Whether you’re planning an international honeymoon or maybe something fun and quirky like a visit to the theme parks of Branson, Missouri, it’s an exciting trip to think about. You’re celebrating your marriage and your life together. When you go on your honeymoon, you can also breathe a sigh of relief that the planning of your wedding has culminated in the big day.
There’s just one issue—honeymoons are expensive. When you’re already spending so much on a wedding, it can be tough to fit the honeymoon into your budget. The average cost of these trips for newlyweds is almost $5,000.
This cost is in addition to the average wedding cost which is around $35,000 but is often more.
So what can you do to pay for your honeymoon?
The following are some creative ideas.
One of the most popular ways to fund a honeymoon for many people is using a registry.
A honeymoon registry is a new take on the traditional registry. You ask your guests to gift you with money you’ll put toward your trip instead of a traditional registry where your guests buy you gifts.
If you’re going to use a registry to fund your post-wedding trip, remember a few things:
- Tell your guests what you plan to do on your trip. Most registry sites have a place where you can share your travel plans. Tell everyone what you’re going to see and do, and make this a place where you acknowledge that you’re opting for this rather than a gift registry. You can also talk a little about how your guests will impact your experience to personalize it for them.
- Some people break down their trip into specific items on their registry to also make it feel more personal for guests. For example, maybe you have your plane tickets, and then the experiences you’re going to do once you’re at your destination.
- You might want to have a traditional registry too because some guests prefer this. They like the idea of giving a gift versus giving money.
- When you send out thank you cards, maybe you have a little memento of your trip included, like a photo of you and your new spouse doing something special while you were away.
There are a lot of sites that offer honeymoon-funding registry services. Honeyfund is one example, and this one was at one point featured on Shark Tank. Zola is another, and there’s also Blueprint. Blueprint lets users create a page that itemizes what they’re asking for contributions for if they choose to.
Paying with Points and Miles
Another way to get creative with how you fund your trip is to pay with points and miles from credit cards.
This requires a little strategizing, but a lot of couples find they get great returns on their time and effort.
The main idea is that you use rewards credit cards to pay for portions of your wedding, as long as this won’t create financial stress. For example, you might use a rewards card for your venue and catering. Then, you can use the rewards you accumulate in the process for your honeymoon.
Tips for using points and miles include:
- Take advantage of sign-up bonuses. You’re going to be paying thousands of dollars for your wedding in some cases anyway, so you should find cards that have big sign-up bonuses, and it probably won’t be too difficult to meet the spending requirement for those.
- Choose cards that offer double or triple miles or points.
- Book through the rewards portal for the specific card to get the most value. Sometimes you may be able to get a better deal on airfare, however, if you transfer points directly to a partner airline.
If you are thinking about funding your trip with miles and rewards, be mindful of a few things.
First, pay close attention to annual fees. Some of the best rewards cards have annual fees that are hundreds of dollars a year, so you’ll need to do the math and ensure it makes sense for you.
If at all possible, you should also be prepared to pay off your card every month. Rewards cards have interest rates that can be as high as 27%.
Weigh the Pros and Cons of a Personal Loan
Some people use personal loans to fund their trip after a wedding. Some potential pros and cons come along with this option. As long as you understand both, you can make the right financial decision for you and your new spouse.
Person loans have fast funding. If you go with an online lender especially, you might be able to receive your funds as soon as the same business day when you apply. Usually, regardless of the lender personal loan funds become available in less than a week.
You can start to build your credit if that’s a priority as you repay the loan. Most lenders will report your payments to the three major credit bureaus.
One way that personal loans stand out compared to credit cards is that you have fixed monthly payments and interest rates. You can plan ahead knowing that you have to make the same payment each month.
There are a couple of downsides too. First, while the interest rates are often lower than they are for credit cards, this depends on your credit score and factors like your debt-to-income ratio. You also may not be approved if you don’t have reasonably good credit.
The loan terms can also be long. You could end up paying off your honeymoon for seven years.
Of course, you can also fund your own honeymoon, even if you don’t have a huge amount of money to work with. Consider setting aside some cash and then being budget-minded as you plan your trip. You could, for example, drive to your destination rather than opting to go somewhere you have to fly.
You could also rent a house or apartment with a kitchen to save money on things like coffee and morning breakfasts.