A practical guide to an amazing honeymoon on any budget

Honeymoon Planner | How to Plan a Honeymoon in 8 Easy Steps

plan a honeymoon in 8 easy steps

Click on each step below for more detailed information.

Some people see their honeymoon as an opportunity to take an epic vacation; the fanciest, biggest trip they will ever take. While others think of their honeymoon as their “first real vacation” together and a respite from the stress of wedding planning.  No matter how you define a honeymoon, most people can agree that they want this vacation to be different – to feel special.  

Start by brainstorming; try to pick a word, phrase, or description for how you want to remember this vacation.  Once-in-a-life trip adventure?  Relaxing coastal holiday? Extreme sports extravaganza? What would make this trip special?  You are going to use this information as your guide to planning the rest of the trip.  We’ve provided some tips and inspirational stories to get you started.  

Stack of Coins Photo by Pexels

There are multiple ways to pay for your honeymoon but before we go fund-raising, it’s important to know how much you need. One way to find out how much your vacation will cost is to put together a preliminary budget.  In this budget you will want to forecast some of the basic travel costs: lodging, transportation, food and attractions/entertainment.  Also jot down any additional costs you may need to pay such as ground transportation, house/pet-sitters, and visas to give you a loose estimate of what you are looking at all-in.  We provide a breakdown here on how to build a budget.

Save some moola, by heading to your local library for travel guides.  Travel guides that are published regularly like Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, and Rick Steve’s will provide fairly up-to-date estimates for anticipated costs depending on your style of travel (i.e. budget vs. luxury, etc.,).   You can also use these guides to compare costs if you are considering multiple destinations. 

We recommend determining your honeymoon budget around the same time you start talking about the wedding budget.  How you are funding the wedding and the honeymoon will also depend on when you want to go on your honeymoon (right after the wedding? six months later? next year?) If having the honeymoon of your dreams means having a cash bar at the wedding, best to sort that out sooner than later. 

Pick the city, town, village, state, country, or continent – that best supports your honeymoon theme and budget.  Keep in mind your hometown or the next town over might be your ideal location.  Who says you even have to travel?   There is only one honeymoon rule – spending time with your spouse –  and you don’t need to leave the country to do it!  

Only have a few days off?  Not sure if you should even take a honeymoon? Studies show that vacation is good for your mind, body, soul, and relationship.  Consider taking a mini moon or a staycation to still get that honeymoon vacay to work with your schedule. 

The right time to take your honeymoon is when it works best for you and your partner, financially, emotionally, and physically. Vacation schedules and family events all play a role in when (and for how long) you decide to take your honeymoon.  Decide on the time that accommodates your schedule and your budget.  

Keep in mind, the right time for your honeymoon may be next month or next year!  It’s increasingly more common for couples to delay honeymoons to accommodate other life plans. Don’t let anyone tell you that because you didn’t travel right after your wedding, that your vacation is not a honeymoon. 

What describes your favorite activities on vacation – or more specifically what activities do you want to do on THIS vacation?  Select activities that keep with your theme of how to make this vacation special.  If you picked a Foodie Extravaganza then find a few hot restaurants in your chosen destination. Are there activities this destination is known for?  Historic or cultural sites?  Famous beaches?  

Some people love to plan, some people suck at it.  Depending on your level of comfort with planning and the amount of time you have to work with, you may want to plan your honeymoon on your own or hire a professional.  Now is a good time to think about whether hiring a pro or going the DIY route is the best course of action for the rest of your travel plans.

Kayaking couples in susnet Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels
Hands on keyboard Photo by CreateHerStock

STEP 6. Book the basics

By now you should have a sense of where you want to go, when you want to go, what you want to do there, and how much it should cost.  The only thing left to do is to book! 

We recommend booking flights, hotel, and ground transportation (rental cars, train tickets) as soon as you can as these are usually the most expensive aspects of a trip, and prices can fluctuate based on availability.  We always recommend adding trip insurance.  Although many credit cards and even some airlines may offer varying forms of trip insurance, buying an independent policy may allow you to cater a policy to your needs and concerns.  

Book what you can ahead of time to make your travel plans smoother.  If your itinerary calls for anything that may get sold out or is super important for you to do, see if you can make reservations ahead of time or be put on a notification list.   You don’t want to stress out over details you could have booked in advance.

Everyone love surprises so why not book a few surprises for you and your honey on this trip?  Often times hotels throw in fun extras for newlyweds so call ahead and tell them you will be coming on your honeymoon.  You can also book something on your own – perhaps something that is unique to your destination? Horse and carriage ride?  Bungy jump?  Couples massage? Photo Shoot?  Here are a few honeymoon surprises that can make your trip extra special and unique.

Massage photo by Pexels

STEP 8. pack and go!

You are going on your honeymoon!

Check out our packing lists for some tips and tricks to make sure your trip is safe, smooth, and amazing!