Planning a wedding can feel expensive, so it's totally understandable if you're looking for ways to save money on your honeymoon. Luckily for you, and with a bit of advice from us, planning a cheap or budget-friendly honeymoon isn't hard to do.
From avoiding the peak seasons to clever hacks to get upgraded, we've put together a list of the best ways to save money on your honeymoon that you've never thought of. Ensure your romantic honeymoon doesn't swallow up the majority of your wedding budget with this guide and we promise, you won't have to compromise on experience.
13 Genius Ways to Save Money on Your Honeymoon
If you're a couple who are happy to think outside the box, be flexible on dates and plan ahead, you'll have no problem booking an affordable honeymoon and saving plenty of money for that wedding dress, those designer wedding heels or the live wedding band you just have to have.
With expert advice from industry leaders, we have 13 ways to save on your honeymoon, with very little compromise. You could still have a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon experience on a budget, just trust us.
1. Avoid School Holidays
Anyone with children and those who work in schools will know the sting of booking holidays during school holidays, especially those with good weather. Because so many families and people traveling with children can only travel outside of term-time, the demand for holidays during those select few weeks of the year sky rockets.
And it's not just summer holidays where the price increase applies. October half term, May half term and the Easter holidays are all expensive times to travel abroad. February half term is still more expensive than other weeks in that month, but of all the school holidays, this is the cheapest to travel in as short-haul destinations from the UK see little sunlight at this time.
However, it's worth noting that if you are traveling for a city break or a skiing holiday, traveling during the February half term holiday will see you face a substantial price increase.
What's more, many families choose to travel during the week prior, or the week after their children break up for a holiday to try and avoid the school holiday rush and get slightly cheaper flight and hotel prices, so the cost of a trip in the weeks surrounding a school holiday can also hike.
It's also worth considering that different areas of the UK have different term times, so it's worth looking up school holidays on your local government websites. If you do need to travel during school holidays, consider locations that families may not travel to and opt for long-haul during half terms as these destinations are less popular with families who only have one week to get away.
Lizzie Jones, Marketing Director at Turquoise Holidays adds, "Traveling during other peak holiday periods such as Christmas, New Years Eve and big national holidays are notorious for high prices. Sometimes we see prices increase by up to 50% during school holidays and Christmas."
2. Travel Outside of Peak Season
Similarly to the school holidays, traveling during peak season can see you pay a lot more for your honeymoon than you need to. Peak season takes place at different times depending on the location you are going for. If you're planning a European honeymoon, perhaps a honeymoon in Greece, peak season will be similar to the UK and fall during our summer.
Countries in other parts of the world such as North and South America, Oceania and parts of Asia will have different high season months so do your research to ensure you're not getting stung by peak season prices.
We're not suggesting you travel to a beach honeymoon destination in that country's winter, but couples who want to save on their honeymoon will want to find a sweet point where mid-season meets good weather. This works particularly well for those who aren't a fan of blistering heat.
There are a number of countries across the world, many close to home in Europe too, that still see temperatures between the high 20s and mid 30s in their less busy seasons. You can get a real bargain and still catch a decent tan.
Lizzie adds: "Look at the shoulder seasons which fall just before or after peak season. During these times, rates are often much much more affordable, you don't have to battle the crowds and weather is very often just as beautiful, too.
"But remember, bad weather is likely to hang around longer rather than arrive early so, when considering traveling outside of the high season, always think about going at the end of peak season rather than just before it starts, or right at the beginning."
Check out our guide to the best honeymoon destinations by month for more information.
3. Be Mindful of Big Events
Similar to the wedding dates to avoid, big events taking place in particular destinations can really hike honeymoon prices up, too.
It's the typical supply versus demand - the more people who want to visit a particular destination at one time, the higher the prices of flights and accommodation are - and often enough, prices at restaurants, bars and attractions also increase when there is a big event taking place as businesses try to maximise on profits.
Be sure to research whether there are any large-scale events taking place in your honeymoon destination at the time of travel. There may be a big event, festival or sporting game you've never even heard of happening nearby and, unless you're interested in attending, you'll want to avoid travelling at that time.
