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At this point you’re becoming a wedding planning pro. Maybe even a budget pro after heart-wrenchingly turning down vendors out of your budget. But now it’s time to honeymoon budget, and that’s a whole other ball game. So how much do you need?
Obviously, it’s a super important question. It’s easy to think you only need a certain amount, and then you forget to save up for any mishaps, like missing your flight, or you really really want that extra souvenir. So, you come home spending way more money than you thought of and are either not able to pay off that credit card or have to dip into savings. Not a pretty picture is it? And after spending all of that money on a wedding you do not want to have this stress on top of it all.
As a CPA, I can help with this. I love traveling and I’ve traveled on the super cheap as well as saved up for something nicer. The budget always varies, so having a quick reference guide on knowing what to budget for always helps. Here are some tips below to start your honeymoon budget on the right foot.
Where do you want to go?
Seriously, though- the most important question. Because you won’t know how much to budget until you know where you want to go. Don’t decide how much you want to spend first. The goal here is to save up for where you want to go. So dream big! Want to go on safari in South Africa? Or just lay on the beaches of the Amalfi coast in Italy? No dream is too big. Literally- because the next step is…
What can you save money on via travel hacking?
If you haven’t started this yet, you definitely should. You know when I said no dream is too big above? Even luxury huts in the middle of the Maldives can be free with hotel points. And you can travel to Southeast Asia for $50 using airline miles. Start slow, open a couple of cards, get the miles or points, and start using those for your travel dreams! Because if your flight and accommodation are super cheap via travel hacking, traveling gets wayyyy cheaper.
But, a huge thing to consider when using miles/points: make sure you’ve got time to collect these points,because you should book award flights as soon as they’re available (typically 11 months prior to departure or 6 weeks for last minute flights). So start saving those now.
If you don’t have time (or absolutely refuse free or super inexpensive flights and hotels), then start by searching Skyscanner for flight and hotel costs. DO NOT USE KAYAK. They only show you the larger airlines and not the budget ones which can save you so much money. Or consider alternatives to the hostel or hotel. Airbnb is also great for finding cheaper accommodation (and you get to stay in more neighborhoods rather than the touristy areas). Find those costs, pull out the excel spreadsheet, and start mapping it out.
Figure out daily costs
My favorite website for this is budgetyourtrip.com. It breaks down your estimated daily expenses using either budget, moderate, or luxury. These expenses include food, water, transportation, entertainment, tips, scams/mishaps, and alcohol. I’ve used this so many times in figuring out daily costs and it helps a lot.
Adjust daily costs as necessary
Okay, so while the resource above is great, keep in mind that every person travels differently. That is just an estimate. So while I use that to get started, it’s not the end all, be all. Think about what you spend the most money on while traveling. Do you party a lot? If so, throw in a little extra into the alcohol section. Are you a foodie who prefers the best restaurants and cheaper accommodation? Put more in the food section. Make a list of your priorities while traveling and be sure to put a little extra in there for the budget.
Think about What You’d Like to Do
Are you a museum lover? Or is there something in particular you’d like to do? Be sure to budget for that! Go to the attraction’s website and figure out the cost. Then, add that into your budget. For example, if you’re going to Rome and want to see the Vatican, go to their website and look up the cost to get in, or check out tour group costs.
Don’t forget souvenirs!
This obviously differs from person to person, but don’t forget it! Some people collect post cards and just take photos. It’s cheap and easy and you won’t have to add much to the budget. Some people collect various trinkets and need more in their honeymoon budget. Either way is perfectly fine, but just be sure to throw in a reasonable amount for it. For example, if you really want to send a rug home from Morocco, research that cost and budget for it.
What costs do you need pre-trip?
This is also really important. Look up to see if you need a visa beforehand. If you do, that’ll usually cost some money, so research that. A good website to check if you need a visa is visahq.com. Are you going somewhere where you’re going to need vaccines or anti-malarial meds? If so, that typically isn’t covered by health insurance as it’s an elective medicine. You’ll have to go to a travel clinic to get that. For our trip coming up to South Africa, the costs of anti-malarial meds and vaccines totaled to $300 for us. So we budgeted for it in our trip costs. Contact your local travel clinic for a quote and input that in the budget.
Also, think about travel insurance. You don’t want to pay all this money for the ticket and hotels and not get anything back if something happens. So be sure to get some insurance before your trip. I like worldnomands.com that covers a wide variety of things. Also, some travel credit cards do as well, so be sure to read your credit card agreement for car insurance and such.
Always budget room for issues
I cannot stress this enough. I’ve missed flights and canceled hotel nights and the costs were not pretty. Now, I always save a little extra just in case. If you lose your wallet or miss your flight, it can be stressful, so be sure to save money for those situations.
With these honeymoon budget tips, it’s much easier to figure out how much you’ll need. It’s time to start saving for that honeymoon! Where will you go? Tell me all about it in the comments!