1. Sign up for a honeymoon registry
We all know you can register for wedding gifts. But did you know that you can also register for your honeymoon? With a honeymoon registry, you can create your dream honeymoon — whether you want to stay in a fancy hotel or go on a cruise. You can even include details like the types of excursions, entertainment and dinner preferences. Your wedding guests can go to your honeymoon registry site and contribute money toward your dream rendezvous. If enough of your guests contribute as wedding gifts, your honeymoon can be paid for before your wedding even arrives! Here are just a couple of examples:
Sandals Honeymoon Registry: This free registry allows you to pick accommodations at the Sandals’ all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. Plus you get goodies like a free candlelight dinner right next to the ocean, a couple's massage, and off-site adventures.
Royal Caribbean Honeymoon Registry: If a honeymoon cruise is more your style, register for free with Royal Caribbean where you can select everything from your cabin decorations, spa treatments, casino credits, meals, and shore excursions.
For more info about honeymoon registries, check out this KCL article.
2. Bid on a honeymoon auction
Just like you scored that amazing purse for half off using an Internet auction, you can bid on and win a honeymoon travel auction! For example, with eBay Travel Auctions you can bid on lots of honeymoon-related items including cruises, vacation packages, airline tickets and car-rental discounts. Sky Auction is another travel auction site where you can score some amazing deals. They currently offer a two-bedroom suite at the Tahoe Seasons Resort at Heavenly Valley in South Lake Tahoe for $89 a night — normal price is about $240 in the summer! As always, read the auction details carefully and do your research before you bid. You don't want to bid on a package that exceeds the value of the offering.
3. Win your honeymoon
Are you feeling lucky? Enter a vacation contest to try to win an all-expenses-paid honeymoon. Be sure to read the terms carefully — some contests require that you subscribe to something (like a trial magazine subscription). Here are just a few of the amazing contests running right now:
- Vegas Honeymoon Contest: Grand prize is round-trip airfare for two to Las Vegas, NV; three nights’ stay in a Parlor Suite at the Wynn Las Vegas; two rounds of golf; massage for two; a daily $250 dining credit and more! Enter by January 14, 2014.
- Elle's Honeymoon Contest: Grand prize is $25,000 for the honeymoon of your dreams! Enter by January 31, 2014.
- Redbook Contest: Grand prize is a $100,000! Enter by January 31, 2014.
4. Use a crowd-funding site
A crowd-funding site like HoneyFund can be your key to an inexpensive honeymoon! Similar to a honeymoon registry, you can use HoneyFund to completely customize your dream honeymoon — everything from your destination and hotel stay to gift certificates and more. You don't even have to specify the exact hotel or activity. For example, you can just list "Hotel Stay" or "Romantic Dinners."
After you sign up (which is completely free, by the way), you can design your honeymoon wish list by selecting from their pre-made registry items or you can create your own by clicking the "Add Item" button under the "Registry" tab. Once you are done with your registry, you can email it, print out cards, or send it via Facebook or Twitter.
So how do you claim your monetary gifts? You can use the "Payment Settings" option to select how you'd like to get paid. Choose the Paypal direct deposit option or ask your guests to send physical checks or cash. It's completely customizable, and the possibilities are endless!
5. Take a "mini-moon"
Rather than embark on a huge and expensive honeymoon, consider taking a "mini-moon" instead for half the price (or more!). For example, get out of town and stay at a romantic bed and breakfast for the weekend. Use a site like Yelp to find reviews on inexpensive accommodations near you. Planning on staying in town for your "mini-moon?" Download Fodor's City Guide apps for free on your iPhone, Android or Windows phone to be a tourist in your own city. Use a city app to discover all of the amazing things your city has to offer — for example, monuments you never got to see, awesome unknown restaurants, regional theatre groups and more.
6. "Hey, it's my honeymoon!"
Tell the hotel that you are on your honeymoon when you reserve your room. It might just score you extra perks (like free champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries) or a complimentary room upgrade. When I did this on our honeymoon, I got a room with a hot tub for the same rate as a regular room (a $50 value!) — just because I mentioned it was our honeymoon! Even if the hotel won't give you complimentary discounts, they might have special packages or rates that you can take advantage of. Be sure to plan ahead — ask if you need to bring a copy of your marriage certificate in order to qualify for your special honeymoon rate.