For many couples, one of the most exciting parts of getting married is that not long after the wedding day, you and your new spouse get to jet off on a well-deserved honeymoon. The honeymoon is a non-negotiable for the majority of newlyweds, as it’s a great way to spend time in each others’ company after many hectic months of wedding planning.
The trouble is, honeymoons are far from cheap. Couples in the UK spend an average of £4,200 on their honeymoon, which is an extra expense on top of a whopping £19,184 (the average overall cost of a wedding). Despite this, as discovered in our 2023 UK Wedding Report, the top splurge for most couples married in 2022 was their honeymoon.
So, with a honeymoon being such an important part of many couples’ wedding journey, the cost can be hard to swallow, especially after already spending so much on the big day itself. Luckily, there are ways to save money on your honeymoon so that even if you have a limited budget, you and your new spouse can still have a fabulous time away.
In this post, we’re going to explore how you can save money on your honeymoon, including cost-cutting tips and tricks, and why some couples are pushing their honeymoon back to go on a cheaper ‘minimoon’.
According to our 2023 UK Wedding Report, a massive 88% of couples look to go on a honeymoon after their big day, whether that’s immediately or within a few months. A honeymoon could be anything from a relaxing two-week beach-side pamper-thon, to a backpacking adventure across east Asia.
But, that still leaves more than 1 in 10 (12%) couples who choose not to go on a honeymoon at all. This could be down to budget, personal preferences, or any other reason. Whatever you choose to do is fine, and just because the majority of couples choose to plan a honeymoon, it doesn’t mean it’s something you should feel obliged to do as well.
That being said, a honeymoon is a great way for the two of you to get away after a long (and undoubtedly tiring) wedding. It gives you a chance to rest, relax and truly get to know your brand-new spouse.
If the rising cost of your wedding has put a dampener on honeymoon plans, then a minimoon is a fabulous alternative that means you can still get away. It also buys you a little extra time to save for your full-blown honeymoon a little later on.
A minimoon is a shorter, more cost-effective trip that is usually a few days long, but can be up to a week. Much like a honeymoon, a minimoon can be anything you want, but is often something a little closer to home so you don’t have to spend as much and your bank account can have a bit of breathing space.
So, it could be a long weekend in the Lake District, a week at Great Yarmouth, or a few nights in Paris. You could even head off on a cheap all-inclusive week to Marbella – it’s whatever you want it to be (so long as it’s affordable and doesn’t stretch your budget too thin).
However, if you’re not excited about the thought of a minimoon and, like most couples, you know you want to dive right into a honeymoon, there are plenty of ways you can save money and do exactly that.
Below are 15 ways to save money on your honeymoon so you and your new spouse can have a well-earned break. You can also read our complete guide on how to save money on your wedding for even more wedding cost-saving suggestions.
Much like with booking any other holiday, travelling during peak times will be the most expensive. During the summer, Christmas, Easter and bank holidays, you’re likely to pay way more than during other times of the year. You’ll also want to steer clear of half-term breaks if you can (which might be tough if you work in education).
To save money, why not book your honeymoon so you travel during the quieter times of the year, such as November or February? Not only will your honeymoon cost way less, but if you book your wedding for a similar time you’ll save money on other parts of your wedding too, like your venue and catering.
Which day you fly can also make a difference, with Tuesdays being the cheapest day for international flights. Bear this in mind when speaking to your travel agent, because it’s not always information they’ll give you.
If you’re getting married during the summer, try to fight back the temptation to head off on your honeymoon straight after the wedding. Waiting until mid-September could potentially save you thousands.
One great way to save money and have a truly memorable wedding is by having a destination wedding. Combining your wedding with your honeymoon guarantees that you’ll get away after many months of wedding planning. You’ll also save money by not having to pay for a separate trip after the big day. Just imagine how incredible it will be to get married beneath a blue sky and in front of a calm ocean. Bliss for the photographs and your bank account.
The only downside is that you’ll probably have to ask your guests to pay a lot more to attend. But, if you give them plenty of notice it’ll help them save, and the thought of being at your wedding somewhere beautiful and exotic will help soften the blow.
If you find yourself gravitating towards booking a popular honeymoon destination, like the Maldives or Italy, don’t be surprised if the price you’re quoted is on the high side. Instead of following in the tracks of other honeymooning couples, why not do something a little less common, like Portugal, Greece or Egypt? You’re still guaranteed sun, sea and relaxation, but you won’t have to pay nearly as much.
If you’re looking for a destination popular with honeymooning couples, read our post breaking down nine romantic honeymoon destinations.
