You’re getting married! Congratulations! If our honeymoon travel planners were asked what is the one thing that all couples have in common, they’d say that no matter where a couple wants to honeymoon, they want some level of luxury experience. Based on years of planning extraordinary honeymoons to destinations all over the world, here are CIRE Travel’s best tips for getting the luxury honeymoon of your dreams without breaking the bank.
- Don’t wait until the last minute to book a honeymoon. Ideally, begin planning it along with your wedding. This is a matter of supply and demand. By planning and booking your honeymoon early on, you’ll have your pick of hotels, flight schedule, dinner reservations and popular activities. Waiting until the last minute will only increase your costs and limit your options.
- Choose your perfect honeymoon location carefully. Some popular honeymoon destinations are significantly more expensive than others due to time of year and their popularity. For example, Spain, France and Italy are always going to be pricier in the summer. If you have your hearts set on a specific location, but it’s a bit over your honeymoon budget, look at the shoulder season. Italy is still lovely in September or October, and you’ll likely get a better price than if you traveled in June or July. If your honeymoon dates are set in stone, consider a less traveled and less popular destination. We are loving Portugal right now for honeymooners who want to enjoy more bang for your buck. (Though, now that Madonna has a house there, who knows what will happen!).
If you can’t come to an agreement on one destination, a contrasting honeymoon is great for enjoying the best of both worlds.
- Once you have a honeymoon destination set, book your flights first. Usually, airfare is the most expensive part of your trip, and it isn’t very flexible in terms of cost. On the other hand, hotels offer more in the way of choice and price.
- Decide what will make your honeymoon the most epic for the both of you. With those priorities in mind, allocate your budget accordingly. Meaning, if spending your days out and about sightseeing is your agenda, then scale back on the hotel costs. After all, you won’t be in your room much. Or, if all you want to do is relax, you could spend more of your budget on a swanky, luxury resort and cut back on activities or fly coach instead of first or business class.
- Always remember that honeymoon planning isn’t an all or nothing proposition. There’s always room for compromise. Flying comfortably is important, but first or business class round trip isn’t in the budget? Fly business or first class to your honeymoon, especially if it’s an overnight flight, and travel coach on your way home. Want to stay at a luxury property or resort, but budget won’t allow for the number of days you’re there? Consider staying at your dream 5-star property for a while and transferring to a 3-star property the remainder of your honeymoon. This is a solid money-saving tip if you’re visiting several countries or want to explore different areas of your destination. Combining splurges with more practical options applies to meals, too. Couples can save money having coffee and warm, buttery croissants from the patisserie down the rue and street tacos for lunch along the waterfront, then a Michelin dining experience for dinner.
- Last, but not least, use an experienced honeymoon travel planner. These travel agents specialize in creating honeymoons of a lifetime, listening to both of your wants and expectations and using their firsthand knowledge to create an amazing itinerary. CIRE Travel’s honeymoon experts have the connections and clout to get you the perks and upgrades that make your trip even beyond what you ever imagined to maximize your budget. Not to mention, using a honeymoon travel agent is essential to help you stay current on and be ready for ever-changing COVID-related rules and regulations around the world.
Want to learn more about honeymoon planning and CIRE’s honeymoon travel advisors, read our FAQs that explain everything from beginning to end.
Eric Hrubant is a 20+ year travel industry veteran and owner and president of CIRE Travel, a corporate and leisure travel agency. Eric and his team of agents use their A-list connections to deliver an exceptional, concierge-like travel experience. CIRE has offices in Boston New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Washington DC, Alexandria, Virginia and Kennebunkport, Maine to serve clients around the country and throughout the world.