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When you Can't Afford a Honeymoon

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A honeymoon is something that every couple getting married looks forward to – no matter how long they have known each other before the wedding. It is usually thought of as once-in-lifetime, blow-the-budget expense, one that will start the marriage on a fantastic note. But what if you cannot afford such an indulgence? Whether you wish to save the money for setting up a new home or are practically broke after a wedding, here are a few things to mind when you think you cannot afford a honeymoon.

Keep the idea in mind

What is a honeymoon anyway? Even though in popular media, it is equated with five-star vacations and luxury cruises, shorn off all consumerist trappings, a honeymoon is really the time to get to know a new spouse, away from the distractions of everyday routine and responsibilities. It is the opportunity to discover and share each other’s dreams of a future together and make romantic memories which will cushion the couple’s ride through rocky stretches every marriage is bound to encounter. When you keep this in mind, you will be laying yourself open to many honeymoon ideas even if you don’t have the money to spare.

Set up a honeymoon gift list

How about asking your guests to contribute towards your honeymoon, instead of buying traditional gifts on your wedding? This would be a great way to afford that trip of your dreams while ensuring that you are not stuck with four identical hand blenders or photo frames that make for a sore sight. Several travel agents offer this service or you can handle all the details yourself. And while you may not be able to book flights and hotel rooms beforehand since you will not have an idea of the total amount till the end of your reception, you can of course, keep a few drive-down getaway ideas handy and choose one which best fits your budget.



Go camping/hiking/biking

If you don’t mind taking your chances with the weather and being without a few modern conveniences, then camping is one of the best options for a really cheap honeymoon, especially for couples who are fond of the outdoors. You can make love under the stars or cozy up inside the tent when it’s raining. If either of you have gone camping before, then you probably already have camping gear and supplies so the only expenses will be those of transport, camping ground fees and food. However this may not be a good honeymoon idea for couples who have never done it before, since pitching tents and other camping activities could involve some hardship and unpredictability that are far from conventional ideas of what a honeymoon should be like.

Another alternative on the above idea is to leave for a cycling tour or a hiking trip as part of your honeymoon. For this though you and your partner need to be in perfect health since it could get quite physically strenuous lugging around your own stuff and depending upon your own legs to take you from one place to another. In return however you will not only be cutting down on travel costs but experiencing the place in such an intimate way that is just not possible by a sanitized kind of travel in a tourist coach or hired car. So bring out the maps and look for a well-known cycling or hiking trail. Pack up your sleeping bag and essentials for the trip and mark the places you will be halting for the night. There are sure to be hostels or hikers’ lodges along the route which will put up travelers for only a fraction of the cost charged by the bigger hotels. However if you and your spouse decide to go backpacking in a foreign country, stick to routes which are safe and
well-frequented by tourists.

Yet another outdoor alternative could be to sign up with a voluntary program such as WWOOF which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In exchange for volunteering for around four hours on the farm daily, you would receive food, a place to stay and best of all the opportunity to romance in the midst of nature. There are WWOOF hosts all over the world, and all you need to spend your honeymoon money on is transportation.

Close to home

If you cannot afford a ten-day overseas honeymoon, explore the possibility of getting away for just a weekend. Look up what places are within an approximately two hundred kilometer-radius from your city or town. If you are living near the sea, perhaps there is a quiet beach town that you haven’t yet visited. Or if your city is located in the valley of a mountain range, maybe you can spend a couple of nights on the hills. Even if no remarkable geographical features exist nearby, perhaps a town with historical significance or hosting a large fair or music concert is accessible by a journey of two hours. A nearby destination would be just right for an affordable honeymoon – on one hand it would cut down on travel costs and on the other it would offer you and your brand-new spouse some quality time with each other.

Exchange deals

The internet is a great travel resource for pockets of all shapes and sizes. Look up social networking sites and reputed travel forums in order to seek out vacationers from other regions who might be interested in an exchange deal – you offer them your pad as a lodging option while you shack up at their place when visiting their city or country. If you happen to live in a desirable place, you shouldn't have much trouble finding another couple or family to reserve your home while you get out of town. Needless to say it is important that you take enough safety precautions before agreeing on any sort of house-sitting arrangement.

Look up relatives

If you have relatives or extended family members staying around famous vacation spots, you could spend a few days as their guests. This way you will be saving on lodging and boarding costs which form a major chunk of travel expenses. The problem with this option is that you may not have enough privacy or feel comfortable on imposing on someone else’s hospitality and that is the reason this works only if you are close to the host and hostess. However as token of your gratitude you can arrive with a nice gift for your host or help them with some household chores for the time you are staying at their place. If you are spending all your leisure time taking in the sights, perhaps you can treat your host’s family to a grand dinner before you and your spouse say goodbye to them.

Finally don’t fall victim to conventions and stress yourself about a honeymoon when you clearly cannot afford one. Why not keep it for later - You don’t have to go away straight after your wedding to have a honeymoon; you can just as easily delay it for a few months or even a year, during which time you can not only save up enough money for the trip that you want but also savor the pleasure of planning and anticipation.