Honeymoon Discussions

$3000 budget honeymoon

Hi! My fiancé and I are getting married mid June and are planning to honeymoon the week following. He is still a student, so we don't have much to spend. $3000 is really the max we would be comfortable with, maybe a bit more if it were really worth it. We started looking at groupon getaways, many of which sound great (Europe, Caribbean), but most are too expensive, particularly in June. A few of the Jamaica or Dominican Republic all inclusive deals we could probably manage, but we want to explore all options before making a decision. While we would love to do Europe, I don't think that will happen on our budget.

We've discussed possibly going to California. We would love to spend some time at a beach, and my fiancé is a wine connoisseur and, so I thought maybe somewhere in Ca would be a great fit for us. I don't really know much about California though, (we're in NC) so are there any locations in California you would recommend for a couple on a budget who wants beach, vineyards, and relaxation? We'd be willing to travel around a bit too (i.e. Different cities, different accommodations). We also love good food and cultural attractions.

We're open to ideas other than California as well, if anyone has recommendations.

Thanks!

Re: $3000 budget honeymoon

  • Where are you located?  That makes a huge difference!
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  • We are in North Carolina.
  • I think CA might be too expensive. We live in TN and the flights alone were nearly $1000. (we went to San Francsico)
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    Try a short Caribbean cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Southwest Airlines flies there, and there is a shuttle bus to Miami.  Or you could drive.  Stay the night before the cruise at an inexpensive hotel outside of Ft. Lauderdale if you drive.   Some hotels have drive and sail packages that let you keep your car in their parking lot for free while you are cruising. June is the off season for the Caribbean.

    http://www.vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=11079
    http://www.vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=16617 (Nice! 6days!)
    http://www.vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=33704
    http://www.vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=20080

     Read the sticky at the top of this board that I wrote about cruising tips to save money.  I recommend the ocean view cabins for a good price with a view.







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  • Sorry, should have mentioned...neither of us are keen on cruises, so we've already eliminated that option. I know it's a great, affordable option for other people, but it's just not for us. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2015
    You might like a visit to upstate New York, the lakes area of Hammondsport.  The former Taylor wines has their winery tours.   ahttp://www.corningfingerlakes.com/wineries ( Go to the side bar for wineries on this page.  It still works.)   and  http://www.pleasantvalleywine.com/pvw_history.html  Beautiful scenery!  You could continue on to Niagra Falls, and go to the Canadian side, if you have your passports.  There is also the Corning Glass Museum in Corning, NY.  You would need a car to do this, though.  Fly to Buffalo, NY and rent?  Bring warn clothes for night.

    PS.  DH has family in Hammondsport from 4 generations ago.  Their Greek revival home still exists.



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    danindi
  • madamerwinmadamerwin member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited December 2015
    H and I had a similar (well, slightly higher) budget and wanted to go to an all-inclusive in Mexico. At first, it didn't seem possible, but then our dentist (of all people) suggested we look on vrbo.com for resort members selling their weeks. It had never occurred to us that a vacation rental website would have all-inclusive resort packages, but lo and behold, we found something in our price range in Cancun. It ended up being about $320/night total, for both of us. This included all food, drinks, entertainment, and resort credits that could be used on tours, golf, massages, and the gift shop.

    We actually ended up doing eleven nights, which cost $3500, and then we used miles from our credit card for flights. Granted, we live in the northwest, so flights to Cancun can be pretty expensive, but I have heard they are cheaper from the southeast.

    I also had friends tell us they booked their honeymoons through Costco at really good prices.

    It may take some work, but if you do your due diligence, you should be able to plan an awesome honeymoon with $3000!

    ETA clarifications
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    What about south Florida and the Keys??  The Keys are expensive, but you can find deals, and the drive is pretty cool.  Plus, you'll get the beach atmosphere you're looking for through Miami area.  There is also a fruit vineyard in the area, where they make wine out of all sorts of different things - passionfruit, avocado, etc.  

  • Santa Barbara would be great. Flights around $700 from NC so it might be worth flying into LA instead. Lots of cute air BnB options. Great vineyards to visit and cheaper than Napa.

