My Trio Rings Blog provides useful information about how to experience the timeless traditions of marriage on an affordable budget
Last-Minute Honeymoon Ideas for a Summer Wedding
So you’ve had a lot on your plate lately, what with planning a wedding down to the last detail, from the perfect his and hers matching ring set to the best reception playlist.
But in that whirlwind of activity, you didn’t get around to one small detail: planning your honeymoon. Now, as your wedding date approaches, you’re starting to get a little nervous, worrying about high-season airfares and sold-out accommodations.
Relax. You still have time for planning your honeymoon. In some cases, procrastinating can actually pay off when you are able to snag some last-minute deals.
To get you started - and excited about your romantic trip - here are a few last-minute honeymoon ideas that won’t deplete your budget or add to your stress.
Look for last-minute travel deals
It’s counterintuitive, but sometimes you can find excellent airfares, cruise packages and hotel room rates when you wait to book until just before your trip. You will have to be willing to be flexible and play a bit of travel roulette, however; you might not find the Costa Rican resort vacation you had your heart set on, but you could find a great deal on a stay in Istanbul instead.
Keep an open mind, and search these websites for last-minute honeymoon ideas:
- TravelZoo: airfare, hotels, cruises, spas and more
- Vacations to Go: cruises discounted up to 82%
- Groupon: flight, hotel and activity packages
- Costco Travel (for members): vacation packages, hotels cruises and theme parks
- Priceline (name your bid): hotels, flights and rental cars
Consider the off season
Think creatively about where you’d like to spend your honeymoon, and explore travel destinations that are not in season in summer. For example, look at mountain ski resorts that offer horseback riding, spa treatments and nature hikes in the summer. You’ll often find good rates for places when tourists aren’t flocking there in high season.
Don’t underestimate the romantic destinations that are right in your backyard! Research places you could drive to within a few hours - from state parks and mountain getaways to seaside villages and charming small towns. Follow your interests, whether the two of you enjoy wine tasting or cycling or camping.
Have you already found your his and hers ring set? Browse our collection of wedding rings.
Should You Plan a Mini-Moon?
Many couples dream of the glamorous honeymoon they will take together right after they say exchange matching wedding bands and say, “I do.” This vision is often of a faraway location (preferably with room service, beautiful scenery and no reminders of work back home).
But, while you might want to hop on a plane for Bali or the Amalfi Coast, you might not have the time, the finances or the energy right after your wedding. If that’s the case, how do you celebrate the huge milestone of getting married while not putting any more strain on your resources?
Enter: the mini-moon.
What is a mini-moon?
A mini-moon is the same concept as the traditional honeymoon - you two take a romantic and relaxing trip together before starting your new married life. The difference is that it takes the pressure off of you to go halfway around the world or plan a long and lavish trip. The perfect mini-moon can be a quick drive or plane ride away and last as long as you want. It can even be right in your own city - staying in a nice hotel and playing tourist for a few days (and not telling anyone you’re in town!).
What are the benefits of taking a mini-moon?
The great thing about a mini-moon is that it lets you to take time to appreciate each other and the importance of what you just did. As newlyweds, you deserve to revel in your new married status and not have to go right back into the daily grind. If you want to save up money and vacation days to take a big trip in six months or a year, you can and should. But a mini-moon allows you to do something special without causing stress or financial strain.
What are some good ideas for planning a mini-moon?
Mini-moon planning is a fun exercise to do together. Browse local guidebooks and magazines. Look at maps for nearby destinations. Research cheap short-distance flights. Find a location you are genuinely excited about visiting - especially if it is a good attraction for something you enjoy doing together, such as wine tasting, hiking, eating or gallery hopping. Look into the California wine country, upstate New York, big Southern cities like New Orleans and Austin or small Midwestern towns like Lanesboro, Minnesota and Nashville, Indiana. Plan a mini-moon you will remember for the rest of your lives.
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5 Questions to Ask When Planning Your Honeymoon
Honeymoon planning is often one of the most enjoyable items of your wedding to-do list (after picking out your trio ring sets, of course!). After all, the two of you get to choose a place where you will travel as a married couple and do whatever appeals to you - whether that’s lie on a beach, go hiking through the mountains or explore an exciting city. At stressful moments during your wedding planning, it can also seem like a beacon of rest and relaxation.
The trickiest part about honeymoon planning is answering the big question: where should we go? There are an overwhelming number of possibilities - from destinations halfway around the world to getaways almost in your backyard. So how do you decide where to when planning your honeymoon? Use these five questions to guide your planning process.
1. How much are you able and willing to spend?
This is an important question to discuss, especially as you start to get a realistic idea of how much your wedding will cost. You may want to take a lavish 15-day cruise around the Caribbean, but your budget requires something more modest. Talk to your spouse-to-be about how much you’d both be comfortable spending on your trip.
2. How long do you want to go for?
Some couples take only a few days for their honeymoon; others take off for months at a time to travel the world. Your situation will depend on your budget, your work, your allotted vacation time and other commitments you have to consider. Talk about the ideal amount of time you would like to spend on your honeymoon, and see what’s possible.
