Honeymoon Ideas for under $1,500

The following is a post from staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, where she writes about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting in the fun stuff along the way.

In honor of Daniel and his new fiancee, Lauren, I thought it would be fun to get together some affordable ideas for their honeymoon.  My husband and I just recently celebrated our 6th anniversary, so I actually consulted with him on great honeymoons that could be had for less than $1,500.

Affordable Honeymoon #1 – Las Vegas

Mr. BFS and I went to Las Vegas for our honeymoon in 2005 for about $1150, which included the two shows we saw, all of the food, the bus fares, and our gambling as well.  It is more expensive now, but we are going back this summer for less than $1,500 ($2,000 if my husband takes some of his fun money for extra gambling).

The trick was finding a combo deal on the plane tickets and nights at a hotel.  The second trick was waiting to buy that deal on a Tuesday. The two round-trip tickets from Houston and 4 nights at a hotel on Fremont Street (our favorite strip) were $1,225 on a Sunday and $860 the following Tuesday. We also have bought tickets to see two great shows.  With food, the taxi rides, and any bus passes, we are looking at a grand total of $1,420 plus any gambling losses. If Daniel and Lauren can go when school is in session, they could even shave some money off of that!

Affordable Honeymoon #2 – A Cruise

Let me start by saying that cruises are one of the cheapest luxury vacations a person can take! My husband and I have been on two cruises so far – one 5 day trip and one 7 day trip. We have to travel during the most expensive seasons since my husband is a school librarian.  Even given that, cruises are pretty inexpensive overall. They run us $1200-$1500 for the tickets and shore excursions and extra if we splurge on souvenirs like art.

The tickets include your room and all of your food unless you splurge at an on-board high-class restaurant.  You even get served like royalty in a dining room every night if you wish for absolutely nothing extra (well, we tip really well!). In the off-season, Daniel and Lauren could get tickets on a 7 day cruise for less than $600 total! Then the rest of my made-up $1500 budget could be funneled into awesome shore excursions, alcohol, and a nice one-night restaurant dinner splurge. Even if they can’t drive to a departure port (Galveston) like my husband and I can, I bet they can still find some cheap plane tickets in the off-season too.

Affordable Honeymoon #3 – Local Hotspots

If the budget is a bit tighter than $1,500, local hot spots can be turned into inexpensive but awesome trips! A bed and breakfast right outside of a city can be super romantic for $500 or less. If Daniel and Lauren are outdoorsy (the opposite of Mr. BFS and me), they could drive to the closest state or national park and spend an entire week camping or renting a cabin for $200-$1,000 depending on what they choose. They could even simply rent a hotel room at one of the swankier place and stay under my made-up budget. Staying local simply saves on travel expenses, which is usually the most costly part of the honeymoon.

No matter what they choose, I wish Daniel and Lauren the best!

What other inexpensive vacation or honeymoon ideas do you have?

6 Responses to Honeymoon Ideas for under $1,500

  1. Evan says:

    If there is a time to splurge I really believe it is on the honeymoon. The Wife and I went to Greece for 10 days, and we just talked last night about how we wished we stayed longer (i.e. and spent more).

    Now with a 6 month old, I am not sure when the next time we’ll take a hardcore trip like that…

    • @Evan, I spent most of high school overseas and my husband is a homebody, so we are going to save big on international travel, lol. Neither of us are very interested. Even if we were, a honeymoon over $2000 would have put us in debt (got married at age 21 and 22 a week after I graduated from college), so it wouldn’t have been an option.

      I do think that the big trips in life bring a couple closer together though! My husband and I do take cruises as I mentioned above and we both love to remember the cool fish and sting rays we saw while snorkeling and the awesome feel of the underground lazy river in Cozumel. :-)

  2. krantcents says:

    Honeymoons and trips should have one thing in common which what is important to you. When I travel, food is very important then sightseeing and last the room. Someone going on a honeymoon may look at my priorities and reverse them. The Internet is really good for finding lower prices for various places. Depending where you live, there are always deals for Hawaii or the Caribbean. All you have to do is research it.

    • @krantcents, those are my priorities too – food, activities, and the room is a distant last since I’m hardly ever there, lol. Good point about honeymoons being a little different. :-)

  3. Newlywed Bliss says:

    We plan on having our honeymoon in Vegas too! We haven’t ruled out a cruise but may save that for next year’s trip. There’s a bunch of things to do in Vegas and I think for $1,500 we can have a blast!

  4. Great tips! Vegas and cruises – both a frugal traveler’s dream. I have a really hard time understanding why people spend several thousand dollars on a honeymoon when there are plenty of inexpensive options that can be just as memorable. Although I do have to agree with Evan – sometimes the experience is well worth the big price tag, but only if you budget correctly and have saved for the trip. I know a couple that, in addition to the debt they’ve racked up individually, are having a wedding well over $15,000 and very expensive international honeymoon. Going into debt in order to take a ritzy week long vacation is not exactly responsible spending. Let’s see if they retire before 65…