Your honeymoon should be a time to relax and enjoy your first big vacation together as a married couple, not to stress about money after you’ve just spent plenty on your wedding! You might not believe it, but it IS possible to have an amazing honeymoon on a budget–we promise. These honeymoon destinations below are not only gorgeous, but they offer a great mix of activity and relaxation, for way less than you would expect. Here are our seven favorite budget-friendly honeymoon destinations out there.
If a trip to San Francisco or Napa Valley was your first choice for a honeymoon destination until outrageous prices left you feeling like it was out of the question, consider residing in the less touristy Mendocino Coast. Located four hours north of San Francisco, you’ll find a number of wineries where you can sip some of the state’s most outstanding pinot noirs. And make sure to hike the rugged, breathtaking coastline, which offers views filled with picturesque beaches, colorful wildflower plains, and an expanse of green hills. End your romantic days by dining at local seafood restaurants with fresh west coast oysters, or at an oceanview steakhouse. Plus, you can still get in your San Fran or Napa Valley fix with a day trip!
Las Vegas, Nevada
The entertainment capital of the world is a perfect place to spend a honeymoon, and ultra competitive casino hotel pricing drives the cost of staying way down in comparison to other vacation destinations. Even if visiting the casino isn’t your idea of a romantic getaway, there are so many other things to do here, like booking a luxurious spa treatment, dining at some of the best restaurants in the world, seeing fantastic shows or concerts, shopping, lounging by resort style pools, hitting a round of golf, or taking a trip to Red Rock Canyon.
The 50th state has always been one of the pricier domestic destinations, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find good value. Couples dreaming about a Hawaiian honeymoon should consider staying in Honolulu, home to favorites like Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head crater and the Banzai Pipeline. Honolulu’s hefty hotel stock means competitive rates are available that fit every budget, and there are a plethora of local B&B’s (and even house-boats) where you can stay cheap and live like a local. Dining can be affordable too, especially when you join the locals at the low-priced lunch joints and bakeries of Honolulu’s Kapahulu neighborhood and the city’s Saturday farmers’ market.
Caribbean or Mediterranean Cruise
If you’re aching for a caribbean or mediterranean getaway but can’t afford to fly overseas, consider a luxurious cruise. Cruises are often very affordable since the fee includes your lodging, dining, several entertainment options, and transportation to several Island destinations. They also offer convenience, variety, and relaxation without all the planning and booking. After the long months of preparation that come along with getting married, it’s a real treat to simply pick your cruise and go, letting the attentive staff take care of the rest. With a great selection of onboard dining, entertainment, shopping, spa, and activity options, the ship becomes your stress-free sanctuary at sea. View this list of the Best Cruise Lines for the Money.
With all the romance of Paris at half the cost, Montreal is a great destination for those looking for European experience without spending a fortune. This compact city is known for their top-notch public transit system, meaning you won’t have to rent a car to wander. Base your stay in Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal), and you can walk to Notre-Dame Basilica, the St. Lawrence riverfront and the renovated Marche Bonsecours Market, with its bars, restaurants and boutiques. Or purchase a three-day occasion card for unlimited travel on the city’s extensive metro and bus networks. Many of the coolest attractions and events in the city are free, including entrance to The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Redpath Museum.
If you do decide you’d like to venture overseas, Portugal is one of the most affordable Western European destinations. It’s less expensive than its neighboring Spain and the Greek Islands, but with all the same excitement and luxury. Filled with ancient castles, picturesque fishing villages, and endless olive groves, Portugal has retained much of its old-world charm. Many of the urban neighborhoods are just now adding chic beach retreats, along with outstanding golf courses. A full week’s stay at one of Lisbon’s five-star hotels runs the same as just one or two nights at a luxury hotel in other European capitals, and you’ll find that dining costs and rental car rates are fairly low in comparison. We also love Porto, a city that inspired J.K. Rowling to write Harry Potter!
Leave it to the most laid-back country in the world to offer the most affordable travel options. Take your pick from a huge selection of affordable hotels, B&Bs, hostels and even houseboats and campgrounds. And with trans-Pacific tickets down from their pre-recession peak (and the US dollar much stronger than the Australian dollar right now), you can easily reach Australia for less. Qantas and other Aussie carriers also offer value air passes that allow flexible flights within Australia — ideal for first-time visitors who want to see it all, from the sophisticated restaurants and shops of Sydney and Melbourne to dive sites along the Great Barrier Reef to desert landscapes in the Red Centre.