Five Romantic But Cheap Honeymoon Ideas


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
My sister just got engaged!

After eight years of dating, she and her fiance and decided to take their relationship to the next level. They are currently in the middle of planning their nuptial ceremony, but of course, being frugal, I had to pause with my participation for a bit to write this post on inexpensive honeymoon ideas. I figured – hey, I’m currently witnessing this experience unfold so what better time to share my thoughts with you than right now?

But let me make this disclaimer right off the bat – you will still be expected to set aside a reasonable amount of money for you to enjoy your honeymoon. You see, a lot of disappointed couples I know have returned home from what was supposed to be a dream vacation as newlyweds. Some were scammed into signing up for a “free” honeymoon package but had to pay for it once there. Others were duped into giving away their credit information for the promise of a considerable discount – all because they didn’t do their research correctly and mistakenly thought that everything could be had for free.

Well, I’m here to tell you that you can keep the financial frustrations at bay when it comes to affordable honeymoon planning – and still up the ante on the romance while you’re at it! Below are five ways to do so.

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Combine Your Ceremony and Reception In One Venue

…or if you’re feeling particularly sentimental about a special place, why not throw in your honeymoon in the mix, as well? This is what my wife and I did for our wedding years ago. We booked a small restaurant in our neighborhood which was an excellent example of what we call “adaptive reuse.” It’s a gorgeous ancestral home converted into an intimate events venue/boutique hotel with all the original moldings, layout, and vintage decor intact.

A lot of people have told us that they were expecting a destination wedding from my (then) fiancee and me. But being both a romantic and thrifty couple, we were in love with the idea of having our ceremony, wedding reception, and even the possibility of a short honeymoon in a place we are fond of and are familiar with. All that, aside from the fact that we are looking at potentially huge savings for holding all these events in one venue!

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Choose All-Inclusive Resort Packages

This one is on top of my (and my wife’s) list of honeymoon destinations on a budget should we decide to have another one. We love getting pampered at spas and having exclusive freebies when we check-in at select resorts and hotels. It was last year when I discovered that a lot of these resorts actually offer honeymoon packages with full amenities – from breakfast buffets to spa and butler services, all the way to luxurious touches of champagne and gift baskets – for just one reasonable price tag!

For this though, we begrudgingly consider the possibility of a travel agency to arrange accommodations for us based on our preferences and schedules. These special packages understandably get “sold out” at certain peak seasons (like June and December, which seem to be the months when people frequently choose to get hitched). We recognize that should we opt to do all the planning ourselves, we could end up frustrated at a potential conflict of schedules, unreliable suppliers, and last-minute changes that could ruin our timeline and budget. For this option, getting a go-between to organize and be responsible for everything might be the best resort.

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Look For Last-Minute Vacation Deals

If you’re open to waiting it out a bit for your honeymoon (or have a more flexible schedule than most couples), this could be a good option for you. My sister and her fiance are considering it as an alternative plan themselves. What makes this idea so attractive is the amount of savings it can provide in the long run, as opposed to insisting on adhering to a strict schedule right after the wedding ceremony.

Choosing a particular date to book a honeymoon vacation in advance requires a downpayment, and purchasing flight or cruise tickets way before the travel date. On the other hand, keeping your eyes peeled for seat sales and last-minute vacation deals via travel websites and agencies could mean plenty of savings for a more enjoyable (and spontaneous) honeymoon!

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Book a Local Honeymoon Cruise

To have a memorable honeymoon on a budget, considering booking a cruise. Not a long-haul one that requires months of advanced planning, mind. Think more along the lines of a fun journey just near a hometown pier, which is considerably more affordable but nevertheless still enjoyable.

You see, what we really enjoy aboard cruises are the spa, swimming, and general pampering, plus the festive-themed nights, and all manner of kitschy but fun activities like fancy dress balls and other forms of entertainment. A local cruise might not get as far in terms of nautical miles. But being on board a luxury ship where all sorts of enjoyable and relaxing activities can be had is like hitting the honeymoon jackpot with just one payment.

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Consider Some Alternative But Affordable Honeymoon Destinations

I only realized how many affordable honeymoon packages there are on the Internet when I really started looking for them. I know a lot of practical but fun all-season traveling ideas, but honeymoon budget vacation planning is uncharted territory for me thus far!

Here is a shortlist of alternative honeymoon destinations and activities I’ve helped the excited engaged couple come up with, just in case they want to do their honeymoon on an installment basis: glamping, enrolling in a history and cultural tour of nearby heritage destinations and signing up for a gustatory travel package where you get to “eat” your way through a particular place’s history and culture via its local cuisine and establishments. There are more activities they are considering, but so far, they’re particularly excited about these three things we’ve short-listed.

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The Verdict?

A romantic but cheap honeymoon? Yes, it’s possible in this day and age. There are compromises to be made, of course, because every couple should have their own preferences when it comes to spending their first few days as a married couple together. Ditching the usual and expensive options such as destination honeymoons, pricey hotel packages, and other cliche practices might be the best way to discover a romantic, unforgettable, and personal honeymoon vacation that is in keeping with your finances.
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