After the celebration of your marriage, you and your partner get to head off on a once-in-a-lifetime trip—your honeymoon. It all sounds wonderful, until you remember that your dream of white sand beaches or leisurely strolls through Tuscany comes with a hefty price tag. In fact, the honeymoon also can add thousands of dollars to the total cost of your wedding. What's a budget conscious couple to do? Financial coach Allison Owen says couples should start saving well before the ceremony. "Starting a marriage with debt adds stress to the first few years of marriage," said Owen. "Money is the number one reason couples get divorced. Help yourself by staying out of debt and setting yourself up for a more successful marriage."
If money is tight and you're not sure where to start, these five tips that will help you save for your dream vacation.
Set up a honeymoon registry.
According to Amy Eury, a marketing strategist with myBankTracker, there are creative ways to raise money for your honeymoon. "If you and your partner aren't in need of anything specific, consider setting up a honeymoon registry," she said. "Your wedding guests can pay for parts of your honeymoon, such as the air ticket and hotel accommodations, via websites like Honeyfund.com."
Use credit card rewards.
Although you need to be careful to not run up a balance, using your credit cards strategically can be a smart plan. Some credit cards offer hundreds of dollars as a bonus when you open a new account, and you can earn cash back or airline miles for making routine purchases. You can redeem those bonuses for hotel stays, your airline tickets, or even restaurant gift cards.
Purchase discounted gift cards.
Millions of gift cards go unused every year. Some people opt to recoup some of the cards' value by reselling them online. You can score gift cards to airlines, hotel chains, restaurants, and more for a fraction of the card's original cost, helping you stretch your budget further. You can purchase gift cards on sites like Raise or Gift Card Spread.
Book your stay on AirBnB.
If you're willing to skip the traditional hotel experience, you could save a bundle. "Another option is to search AirBnB," said Eury. "Prices range wildly, from all-out luxury to dirt cheap. Whatever your price point, Airbnb has lodgings in more than 192 countries and 33,000 cities." You could stay at a luxurious mansion, or a quaint cottage in the countryside, all for less than you'd spend on the honeymoon suite at a regular hotel.
Rent out extra space—or even your car.
If you have extra space, such as a spare bedroom, you can rent it out for money on AirBnB or VRBO. But don't think that's the only thing you can rent out. You can also rent out your car to travelers in your area with a service like Turo. According to the company, you could make over up to $600 per month renting out your car, which would go a long way to paying for your honeymoon.