3. What is each of you looking for on the honeymoon?
What comes to mind when you imagine your perfect honeymoon? Are you getting completely pampered in an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii, or are you relishing your independence and taking a train trip through Eastern Europe? Write down what is most important to you about your honeymoon, and share your thoughts with your fiance(e). What kind of weather do you want? What kind of activities do you want to do? What balance of planning and “winging it” do you prefer?
4. How far from home do you want to travel?
Are you both eager to shake off the long hours of wedding planning and get away from your familiar surroundings? Do you want to go to a foreign country where they speak another language? Do you prefer to go somewhere within a short drive or plane ride? Talk about your must-haves and your deal-breakers, as well as any steps you would need to take before going on a trip to a faraway destination (for example, applying for passports or getting immunizations).
5. Do you need help honeymoon planning?
There are a wealth of resources available online to help you with planning your honeymoon, but sometimes professional assistance can make your life easier and save you money. If you are having trouble narrowing down your final honeymoon location or you need help researching hotels and flights, contact a travel agent. He or she will often have insider info on how to get the best rates and can take one more wedding planning item off your plate.
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A Budget Wedding and Budget Honeymoon in One!
If the idea of planning a budget wedding makes you break out in hives, then perhaps coordinating all the details of a more conventional wedding just isn’t for you. Some couples opt for more simple, budget-friendly options such as tying the knot at city hall and then hosting a small reception at a favorite restaurant. Other couples like the idea of combining their wedding and honeymoon in one package with a destination wedding or a budget wedding at sea on a cruise. Indeed, a cruise can be an affordable way to integrate a budget wedding and a budget honeymoon.
Benefits of a Budget Wedding on Open Water
1. Someone Else Will Be in Charge
If you plan a budget wedding on a cruise ship, most of the work is already done for you. You just need to bring a wedding dress and inexpensive wedding rings. Many cruise ships even offer tuxedo rentals on board. You can kick back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company while someone else takes care of all the wedding details, such as arranging music, food, and photography as part of your cruise wedding package.
2. You Will Be Pampered
Even if you stay in the least expensive stateroom with no extras, you can’t avoid being pampered. Someone else makes your bed, takes out your trash, and brings your free room service. Gourmet three-course dining is likely also included in your package, with a few specialty restaurants available for an additional splurge. If you want to splurge, you can also spend time being pampered at the ship’s spa, perhaps indulging in a couple’s massage before or after the budget wedding. Whether or not you decide to partake in some of the extras onboard ship, just remember to include tips in your budget wedding / budget honeymoon cost estimates so that you can show appreciation to the people who do the pampering.
3. You Will Be Entertained
Amenities differ by cruise ship and cruise line, but most have something for everyone to enjoy. While you are on the cruise ship, you can likely kick back by the pool, read in the library, have a mini-golf competition, learn to ice skate, unwind in the hot tub, view free theatrical performances, take classes, or participate in a wide variety of other free activities.
4. You Can Have Adventures
When the cruise ship is at port, you can venture off on your own to enjoy a more private budget honeymoon or participate in adventures with your wedding guests. You can probably go parasailing, take a jeep tour, explore ancient ruins, go swimming with dolphins or sea turtles or sting rays, ride on a pirate ship or glass-bottom boat, climb a waterfall, take a horse and carriage ride, go scuba diving, take a hike, go shopping, or relax in a hammock on the beach, depending on where you are and depending on your budget and tastes.
You can make a luxurious, all-inclusive cruise vacation work well for your budget wedding and honeymoon. Get started by picking affordable rings today!
Photo credit: coolinsights
Planning a Dream Honeymoon on a Budget
One of the best ways to unwind and relax after the budget wedding and reconnect as a couple is to get out of town together. When you are planning a honeymoon on a budget, it is important to find the balance between getting away together on an incredible journey of relaxation or adventure and staying within your price range. Expected travel expenses include such things as transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, and even souvenirs. Fortunately, there is a website that can help cut costs significantly.
If you are planning a honeymoon on a budget, consider using airbnb. Airbnb is a website with listings for rooms, houses, apartments, treehouses, RVs, and other lodging opportunities worldwide. Rather than staying in an impersonal hotel room, you could spend your honeymoon in an authentic home abroad, shopping at local markets, and cooking and living like locals in another country. Or perhaps you would prefer to stay somewhere closer to home after your budget wedding.
Picture this: use frequent flier miles to help pay for your airfare, or drive a fuel efficient car to the honeymoon destination of your choice. Rent a home for a week or two. Plan on most of your culinary adventures taking place in the kitchen, thus saving great deal of money. And consider some of these amazing lodging deals or others like them for your honeymoon on a budget:
1. A modern flat in Croatia for $39 per night
2. A southwestern schoolhouse in New Mexico for $129 per night
3. A treehouse in Hawaii for $40 per night
4. An Airstream trailer in Portland for $50 per night
5. A luxury villa in Kenya for $83 per night
6. A private cabin in Belize for $40 per night
7. A cottage on the Aeolian islands for $65 per night
Where is the honeymoon of your dreams?
Photo credit: visit~fingerlakes