Incredible Honeymoon Destinations (That Won’t Bury You In Debt)
For a lucky few brides and grooms to be, honeymoon plans are not bound by budgetary restrictions. But for the rest of us, the process can be downright daunting – particularly when paired with the exorbitant costs of a typical wedding.
The average American couple spends just shy of $4,000 to honeymoon, per the results of wedding planning site WeddingWire’s most recent Newlywed Survey. Depending on where you go, that could buy you weeks of thrilling travel adventures, or a day and a half of luxury.
For those who want to celebrate their nuptials with a remarkable vacation, but who don’t want to go into debt doing so, here are a few options to consider:
Budget Beach Paradises
At a luxury resort in Bora Bora such as the Four Seasons, $4,000 won’t get you very far. Specifically, even if you book about a year in advance, you can expect to spend more than half of that budget on a single night in a one-bedroom overwater bungalow with a plunge pool and lagoon views. And that figure doesn’t factor in dining or activities, let alone airfare.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to trade in the white sandy beaches of Bora Bora for those of South East Asia, $4,000 could buy you weeks of unforgettable adventures and seaside relaxation, and that includes incredible food and airfare.
You can find dozens of beach bungalows in Thailand and Vietnam, many for well under $50 a night. Malaysia offers a plethora of oversea bungalows, which – while more than $50 a night – are a fraction of the cost of their Bora Bora counterparts.
Costa Rica boasts stunning beaches and natural scenery – not to mention prices low enough to let you truly enjoy your honeymoon
Central America is another region that’s rich with budget-friendly beachside accommodations. Costa Rica, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico have countless options that will let you create the honeymoon you’ve always dreamt of without breaking the bank.
For those who are new to these regions or would like help planning their itineraries, high-end travel planning services can provide a wealth of free information. If you Google “honeymoon itinerary Southeast Asia” or the same for Central America, you’ll find numerous travel sites looking to sell you expensive trips with incredible itineraries. But rather than paying thousands to have someone else plan your trip for you, you can simply take their suggested itineraries, and then find your own budget accommodations in each locale. You can then contact your hotel or hostel in each location and ask them for guidance booking activities or local dining experiences on the cheap.
Europe On A Shoestring
Romania offers both vibrant cities and incredible natural scenery
Traditional European honeymoon hotspots like Paris and Barcelona are beautiful, but can be incredibly costly. Those who long for the historic architecture, thriving cultural scenes, and delicious dining options these European metropolises are known for at a fraction of the cost could do no better than to consider the Balkans.
Romania offers vibrant cities and incredible natural scenery. The Transylvanian city of Brasov boasts all the best the country has to offer – from fine dining and a lively nightlife to awe inspiring landscapes and easy access to top-notch ski resorts. Romania’s Black Sea coast likewise offers a wealth of budget friendly hotel and dining options.
For travelers who are determined to pack in as much beach time as possible during their honeymoons, the Adriatic coastline is brimming with excellent options. The beaches of Croatia are known the world over for their beauty. However, the beaches of southern Albania offer unrivaled beauty, and due to the fact that southern Albania is still off the beaten tourist path, savvy travelers can find incredibly budget-friendly accommodations and dining options there.
The beaches of Albania feature white sands, turquoise waters and the occasional bunker
For an otherworldly experience, check out Macedonia’s Lake Ohrid, where sparkling turquoise waters lap against shores festooned with medieval architecture. Then head over to nearby Montenegro, where you can hike, kayak, raft and then lounge on a picturesque beach, all in the course of a day.
The region is brimming with gems to be discovered, and prices throughout ensure that honeymooners will get infinitely more bang for their buck than they would in much of Western Europe.
Surprisingly, cruising internationally can be cheaper than flying internationally
Many budget travelers are quick to write off cruises, either as a luxury they can’t afford or as a lazy and stifling travel experience.
What these detractors probably don’t know is that cruises are often available at deep discounts, and if you play your cards right, you can secure a spot on an international cruise for less than it would cost you to fly the same route. Many major cruise lines opt to relocate their ships throughout the year in order to protect them from inclement weather.
Cruise companies sell deeply discounted tickets for these so called repositioning cruises. And despite the discounts, they feature all of the activities as well as the dining and entertainment options that you would expect from a typical cruise. Repositioning cruises most commonly occur in April-May and in October-November.
Furthermore, cruises can provide travelers with the opportunity to explore numerous countries within the span of just a few days. For example, major cruise lines offer repositioning cruises that traverse both the Atlantic (e.g. Miami, Florida to St. Petersburg, Russia) and the Pacific (e.g. Sydney, Australia to Vancouver, Canada), as well as the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. Though repositioning cruises tend to feature more days at sea and fewer port stops than typical cruises, travelers can choose their cruises based on the port stops that appeal most to them.
The best way to find out about specific routes and prices is by calling cruise companies and travel agents, or browsing websites that specialize in repositioning cruises.