If you are getting married soon and looking to honeymoon on a budget once it is finally safe to travel, I have 5 budget honeymoon ideas for you. Look no further. Although it seems as if “everyone” plans to take that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe, it’s not always financially feasible. If you’re like us and you’re trying to pay down debt, it doesn’t make sense to spend more just to keep up with the Joneses. After all, it’s the person you’re spending time with that makes the honeymoon special, not the location. Here are 5 reasonably-priced honeymoon trip ideas to make your newlywed dreams come true without breaking the bank:
1. Camping at a National Park
This can cost as little or as much as you want. You only need to pay for your tent, a cooler of food and water, the campground usage fee and the park entry fee, and you’re good to go. Spend the day hiking through your favorite national park and taking loads of photos, and spend the night cozying up underneath the stars. Though this isn’t the most glamorous of vacations, it is definitely an opportunity to bond. If your new marriage can survive a camping trip, you all can survive anything. Am I right? In the middle of the road is car camping. You can drive to the next camping spot (instead of hiking) and even sleep in your car if you like nature in small doses.
Some parks like Yellowstone also have lodges you can stay at. This is a great option if camping is just too hard, but you still want to visit the beautiful national parks. All of these links are to the Yellowstone National Park page, because we almost did this for our honeymoon. This trip is really affordable if you drive to the park and camp in a tent. I am sure you can find something similar for the other amazing national parks around the country. If you want to hit up multiple national parks, it might also make sense to purchase an annual parks pass.
2. Road Trip
You can make a loop around the country, or hit up some cities along a shorter stretch in a specific part of the country. Check out this route that takes you from Louisiana to Florida. Road tripping follows very closely after camping, because if you want to save the most money and skip the cost of flying in and renting a car to visit a national park, you can drive. Road tripping on its own can be a lot of fun, too! But most people road trip to a specific endpoint, or stop in specific places. This is what we actually ended up doing for our honeymoon.
We have family all over the country, and instead of flying down for a separate honeymoon trip and visiting them separately, we did it all in one loop over the course of about ten days. We drove down from Chicago, stopped overnight in Nashville, and headed down to Atlanta for a friend’s wedding and to hang out with some of our Atlanta friends and family. Then we drove down to Lake Park to visit some of my husband’s family and down to Miami to visit my family.
We finally stopped over in Ft Myers for two days for a proper “honeymoon” at a beach resort, and drove up to Panama City Beach to visit some more of Mark’s family in time for the 4th of July. From there, we just drove all the way back home in one go. We did it all in our Toyota Prius! Road tripping is not for everyone, but it was certainly a bonding experience for us.
3. Stay at a B&B and do some local wine tasting
This is a fun option if you’re both into wines. You can definitely go to Napa Valley and do the traditional wine thing there. However, there are lots of hole-in-the-wall vineyards all over the country that make wines from their local grapes in a very charming atmosphere. There are several wineries here in the Midwest. We were thinking of going to a few in Michigan like this one. Chateau Chantal also has a whole bunch of packages you can add to your stay to make it more special, tailored to your special occasion. The other thing I like about the Midwest is that, if you’re obsessed with Fall foliage like I am, the trees are beautiful during the Autumn months.
Chateau Elan is also a nice option if you live in the Atlanta area. They have a spa and golfing, as well, if you really want to treat yourselves. The rooms are also more upscale if you want something a little more glamorous than a traditional Bed and Breakfast. It seems like every state has got its own vineyards. It is likely easy to find one in less than a days’ drive from where you live for a nice weekend getaway. Alternatively, you can take a road trip to a few of them and do a vineyard crawl.
4. Visit a Nearby City or Have a “Staycation”
This could be a fun change of pace, especially if you live in the suburbs or a smaller town. You can drive for a few hours and have an adventure. Book an inexpensive hotel room or an AirBnB. Save money visiting all of the major tourist attractions with a City Pass. Bonus if you live driving distance to a coastal city. You can reap all of the benefits of a fancy beach vacation by just taking a short drive out of town, and create lots of sun-soaked memories. This definitely also works if you live near a river or lake.
If you live in a city with a lot of amenities, consider a “staycation”. I know for us, even living within the Chicago city limits, we don’t get to do a whole lot of exploring because of our busy schedules. It’s a treat when we do get to go to a nice downtown restaurant for a date or hop on the Architecture boat tour when the weather is nice. We considered taking a whole weekend “away” on a “staycation” to enjoy being tourists in our own city. Set some money aside for shopping, restaurants, touristy things and save money by not purchasing plane tickets.
Finally, the trusty cruise vacation. Cruising is a cheap way to get away, visit a few islands and eat amazing food for a low price. Right now, you can get a 4-day Caribbean cruise on Carnival Cruise lines for about $200 per person. That’s cheaper than a one-way plane ticket to most places. Bonus if you live near a port and don’t have to pay extra to fly to the departure point. You can spend more money for longer trips and visit more ports of call, it just depends on your vacation goals and how many days you can take off. There are several other cruise lines you can shop depending on the vacation vibe you want. Some are more upscale, others cater more to families.
This is the only honeymoon idea that may require you to have a passport for international travel. I do not personally care for cruises. I like to be able to dictate how long I stay at a destination. I also don’t like the rigidity in scheduling when I travel. You do get a lot for the price, though, and I think this would be a very cost effective way to enjoy that Instagram-worthy Caribbean vacation you have always dreamed of, on a budget.
I hope these five budget honeymoon ideas above are helpful starting points for your honeymoon search. This was just a little inspiration to help you come up with a completely awesome idea for a trip that is perfect for you, your partner, and your budget.