How to Plan (and Budget) Your Dream Honeymoon in 2018

Honeymoons are an expense often forgotten when planning a wedding. It’s easy enough to book a honeymoon a few weeks before the big day, but you could just as easily plan your honeymoon further in advance, and save yourself some last-minute stress for your checklist.

Planning and budgeting out your honeymoon (especially if you’re planning a destination wedding) is important not only so you can relax and enjoy, but so you stay on track with your finances as you start this new chapter of your life. Planning ahead can at least help you snag that $100 round trip for two.

Here are some helpful tips on how to plan and budget for your honeymoon.

Start Brainstorming

Even if you haven’t decided where you’ll go, or what you’ll do when you get there, you can still kickstart your planning! While a spontaneous getaway sounds exciting, staying within budget will likely require a little bit of planning ahead of time.

The Knot recommends starting to plan for your honeymoon at least six months in advance. This includes basic activities like researching airfare, choosing your itinerary, and even signing up for a foreign language class.

Also, consider how you want to organize your honeymoon budget. Do you want to budget it as part of your wedding expenses, or are you budgeting your honeymoon separately? Perhaps a family member is helping to pay for the big day, or you’re planning a honeymoon a few months after your ceremony, or you’re sticking to a tight budget—every situation is a little different.

If you put some thought into how you’ll be paying for your honeymoon, you can set the course to stay on budget.

Plan Smarter, Not Harder

You know all too well that wedding planning is all about the details, and it’s the same for a honeymoon. Here are a few tips to get you started on planning.

  1. Plan Ahead: Both you and your partner have lives outside of planning your wedding, so make sure you are planning your honeymoon around them. Take off from work, make arrangements for a house or pet sitter, and plan for the tourist season of your destination.
  2. Get the Deals: Jetting off for a week in Jamaica with a great deal on the resort and airfare? It happens. You’d be amazed the packages you can book with some foresight and creativity.
  3. Create a Honeymoon Registry: You’ll need to make an early estimate, but a lot of wedding planners will recommend including your honeymoon in your wedding registry Brides.com has a helpful list of top honeymoon registries to choose from, including registries with honeymoon funds.

Plan to Spend More

If you’ve ever come home from a night out and thought, “I can’t believe I spent that much,” you’re not alone. Buyer’s remorse happens to everyone, even on honeymoons. When you’re budgeting out for expenses you know you’ll have (like transportation and dining), consider budgeting out for smaller items you can only anticipate; such as, emergencies (a new pair of shoes after hiking) or add-ons (that extra round of drinks at the bar). If you can manage to write in a few of these items, you likely won’t run into that guilty feeling.

To account for these minor expenses and to help couples realistically plan travel costs, Honeymoons.com has a guide for determining how much newlyweds will need for their trip. If you can successfully budget around small details you can focus more on what is important—like actually enjoying your trip!

Don’t Let a Honeymoon Add to Your Wedding Stress

Planning your honeymoon shouldn’t be a huge source of stress in your life. It’s not about slashing expenses everywhere you can, or letting the trip get in the way of your wedding. So don’t let it be.

You and your significant other made it. Celebrate it, and each other. Just make sure you’re doing what you can to start this new chapter within budget.