Honeymoon Discussions

NO IDEA where to start

edited May 2015 in Honeymoon Discussions
Hi all,

The fiance and I are paying for our own wedding and are on somewhat of a budget (we both have good jobs but this honeymoon WILL be put on a credit card, the wedding savings are all used up, so we don't want to go into any sort of crazy debt over our honeymoon).

We have wanted since the beginning to go to an all-inclusive resort and don't really care where (we are coming from Columbus OH).  Our idea of a perfect honeymoon is drinking wine, holding hands, taking naps in a cabana by the beach.  We are not hiking/water skiing/etc sorts.

I originally was recommended Sandals by a friend, but she is way more out-doorsy than I am and I've read that those resorts are overpriced.  Secrets was my next option, and from there I went to Excellence and Hard Rock all-inclusive resorts....and then I got sucked into a google vortex and ended up looking at about 100 resorts and having no idea where to start narrowing it down.

We want somewhere beautiful and relaxing with nice rooms and good landscaping and good food.  We want to spend under $2k on the resort.

Anyone have any recommendations?  We are planning on honeymooning from Saturday, September 6 - Friday, September 11.

Re: NO IDEA where to start

  • hutchslhutchsl member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its

    First of all your honeymoon does not have to be immediately after the wedding. You  could delay it to get your finances in better order. AIs may have more amenities that you do not intend to use but are paying for. Maybe what you need is meals covered and you can purchase our own mixers and alcohol to  make your own drinks - which is cheaper. We chose a resort that included breakfast and dinner and made our own drinks. We got the most expensive room type and paid $80 per night. Airfare and transportation were a little expensive. We went to Montezuma in Costa Rica at Ylang Ylang Beach resort. This place is more remote/private with bungalows right on the beach (there are less expensive accommodations there too.  The room had a refrigerator and the grocery was walking distance. Upgraded one dinner to private dinner on beach for $150. That type of thing costs so much more at mega resort destinations. Shared transportation was cheaper than private and we did a combination to meet our schedule. You may want to check anywherecostarica.com (we used them for a tour and all transportation). Costa Rica s one of he cheaper beach destinations.

    Since then we have done a vacation to Sandals on St Lucia (which cost more).


  • hutchslhutchsl member
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its
    Another place to consider if you want to go outside the US is Puerto Rico. Southwest flies there from Columbus with rates around $400 per person. Old San Juan is interesting. Not sure AIs there but once you have a destination or two in mind you can solicit better information than a general help one.
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer

    I would suggest you go to a travel agent just so they can help narrow it down for you. You can read many reviews but still not really get a feel for whether the resort atmosphere matches your wishlist. Maybe you want quiet and you end up picking a party place, an agent can really help you avoid that.

    Anyways, Sandals are vey nice but they are more expensive due to their activities. If you don't plan to do snorkeling, kayaking, and other activities then I agree it would probably be a waste of your money. You could find somewhere just as nice but cheaper with no activities driving up the price. Sounds like Cancun would probably suite your budget best, and I'm in no way trying to advertise but my mom is a Caribbean specialist travel agent and she absolutely loves the Hard Rock in Cancun.

    September is cheap season in the Caribbean too, so that works out for you. I agree with hutchsl that you could postpone in order to not go into debt. But it would have to be basically until the following summer, otherwise trying to go from Nov-April would just end up more expensive for you.

                                                                     

    image

  • tcnobletcnoble member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    I'll throw in a vote for Secrets Maroma Beach - though it is on the more expensive end. We ate, drank, and laid by the beach for 5 days. It was what we were looking for, and ended up being exactly what we wanted.

    There are other Adults Only All Inclusives in that area as well - Valentin Imperial Maya was another we had looked at.
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  • I have no idea about resort choices... BUT! I can suggest a honeymood registry if you don't have one already! We set our up through honeyfund for our honeymoon to New Zealand! It's a neat idea, people can buy you specific things for you honeymoon (ie. dinner, massage) and bring the money in a card for you wedding with a coupon that says what its for!
  • justsiejustsie member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer

    I have no idea about resort choices... BUT! I can suggest a honeymood registry if you don't have one already! We set our up through honeyfund for our honeymoon to New Zealand! It's a neat idea, people can buy you specific things for you honeymoon (ie. dinner, massage) and bring the money in a card for you wedding with a coupon that says what its for!

