My personal favorite part of my wedding was when it was over, and we were in the car headed to our honeymoon in St. Petersburg, Florida. Not to say I didn't enjoy my wedding day, it was awesome, but that year-long period of planning my big day took a toll on my psyche, and I desperately needed a break.
PLEASE DON'T SKIP HAVING A HONEYMOON BECAUSE YOU THINK IT COSTS TOO MUCH! You and your husband need that time together, to get away, and to recharge your batteries before coming back into work or school or families.
These are 3 universal tips to save money on your honeymoon, no matter where you go!
1. Plan your trip for the Off-Season
Do some research on when a city is most popular, and least popular, before you book. The benefits are awesome. October in Florida is in between the summer vacation times and winter retiree migration (aka Snowbirds) and nobody goes to the beach on Fall Break, only Spring Break, so it's pretty dead there at that time, and lodging and activities come down on their prices. We stayed in an Airbnb for a week for about $240, and went to museums at discounted prices, and we even went to Busch Gardens 2 days in a row for less than $200 (and since there was hardly anyone there, the longest we had to wait for a ride was 2 hours, that's insane!!)
The only downside is that October is smack in the middle of Hurricane season for Florida, but I think that considering the benefits, it's worth the risk. I would even recommend coordinating your wedding to fall around it, so that there are no gaps, but sometimes that's unavoidable. Off-Season in St. Petersburg is prime wedding season in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but fortunately the difference offset the prices for our wedding, so it worked out. Just look online for wherever you plan to go, it's super easy!
2. Book with Airbnb
One of the challenges to planning a honeymoon on a budget is finding somewhere to stay that's nice but won't kill your budget. Hotels can be so expensive even in the off-season, and some of the pictures provided are hard to tell if the rooms in your budget are any good. Thats how Logan and I felt, until we discovered Airbnb!
Airbnb is a source where people can rent out a room, a guest house, or even their whole house, as lodging. We booked a lovely mother-in-law suite that had a full bathroom, cable TV, an office, and even bicycles we could use, plus we could walk most places. Even better, it only cost us $240 for the week! Some hosts for spaces are super involved and love to show you around and do things with you, but our host stayed out of the way, which was fine by us.
We ended up being able to leave for Florida a day earlier (we were planning on leaving on Monday but ended up being able to leave Sunday), after we had already booked, and so we contacted our host a few weeks before the wedding to see if we could add one more day. Unfortunately the room wasn't available that date, but that was okay. The money saved using Airbnb allowed us to splurge a little, so our first night was spent in a historic hotel in Downtown St. Pete!
3. Buy Groceries once you get there
This sounds strange, but trust me, this will help you save so much. When you get to your destination, and check n to wherever you're staying (and take a wee nap; traveling is exhausting!) Go to the nearest grocery store and pick up some breakfast stuff like bagels, cream cheese, and fruit, and some lunch items like stuff to make sandwiches, and some drinks. Most hotels and Airbnb's have a mini-fridge in the room, so you can even get milk for cereal. We would munch on bagels on our way to a museum, and then have a packed picnic of sandwiches and chips for the beach, so that by the time dinner rolled around, we had plenty of money to go somewhere fancy or romantic and not have to worry if we splurge on cocktails or steak! It's all about shifting the food budget around. We're not really people who go out for brunch or lunch anyway, so it wasn't really much of a sacrifice for us.
I hope that these tips are helpful for you, these are real things we applied, so we know they work. Leave a comment below if you did something unique to save money on your honeymoon!