Honeymoon

Autumn Honeymoon 2018 on a Budget?!

edited June 27 in Honeymoon
Hi there :blush: 

My fiance (21) and I (20) were not blessed with amazing full-time jobs, yet, and not the richest of families. Lucky for us, we are planning our wedding for Autumn of 2018, specifically in October. We got engaged a couple months ago, so we have plenty of time to plan and save up, not only for our wedding but also our honeymoon! 

We agree that we don't want to wait for our honeymoon--we want to get hitched, party for a few hours, then head out! 

What we aren't finding common ground on is where to go for our honeymoon... He likes the idea of Venice, Amsterdam or Bahamas, while I've always wanted a honeymoon in Paris, though I've opened up to Hawaii or New Zealand or even Barcelona. However, we both like Rome, but not too sure about it for a honeymoon. 

We haven't looked too much into costs and cultural aspects and what there is to actually do in any of those places. But despite costs and how cool some places are over others, we are on a tight budget. 

So what I'm asking is for any advice or suggestions on low budget places that are perfect honeymoon destinations! Something that can provide both of us with equal enjoyment and relaxation. 

We both love delving into cultures and food! And I am open to hear suggestions on destinations not typically thought of as honeymoon material! We love exploring and beautiful views! And also, most important of all, food! 

And I would love to hear some ways that you might have saved money or are planning on saving money on your honeymoon. :smile: 


EDIT: Lot's of people are asking for a specific budget, though I was hoping that offering the fact that we have 1.5 years to save would be enough information if one assumed that I want to know what the prices of suggested destinations are like. But I guess I wasn't too clear enough, my bad! 

My fiance and I can do well with saving money and I have a jar for collecting pocket change and the amount in it grows quite fast. 

If someone has a suggestion for a specific place and can offer an estimated budget one should have when traveling to that place, that would help us most! 

As for a specific budget, I honestly have no clue, since I might be in between jobs in a week or two. It's hard to say what I might be able to afford without knowing my pay and hours yet, and would be working on a second job if I don't get full-time. 

I guess an accurate guess would be possibly between $3,000-$5,000 each. And some of his family has offered to pay for some of our honeymoon, but since we are still over a year out from our wedding, the amount hasn't been discussed yet, but could be another couple thousand. 

As for the places we'd like to visit that I mentioned above, I am open and would like to hear of suggestions of places similar to those abroad, whether local in the U.S., or overseas, that are affordable. For example, I've heard that Thailand can be fairly affordable, as well as a "tropical paradise". Also, places in Florida are quite beautiful, if anyone knows of particularly honeymoon-worthy places there! 

We keep in mind that flight tickets should be purchased many months in advanced for cheaper costs and tips on what to eat to save money can help us too! 

Just recently, we did a short, 3-day trip to San Diego with only a $500-$700 budget TOTAL, including EVERYTHING for the two of us (lodging, transportation, flights, food, activities, and personal spending for souvenirs). So just in case, that might help with an idea of how much we spend on a trip. 

Thank you for the replies, and hopefully this extra bit can offer more information! 

Re: Autumn Honeymoon 2018 on a Budget?!

  • What kind of budget are you thinking? None of those places read as low budget to me. Depending on where you are, I'd try and stick with driving distance or a short flight. Montreal would be fantastic in autumn, as would New Orleans, Santa Fe, or Portland. 
    Heffalump
  • downtondivadowntondiva
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    edited June 27
    My husband and I got married in October and went to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts on our honeymoon.  It's easy driving distance from where we live, which I suppose is a little unusual for a honeymoon these days, but we had a great time. The foliage was absolutely gorgeous, and there are a lot of museums, historic sites, outdoor activities, and great restaurants in the area. There's a lot to do, but it's very relaxing and you can kind of take your plans on a day-by-day basis. Most of the inns/B&B's in the area are fairly reasonable at that time of year as well. 
    image
  • Without knowing your budget or where you will be traveling from, it's hard to offer up too many suggestions. But my cousin and his wife (both schoolteachers on tight budgets) went to Puerto Rico last year on their honeymoon and had a blast! 

    Although if you are going in the fall, the majority of the Caribbean will be in the stormy season...


  • What kind of budget are you thinking? None of those places read as low budget to me. Depending on where you are, I'd try and stick with driving distance or a short flight. Montreal would be fantastic in autumn, as would New Orleans, Santa Fe, or Portland. 


