Sep 22, 2022

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Honeymoon couple snorkels in clear water.

Most couples tend to focus on planning the wedding after they get engaged. One part of planning a wedding is outlining the costs. This makes sense since weddings can be expensive, but average honeymoon costs can add up quickly, too. How do you afford both the honeymoon and the wedding of your dreams? Is there an average honeymoon cost, and how can you plan a honeymoon on a budget?

Let’s examine these questions by looking at the separate elements you might want to include in your honeymoon. We’ll also offer tips to guide you in budgeting for honeymoon costs so you and your spouse can start an exciting life together.

Table of contents

Travel: Flying or driving?

Anytime you need to fly to reach a destination, the cost of your trip is bound to increase. That’s especially true now that more people are traveling again. For example, industry experts had expected a 16% increase in domestic airfare heading into the summer of 2021 (with flights averaging $283 from June through August), and a 3% increase in international travel tickets for the same time period (with flights averaging $775 from June through August). And flying got even more expensive during the summer of 2022, with inflation, the rising cost of fuel, and fewer flights to choose from.

Unfortunately, driving to your destination could also amount to a sizable chunk of your honeymoon budget, depending on how far you plan to go. Gas prices have been volatile since 2021 and reached record highs in 2022. The average price of a gallon of regular gas at the beginning of July 2022 was $4.75, up from $3.14 in July 2021.

Lodging prices are still rising

Hotels and resorts are still trying to entice travelers after the pandemic, which is good news for would-be honeymooners. But those rates have started to rise, especially during peak travel times. 

In addition, popular destinations like beaches and national parks have seen a surge of interest in the past few years, which could make it more difficult to even find a place to stay—especially in the summer or over the holidays.

For these reasons, you might look into traveling during an off-peak time of the year. You could save money, and separating your trip from the wedding might also make it a more relaxing experience.

And if you’re hoping to save on lodging and are flexible with your plans, consider booking closer to the time of travel, as hotel rates can be cheaper then. Around 15 days before departure could get you the best rate.

Don’t forget to budget for meals

Depending on the type of vacation and lodging you choose (if you decide to stay at a home vacation rental versus a traditional hotel), you could end up spending a lot on meals during your honeymoon.

Renting a home could help you save in this category since you’ll be able to do your own cooking instead of eating out. And if you and your spouse enjoy cooking together, this could also be a great way to connect and relax while doing something creative. But you’ll have to consider whether this is something you want to be doing on your honeymoon, or if eating out is worth the splurge.

Your honeymoon destination will affect the cost of entertainment

How much you spend on entertainment during your honeymoon will also vary drastically depending on where you go. A beach vacation, for example, may be pricier when it comes to your lodging. But if you plan to spend most of your time listening to the sound of crashing waves, then you likely won’t pay much for entertainment while you’re there. 

A honeymoon that’s planned around different activities, however, could cost more. If you plan on hitting a few Broadway shows, for example, or the restaurant of a celebrity chef, be sure to include those costs in your budget. They can add up fast for sporting events, too, or if you plan on taking several smaller trips during your vacation, as many people do when they travel to Europe.

Wherever you plan to go, it’s good to research the area you’re visiting ahead of time to get a feel for how much different activities cost there. That way you can budget accordingly or find ways to save. Booking online ahead of your trip may save you some cash, or you might be able to find cheaper tickets on discount sites.

How to pay for your dream honeymoon

On average, honeymoons tend to cost about 15% of a couple’s wedding budget, or about $4,800 for couples in the U.S. They also give you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create shared memories with your new spouse without the stress of life’s daily routines.

The key is figuring out how you can afford this special time without breaking your budget.

Maybe you’ve been saving money and can use your savings for this occasion. If your travel savings aren’t where you’d like them to be, you could always postpone your honeymoon until you’ve reached your goal. You might also set any tax refunds aside or use monetary wedding gifts for the trip.

Some couples even decide to register for cash specifically to help fund their honeymoon, or use credit card, hotel, and airline rewards to cover some of the costs and earn cashback to rebuild their savings. And you can always look for more affordable honeymoon destinations closer to home that still provide the shared adventure you want or book a shorter stay in a more exotic destination.

After all, it’s not the price tag that matters, but the chance to start your marriage with some dedicated time to cherish each other and this new stage of your relationship.

If you’re still not sure how you can afford the kind of trip you’ve hoped for, another option is to use a personal loan to pay for your honeymoon.

With a Discover personal loan you’ll get a fixed-rate loan that’s customized with a loan amount and repayment term that suit your needs. Plus, there are no fees of any kind as long as you pay on time. And because a personal loan for wedding expenses is a flexible tool, you can use it for any number of wedding-related costs, including your honeymoon.

No matter your ultimate destination, the important thing is to start thinking about your honeymoon when you begin planning the wedding. You both deserve the adventure of a lifetime.

Interested in exploring how a personal loan could help?

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