Events to consider are things like the Olympics, Eurovision, football, rugby, cricket, tennis and other sporting tournaments, festivals, and big music performances. This can also impact minimoons in the UK too - have you ever tried booking a hotel in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival?!
4. Avoid Hard-to-Reach Locations
The more difficult a location is to get to, the more expensive it usually is to travel there. This also goes for how often flights, trains or boats run to a particular location. Places that are popular with British tourists such as capital cities and big holiday destinations are often much cheaper to travel to because there are usually dozens of regular flights or trains there on a daily basis.
More remote or hard-to-get-to locations which have just two or three flights from the UK a week will be much more expensive to travel to. What's more, if you're traveling to places that have fewer regular flights going to them, you will have less flexibility with the dates you can go on.
There are certain destinations in Europe and across the world which you can only fly to at certain times of the year, or on certain days of the week. Somewhere you can only fly to and from on Mondays force you to have a one or two week honeymoon there instead of the long weekend or 10-day trip you initially wanted.
If you're looking to save money, stick to places with plenty of inbound and outbound flights between your local airport and theirs. Don't worry about being limited for choice - the UK has brilliant transport links, specifically with airports, so you will still have plenty of options to choose from.
5. Research Local Costs
Booking flights and accommodation is only one part of the honeymoon cost. Unless you're going all-inclusive, you'll need to consider the cost of food, drink and entertainment in the area you're planning on visiting.
Couples looking to save money on a honeymoon should avoid notoriously expensive countries as, whilst you may have got yourselves a bit of a bargain on flights and hotel rates, you could see yourself spending big once you get there.
Scandinavian countries make brilliant honeymoon destinations and have so much to offer, but the cost of living there is pricey. Cities such as Copenhagen in Denmark, Helsinki in Finland, Oslo in Norway, Stockholm and Geneva in Switzerland and Reykjavik in Iceland are all notoriously expensive.
Other pricey places in Europe and beyond are Dublin, Zurich, Geneva, Monaco, Las Vegas, New York, San Francisco, Dubai and Hong Kong. Don't get us wrong, they're all well worth a visit and would be perfect for honeymoons, but not if you're looking for a cheap honeymoon destination.
6. Don't Book Last Minute
Though there are some deals to be had on last minute holidays, research shows that booking early can see couples make much bigger savings than those who book closer to the time. There are also certain days of the week that offer couples better rates than others.
According to travel giants Expedia, booking a holiday on a Sunday instead of a Friday can save you on average around 20% on domestic flights and 10% on international ones.
When it comes to booking domestic flights, they state that booking a minimum of two months before you travel can save you up to 30% on your trip compared to people who wait until the last minute, and that the sweet spot for getting the best rates is between 70 and 100 days before you travel.
For international flights, it seems booking around four months before you travel was the best time to grab a deal, with travellers saving 20% on flights in comparison to those who waited to book just two months or less before the date of travel.
Adding to this, James Cole, founder and managing director at Panache Cruises says: “The cost of living crisis is driving up costs for all travel businesses, so booking early will lock in the price which could rise as fuel, food and staff costs continue to rise.
7. Book at the Right Time of Year
Travel industry sales can see couples get a bargain deal to some of the best honeymoon destinations in the world. Most companies launch their sales in the first few months of the year, so booking then could see you snag a real good deal.
And it's not just flight packages that can be found at this time of year. Cruise honeymoons are seen as pricey holidays, but there's plenty of ways to grab yourselves a bargain here, too..
As an expert in the field, James advises that, “When it comes to the cruising industry, the booking sweet spot also known as the ‘wave season’, is from January to March. This is the period when industry-wide sales occur and a lot of popular cruises first go on sale, meaning travellers can get the best deals, as fares often rise as the ship fills up.
"This is especially true for luxury cruise ships and new or high-demand mainstream cruises. Early bookers can currently find some great fares for popular cruises, and there are opportunities to bag some amazing extra perks, like free upgrades, prepaid gratuities, or onboard spending money. For cruises, the farther away from peak travel season you can book, the better rates you will get.”
