Wedding planning can be a frenzy of sending out paper invitations to each honored guest, organizing caterers, florists, bakers, barkeepers and other vendors. It can sometimes feel like your wedding night is more like a giant party for your families rather than you and your loved one taking center stage in your desired style.
Amidst the chaos of wedding planning, the honeymoon serves as a blissful escape where you and your partner can finally relax and enjoy each other’s company. While wedding expenses can quickly add up, it’s still possible to find amazing honeymoon destinations that fit your budget without compromising on the romantic experience.
From considerations ranging from which traditions to honor and which to abandon, who to seat where after an ancient family feud, last-minute crises and more, all of this problem-solving and strife is worth the hassle when it comes time to your sweet honeymoon. But what are the best honeymoon destinations on a budget and how much do they usually cost, anyway?
What if all you and your sweetheart want is a warm, sandy beach to lounge on — or are there more creative, brilliant options out there that will save you a buck or two? In this post, we will provide some basic information about the average cost of a honeymoon, tips on where to get the most bang for your buck and some honeymoon destinations you might never have thought of!
Average Honeymoon Cost
As you might imagine, the cost of your honeymoon is directly proportional to your aspirations for the experience; will you be traveling overseas? Going on a cruise? Going to a couple’s spa in your favorite city and dining like kings? How long do you plan to be away? Will you be traveling in peak tourist season? All of these factors and more play into the cost of your honeymoon.
The average American couple spends about $5,100 on their honeymoon, though generally, costs range from $2,500 to $8,000 for the perfect romantic excursion. That said, there is no written rule that you must drop thousands and thousands of dollars on your sweet retreat. Read on for some inspirational alternative ideas!
What to Expect from All-Inclusive Honeymoon Packages
Did you know there is an entire industry dedicated to helping newlyweds create their ideal honeymoon excursion? Often in the form of all-inclusive resort stays, couples can choose from an array of balmy, beachy options where their cups never empty, the bed is always made, the views are remarkable and the food is always tantalizing — and free! Other aspects of an all-inclusive honeymoon package you can expect include:
- Stunning, luxury rooms
- Group activities with other newlyweds
- Entertainment, including everything from fire dancing to live music
- Taxi or shuttle service
Some all-inclusive resorts even come with spa and massage accommodations on the campus for couples’ massages, pedicures or simply a warm soak in a steaming, aromatic tub. How will you treat yourself during your honeymoon? It’s worth weighing your options of all-inclusive honeymoon packages before deciding on a destination — let alone which resort holds the highest value experience!
Want to Find the Perfect Honeymoon Beach?
It’s safe to say that many couples crave a beachside honeymoon experience where they can soak up the sun and the daquiris, play in the surf and experience unadulterated luxury. For this reason, destination resorts like those in the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Jamaica and Mexico often attract newlyweds looking for a dreamy, romantic paradise — but many attractive beachside locations may require a little more creativity than defaulting to booking a room in Cabo.
Not that there’s anything wrong with Cabo — in fact, they offer an extensive range of all-inclusive honeymoon resorts for people who want to keep their getaway simple, warm and comfortable. However, the world is full of beaches that might make for an enjoyable alternative getaway, unique from the usual Caribbean, Hawaiian or Mexican resort. Some alternative ideas for warm, sunny beaches include, but are not limited to:
- Fiji, the island just outside of New Zealand
- Indonesia’s Bali
- French Polynesia’s Bora Bora
- Tahitian Islands, off the coast of California
- Africa’s Mauritius
- Maldives, located near Sri Lanka and India
- Bahamas and other Caribbean destinations
- Thailand’s Railay Beach or Phuket
- Australia’s Whitsunday Islands
- Costa Rica’s Puerto Viejo
Best Global Honeymoon Destinations on a Budget
For American couples, the ironic truth is that even though the United States boasts some of the most iconic, beautiful and surfable beaches in the world, it can be painfully expensive to spend extended time visiting locations like southern California or the Florida Keys.
In fact, with the cost of a plane ticket and all, some couples find they can get more bang for their buck by traveling outside the U.S. in pursuit of cheap honeymoon ideas. Here are a few budget-friendly honeymoon destinations so you can celebrate in style at a fraction of the cost:
1. Sri Lanka
Perhaps the costliest bit of this honeymoon destination is the airfare to get there and back. However, once there, couples can do everything from lounging on stunning beaches, meeting elephants, visiting ancient ruins and eating some of the most delicious food in the world — all at wallet-friendly prices.
According to Lonely Planet, attractions include the world’s oldest living tree planted by humans, rainforests, beaches, eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stunning wildlife, surfing opportunities, colonialist architecture, uncrowded spaces and low, low prices.
2. Puerto Rico
Especially for those coming from the United States, the cost of travel to Puerto Rico can be very reasonable. In fact, it was awarded the Best in Travel in 2022 by Lonely Planet — perhaps because of its warm climate and inviting beaches, economical prices, fusion of cultural influences with mouthwatering results like slow-roast pork, plantains and seafood, waterfalls and National Forests like El Yunque.
Again, travel to and from Thailand is likely going to be your biggest expense here — but this unique country offers culinary, spiritual and natural delights that can dish up everything from life-changingly-delicious street food, tranquil rice fields, waterfalls, jungles and caves, to temples and monuments to Buddha. This is not to mention that elephant fans will likely not have to go too far out of their way to see these creatures. The price is right. Amidst all these offerings, don’t forget to hit up the beaches!
