By Ashley Chorpenning
If you’re getting ready to jump into marital bliss, you’re probably planning your dream honeymoon in the midst of the wedding chaos. After spending thousands of dollars on your special day, you may struggle to be able to afford your honeymoon. If you don’t want to break the bank on your dream getaway, here are a few ways to afford your vacation without going into debt.
BUILD A “HONEY FUND”
Similar to establishing a wedding budget, you should establish a honeymoon budget, as well. This will give you direction when it is time to book your travel plans. For example, if your budget is around $1,000, you may want to veer away from international travel destinations such as Thailand or South Africa. While there are always deals and discounts available, you may want to stick with domestic travel.
In addition to establishing a honeymoon budget, you should create a “honey fund” to save for your big vacation. Your wedding funds and honeymoon funds shouldn’t co-mingle. Separate accounts will allow you to save for your specific goals and monitor your savings progress.
USE CREDIT CARDS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
The key to maximizing your hotel and airfare credit card rewards is to find a card that suits your wedding needs. Before wedding planning is underway, identify a credit card that will help you amplify your rewards. Then, you can use your credit card to pay for all of your wedding expenses.
A word of caution: this is only a good strategy if you plan to repay your credit card every month. If credit is used in an irresponsible manner, you could end up in a poor financial predicament.
LOOK AT DIFFERENT DESTINATIONS AND TRAVEL DATES
Just because you’re getting married in June doesn’t mean you have to take your honeymoon during the same month. You may want to explore different travel dates and destinations to find the best deal to fit your budget.
Often, traveling during a destination’s offseason can help you save money and get more bang for your buck. You may also want to set up travel alerts when fares drop to help you identify the right time to purchase your flight and book your accommodations. These sites will alert you when prices drop and the best booking deal is available.
VACATION CLOSE TO YOUR WEDDING SITE
If you have limited vacation funds, you may want to forgo the lavish vacation and stay close to your wedding site. If you’re getting married in your hometown, you can opt for a staycation. Even if you decide to go with a staycation, you could take your honeymoon at a later time when the financial obligations of the wedding are over.
If you’re doing a destination wedding, consider extending your stay. Why plan an additional vacation when you’re already away from home?
TELL THE WORLD YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED TO TRY TO GET DEALS OR UPGRADES
Often, couples who tell the world they’re on their honeymoon receive special treatment and discounts. It’s not unheard of that hotels will upgrade your accommodation or you’ll get a round of drinks before your flight takes off. Be sure to tell everyone you interact with that it’s your honeymoon—you never know what freebies you’ll receive.
Also, make sure to add your honeymoon fund or specific excursions you’re interested in to your registry. Some wedding guests may want to help with your “honey fund” and give you a little extra dough to enjoy during your vacation.
Go to Other AAA Clubs
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