How Much Should We Spend On Our Honeymoon?

With all the excitement of our wedding early this past summer, we forgot to plan our honeymoon! OK, we didn’t exactly forget, we expected Lauren to be in school all summer, so we’ve been planning on going during her winter break in January.

We decided to go somewhere where we could sit at the beach and truly relax. That’s not to say we want to sit around all day, but sticking our feet in the sand and having a few drinks sounds pretty nice. We’d definitely be interested in some snorkeling, parasailing, and other water sports, but our first long vacation together will definitely be about us being alone rather than in a loud and crowded resort.

Average Honeymoon Costs

In 2010 (the most recent data I could find), the average honeymoon cost was $4,466, according to The Knot. That sounds like a lot of money, even after having an expensive wedding. Nearly $4,500 as an average? Damn.

So where does this money usually go? 30% of honeymooners stay within the continental United States, while the most popular “international” destinations include Mexico, Hawaii, Jamaica, The Bahamas. If people are staying close, that means they’re really going all out on all-inclusive resorts and upgraded rooms.

We explored all inclusive reports, but since we keep Kosher, having all our meals provided is actually a negative. We’d much prefer to have a kitchen where we can make our own food. And we’re not big drinkers, so it was unlikely to get our money’s worth with an all-you-can-drink plan.

We weren’t really sure how much to spend on our trip, but we know that cost wasn’t going to be prohibitive. Whether we spent $1,000 or $7,000 on our honeymoon, it wasn’t going to have a large long-term impact on our savings or debt progress.

We like to be smart spenders, but we also didn’t want to cut back on a fun trip to save a few dollars. We looked at a few destinations and decided that we wanted to spend our money on having fun and relaxing, not on our airplane flights.

What Are Our Plans?

So we settled at $3,500 as being reasonable and agreed that we would not try to go below it. We’re not looking to waste money, but we also don’t want to worry about getting drinks in the pool or missing out on a fun activity, so we are planning on doing everything we can that’s within our budget. It makes little sense to try and save on our experience if it means we’ll be missing out on having more fun.

Lauren and I are not world travelers, so spending several thousand dollars on travel alone seemed like a waste. Why go somewhere far away to sit on a beach and relax? I’m sure we’ll eventually take trips to Europe to explore all the exciting culture over there, but right now we’re looking for something much quieter.

We decided to save on travel and spend about $1,000 on airfare to a hotel on a small island off of Cancun, Mexico. We decided to spend our money on an upgraded room at a quiet hotel right on the beach which will provide us with the privacy we want and also be just a 30 minute ferry ride from the water sports we’re looking for.

Readers, what suggestions do you have for us? Are you as surprised as I was by the average cost of a honeymoon?

12 Responses to How Much Should We Spend On Our Honeymoon?

  1. Evan says:

    We spent a lot more than the average going to Greece. Our only regret? Not spending more time.

    My only recommendation is that you really take as much time as you possibly can. It will be the last time for a LONG time that you’ll be able to get away from work for that long and people just understand. Also, once kids come along everything changes in terms of both timing and locations.

  2. Michelle says:

    Sounds like a great honeymoon, I’ve never been to Mexico. I’m not surprised, just because our vacations tend to be super pricey.

  3. Emily @ evolvingPF says:

    You and your wife sound similar to me and my husband – not interested in a big travel experience right after our wedding. Our honeymoon was around $4k or a bit less for about 10 days. We decided to do scheduled activities every other day and took the off days just to relax where we were staying. Half the time we were at a sorta resort/hotel/B&B that served our breakfasts and lunches and half the time we stayed in a condo.

  4. I will second what evan says – take as much time as you possibly can manage. I took off about 3 weeks, and I wish I could have stayed longer! We went to asia (japan and thailand) and had a great time.

    • Daniel says:

      @Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog, Damn that’s a long time! I don’t think I could swing that, but trying to extend it to over a week is something I want to do!

  5. Kimly says:

    Wow, it’s hard to believe that $4,500 is the cost of the average honeymoon these days..

    With that said, have you two considered renting an apartment directly from the owners of a house or apartment? I have a few friends who used Airbnb.com and loved it when traveling throughout Europe. It allowed them to visit suggested places by the locals, and it would solve the problem of wanting your own kitchen.

  6. I never thought about taking as much time as possible because people will understand… I’m going to have to factor that in to my plans now!

  7. J Ascher says:

    Consider an all-inclusive resort.

  8. Andrew says:

    I CANNOT delay until our honeymoon vacation. Is it strange that I’m more excitef for the journey then our real wedding?? We really want to go to Barbados, but have also been playing with Greece!

  9. Jon says:

    Have fun!! Our honeymoon cost us about $2,500-$3,000, which was a week spent in Maine, right along the coast… It was beautiful, and all we could have hoped for. It helped that we were going at an off peak time (got married October 8th last year).

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