With no shortage of all-inclusive beachside resorts in places like Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, this massive country is full of history, spice, natural beauty and culture. Whether you opt for lounging on the white beaches, squeezing lime into cervezas, adventuring through Mexico City in pursuit of the best mole sauce or hand-pressed tortillas or exploring the historic Mayan ruins, Mexico has a lot to offer couples looking for an unforgettable shared experience.
Often one of the last countries thought of when the continent of Europe comes to mind, Portugal also happens to be one of the cheapest western European nations to visit. With natural beauty like iconic cliffs and beaches, hiking trails through volcanic landscapes and iconic scuba diving, Portugal also offers beautiful, historic architecture ranging from lighthouses to castles, churches and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
If you’re looking for the best time to visit (with ideal weather and low prices), visit Portugal during the off-season between November and February — and don’t forget that you’re often a short flight or train ride away from other iconic European destinations!
How to Find the Best Honeymoon Suites “Near Me”
If you are serious about planning a truly unforgettable honeymoon experience, searching for hot deals online isn’t always the best way to go. While it is possible to find incredibly low prices online, most honeymooners are looking for ways to get the most value out of their dollar — that is to say, a unique experience.
Talk to your hunny about what you hope to get from the honeymoon. Are you all about eating fantastic cuisine? Hiking through yet unseen natural areas? Visiting historic sites? Or do you want bottomless margaritas, sandy beaches and an unparalleled tan?
The internet can offer flashy prices, but sometimes it can be best to chat with an expert about what type of experience you want to build with your sweetie. Don’t be afraid to look to a local travel agent (even one specializing in honeymoons or destination weddings) to seek ways to get the most bang for your buck while ticking as many of your shared boxes as possible!
Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations for Adventurous Couples
While there is nothing wrong with wanting to soak up some vitamin D on pristine beaches to celebrate your marriage, some couples look for a bit more of a challenge. Traveling for your honeymoon can be a great way to see how the two of you collaborate when you’re both pushed out of your comfort zone — which can yield huge rewards, from the sheer fun of the experience to increased faith in each other. If laying on a beach for a week is not your ideal honeymoon experience, here are some adventurous honeymoon ideas:
If you’re a U.S. citizen, stepping into the tight bustle of Tokyo, Japan can be like stepping into another world. If you’re looking for a mind-blowingly unique experience you will remember for the rest of your lives, enjoy spending time in this incredible metropolis that also boasts some of the most delicious food in the world.
Remember, cherry blossom season (between January and February) will likely come with higher prices. Visiting in other months can mean opportunities to visit beaches outside of Tokyo, hike Mount Fuji, see the iconic Tokyo Skytree, breathtaking temples, public gardens and more.
Often cited as the least expensive European country to visit, Bulgaria offers extremely affordable beachside accommodations along the Black Sea as well as beautiful castles, hiking trails (including those in the Central Balkan National Park), hundreds of historic archaeological sites and charming villages.
While it is generally the cheapest outside the summer months, Bulgaria remains an excellent “home base” for any other European destinations you’d like to visit, with cheap flights available just about anywhere — from Paris to Florence to Berlin.
Often, when people think of Hungary, they conjure images of Budapest — and rightly so. Also called the Star of Danube, Budapest has much to offer the adventurous traveler, from underground caves to historic architecture, the nearby Danube River, a fascinating history, incredible food and its status as the “Spa Capital” of the world. What’s more, many Hungarian citizens in Budapest speak English, so you likely won’t have to worry too much about getting turned around.
If you want to stretch your culinary palate and practice your French at the same time, try Morocco on for size! With its iconic cup of sweet mint tea, Morocco offers the stunning Atlas Mountains, oases littered with luxuriant palms, fertile valleys and charming villages and the beginnings of the Sahara desert. Rich with culture, history and incredible spices, Morocco is sure to leave an impression on adventurous honeymooners.
High school Spanish classes don’t exactly apply here — but it may be enough to help you get by! (Besides, many Argentinians speak English). If you and your sweetheart love nature, visiting Patagonia has got to be a bucket-list item.
With the rich culture, history and architecture of Buenos Aires and the mouthwatering cuisine influenced by the jaw-dropping terrain and the Andes Mountains, you will experience South America as it’s been influenced by German, Italian, Swiss and other European nations. Attending an Argentinian fútbol match — the country that produced soccer giants like Carlos Tevez, Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona — you are sure to endure a lively experience that only the wildness of Argentina can provide.
Which Honeymoon Destination Is Best for You?
When it comes to planning your honeymoon, budgeting is crucial. However, there are many ways you can pinch pennies, beat the crowds and take the road less traveled for exciting and unprecedented experiences. Whether you plan to travel during the tourism off-season or pick a beachside paradise, your honeymoon is an intimate experience you and your partner will get to remember for the duration of your marriage. Where in the world will you go?
Check out our other favorite honeymoon and elopement destinations:
- Honeymoon Destinations in Australia
- Best Non-Beach Honeymoon Destinations in the USA
- Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations in the World
Serena & Dominic are a married couple and parents to 3 wonderful children. They plan weddings, run multiple small businesses, and curate wedding events.
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