A lot of young newlyweds feel too broke, too stressed, or too busy to go all-out on their honeymoon. If that’s you, don’t stress! When you’re young and in your twenties, a boring adventure is out of the question.
You can have an amazing time without breaking the bank. And once you’ve reached your destination, there are plenty of creative ways to make the most of it.
Here are five of the most important things I learned during the honeymoon planning process.
Have an open mind.
I like museums, but my husband likes the beach. We made a list of places that had both. My first choice was France; he wanted Fiji. Both were WAY out of our price range. So when we couldn’t make up our minds, we decided to pick an affordable place that we were least likely to visit any other time.
The last place we ever expected to travel (but still really wanted to go) was Bali. So that’s where we went.
To my surprise, it actually ended up being much cheaper than our other options. And because we knew very little about the culture going into it, Bali was an amazing learning experience for both of us. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had remained stubborn with our first choices. We might never have seen this faraway place!
If all goes well, you two have the rest of your lives to travel together. Don’t stress about the where so much. Talk about your interests, and make it a fun discussion. Draw destinations out of a hat if you must, but make the decision together.
Less is more.
Our trip was three weeks long. For a couple on a budget, this was quite ambitious. And to spend so long in a place we’d never been, well…that took some daring! If trekking around a foreign land for a month seems like your cup of tea, go for it. But if relaxation is what you’re into, don’t underestimate what you can accomplish in a week or two.
Pros of a longer trip: Total cultural immersion, seeing more sights, and adjusting to a new way of life together.
Cons of a longer trip: It’s more expensive and stressful, especially if you’re staying in a lot of different places.
In the end, we were glad we spent three weeks in Bali. But everyone is different, so make sure you know what you’re in for before booking tickets!
Do your research when buying cheaper airfare.
We bought our tickets on the Kayak app, which made our airfare significantly cheaper than anywhere else. But what we didn’t realize was just how long our layovers were. Often, cheap tickets mean longer layovers and no checked bags. It’s definitely something to talk about before you book.
Because we ignored the fine print, my husband and I spent the first three nights of our honeymoon sleeping in airports. If you don’t want this to be you… do your research!
Define your comfort level in advance.
Do you want a luxurious hotel, or does AirBnB sound more fun? If you’re the adventurous type, I highly recommend AirBnB. But if you’re set on luxury, skip the guesswork and book a hotel in advance.
We stayed in several AirBnBs, which had its ups and downs. While staying in private rentals was cheaper and gave us a better understanding of Bali’s culture, we didn’t have hot water for most of our trip. When we finally splurged on a luxury hotel, I nearly cried with joy. Two weeks into our trip, we were finally enjoying bubble baths and drinking wine together. If I had been up front about my comfort level in advance, we might have avoided cold showers altogether!
Having a budget is one thing, but don’t compromise your comfort level on a honeymoon. Know your non-negotiable desire. If it’s romance, make decisions with that in mind. If both of you crave adventure, then that’s where you should splurge.
For a honeymoon, put your money where your needs are. Save the stress for a different trip.
Remember your first priority: each other.
The most important thing on any honeymoon is your partnership. Your trip will only be as fun as you are. So, relax! There will definitely be obstacles during your trip. Things won’t always go as planned, because that’s life. But don’t let the logistics of your trip get in the way of why you’re there.
Look at your honeymoon as an allegory for your marriage: You can’t control the future, but you can love each other as life unfolds. Solve problems together, be considerate of each other’s needs, and have fun like the best friends that you are.
In the grand scheme of things, your honeymoon won’t matter too much. You can travel the world right after your wedding, or save money to go all-out years later. You can enjoy celebrating each other in a foreign country, or fake a weekend getaway with a tent in your backyard and a bottle of wine. Either way, have a blast!
You’ve made the commitment to be adventure buddies for life. Vacation is what you make it. Marriage is what you make it. So make the most of both.