    I was just going to suggest Montreal!  Another vote here.
    SP29
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    If your budget is really small, I don't know that you're going to be able to do any of those cities in Europe. My H and I just got back from Paris and Amsterdam. It was not cheap. 

    I don't know where you're located, but I also suggest either a HM in the states or in Canada. Montreal and Toronto are supposed to be great. 

    My H and I went to Florence for our HM. We saved a bunch of money by renting an Airbnb and not staying at a hotel. We had a full kitchen and were able to cook ourselves some meals. That might be an option to look into. 

  • edited June 27



    What kind of budget are you thinking? None of those places read as low budget to me. Depending on where you are, I'd try and stick with driving distance or a short flight. Montreal would be fantastic in autumn, as would New Orleans, Santa Fe, or Portland. 


    Thanks for replying! We realize some, or most, of those places are not low-budget. I was hoping some people might be able to offer advice on budgets of those places if they have been. I added an edit to the bottom of my post that can offer some more information. But we are also open to places similar to those as well! 
  • edited June 27




    Without knowing your budget or where you will be traveling from, it's hard to offer up too many suggestions. But my cousin and his wife (both schoolteachers on tight budgets) went to Puerto Rico last year on their honeymoon and had a blast! 

    Although if you are going in the fall, the majority of the Caribbean will be in the stormy season...




    I was worried about the stormy weather that time of year... Unfortunately, October is our preferred month (since it's the month we first started dating a few year ago). We'd be willing for other places, preferably abroad from the U.S., but we'll come to terms with reality if an overseas honeymoon is not possible. Puerto Rico does sound fun, though!

    I added an edit to the bottom of my post to help offer more information, since people were wanting to know a specific budget! 


  • If your budget is really small, I don't know that you're going to be able to do any of those cities in Europe. My H and I just got back from Paris and Amsterdam. It was not cheap. 

    I don't know where you're located, but I also suggest either a HM in the states or in Canada. Montreal and Toronto are supposed to be great. 

    My H and I went to Florence for our HM. We saved a bunch of money by renting an Airbnb and not staying at a hotel. We had a full kitchen and were able to cook ourselves some meals. That might be an option to look into. 


    My fiance and I have used Airbnb on a trip to SoCal and we LOVED its budget-friendly options and wonderful hosts. We would definitely use it again if it would help save money! 

    I added an edit to the bottom of my post to offer more information since people didn't feel informed enough, specifically on a budget we would have. 

    Since you have been to Amsterdam and Paris, would you be willing to offer your estimate budget that a couple might spend in each place? 

    We will definitely look into Canada as an option! 
  • For a week long trip to Europe I usually figure 3k a person- roughly 1k transit, 1k hotels, 1k food and activities. And then somehow it actually costs 4K. But honestly there's no typical budget for any of this. You can do it cheaper or more expensive. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
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    If your budget is really small, I don't know that you're going to be able to do any of those cities in Europe. My H and I just got back from Paris and Amsterdam. It was not cheap. 

    I don't know where you're located, but I also suggest either a HM in the states or in Canada. Montreal and Toronto are supposed to be great. 

    My H and I went to Florence for our HM. We saved a bunch of money by renting an Airbnb and not staying at a hotel. We had a full kitchen and were able to cook ourselves some meals. That might be an option to look into. 




    My fiance and I have used Airbnb on a trip to SoCal and we LOVED its budget-friendly options and wonderful hosts. We would definitely use it again if it would help save money! 

    I added an edit to the bottom of my post to offer more information since people didn't feel informed enough, specifically on a budget we would have. 

    Since you have been to Amsterdam and Paris, would you be willing to offer your estimate budget that a couple might spend in each place? 

    We will definitely look into Canada as an option! 


    For Paris and Amsterdam, my friend booked our travel through an agency. For flights to Paris, hotels and the train the Amsterdam, we paid about $1500 per person. We were flying from NY and picked nicer hotels. Breakfast was included in our hotel stays. I think we maybe spent $1000 once we were there, on meals, sightseeing, etc. We were in each city for 3 nights. 

  • Everyone's idea of a low budget vacation is different but there are ways to take great trips while saving money. My FI and I spent 11 days in Italy last summer for his sister's wedding. She and her husband live there (he is Italian) so our stay for some of the time was free. We spent two days each in Venice and Florence, staying in Airbnb both places. Hotels in Venice for a tiny room easily start at $200 a night but we rented an entire flat with kitchen, laundry for two days at $150 a night. It wasn't in a tourist area or on a cannel but we were okay with that since we didn't spend much time there anyway. Our plane tickets to fly from Chicago to Rome cost $1100 each. We could have gone cheaper if we had more time to take off from work and done an over night in Germany. It would have been around $800. Most places have tourist seasons so going during the off season you can get better deals. As for costs for while you are there it can vary depending on what you want to do, how much you eat out, if you walk or take taxes, rent a car, etc. You also have to think about the exchange rate of the place you are visiting. All in all I think we easily spent $3500 for the two of us in Italy.

