1. Use points.
If you've charged wedding expenses, your honeymoon is the perfect time to cash in all the bonus points you racked up on your credit card. Free airfare is a huge win, of course, and even if you don't have enough miles for that, you can still go for an upgrade from coach to first class, so you can begin and end your honeymoon in style.
2. Start a honeymoon registry.
Even if pots and pans or china is totally your thing, you still might want to set up a honeymoon registry (with sites like TravelersJoy.com, HoneyFund.com or Wanderable.com) and have guests pay for part (or even all) of your trip in lieu of traditional gifts. You can also register at specific resorts such as Disney.
3. Take advantage of “shoulder” seasons.
Every destination has a high and low season—during the high season there are crowds and high prices, while the low season is cheaper (usually because the weather is lousy). Shoulder seasons, however, are right on the cusp of high and low, so the prices are more reasonable because there's less demand and the weather is still pretty good. Shoulder season for the Caribbean is late spring and fall, or for Europe, it’s late spring or early fall.
4. Go where you literally get more bang for your buck.
A poor currency exchange can sabotage your budget (for example, the dollar is only worth three-quarters of a euro). You’re better off (at least financially) finding a destination where your money has more value, like Iceland, Mexico or the Czech Republic.
5. Consider an all-inclusive.
One of the best reasons to honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort is you know exactly what it’ll cost you—budgeting at its easiest. If you love to eat and drink, you’ll get your money’s worth (if you’re staying on your wedding diet or are a teetotaler, you might not).
6. Fly off-peak.
Flights are less expensive in the middle of the week across the board. If you're traveling domestic, fly on a Sunday to avoid business travelers. If you're going abroad, leave Monday or Tuesday for the best deals.
7. Use mass transit.
Unless you're renting a car, do like the locals and ride mass transit. Cab rides, while convenient, are notorious budget busters. Before you travel, familiarize yourself with your honeymoon spot's main modes of transportation, be it metro, tram or bus. Saving money isn't the only benefit of mass transit—in congested cities, the metro is often the quickest way across town.
8. Get a room with no view.
Check any hotel's website and you'll find a range of room rates. A room's size and view are two factors that hike up the price. Cut your accommodation's cost by booking a room looking out at a slightly less attractive landscape. When you spend most of your time on the beach, you'll hardly notice whether your room has a view of the ocean or a garden, and the savings can be significant.
9. Investigate packages.
If a hotel offers a "honeymoon package," take a close look to see if it's really going to save you anything. If the offer is six nights for the price of five, that's worthwhile. If the package brings an evening rose petal turndown service plus champagne for an added $200, buy a bottle of prosecco and toast to your budgeting skills instead.
10. Mention you're newlyweds.
You can often leverage the fact that you're on your honeymoon for special (and free) extras. While there are no hard rules for the practice (or guarantees it’ll get you anything), it's worth telling the receptionist you'll be spending your first days of married life with them. We've heard of couples getting complimentary room upgrades. It's also worth dropping the h-word when you're at airport check-in, and any bartender's bound to offer a round on the house.
11. Stray from the hotel.
A hotel's restaurant is definitely hassle-free dining, but that convenience often comes with a marked-up price. Consult a guidebook or ask a local for a better, budget-friendly find.
12. Talk to locals.
With some insider info, you'll find some amazing, “OMG-this-is-SO-good-and-SO-cheap” places, like a four-table Italian restaurant in Rome with the best homemade pasta you’ve ever had. Ask the local baker, butcher or fishmonger for their pick for the best bite in town— chances are it will be reasonably priced and ridiculously delicious.
13. Prepare a few meals.
Bringing oatmeal or granola bars for a couple quick hotel room breakfasts is an easy way to save money (and time if you’re headed out for an early excursion). And even making your own lunch doesn't have to feel like a sad cost-saving step. Go to the local grocery store and stock up on sandwich ingredients, fruit and other picnic components. Trek to a secluded spot and enjoy a private lunch; you'll save money without feeling like you’re scrimping on romance.
Wedding Planning Basics