We Travel Hacked Our Way To A $400 Honeymoon
Here are some smart tips on how to save money on your honeymoon.
There was no way I was going to get married without a honeymoon following it. At the same time, I knew from sources like Honeymoons.com that the average cost of a honeymoon trip is about $5,000. That’s a lot of money to throw down after paying for a wedding.
My husband and I didn’t have anywhere near that much money left after our wedding – nor did we receive that much in gifts. However, like I said, a honeymoon or vacation to celebrate our marriage was a must for me.
Thankfully, we found a way to book an all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean for less than $400 for both of us combined. That was like drinking champagne when you actually paid for beer.
But it didn’t just drop into our lap – we planned it.
Using Credit Card Reward Points
To minimize the cost of our trip, my husband and I each signed up for two credit cards in order to receive the sign-on bonuses and apply them to our travel expenses. Most credit card companies will offer bonus points when cardholders spend a certain amount of money or buy specific things. These bonus points can be used for cash rewards and gift cards or applied to travel expenses. For example, you may receive 50,000 bonus points for spending $2,000 on your card during the first three months. Those 50,000 points can translate into $500 of travel money that may allow you to fly for free or book a few nights at hotel with points instead of paying cash.
While my husband and I don’t consider ourselves major credit card churners, we do use credit cards wisely. We figured we should give this strategy a try, since we needed to spend money on our wedding, anyway.
We didn’t want credit card debt after the whole ordeal. So we decided to use our cards only to cover necessities and wedding expenses. This would help us meet the sign-on bonus requirements.
If an expense wasn’t something we were planning on spending money on – or if we didn’t have the cash to pay the credit card balance off right after a purchase – we didn’t use the cards for fear of going into debt. We spent just enough in order to receive the bonus points after three months. And since each of us had two cards, we received enough points to cover both our flights in full, as well as most of our hotel stay at the all-inclusive resort.
We still had to pay taxes on our flight. But overall, we spent less than $400 to fly and stay in the Caribbean for a week. We even ended up with extra money for souvenirs and a tour away from the resort.
Choosing an All-Inclusive Resort
All-inclusive resorts are the best. Basically, your hotel stay, on-site amenities, food, and sometimes even drinks all fall under one flat nightly rate. You can’t beat that.
The last vacation I had with my husband a few years ago was fun, but it wasn’t all-inclusive. To pay for the ”extras,” we kept a fixed amount of cash with us and held onto it for dear life.
This time, though, we didn’t want to be stressed about what we could or couldn’t do. So we chose an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean that included all meals and snacks, alcoholic drinks, a pool, and a private beach, along with nightly entertainment and non-motorized water sports.
We laid out at the pool, walked along the beach, did some kayaking, and ate and drank as we pleased. This was all without spending another dime after we initially booked our stay.
Normally, the all-inclusive resort we visited charges a minimum of $200 per night to start. This would normally add up to at least $1,400 for a week-long stay. We paid less than a third of that price.
Using credit card reward points isn’t for everyone, though. It’s strictly for those who have control over their spending and an ability to make payments on time. There are a few other ideas that can help cut down on your honeymoon budget:
- Book lodging via Airbnb to save money.
- Plan your honeymoon during the off season or fly out on the cheapest day of the week.
- Take a local trip to a nice attraction in a neighboring state to cut out the cost of flying.
- Set up a honeymoon registry instead of a wedding gift registry so that you can pay for travel expenses in cash.