    My suggestion would to be just start researching places you want to go to find out how much things cost in that area. Use sites like Kayak.com or the hopper app to watch air fare to get better deals. Also airbnb and vrbo.com are great ways to find interesting places to stay at a cheaper price. Once you have decided on a place using sites like tripadvisor or getting guide books to the area can give you inside tips on things to do and ways to save money.

  • CMGragainCMGragain
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 25 Answers
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    edited June 27
    Flights to Europe in October should be about $1500 each.  I don't know where you are located, but Aer Lingus offers cheap flights from Chicago, Boston, JFK, with connections in Ireland.

    I suggest you buy a copy of Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Doorhttps://www.amazon.com/Rick-Steves-Europe-Through-Back/dp/1631214330/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1498591243&sr=8-2&keywords=Rick+Steves+Europe  It has travel tips designed for budget travelers.

    Spain comes to mind for honeymooners.  You can buy a railpass and travel around as you wish.  There is so much history, culture, food, not to mention beaches.  It will be very warm in October.  Think Granada, Seville, Segovia, not to mention Madrid and Barcelona, which are more modern cities.

    Italy is very expensive!  Ditto any Scandinavian countries, due to their tax system.

    I have traveled all over the world on cruise ships.  They give you a lot of different destinations in a short time and include most costs, but they do not give you an in depth cultural experience.  They are a super bargain for the Caribbean!

    You have a lot of time to plan.  Start researching now.

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  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 27
    Everyone needs to decide what is important to them when they are planning a wedding.  If you are on a tight budget, you cannot have it all.  You are both very young.
    Is it important to you that you walk down the aisle in a white bridal gown with your family and friends in attendance?  If so, this is your priority.  If not, consider a small private ceremony with immediate family only.
    Is it important to you that your have a big wedding with dinner reception, dancing, and open bar?  This is not usually a budget plan, but if it is important to you, then it should be your priority.  If not, plan an afternoon wedding with a sandwiches, cake and punch reception, maybe in your parents' back yard.
    If the expensive honeymoon is your priority, then you will need to cut back on the other aspects of your wedding.
    My husband and I were on a very tight budget.  We didn't have a fancy honeymoon.  Twenty-five years later, we celebrated our wedding anniversary with our first cruise to Alaska.  At that point, we had enough money to travel, and we continued traveling around the world over the last 16 years.  We are headed for Japan soon.
    Waiting was a good idea.  You will have your whole life to travel, but you only get one wedding.  The 25th anniversary trip was magical, too.  Think carefully.
    (PS.  41st anniversary was yesterday!)


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  • ernursejernursej
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    I would look at your current financial situation and figure out how much you can put away in savings every month. Multiply that amount by the number of months and that is your savings pool. Decide how much of your savings you would be willing to spend on a honeymoon and then you have the amount of money you can spend. For example: you can save $100.00 a month for 18 months, you have 1800.00. You want to have an emergency fund of $500.00 so you have $1300 to spend on a honeymoon. Start with your budget and then start the research.


    STARMOON44CMGragainlevioosa
  • OP, where are you located?  This makes a big difference in travel expenses.
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  • "I have a jar for collecting pocket change" and liking the idea of New Zealand are um..... not really compatible. (Unless you're in some kind of really lucrative cash/tips business, I guess.)

    You really need a budget. You know you have 1.5 years to plan a wedding. So here's what you do first: figure out how much money you can put away every month, multiply that by 16 (October 2018). Reduce that number by 10% (contingency/unexpected expenses - you'll need them!). That's your budget for everything. 

    You can dream about all kinds of destinations - no problem with that - but you'd be better off planning your wedding/reception and then figuring out what you have leftover for a honeymoon. 


    Thanks for the tip on calculating a budget! I've tried starting to calculate, but in the middle of getting a new job and not knowing my pay, I can't figure it out now. 

    Like I said in the post, too: I like the idea of New Zealand and other places, but those are just to give ideas of the kinds of places I would like to visit. If there is some extremely affordable place in Canada that reminds you of a popular place overseas, we might love to settle for Canada instead, if our budget doesn't allow for a New Zealand trip (which I heard, and from what I gathered in light research, can be very expensive to go there). 

