Best Honeymoon Destinations and Travel Options on a Budget

FT Contributor  | 

Wedding costs add up and may even affect how much spending money you have left for the honeymoon. But your first trip as a married couple should be your most memorable. It doesn’t mean you have to go broke or get into debt over your honeymoon. You just have to get creative.

A recent survey found that the average cost of a honeymoon was $4,500. If this leaves you discouraged, keep in mind that many couples travel to expensive locations such as Fiji, Bora Bora, or Hawaii. But there are affordable alternatives. The following inexpensive honeymoon ideas may be low cost — but they’re still romantic and chic. You may even start a new honeymoon trend!

Affordable Honeymoon Destinations

The most important part of planning an inexpensive trip is to choose your destination carefully. The following places are the best honeymoon destinations on a budget. And they’re off the beaten path just enough to create a memorable adventure.

Aruba

If you dream of sunny days and uncrowded white sand beaches, Aruba may be your best bet. You won’t have to worry about bad weather or hurricanes — Aruba is not in the hurricane belt. It rains less there than at all other Caribbean Islands, with an average total of 15 inches annually.

Room prices are highest from January through March as snowbirds travel south, so aim for the least expensive months of April through August. This means the off months are the perfect time to head to Aruba after the popular May or June wedding.

A five-night package, including a stay at an all-inclusive resort, starts at $1,318 per person. Staying at an all-inclusive resort saves you from the worry of having to budget for dining out, activities, and transportation, which often gets expensive when traveling abroad.

Bali

Bali should be on your wishlist. It’s one of the most exotic and cheap honeymoon destinations around. Busy outdoor markets, lush tropical scenery, gorgeous beaches, and jungle temples will provide an unforgettable experience.

You can have a luxury honeymoon on a backpacker’s budget — Kayak’s average flight and hotel travel package is as low as $577 per person. Bali’s rainy season is from October to April. If you avoid those months, rent a scooter to get around the island for as little as $4 per day and enjoy some of the freshest and most delicious street foods for what seems like pennies.

Belize

Belize is located south of Mexico on the Caribbean side. The small country is a diver and explorer’s dream destination — ancient Mayan ruins, jungles, and the second-longest barrier reef in the world are found there.

You’ll need to time Belize just right for the best prices and good weather. The expensive high season is from November to April. And then there’s hurricane season from July to November. If you’re able to honeymoon in June, early July, or the end of November, you may be able to get a great deal while avoiding hurricane warnings. A trip for two from Chicago with a one-week stay at a four-star resort costs roughly $2,100 in June.

Canada

Canada offers honeymooners nearly every type of getaway, including mountains, coast, and cosmopolitan cities. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you may enjoy a couples road trip or camping honeymoon at one of the many national parks.

Buy a Discovery Pass for unlimited access to all Canadian parks (up to seven people and a vehicle) for about $139. The pass lasts one year, so you can honeymoon for as long as you’d like — or return later.

Jamaica

Jamaica could be one of the most laid-back and affordable honeymoon destinations. English is spoken, and it’s not far from the U.S. Go horseback riding on its world-famous beaches and enjoy the vibrant nightlife featuring reggae music.

Jamaica has two rainy seasons: the month of May and October to November. There’s also the risk of hurricanes from June to November. If you don’t mind rain or milder weather, you’ll find the least expensive Jamaican vacation packages in November, December, and June. A luxury junior suite with all drinks, meals, activities, and flights from the U.S. prices out at just over $1,000 per person according to AAA.

Portugal

Portugal may be one of the last inexpensive honeymoon destinations in Europe. A variety of housing and hotel options are available through Airbnb or TripAdvisor. You could book a charming stay in a private home or small hotel for as little as $40 per night or even splurge at the Ritz Carlton’s romantic Penha Longa, all-inclusive resort for under $200 per night.

TAP Air Portugal offers discount flights from major U.S. cities that are sometimes less expensive than flying from New York to Los Angeles. Spring or late fall are the best times of year to visit. Avoid traveling in August, when all Europeans are on vacation.

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s delicious cuisine and rich culture may feel like you’re in another world, but the island is just a short flight away. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you don’t even need a passport to visit.

To find the best deals on a honeymoon to Puerto Rico, consider going during the off-season, which runs from mid-May to November. Puerto Rico is in the hurricane belt, but it’s close enough to the states, where you can reschedule your trip if a hurricane is brewing. Just remember to buy travel insurance, so you’re not out the cost of your bookings.

During the long low season, you could score four-star hotels for two-star prices. You should be able to find inexpensive plane tickets easily since several airlines fly to the island.

Thailand

The flight to Thailand may be long, but the destination is worth the trip. For an exotic honeymoon similar to what you’d find traveling to Fiji or Tahiti, Thailand is a low-cost alternative.

There are a variety of beach resorts at every price point to match your budget. The KC Grande Resort and Spa, located at the tranquil White Sand Beach, costs as little as $100 per night for a deluxe room, depending on your dates. Venture out in the evenings and try the spicy and inexpensive street food offerings, as well as shop for cheap handcrafted goods at every corner.

Saving Money on Your Honeymoon Abroad

There are also many ways to cut costs while traveling abroad for a honeymoon. Use the following ideas to snag the best price possible at one of the best honeymoon destinations on a budget:

  • Book in advance: Book as early as possible to get the best deals. This includes flights, accommodations, and activities. And don’t forget to buy travel insurance to cover your trip, just in case you may have to cancel or postpone your honeymoon.
  • Use an Airbnb: Airbnbs are often less expensive than hotels. You’ll also have access to locals (and their knowledge) when a homeowner hosts you. The best Airbnbs go fast — book early and reach out to your host for restaurant, supermarket, and activity recommendations that don’t break the bank.
  • Travel off-season: The most important step to saving money on your honeymoon is to travel off-season. Travel is usually less expensive outside of peak season. You’ll not only save money, but you may also have more options, and will deal with fewer crowds.

Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/