    Please do not do this OP, honeymoon funds are very rude and take a percentage of your guests gift as a fee. 
    image
  • So if you are looking to put the honeymoon on a credit card, I can offer one idea if you both are willing to open a credit card.  You can save a huge amount of $$$ by opening a hyatt credit card and using your free nights at one of their all inclusive resorts.  You could probably put the flight on the CC and then once you earn the free nights (you get 2 free nights at any hyatt after spending 1k on the card) you just book through their site.  We did this for our Honeymoon in Hawaii.  And we used the hawaiian airlines credit card to get our flights for free.  The resort we are staying at costs $600+ per night so we essentially saved ourselves $2400.  If we didn't book Hawaii, we totally would have gone with one of the hyatt properties in Jamaica or Cancun.  You can google using points for your honeymoon.  It's saved us a lot so far and now we are getting a much nicer honeymoon than we could have dreamed of.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Hi all,

    The fiance and I are paying for our own wedding and are on somewhat of a budget (we both have good jobs but this honeymoon WILL be put on a credit card, the wedding savings are all used up, so we don't want to go into any sort of crazy debt over our honeymoon).

    We have wanted since the beginning to go to an all-inclusive resort and don't really care where (we are coming from Columbus OH).  Our idea of a perfect honeymoon is drinking wine, holding hands, taking naps in a cabana by the beach.  We are not hiking/water skiing/etc sorts.

    I originally was recommended Sandals by a friend, but she is way more out-doorsy than I am and I've read that those resorts are overpriced.  Secrets was my next option, and from there I went to Excellence and Hard Rock all-inclusive resorts....and then I got sucked into a google vortex and ended up looking at about 100 resorts and having no idea where to start narrowing it down.

    We want somewhere beautiful and relaxing with nice rooms and good landscaping and good food.  We want to spend under $2k on the resort.

    Anyone have any recommendations?  We are planning on honeymooning from Saturday, September 6 - Friday, September 11.

    BOXES??

    Sorry, but charging a vacation (when you cannot afford to pay it immediately off) is a terrible idea.  Why don't you save up a little more and take your honeymoon at the 6 month or year mark?  

  • bb2016bb2016 member
    Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper

    klk111415 said:
    So if you are looking to put the honeymoon on a credit card, I can offer one idea if you both are willing to open a credit card.  You can save a huge amount of $$$ by opening a hyatt credit card and using your free nights at one of their all inclusive resorts.  You could probably put the flight on the CC and then once you earn the free nights (you get 2 free nights at any hyatt after spending 1k on the card) you just book through their site.  We did this for our Honeymoon in Hawaii.  And we used the hawaiian airlines credit card to get our flights for free.  The resort we are staying at costs $600+ per night so we essentially saved ourselves $2400.  If we didn't book Hawaii, we totally would have gone with one of the hyatt properties in Jamaica or Cancun.  You can google using points for your honeymoon.  It's saved us a lot so far and now we are getting a much nicer honeymoon than we could have dreamed of.
    This sounds like a good idea. Which Hyatt resort did you stay at in Hawaii?? We'd love to do Hawaii but really didn't think it would be in the budget. What time of the year are you going?

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  • bb2016 said:





    klk111415 said:

    So if you are looking to put the honeymoon on a credit card, I can offer one idea if you both are willing to open a credit card.  You can save a huge amount of $$$ by opening a hyatt credit card and using your free nights at one of their all inclusive resorts.  You could probably put the flight on the CC and then once you earn the free nights (you get 2 free nights at any hyatt after spending 1k on the card) you just book through their site.  We did this for our Honeymoon in Hawaii.  And we used the hawaiian airlines credit card to get our flights for free.  The resort we are staying at costs $600+ per night so we essentially saved ourselves $2400.  If we didn't book Hawaii, we totally would have gone with one of the hyatt properties in Jamaica or Cancun.  You can google using points for your honeymoon.  It's saved us a lot so far and now we are getting a much nicer honeymoon than we could have dreamed of.

    This sounds like a good idea. Which Hyatt resort did you stay at in Hawaii?? We'd love to do Hawaii but really didn't think it would be in the budget. What time of the year are you going?

    This is NOT a good idea. On paper sure it looks like saving $2400 but what happens when you can't pay the full balance on the credit cards and are slapped with interest fees every month until you can pay it off? Those fees add up fast.
    If you can not afford a hm right away then you don't take one. You can always take a mini moon right after and a big trip later once you have saved up enough.
  • We will be staying at the Hyatt Andaz Wailea and traveling in December.  I would sign up to get promotional emails from Hawaiian Airlines- they have deals for traveling within 3 months- doesn't give a lot of time to plan, but when you get a $400 round trip ticket- it's worth it. We used to just have one rewards CC and we racked up a huge amount of points knowing that we could take a trip someday.  A friend of ours is amazing at finding credit card deals and turned us onto the idea.  We figured as long as we didn't spend money we don't have- it's fine.  

