A practical guide to an amazing honeymoon on any budget

Build a Honeymoon Budget

Build a honeymoon budget

Before you get planning, you need to figure out just how much money you will need for this dream vacation of yours.

The easiest way to do this is to build a budget. You can use download our calculator here or if spreadsheets aren’t your thing, grab a notepad and run these calculations.  Here’s what you need to get started:

  • Recently published destination guide (e.g., Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Rick Steves, etc., try to find one published in the last five years)
  • Any notes from your previous honeymoon talks regarding type of vacation, things to do, etc. (see First Rule of Honeymoon Planning)

Tip: Head to your local library and check out a travel guide for each destination you are considering.  You can run a preliminary estimate for each destination to compare overall costs.

Macbook iPhone Photo by Kaboom Pics

Using your travel guide and the good ol’ internet, determine a number for each of the following costs.  We’ve provided more clarity on each of the terms below:

  • Airfare: Sites like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Airfare Watchdog provide estimates on fares around your dates (keep in mind, rates are subject to change, so prices can go up or down from what you initially see)
  • Transportation at destination (e.g. rental car, rail passes, taxis, etc.): Travel guides provide approximate costs for local rates
  • Transportation to Departure Point (e.g., parking at the airport, taxi to the airport, etc.): usually available on the airport’s website; travel guides can provide local rates
  • Fuel and Tolls: MapQuest (yes, before google maps there was MapQuest) lists tolls if you input your route; local fuel costs estimates are listed in travel guides
  • Lodging (enter the per night rate): Most places will provide numbers based off of dual occupancy; hostels and some AirBnBs will charge you based off the number of people so keep that in mind as you calculate this number
  • Food and Beverages (cost per person per day): Travel guides provide the average cost per day for budget travelers and big spenders alike; keep in mind how you like to eat on vacation i.e., fast food, cafes, sit down dinners, five – course meals, etc., when calculating this expenditure
  • Other: Any other food related costs you can think of (e.g. coffee, snacks, cocktails, etc.)
  • Entertainment/Excursions/Tours: Travel guides list the admission costs for main attractions
  • Souvenirs/Incidentals/Extras: Whatever extras you think you may buy, if unsure, add 10% of what your overall costs come to
  • Passport/Visas: Travel guides can provide information on immigration rules and what associated visa costs you should expect
  • Immunizations – Check CDC.gov for a list of recommended immunizations (if any) for your target destination; check with local health professionals for pricing
  • Pet/House/Baby Sitter: Calculate your per day costs based on whatever you paid in the past
  • Pre-Departure Supplies/Preparation (e.g. camping gear, gel manicure, new camera, etc.): Whatever other items you think you will need to make this trip amazing
Passport and Travel Supplies
Be conservative but reasonable when estimating numbers.  There are always things that are going to cost more than you budgeted and it’s nice to have the extra padding for the unexpected.  Use the travel guide as a reference but not the end all be all.  You may find out later that a massive local event (e.g., marathon, festival, parade) is happening during your travel dates which balloons all of your lodging and transportation estimates.  The number you generate above will give you a loose estimate that you can use for your crowd-funding, asking your family, or simply for saving.  Now let’s take a look at how to pay for this.