  • I really think you need to postpone your honeymoon planning until you get your budget set.  The is the very first thing a couple must do before they plan any kind of a wedding except an elopement.

    1.  Set your budget - a realistic one!  This is how much money you will have to spend on your wedding and honeymoon.
    2.  Draw up your guest list.  The cost of your wedding is largely dependent on how many guests you invite.
    3.  After you have done these first two steps, you can start to figure out what kind of a wedding you can afford.
    4. If you have money left over, then you can think about what you can spend for a honeymoon.  I had two nights in a lovely hotel in Kansas City.  No regrets.  My husband still thinks romantically about it.
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  • For things close by but similar in feel to New Zealand I'd look to the Pacific Northwest, Grand Tetons, Banff, and Nova Scotia. 
    bookmaiden17_eileenrob
  • If what you like about New Zealand is the mountainous terrain but it's out of budget, look into British Columbia or Alberta. Or, if you want something a little warmer for October, Colorado is phenomenally beautiful in the fall. If what you're looking for is mountains and sea, the Cascade range in Oregon and Washington is cool.

    As far as calculating your budget, figure out what you can afford to save right now. Calculate that out. Then, once you get your new job, you can recalculate later. For now though, you can only depend/plan on the revenue you're currently generating.
    *********************************************************************************

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    bookmaiden17_ernursej
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    Hawaii is not cheap. DH and I are going to Hawaii this August, and it's costing us $1900 for flights alone (from Canada, in Canadian $).

    Wherever you go, if AirBnB or VRBO is an option, go for that. We are renting a VRBO condo in Hawaii and the price difference between that and a hotel is a huge savings. Plus, we'll have a kitchen to cook a few meals and save money that way.

    DH and I took our honeymoon in Arizona in October. We loved it! We spent around $3-4k on this trip, but we stayed at a high end resort in Phoenix, so it could definitely be done cheaper. We had excellent weather, were able to swim in the resort pools, hike up local mountains, travel to Sedona for wine tasting and horseback riding and view the Grand Canyon.

    Canada has some great options. In October, the weather is going to be cooler, so you're not going to want to swim anywhere outdoors, but you still get nice sunny days and the foliage at that time of year is beautiful- particularly on the east coast (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland). If you want mountains, Banff and Jasper National Parks are beautiful- all kinds of hiking and biking trails, lakes and hot springs. Banff is a little more built up and touristy. Anywhere in BC is beautiful and it's full of mountains. Stick close to the Alberta border and you stay in the Rockies with wine country. Closer to the west coast it's more temperate with the ocean. Vancouver is a huge city. Montreal is a great city- tons of bike lanes, very pedestrian friendly with museums, restaurants and night life. Quebec City is like a little taste of Paris- that might be a really good option for you if you would like to go to Paris!! Old Quebec City is beautiful- cobble stone roads, little cafes, old churches. You can definitely stay somewhere cheaper, but if you have a bit of a budget to "splurge" check out the Fairmont Hotel in Quebec City. With the exchange rate, Canada could be a very reasonable cost and allow you to splurge a bit.
    eileenrobCMGragainernursej
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
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    I'm kind of late to this thread but want to offer super general advice for OP and anyone who's feeling literally all over the map. 
    1) Budget / save.
    2) Wait until about 6 months out to really decide- you won't be buying plane tickets or reserving hotels sooner than that, I would think. Prices can change a lot between now and autumn of 18 (foreign exchange rates, etc). And, remember to get a passport (like, now). 
    3) Don't stress too much. Sometimes the best idea just falls into your lap. 

    DH and I were like you OP, where we dreamed of all sorts of locations and only agreed that we weren't cut out for a more traditional tropical beach honeymoon. Ultimately, one day we were sitting around with my parents and telling them we still had no idea what to do. My mom said, "Ooo, what about Lake Como, Italy? If it's good enough for George Clooney...!" Right there, I pulled up Trip Advisor and realized that hotels in Lake Como for our time of year were very affordable, and it was shoulder season so the weather was warm and tourism wouldn't be crazy. We could use our credit card miles to drastically bring down the cost of flights. This location would have never occurred to us, but it was perfect! We booked it shortly thereafter and had an amazing honeymoon for less than other people spend at an all-inclusive in the Bahamas. 

    You have plenty of time. Watch your pennies for now but I'm sure something will come to you when the time is right. 
    ________________________________


    eileenrob
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