If you regularly travel for work or have been abroad a couple of times in the last year, then chances are you might have a few air miles or reward points accumulated. If you know you want to head off somewhere special after your wedding, save up your miles so you can put them towards your honeymoon.
Another way to gain miles is through reward points. For example, did you know you can convert your Tesco Clubcard points into Virgin Flying Club points? It’s the perfect way to transform potatoes into points and apples into air miles so you can knock some money off your honeymoon.
Rather than booking a fancy five-star hotel that’s half-board or room-only, why not consider a cheap and cheerful all-inclusive deal instead? All-inclusive breaks are an affordable way to get away and enjoy some sun, with the added bonus of you also not having to worry about spending too much money when you’re there.
Once you’ve set a date and booked your venue, you can start thinking about when you might want to head off on your honeymoon. Booking early and paying a deposit is a brilliant way to spread out the cost, allowing you to pay monthly. That way, you’re not left with a huge bill you have to pay all in one go, which will hit hard among the countless other wedding-related costs you’ll be making during the build-up to your big day.
Have you ever walked past a travel agent’s window and spotted a deal that sounds too good to be true, but the flight is in less than two weeks? Why not take this approach to book your honeymoon? If you’re not precious about where you go, grabbing a last-minute deal could save you thousands of pounds. Just be open and flexible, and don’t set your heart on something in particular so you’re not disappointed.
You may be tempted to run off for your honeymoon the moment you and your new spouse leave your wedding venue, but waiting a few months means you have time to recuperate after spending money on the most expensive party of your lives. Taking time after your wedding to save a little money before going on your honeymoon means less pressure on you and your finances. Plus, it gives you more time to shop around for deals and keep a look out for those last-minute bargains without wedding planning duties taking all your attention.
If you’re happy to put in a little bit of effort and forgo a package holiday, you can save a decent chunk of money by booking each individual part of your honeymoon separately. For example, booking flights using Skyscanner can uncover some huge bargains. Similarly, you can find great deals on Booking.com for hotels and attractions. Plus, if you hunt for discount codes, you can make further savings, like 10% off hotel stays.
You may have already made a note not to travel during busy periods in the UK calendar, like bank holidays and half term, but it’s also important to do the same for the country you’re visiting. For example, Thanksgiving in the USA and Labor Day in Spain are national holidays that can make the cost of travel, hotels and attractions a little pricier than they might ordinarily be.
Similarly, are there any sporting events, like a big football match, or cultural events, like the Edinburgh Fringe, that could drive huge crowds – and huge prices – during the time of your visit?
If possible, why not drive to your chosen destination instead of flying? Of course, if you’re planning on going to Mexico this won’t be an option, but if you’re going to Bruges, Paris, or Amsterdam, driving is a cost-saving option. As a bonus, it also means you don’t have to rent a car once you’re there, saving you even more. Just be wary of parking fees at your hotel, which can add up if you’re there for two weeks.
Don’t be shy about telling everyone you meet that you’re on your honeymoon! Businesses love treating couples who are celebrating their marriage, so do what you can to slip it into conversations when making bookings and checking into hotels and restaurants. From free upgrades to glasses of bubbly, you’ll be surprised at just how often you’ll be treated – even if it’s something small.
The average honeymoon lasts seven to nine days, with many couples taking two or three weeks to relax and decompress together after their wedding. But, the longer you spend away, the more it’s going to cost. Instead, why not book a week, or even just five days, to really cut back on how much you spend? That way, you’ll still get to spend some time by a pool, but not spend even close to the average amount.
Instead of putting together a gift registry, you could ask friends and loved ones who want to give you a wedding gift to contribute towards your honeymoon fund. A survey from Expedia found that 65% of couples add their honeymoon fund to their gift registry, which means it’s something that many of your wedding guests will have encountered before. It helps your guests give you something you’ll love and means you’re not spending more money which you might not have anyway after paying for your wedding.
A gift registry is a particularly cost-effective way to have the honeymoon of your dreams packed full of extras that might otherwise have been out of your budget range. For example, you can have your guests gift a flight or hotel room upgrade, or a snorkelling trip and romantic beach dinner for two. Check out our post on wedding registry alternatives to find out more.
Once you’ve booked your honeymoon, consider securing travel insurance as soon as possible. Your honeymoon isn’t covered by wedding insurance, as it’s not considered part of the wedding itself. So, in the unlikely event that something happens that means you can’t get away, travel insurance will help you not lose your money.
Read our ultimate guide to wedding insurance for more information.
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