8. Upgrade on Your Connecting Flight
If you're hoping to travel first class on your honeymoon, but want to do it without such a heft price tag attached, there is a hack that could see you turning left when you enter the aircraft, without paying through-the-roof prices.
In the UK you don't pay VAT on the cost of flights, but you do pay what's called an APD (air passenger duty) on flights, and this is based on how far away your end destination is, and what class you travel in.
APD for first class tickets is pretty high in the UK, but if you are traveling long-haul and taking a connecting flight, you may find that upgrading to first class on your connecting leg of the journey is much cheaper than it would be if you flew first class from the UK.
By doing this and upgrading for the second part of your journey, you and your partner could get the chance to experience first-class flying for a much smaller fee, making it well worth traveling economy for the first part of the trip. This is particularly worth looking into if you're planning a multi-destination honeymoon with several shorter flights.
It's also well-known that upgrading to first class is often cheaper than booking first class in the first place, however a lot of airlines have moved away from the rock-bottom upgrade prices so, whilst you may get a bit of a discount, you're unlikely to grab a steal and also run the risk of there not being any first class seats left.
9. Use a Honeymoon Gift List Service
Using a honeymoon gift list service is probably one of the best ways you can possibly save money on your honeymoon. Asking for cash instead of gifts can feel awkward for some couples, so a honeymoon gift list gives you a middle ground where guests can donate monetary gifts, with the knowledge that they are paying towards a really special trip for you both.
Many travel agents offer honeymoon gift list services. Some are just a cash fund which you can use towards your honeymoon trip, and others offer actual gifts within the service. For example, if you're planning a honeymoon to the Maldives, or you're honeymooning in Bora Bora, your guests could gift you a room upgrade, beach-front massage or romantic dinner for two.
That way, they are gifting you experiences and excursions as opposed to just cash towards the trip.
10. Book With a Tour Operator
Though there are deals to be had when you plan a honeymoon yourself, booking with a tour operator can see you saving on your honeymoon tenfold. Lizzie from Turquoise explains: "As tour operators, we have access to the best rates and we know how to advise couples on making the most of special offers.
"We also have access to the best airline routes and take all the stress out of the planning process - which also makes it worth the money. It's a complete myth that doing it yourself is cheaper, especially with luxury and milestone holidays that require the wow-factor."
11. Research Your Currency
Though most credit and debit cards are now fine to use internationally, it's well worth researching the exchange rates that each one offers. Couples looking to spend a fair few bob on honeymoon could potentially save hundreds by selecting the debit card or retailer with the best exchange rates.
And whilst we pay cashless almost everywhere here in the UK, not all countries operate in the same way. Don't assume, as cashpoints and banks in the country you're visiting tend to have some of the worst exchange rates around, and some will even charge you an additional fee for the withdrawal.
Do your research and plan ahead as it could make a huge difference to your spending money.
12. Read the Small Print on Packages
Honeymoon packages are a brilliant way to save money when booking your milestone trip, but we can't stress enough how important it is to read the small print on these deals. Does all-inclusive really mean all-inclusive? Are there terms and conditions you need to know about? What are the restrictions? Do the logistics work for you?
Ensure you are happy with the terms and know everything that is included (and excluded!) in your package before paying for one as, if you don't, your package could end up costing you more in the long-run as you find yourselves paying for lots of little extras that you didn't factor into the budget.
No one is trying to catch you out, but terms and conditions and small print are there for a reason, and if something feels too good to be true, the chances are it probably is.
13. Consider Unique Locations
Finally, as Kirsty and Phil say, it's all about location, location, location. If you're looking for a budget-friendly honeymoon or want to get yourself a deal, the chances are, you're probably not going to book a celebrity honeymoon destination in one of the world's most luxurious beaches.
And trust us when we say you don't have to, either! There are so many unique and incredible honeymoon destinations that are cheap to visit, but feel anything but budget. To help you out, we've rounded up a selection of the best cheap honeymoon destinations that'll make you feel like you're on a luxury holiday.
With prices starting from just £22 a night in some hotels, you won't believe the bargains you can find when you think outside the box and go for something a little different.