    But I vote for trying to make Europe work. For $3000, you're going to need to focus on finding cheap airfare. Lisbon, for example, is a short flight and you can often get it for $600 per person. Then when you're there, look for an air BnB for under $100 a night, definitely doable. Then you're left with roughly $1000 spending money for the week the exchange rate is pretty good right now which helps. It's not enough for luxury travel, but it will buy you entrance fees to the best sites, train tickets to the beach towns, lots of picnics, casual food, and one fancy meal. Student style travel.
  • Could you drive to CA? 

    My friends drove there from Vancouver, of course making a couple overnight stops along the way. They used Air BnB for all their lodgings, even in CA. 

    We went to Arizona on our HM- though that was in Oct, June might be too hot to be enjoyable. We stayed at a high end resort in Phoenix, visited the cities around Phoenix, lounged by the pool, traveled to Sedona for an overnight where we went horseback riding and on a wine tour, then went on a day trip to the Grand Canyon. I think we spent around $3K (maybe a bit more), but it definitely could have been done cheaper. 
  • I have only limited knowledge of CA...but if you're wanting to go to the beach and wine country, i think those areas are fairly far apart.  If i was going to the beach i'd want to go to San Diego (way south) and wine country is north, by San Francisco.  So I think you'd either have to build in a road trip or an additional flight to do both of those things (Southwest has inexpensive flights within CA usually though).

     

    This is going to sound nutty, so stay with me here - how about South Africa?  Their currency is kind of in the toilet right now, so though your flights would probably be about $1k/each, hotels, food, and entertainment are very affordable.  Cape Town has a ton of stuff to do, is beautiful, and is close to several regions that produce wine.  If you were able to pull together a bit extra - $500 even - you could really have a great time there.  Do note that June is winter though - we went in June and had a few rainy days.  Too cool for the beach in Cape Town (we tacked on time in Mauritius to do the beach, but that would probably not fit your budget), but we still had just an awesome time.

     

    We were there before the currency was REALLY low - and we were still shocked at how cheap the hotel and food and drinks were.  it is a long flight though - i probably wouldn't want to do a flight of that lengh with less than a 10 day trip.  Depending on the cost of intra-country flights, you might even be able to go up to Kruger for a safari for part of your visit.  Fortunately, June is the "low season" so you'd have the cheapest hotel rates available to you.

     

    It would still be tough on $3k.  but i'm trying to think positive.  i've been dying to go back now that the exchange rate is so good, but we have a 6 month old, and i can't even imagine dragging her on those flights.  Kids, man.  If you really want to travel, do it before you have them!

  • delujm0 said:

    I have only limited knowledge of CA...but if you're wanting to go to the beach and wine country, i think those areas are fairly far apart.  If i was going to the beach i'd want to go to San Diego (way south) and wine country is north, by San Francisco.  So I think you'd either have to build in a road trip or an additional flight to do both of those things (Southwest has inexpensive flights within CA usually though).

    CA native here - you can have beaches and wine country if you go to Santa Barbara county, San Luis Obispo, or Monterey Bay. The central coast of CA has some great wine and excellent beaches. 

    Napa and Sonoma (north of San Francisco) are obviously known for their wine, and they are 30 minutes from some really stunning beaches as well (look up Bolinas and Point Reyes). Depending on the time of year, the weather at these beaches can be either excellent and sunny, or completely socked in with fog. 

    A third option is Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz mountains are up and coming in the world of wine, and there are a number of incredible vineyards. And Santa Cruz itself has some of the best beaches in Northern California.

    Basically, there are a ton of options in CA where you can go to excellent wineries as well as beaches without having to book multiple flights, and I always advise people to consider wine regions other than Napa/Sonoma.

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • We are getting married in August and are going to Disneyworld!  Staying in a resort, dining plan, and tickets for under $3000! We are also students so budget was important.  It can be done for even cheaper! We used a Disney travel agent and she has been extremely helpful so far.  We could also pay it off in chunks instead of all at once which is helpful too.
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    If you want the beach, consider San Diego. There's tons of stuff to do there, and Temecula Valley (Southern California's wine country) is only about an hour and a half a way. Depending on how long you want to stay and what kind of deal you can get on flights, it could be doable for $3k.
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    bohobrideCA
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    delujm0 said:

    I have only limited knowledge of CA...but if you're wanting to go to the beach and wine country, i think those areas are fairly far apart.  If i was going to the beach i'd want to go to San Diego (way south) and wine country is north, by San Francisco.  So I think you'd either have to build in a road trip or an additional flight to do both of those things (Southwest has inexpensive flights within CA usually though).