    I had to spend $1000 in 3 months.  I didn't rack up $1000 in less than a month, I spaced it out.  I paid my previous statement balance each month so I didn't have to pay interest.  I use my creditcards for all of my purchases, and to pay for my cellphone bill.  I don't use my checking account except to pay off my credit card balance.  

    If you are already using your creditcards for purchases, getting a rewards card can be beneficial. Not everyone just runs up credit cards without recognizing how much they can spend.  I'm already pretty careful with my spending.  We also used the credit cards for wedding related deposits that we were able to pay via CC.  We just used our wedding funds to pay those items off.  It's money you would otherwise spend.  

    So we got 4 free nights, plus 2 round trip airline tickets for using our credit cards for things we would have put on our credit cards regardless.  Plus, the Hyatt has some all-inclusive properties in Mexico and Jamaica which you can use your free nights at- this would give you at least 4 nights at a resort with alcohol and food included.  All you need to do is get the airfare.  
    bb2016als1982
  • Hi!

    Thanks for the concern, but it really isn't a problem.   We don't have a mortgage and both have good jobs and no outstanding debt.  The honeymoon would be paid off within two months of the wedding if we can keep it under $3k.  I'm just currently funneling all cash into the wedding and some home work we've been doing.  Plus I have a Chase Freedom card with 0% interest for 13 more months.  We're financially responsible, just don't want to spend more than I can pay off in a few months.  Should have specified that.

    The question is mostly "Where should we look?" not "Should I wait?"
  • @blytheandbonnie When will you be taking your honeymoon?  And are you looking for some place warm?

    I also have the Chase freedom card (it's great for getting rewards points) and the Chase Sapphire... and the Chase Hyatt... man Chase must love me.


  • @klk111415  I think we're going to end up going with your suggestion!  I looked into the Hyatt Zilara in Cancun and with that card, we could do the entire honeymoon with airfare and everything for under $2k!  For an all-inclusive resort, I don't think we can do any better.
  • That's great! If we didn't pick Hawaii long before we found that credit card- we would have done the same.  :)
  • bb2016bb2016 member
    Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper

    klk111415 said:
    So if you are looking to put the honeymoon on a credit card, I can offer one idea if you both are willing to open a credit card.  You can save a huge amount of $$$ by opening a hyatt credit card and using your free nights at one of their all inclusive resorts.  You could probably put the flight on the CC and then once you earn the free nights (you get 2 free nights at any hyatt after spending 1k on the card) you just book through their site.  We did this for our Honeymoon in Hawaii.  And we used the hawaiian airlines credit card to get our flights for free.  The resort we are staying at costs $600+ per night so we essentially saved ourselves $2400.  If we didn't book Hawaii, we totally would have gone with one of the hyatt properties in Jamaica or Cancun.  You can google using points for your honeymoon.  It's saved us a lot so far and now we are getting a much nicer honeymoon than we could have dreamed of.
    This sounds like a good idea. Which Hyatt resort did you stay at in Hawaii?? We'd love to do Hawaii but really didn't think it would be in the budget. What time of the year are you going?
    This is NOT a good idea. On paper sure it looks like saving $2400 but what happens when you can't pay the full balance on the credit cards and are slapped with interest fees every month until you can pay it off? Those fees add up fast. If you can not afford a hm right away then you don't take one. You can always take a mini moon right after and a big trip later once you have saved up enough.
    Thanks, but I don't need a lecture about credit cards and how to use them. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I would recommend going to a local travel agent, telling her what your dream scene is and what your budget is. One thing you have to keep in mind with going tropical is to check on how long Hurricane season goes too. If your schedule allows for it, consider delaying your honeymoon to maybe over the winter, then you can have a mid-winter get away (I'm in Cleveland so I know what winters in Ohio can be like) and have time to save up for it.
  • We love Excellence Resorts they are like the Waldorf/Ritz of Resorts while Sandals/Secrets are Motel 6. 

    We charged our trip - $5,000 on a no interest one year credit card and paid it off within that year. No biggie. We get points and it ups my score and gives me a higher credit limit. 
  • @knottie45547263  Exactly!  I feel like some people have the wrong idea about credit cards.  If you don't use them at all, it's tough to build you credit history.  You just have to use them responsibly.  I opened 4 credit cards in the past 3 years and my credit score went up a lot all by using my credit wisely.  And now we have been approved for a mortgage at a lower rate than the national average.  It all pays off in the end.  
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