Honeymoon Plans! Exciting and Depressing at the Same Time…

I have never been on an exotic vacation. When I was young my parents and I traveled up and down the east coast doing fun stuff, but I had never really been out of the US, until I went to college. Through school, I was able to get a job working at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. It was one of the best experiences of my life, but it was work, not a vacation. In addition, my hubby-to-be hasn’t really ever been on vacation at all! So I think that our honeymoon would be a great time (maybe the only time) for us to explore and experience.

Well it turns out to explore and experience you need lots of money. When people say they travel all the time, I’d like to know where they are getting their funds. I didn’t think we had a small honeymoon budget until we told the travel agent what we wanted to do. You should have seen the look she gave us. You’d think I’d sprouted another head! The conversation went something like this:

“Hello, what can I do for you today?”

“We’d like to plan our honeymoon.”

“Where would you like to go?”

“We were thinking a cruise in the Mediterranean.”

“Ok what’s your budget.”

“$$$$”

(Insert “You must be joking” look here)

“Ok…why don’t you let us know where we can go on our budget.”

It really started to seem like we could only go to the burger joint down the street with our budget. But the good people at AAA (of which I am a member…a very handy thing when you lock yourself out of your car all the time), did find us a really nice vacation, still over budget, but quite exotic and nice. We are planning to take a cruise to the Caribbean on one of the biggest boats in existence, The Allure Of The Seas. Of course she made it sound very exciting, and it is, BUT we are over budget by $1000 with it. I am still determined to have a honeymoon, and I think we will put down a deposit…but WOW. To me, the spendthrift, travel is becoming less and less exciting and more of a big, fat, money pit.

This is a learn-as-I-go process, so from my experiences, those of you planning, will hopefully learn too. So here is my sage advice: You can’t get very far for less than $2000, so budget at least that if you are looking for a bit “honeymoon experience.” If your travel agent finds flights and hotels below budget for you, great! But you will still need the money, there are so many hidden fees, and little costs one doesn’t expect. Cruises, for example, are not always “all inclusive.” Different things will cost more money and it will be good to have the extra cash on hand.

Tip #2 is to book your honeymoon a few months AFTER your wedding, Especially if your wedding is during summer months! If you book a cruise during October, November, December, provided you are cruising someplace warm, the rates will be MUCH cheaper. AND any money your guests give to you for the wedding can be counted up and added to your honeymoon cost.  Most places ask for all your money 90 days before you go, and by waiting you are able to add that much more money to the pot.

Overall, I left feeling sort of grim about the whole thing…which is NOT how you are supposed to feel. But sadly, we are going to have to work DOUBLE time for all this. I know it will all be worth it and so I want to end on a happy note, pictures of all the destinations we’ll be hitting on our cruise…provided we can pay for it. 😉

Ft Lauderdale is our departure locale!

Onto Nassau, Bahamas

Then Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Lastly, Philipsburg, St. Maarten before heading back to Ft. Lauderdale!

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4 thoughts on “Honeymoon Plans! Exciting and Depressing at the Same Time…

  1. omg you worked at the Olympics! I’m so jealous!!! 😉 (i know that is not what this blog post is supposed to be about…) BUT those were the most amazing Olympics ever. I got to go to Beijing March 2009 and toured the facilities – so impressive. Plus, I have a weird affinity for Beijing. You’ve got to tell me more about this!

  2. Hi, just discovered your blog and have really enjoyed reading the last few posts! I got married in January this year and we found lots of ways of making things a bit cheaper than they look on the outset. We took an amazing honeymoon, 7 weeks in the Far East and Indonesia with an unforgettable trip on the luxury Eastern and Oriental Express from Bangkok to Singapore. We started our trip in the UK (where got married) and ended in NZ (where we have started our new married life together). We saved so much money by backpacking and booking our accommodation as we went along, mixing cheapy hostel type rooms with last minute deals at luxury resorts, but best of all, the flights and the amazing train trip were paid for by our wedding guests! As we have been together for quite a long time and had everything we needed, and we had an idea we may be moving to NZ shortly after our wedding, we asked our guests not to buy us gifts – and instead asked anyone that wanted to get us something to make a contribution to our honeymoon fund. You can set up travel gift lists with lots of travel agents so it might be worth asking your agent if they do it. Just add the details onto the invites – we had so much more in our fund than we expected by the time we got married that we REALLY had a great time! Some lists even allow guests to buy or make contributions to specific experiences (like a massage) or parts of the itinerary (like a diving trip for example). Have a wonderful honeymoon and enjoy planning you wedding!

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