Bride holding bouquet being pulled by groom in horse-drawn cart with black seats and red wheels

The best honeymoons are enjoyable and not stressful. A low-stress, enjoyable honeymoon takes some planning. You may even want to plan your honeymoon as much as a year in advance.

Start With a Budget

As with any considerable expense, it’s a good idea to start with a budget. Figure out how much you can afford to spend. This will help you decide which options are workable. Don’t go into debt to go on your honeymoon. Don’t forget to budget for travel insurance and unexpected expenses.

Decide on Your Priorities When Planning Your Honeymoon

Making a list of what’s most important can help you prioritize when planning your honeymoon. This way, you can spend less money on things that aren’t as important to you. Stay in a 3-star hotel instead of a 5-star hotel so you can afford to travel further away. Or if you want to stay in a fancy hotel, choose the cheapest room. Choose a location within driving distance instead of traveling further away. If you want a suite, you can shorten your stay by a few days to make it affordable.

Begin Saving, If Necessary

Once you know your budget for your honeymoon, start putting money aside to pay for it. You can register for money toward your honeymoon on some websites, such as honeyfund. If you won’t have time for the ideal honeymoon right away, take a mini-moon somewhere nearby. Wait until you have the money before taking a longer, more elaborate honeymoon.

Decide on a Location

The next step in planning your honeymoon is deciding where to go. Think about what sort of location you’d enjoy visiting and what you’d like to do. If you want to spend time at the beach, for example, this narrows your options. Start with what you’d like to do, instead of a particular location. This can help you narrow things down while still giving you multiple options.

Decide When You’d Like to Go

While it’s traditional to leave right from the reception or the next day, you can delay your honeymoon. This can make sense. For example, maybe you can’t get as much vacation as you’d prefer if you leave right away. You may need more time to save up for the perfect honeymoon. If you’re getting married in the summer but love to ski, take your honeymoon in the winter. It can also help save money if you travel during the offseason, instead of the busy season.

Arrange for Any Necessary Documentation

If you will travel overseas, you’ll need a valid passport. You may need a visa for the country you’re visiting. Keep this in mind when planning your honeymoon. Also, delay making any official name changes until you get back. All your documentation needs to be in the same name.

Consider Money-Saving Alternatives

Sometimes you can save money by using an alternative mode of transportation (such as a train instead of flying), staying somewhere with all-inclusive rates, or flying to an alternate airport that isn’t as convenient. If your heart isn’t set on a particular location, look into a locale that offers similar activities and attractions but isn’t as expensive. Travel on a Monday or Tuesday instead of a Friday or Saturday.

Don’t Forget About Exchange Rates

Whether there is a favorable exchange rate can make a big difference in how much you can do on your honeymoon. Opt for somewhere where your money will go further if you’re on a strict budget. Also, keep in mind that using a credit card without foreign transaction fees will also save you money. These fees can add up.

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