Wedding Budgets: Step Four
If you’ve been keeping up with my posts the past couple weeks, you should have a good idea about financially planning for your wedding. I’ve covered approaching family members for contributions, prioritizing your budget and planning for a lifetime (not just a day). But weddings aren’t just about the ceremony, right? There’s the honeymoon! It’s important to plan how you can get the most out of your marriage’s first vacation.
After all, if you’re paying too much, the honeymoon can be over before it even begins. The first step is to do your research, so here are some tips and a few of my favorite sites for some of the biggest financial commitments associated with the honeymoon:
This used to be the biggest honeymoon expense, by far. But rates have been going down recently thanks to an upswing in the economy, more efficient seating in planes and lower costs in fuel. You’ll want to check multiple sites to ensure you find the best deal. Here are some of the best airfare resources:
After you find the best rate, be sure to go to the specific airline’s website to see if they’re offering a better rate. After you’ve checked the OTA (online travel agencies) be sure you go to Southwest and check their “Short Cut to Fares” if you have any flexibility in travel dates.
You don’t have to fit yourself and your new spouse into a room the size of a closet during your honeymoon. Hotels can be super-affordable if you put in the work (especially when packaged with your airfare). Sign up for e-mail alerts, compare different sites and use reward points if possible. Here are some good starting points whether online or with their apps:
Like airfare, follow up after you find the best rate. It’s easier to save this way with hotels, as they want to fill up empty rooms, so try it out!
Companies usually like to package entertainment or restaurant add-ons with hotel or airfare reservations. While convenient, the prices are usually inflated and it’s better to book them separately. Use their suggestions as a starting point, but go to the entertainment company or restaurant’s site to see if there are any specials. Or, use sites and apps like these:
Entertainment and restaurants can also be super-cheap or free. Some great things to do during your honeymoon can include games, sports, exercise, a visit to the library or a museum and even camping. And wherever you go, if you shop at a local grocery store, you can find unique items to enjoy at the hotel or on a picnic.
After 28 years of marriage, I can honestly say that planning for more than a day in planning for a lifetime really works!
America’s Family Financial Expert (R)