    CA native here - you can have beaches and wine country if you go to Santa Barbara county, San Luis Obispo, or Monterey Bay. The central coast of CA has some great wine and excellent beaches. 

    Napa and Sonoma (north of San Francisco) are obviously known for their wine, and they are 30 minutes from some really stunning beaches as well (look up Bolinas and Point Reyes). Depending on the time of year, the weather at these beaches can be either excellent and sunny, or completely socked in with fog. 

    A third option is Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz mountains are up and coming in the world of wine, and there are a number of incredible vineyards. And Santa Cruz itself has some of the best beaches in Northern California.

    Basically, there are a ton of options in CA where you can go to excellent wineries as well as beaches without having to book multiple flights, and I always advise people to consider wine regions other than Napa/Sonoma.

    Yep.  I'm in Santa Barbara and from Santa Cruz, by the way, so I vote one of those.  But I'm biased.  ;)



  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    By the way, I can't remember ever paying >$700 for flying from CA to the other side of the country.  I'm flying to Atlanta tomorrow for a little less than $500 RT, including the airbux to LAX.  I flew to Atlanta from San Diego in November for about $450 RT. 



  • Viczaesar said:
    delujm0 said:

    I have only limited knowledge of CA...but if you're wanting to go to the beach and wine country, i think those areas are fairly far apart.  If i was going to the beach i'd want to go to San Diego (way south) and wine country is north, by San Francisco.  So I think you'd either have to build in a road trip or an additional flight to do both of those things (Southwest has inexpensive flights within CA usually though).

    CA native here - you can have beaches and wine country if you go to Santa Barbara county, San Luis Obispo, or Monterey Bay. The central coast of CA has some great wine and excellent beaches. 

    Napa and Sonoma (north of San Francisco) are obviously known for their wine, and they are 30 minutes from some really stunning beaches as well (look up Bolinas and Point Reyes). Depending on the time of year, the weather at these beaches can be either excellent and sunny, or completely socked in with fog. 

    A third option is Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz mountains are up and coming in the world of wine, and there are a number of incredible vineyards. And Santa Cruz itself has some of the best beaches in Northern California.

    Basically, there are a ton of options in CA where you can go to excellent wineries as well as beaches without having to book multiple flights, and I always advise people to consider wine regions other than Napa/Sonoma.

    Yep.  I'm in Santa Barbara and from Santa Cruz, by the way, so I vote one of those.  But I'm biased.  ;)
    I'm from the Bay Area and lived in SC for six years (go Banana Slugs!), and I have to say, Santa Cruz is just an awesome city. I definitely miss it sometimes.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Viczaesar
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Viczaesar said:
    By the way, I can't remember ever paying >$700 for flying from CA to the other side of the country.  I'm flying to Atlanta tomorrow for a little less than $500 RT, including the airbux to LAX.  I flew to Atlanta from San Diego in November for about $450 RT. 
    Ditto. I travel frequently from Boston to AZ and it's always around $350. However, those are major airports. My mom lives near the Charlotte NC airport and everything really is like $700 out of there because it's not a major airport, it's ridiculous. Sometimes when she flies international it's worth it for her to drive a few hours to Atlanta.

                                                                     

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  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Flights to Puerto Rico are surprisingly cheap, and are probably even better from NC. 3k was about our budget - we VRBO'd a beachfront condo in Luquillo for a week, spent one night on one of the smaller islands and then a night in San Juan. 10 days in all.
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    jenna8984 said:
    Viczaesar said:
    By the way, I can't remember ever paying >$700 for flying from CA to the other side of the country.  I'm flying to Atlanta tomorrow for a little less than $500 RT, including the airbux to LAX.  I flew to Atlanta from San Diego in November for about $450 RT. 
    Ditto. I travel frequently from Boston to AZ and it's always around $350. However, those are major airports. My mom lives near the Charlotte NC airport and everything really is like $700 out of there because it's not a major airport, it's ridiculous. Sometimes when she flies international it's worth it for her to drive a few hours to Atlanta.
    That's why I took the Airbus to LAX; flights to/from Santa Barbara, which is a super tiny airport, are minimal and expensive. 



  • (First, I am NOT A VENDOR, LOL)

    We have used VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) for several trips over the years. Both Family and as a couple. They have locations world wide, and you can actually "shop" for locations based on budget. The best part is all the properties ARE truly managed by the Owner, hence the name)

    Best Wishes!!! :)

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