How 6 Couples Planned Their Dream Honeymoon (Without Breaking Their Budget)

Just when you thought weddings couldn’t get any more expensive you start planning a honeymoon and then sticker shock starts to set in YET AGAIN. Sigh. But before you resign yourself to putting your dream honeymoon on hold (or consider eating ramen the rest of your life to pay for it) you might want to consider doing what these 6 couples did and thousands more do each year: Registering for your honeymoon!

While the honeymoon registry is not a new concept, there are sites that definitely do it right. One of the most loved by couples is Traveler’s Joy, who are the OG’s of honeymoon wedding registries. Launched in 2004, the site is in the Knot’s “Best of Weddings” Hall of Fame and has been a top pick for honeymoon planning for so many years we’ve lost count.

Here’s just a few of the other reasons why they’re one of the best honeymoon registries around:

Traveler’s Joy never charges a fee to access their premium features. It’s always free to sign up and there’s never an upgrade fee. The best part? If your guests choose to send your gift via cash or check there are ZERO fees (there’s only a standard fee if they use a credit card, which all registry sites are subject to).

Traveler’s Joy isn’t tied to any one airline, hotel, or travel agent, which means you can book your travel with anyone at any time. All you have to do is pick out your dream honeymoon destinations, plan your itinerary, create your wedding registry and GO.


Dreaming of an African Safari for your honeymoon? Or maybe you want to rent a house in Hawaii, complete with a private chef? With Traveler’s Joy your coolest honeymoon ideas become a reality since you can add ANY experience or item to your registry easily using their innovative tools, Google maps integration, themes and slideshows. Plus, you can keep track of all your “Thank You’s” with an instantly generated list that has your guests’ full contact info, the gift(s) they provided, and amounts. Done and DONE.

Looking for amazing honeymoon ideas? Check out what these 6 couples planned using Traveler’s Joy as their honeymoon registry.

Kari and David
Honeymoon Destination: France, Italy, Spain, Hungary, and Austria
View their Honeymoon Registry

“We picked our honeymoon destinations the same way we picked our wedding site. We wanted something old, something classic, but altogether new to us. We also knew that we wanted to go on an adventure greater than we or anyone we know had been on. We are captivated by the beauty of all things vintage and antique. You see, we both teach English and are drawn toward anything with a story and a past. Europe was a perfect fit. We knew we had to travel to some of Europe’s oldest cities, but we also knew we were on teachers’ budgets. Weddings are expensive enough on their own; if we wanted a honeymoon too, we would have to be creative.

This is where Traveler’s Joy came into the picture. After researching different honeymoon registry sites, we decided upon Traveler’s Joy for its user friendly navigation and inviting aesthetics. We were able to customize our registry so it reflected our personalities, even making fun of ourselves a bit. We teased on our main page, “After all, the memories from this honeymoon will last a lot longer than any set of dishes (especially with David washing) or cookware set (that Kari won’t be using).” And like many modern couples, we lived on our own before meeting each other. This meant that upon our union, we suddenly had doubles of everything in one tiny apartment. Still, we were very apprehensive about not having a traditional registry, especially when considering some of our older family members. But, to our pleasant surprise, our grandparents, who are avid travelers themselves, were our biggest supporters. They kept telling us it was a brilliant idea and how they hoped our unmarried family members would follow this new tradition. We, of course, took all the credit, but we could never have done it without Traveler’s Joy. After we saw how many of our family and friends contributed, we knew that with some strategic budgeting and the occasional park-bench lunch, we were actually going to be able to afford the trip of our dreams. Luckily, we both appreciate experiences more than we enjoy elegant dining. In the end the trip cost us close to $9,000, a combination of the money we received on Traveler’s Joy and our wedding savings fund.”

Start your happily ever after with an amazing honeymoon registry! Click here to start planning.

Christen and Jason
Honeymoon Destination: Peru
View their Honeymoon Registry

“‘Your honeymoon destination is cold?’ someone asked in shock as we prepared for our trip. In place of sunscreen and swimsuits, we filled our new backpacks with waffle-print thermals; carb-packed Cliff bars; and the thickest socks we could find. (We even included some of this gear on our Traveler’s Joy registry page!) ‘Yup, it’ll be cold,’ we’d say. And was it ever, especially on the nights we slept in our own private outdoor mountain tent for two.

Sure, the Andes Mountains are cold, but other words we’d use to describe them are massive, still, quiet, sacred, colorful, and, of course, romantic—even though we couldn’t shower for four out of our seven days there. We didn’t care. With our private guide, local chef, and three donkeys who held our camping and cooking supplies, we hiked for days straight as close to the open sky as we’d ever come; we reveled in the calm stillness that came with no commercial frills: no running water, no phones, no electricity, no heat, and no seating charts; we were finally free of wedding planning!”

