Is the honeymoon of your dreams worth the cost?

Hammock by beach

Should you splash out on your honeymoon?

You’re on a deserted island being tended by smiling islanders. No, you’re in a hot tub in the Swiss Alps enjoying a panoramic mountain view. No wait, you’re snuggled up in a chalet at Lake Como… It all sounds rather idyllic, but at what price? Should you splash out on your dream honeymoon or is it really just another holiday?

With all the preparations for your big day, having to plan the ultimate honeymoon can be an extra stress. Not to mention the fact that your budget is already blown out by gourmet canapés and imported champagne. Don’t start married life in spiralling debt, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Honeymoon registry

Instead of guests buying a wedding present, let them donate towards your honeymoon. Some may consider it appalling etiquette, but most will view it as a smart, practical move. After all, $200 is $200 – whether spent on a designer toaster or an exotic hotel room. Just don’t forget to send a ‘wish you were here’ postcard to your generous guests.

2. Take your time

There’s no need to honeymoon right after your wedding – you can always wait a couple more months and take advantage of offseason prices or another couple of paycheques coming in. It also allows you to book a last-minute holiday often at a huge discount. Take a look at the "last minute" or "hot deals" sections on travel portals such as Expedia for an idea of what’s available.

3. Research online

Some websites like Wotif Flights specialise in helping you find the cheapest flights and cheapest hotel rooms, and show you all the different flights from different airlines, banded by price. “Mystery deals” are another great way to get a bargain with five-star hotels listing rooms at huge discounts. Match that up with a super-cheap flight for a luxury break at a bargain price.

4. Package it up

If you can't face the planning and arrangements of a customised trip, go for a honeymoon package tour that includes flights and accommodation, and even meals thrown in.

  • Romantic resort: With its beautiful beaches and huge range of hotels, Bali is a perennially popular honeymoon destination, with packages for under $500 per person.
  • Relaxing cruise: Sail the South Pacific for as little as $700 per person, taking in Nouméa, Port Vila and the beautiful Isle of Pines.
  • Deserted island: Not quite deserted but close enough to keep airfares down, you can enjoy Fiji’s Treasure Island for around $1000 per person

5. Plastic power

If you simply can't wait but the wedding has wiped your funds out, book that holiday right now and simply put it on a credit card with a generous interest-free period. Some cards offer six months or more extended, long-term interest-free credit, with added protections such as purchase protection insurance – ideal for splashing out on your honeymoon wardrobe.

6. Take a short break

If it's a bad time of year to take time off work and you'd rather save up for a bigger holiday later on, there's nothing wrong with simply taking a weekend break for your honeymoon. It's also a good way to take in Australian landmarks such as Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef.

The last thing you want to do is come back from your honeymoon facing wedded bankruptcy rather than wedded bliss. So think about what type of trips you both like, when and for how long you can both travel, and match it up with something lovely for a lifetime of memories.

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