Let's be honest, the second best thing about getting married besides actually getting married is the honeymoon you get to take after. A week or so with just you and your wifey/hubby to bask in the love and union you just entered into? Count me in! Some of us want a week on a beach, completely unconnected from the world, maybe even a nice spa day with some massages and mimosas - and some of us want to go explore the world and relax but also see everything there is to see! But unfortunately, those all come with a HUGE price tag. According to Honeymoons.com, the average honeymoon lasting 7 days/6 nights costs around $5,000. I don't know about you, but after paying the deposits and adding up the costs so far, $5,000 added on top of all that makes me want to hurl. And while I know our honeymoon isn't going to be cheap, there are ways to have a beautiful, relaxing honeymoon without spending thousands of dollars. Here are a few resources and tips I've found to be helpful in planning our honeymoon!
Groupon: This was recommended to me by my aunt. I knew Groupon had a getaway option, but I didn't realize how much you could actually save! I have never used this or bought a getaway option through Groupon, but their deals and prices seem extremely reasonable. For example, right now they have a deal for a 9-day trip to Thailand with air and hotel stays included for $1,049+ a person. I included the (+) symbol because the rate changes depending on the dates you leave and the airport you fly out of. But even through all the options, it didn't go further than $1,399 per person! That's 9 days with flights, transportation and hotel included. They also offer tours (for an added fee) at different locations like discovery hiking in the Khaosok Jungle, a speed boat trip to Phang Nga Bay with lunch, etc. The only catch with Groupon is there are only certain departure dates available, and you are buying a voucher that I believe you still have to redeem and book through the travel agency associated. The agency should know the deal is happening and should have a person of contact on Groupon if you go to your account and view your voucher. I would do a little research before buying though - just to make sure this is all legitimate, but I've bought hotel room stays and many items from Groupon and had never had an issue! This is a great option is you don't want to plan the trip yourself and save some money!
TravelZoo: This was recommended to me by a friend of mine who recently got married. It reminds me a lot of TripAdvisor but it also has the deal set up like Groupon! You go to their page, click "vacations" and you can explore plenty of options and categories! From European vacations, to Sports and Adventure options, they have it laid out and organized for everyone. For example, I clicked on their category "Romantic Vacations", scrolled through and found a 4 night Punta Cana getaway including airfare for $457+. When you click on the deal, you have to sign up to view the options, but once you do, it will take you to the site you can book the vacation on. This Punta Cana getaway is through Vacation Express, and I just put in the information like departure dates, how many people, where we depart from etc. and the deal is shown for me! I put in for 7 nights, leaving from Nashville, and only 1 room and it loaded plenty of hotel/flight deals ranging from $823 a person to $1145 a person depending on the hotel quality and location! This is more of a DIY route - where you book everything through the website and have to plan what you do on the trip from there! But if you're looking for a low-key relaxing honeymoon on the beach, this would be the perfect option for you!
Travel Agent: Another well know way to plan and book a vacation in through a travel agent. Most travel agents work by commission of the sale - so no payment to them is typically needed. Using a travel agent is perfect if you want someone to do all the research and planning for you. You say "this is what we love and how much we want to spend, can you help us?" and they can give you options of places to go and can help you book things to do while you're there, too. Going this route saves you from researching, but also gives you the option to customize the trip however you want. A travel agent can help with car rentals, excursion bookings etc. Search online for a travel agent in your area and reach out to see what they can do for you!
I am sure there are many, many more options for booking a honeymoon, but these three are so different and easy in their own ways. To recap, if you don't want to do any planning and want everything pre-planned for you, Groupon is your best bet! If you're looking to book online and have an easy going trip where you do things as you go, book through TravelZoo! If you have an idea of what you want but need a little help booking and finding your options, definitely contact a local travel agent. Any of these things can help you save a little money while giving you the honeymoon you've always dreamed of and wanted.