By Brandon Conradis - 02/14/12 01:31 AM EST
Honeymoons are meant to be relaxing, but for many newlyweds who have just spent a small fortune on their wedding, they can be a source of enormous financial stress. From airfare to hotel prices to the cost of drinks at the poolside bar, there are numerous pitfalls awaiting those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on their trip.
Here are five ways to keep your honeymoon on a tight budget — while still having the time of your life.
Europe has always been a favorite destination for newlyweds, but those traveling on a budget might want to consider other, less expensive destinations. There are several options available for newlyweds who don’t want to spend more than a few thousand dollars on their trip.
“Mexico is definitely one of the places to look at if you’re on a budget,” said Lori Power, owner of Power Trips, a Haymarket, Va.-based travel agency.
One of the most popular destinations in Mexico is the Mayan Riviera, a region that borders the Caribbean coastline. Among the many sites are white-sand beaches, Mayan ruins and the Great Mayan Reef.
Other affordable destinations well-suited to frugal newlyweds are Jamaica and Costa Rica.
2. Stay at an all-inclusive resort
There’s an abundance of resorts in countries like Mexico, and one of the chief benefits is that guests pay everything up front, curtailing the potential to over-spend. Among the luxuries offered are spas, sports facilities and food and drinks. Typically, these amenities are covered in the price.
“It’s sort of nice to go on a honeymoon and not have to worry about money while you’re on the vacation,” Jim Augerinos, vice president of Perfect Honeymoons & Holidays Travel, said.
That added security of not having to worry about what’s coming out of your wallet can be invaluable to a honeymoon couple.
Augerinos said he’d recommend Secrets Capri and Excellence Riviera Cancun as resorts worth looking into.
3. Stay closer to home
Another option for couples who don’t want to spend a fortune on their honeymoon is to travel within the United States.
Augerinos listed the Wine Country of Northern California as one of his recommended destinations for newlyweds not wanting to spend more than $3,000 on their trip.
Other options couples include Florida, Las Vegas or one of the many national parks.
4. Be flexible
For those who prefer to have their honeymoon abroad, it’s important to look at all the cost-saving measures available.
“There are different ways to shape the cost [of the trip],” Power said. She noted that the airfare often makes up much of the cost for a honeymoon, and therefore couples should look for the cheapest flight options.
Another factor couples should consider is traveling during a less busy season. Power mentioned that couples can save money by waiting until the fall.
5. Use a travel agent
In this age of Expedia and Travelocity, using a travel agent might seem archaic. But there are definite advantages.
“There’s a misconception out there that travel agents are a lot more money,” said Melinda Webb, owner of Dreams and Destinations Travel. She said one of the advantages of working with a travel agent is that an agent can use an established relationship with a resort to get better deals for his or her clients. For instance, Webb’s company is a preferred agency of luxury resort Sandals.
“You want somebody’s buying power for you,” she added.