will NEVER get a better deal by booking online than you will by contacting the hotel directly, and you’ll be more likely to get a better room and avoid reservation screw-ups.
(Just last weekend I had a honeymoon couple show up late on Saturday night, and the reservation they had booked online through a third-party booking site had gotten canceled due to a glitch in the booking system months ago. They had no reservation and it was one of the busiest nights of the whole summer so there literally wasn’t a vacant hotel room to be had for 100 miles in any direction. It was the worst. Call ahead to confirm a week or two before you go!!!)
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