Lindsay and Michael
Honeymoon Destination: Virginia and the Carolinas
View their Honeymoon Registry

“Mike and I immediately started planning our lives together, but we were faced with a tough decision. We had both dreamt of hiking the Appalachian Trail, a 2,180-mile long footpath that stretches up the eastern United States from Georgia to Maine. The AT is said to be a trail for those “seeking fellowship with nature,” and we were hooked on the romantic idea of experiencing America at its core, even if it was altogether a far-fetched notion. We knew we would regret it if we never tried, and it felt like the right time—should we put off our wedding to hike the trail together? We tossed around a thousand ideas before deciding to hike the Appalachian Trail as our honeymoon! Now to plan both a wedding and a thru-hike….

After as much planning as we could squeeze into six months, we had our ducks in a row. We were married March 15, 2014 at Middleburg Plantation in our hometown of Charleston. Two weeks later we traded our high heels and Oxfords for hiking boots and hit the trail…

On October 6, we finally summited Mount Katahdin! It was a day of short miles, hard climbing, champagne, hugs, and memories that will last a lifetime. It was hard to believe that our journey had ended, but it was time to go home.

We could not have completed our hike without the incredible generosity of our family and friends, and without Traveler’s Joy. The innovative and user-friendly formatting of Traveler’s Joy allowed us to set up our account as a combination wedding registry and fundraiser, where guests could donate to our gear, food supply, or lodging. The website served as a creative way to help our family and friends understand what a thru-hike is all about, and we encourage others to find new and inventive ways of using this website as well. All together, we were able to raise about $5,000 on our Traveler’s Joy account, more than I could have ever imagined! That money, along with our savings, allowed us to live on the AT for six months, with enough leftover to get back on our feet after returning home.”

Traveler’s Joy is 100% free and super easy for you (and guests) to use. Sign up for your honeymoon registry here!

Eugenio and Emily
Honeymoon Destination: Berlin, Prague, and Budapest
View their Honeymoon Registry

“Many of our peers had opted for honeymoons to some tropical, beach-lined environ — perfect for relaxing with piña colada in hand. Gene and I knew though that after a day of drinks on the beach we would start to itch for exploration. The fact that I love Latin America, and Gene, a history teacher, prefers Europe, made selecting our honeymoon destination quite a long conversation. First, we decided upon Italy. Then, we changed our minds to London and Paris. Ultimately not satisfied with that choice, we shifted our focus to Eastern Europe. Gene had backpacked across Europe at the beginning of our relationship and absolutely loved Budapest. We decided to combine that with Prague as well as Krakow, which I was interested in because of some family heritage in that region. We worked Berlin in particularly because it was the most convenient in terms of international flights to that region—always something to consider when traveling. So with that decided, the planning began.”

Natalie and Tyler
Honeymoon Destination: Bali
View their Honeymoon Registry

“Shortly after the proposal, Tyler and Natalie sat in front of a globe and spun it.

‘We’re going on our honeymoon… here!’ said Natalie, and her finger stopped in the Indian Ocean right under Indonesia.

‘Indonesia?!’ we both laughed. But upon further examination, we saw that my finger was right next to Bali, a small island province imbedded in the long chain of the Sunda Islands. We had both heard of Bali, but didn’t know anything about it. That week, we talked to some friends who had traveled to Bali and conducted some research on the Internet. Before long, we were positive of where we were going to honeymoon.

After discovering Traveler’s Joy, we signed up immediately. We decided that creating memories in Bali that would last a lifetime was more important to us than acquiring household goods, especially since we were going to teach abroad for several years after the wedding. Furthermore, Traveler’s Joy provided the unique opportunity for friends and family members to present us with hand-chosen experiences that were invaluable. We created our registry, personalized our page, and excitedly watched over the next few months as we began receiving gifts.”

Katharine and Laura
Honeymoon Destination: Costa Rica and Nicaragua
View their Honeymoon Registry

“Costa Rica was a terrific choice for a honeymoon, and we’d love to go back and see the regions we didn’t get to visit, although we were able to see much of the relatively small country in two weeks. A trip like this costs several thousand dollars, and our Traveler’s Joy honeymoon fund, along with additional gifts from family, covered our costs entirely. We’re so grateful to all of our friends and family, who made this trip possible and allowed us to do and see things we might not have been able to afford otherwise, and who know how central our love of travel is to our lives. If you’re planning a wedding, definitely skip the blender, and instead plan a trip you’ll remember for the rest of your marriage. Pura vida!”

Ready to go on your dream honeymoon? Sign up for your free honeymoon registry on Traveler’s Joy and start planning!

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