Budget honeymoons offer plenty of romance

May 17, 2013

David Holzel

So much planning and expense goes into a wedding that couples often find themselves busting their budget even before they start thinking about the honeymoon. There are still ways to enjoy a romantic escape without digging into the rent money. Here are seven suggestions for honeymooning on a limited budget.

Honeymoon Nearby
The farther the destination, the more it can cost to get there. If you’re dreaming of a honeymoon in the islands, instead of the Caribbean, set your sites on the Outer Banks of North Carolina or the barrier islands of Georgia (Tybee Island among others) or Alabama (including Dauphin Island). Cities like Paris and London require expensive international fares. So how about New York or Chicago instead?

Register
Everyone registers for their weddings, so why not extend the gift-giving to your honeymoon? Some travel agencies and tour operators offer honeymoon registries, where your family and friends can make a monetary gift to cover a part of your honeymoon or a specific activity. There are also online registries, including Honeyluna.com and Honeyfund.com. Some registries attach a service charge to donations.

Go Cheap On Transportation
Flights are expensive. Taking a car, train or bus to your destination could save you money. If you drive, you can add some sightseeing to your trip. If you do fly, try an outlying airport, where fares might
be cheaper, and then drive the rest of the way. Or book on a discount airline. You can use the money you save to upgrade your hotel room.

Aim For The Shoulder
Off season is when prices are lower because demand is lower, often because the weather can be dreadful. High season is the opposite. The shoulder season is the wedge between high and low, when the prices aren’t quite outrageous — but neither are the crowds or the weather.
Shoulder season in New England is mid-March through April and mid-October to mid-November. In the Caribbean it’s mid-April to
late May and early September to mid-December. In East Africa it’s mid-May to mid-June and mid-September to mid-October. The shoulder season in Israel runs from about February until just before Pesach and just after Sukkot until November.

Go Where The Dollar Is Strong
Argentina, Kenya, Nicaragua, India, Romania, Turkey, Vietnam, Peru and the Czech Republic are among the nations where the dollar has
advanced against the local currencies, making them relatively cheap for Americans to visit. Other countries, including Iceland, are not inexpensive even now, but they’re cheaper than they’ve been in a long time.

Flaunt It
A hotel might toss in something special when you book your room if they know you’re newlyweds. So let them know. It couldn’t hurt.

Take A “Mini-moon”
No one says you have to jet off into the sunset for eight days and seven nights immediately after you cut the wedding cake. If you’ll be in a better financial condition in a year, take the big honeymoon on your first anniversary. For now, plan a romantic weekend at a bed and breakfast or a luxurious downtown hotel. Or keep the wedding celebration going with friends and family at sheva brachot dinners, the traditional weeklong Jewish honeymoon.

Every Night A Blessing

At traditional Jewish weddings, seven blessings (sheva brachot in Hebrew) are given to the bride and groom under the chuppah (marriage canopy). From this ritual grew the after-wedding practice of sheva brachot — seven nights of dinners in honor of the married couple, hosted at the homes of their family and friends. At these festive meals, where the seven blessings are also recited, the bride and groom are treated like queen and king. The sheva brachot dinners are an extension of the wedding, and, because a wedding is a community event, they emphasize the couple as an important part of the community. The tradition is a great way not to let the wedding end too soon.
— David Holzel

David Holzel writes for JT’s sister publication, Washington Jewish Week.

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