When NOT to be Cheap on Your Honeymoon


It’s no secret that some couples are saying “Hell no!” to the billion-dollar wedding industry and marrying on a budget instead. With the average nuptials costing $28,000, according to Rebecca Dolgin, an editor at theknot.com, frugality is no surprise. Is the honeymoon a good place to cut back?

It depends, but be clear: A honeymoon is pricier than most people think.
The average cost of a honeymoon to a 4- or 5-star getaway is between $7,000 and $10,000 and most couples underestimate the cost of their honeymoon by half, says Teresa Belcher, a honeymoon planner and president of honeymoonislands.com. “They always have champagne dreams on a beer budget,” Belcher says.

According to a recent study by theknot.com, 72% of couples book “extras” on their honeymoon, such as a helicopter ride, couples massages and snorkeling (be sure to read our report on which "extras" are way overrated, tomorrow). “Extras” may be included in a package-price, or they might be added on. In either case, with the honeymoon tallying up as almost a third of the price of a wedding, couples can't be blamed for wanting to cut costs somehow.

No one wants to embark upon a life of wedded bliss in the red. But how horrible would it be to admire a suitor for his scrimping and saving only to have it ruin your honeymoon? Sure you can forgo souvenir hats and drink wine out a box, but MainStreet thinks at least three honeymoon budget areas should be sacred.

Simply put, cheap bathrobes are not comfortable. And while it’s hard to believe you may get out of bed on your honeymoon, you will at least need something to wrap yourself in when room service knocks. At $395, Frette’s cotton terry bathrobes might seem like an indulgence, but you’ll live in it on your honeymoon.

Bargain bin sunscreen and bug spray is another no-no. “Don't pinch pennies on getting vaccinations, and a travel health checkup and carrying really powerful bug spray and sun block if you're traveling internationally,” says Mikhaela Reid, a cartoonist from Brooklyn, NY, who married last year and honeymooned in Mexico. In addition to stocking up at CVS (CVS), a visit to the doctors for preventative care is important. Reid and her husband spent $730 on vaccinations and doctor’s trips. “Malaria and sun poisoning would ruin anyone's honeymoon. Not fun. Also, carry Immodium. Just in case," says Reid. "Diarrhea is not romantic.”

If you and your betrothed are the adventuresome type, it could be in your best interest to bring extra traveler’s checks for unexpected emergency medical care – or even invest in evacuation insurance. “We honeymooned in the Himalayas, Kathmandu & trekking eventually to Everest Base Camp,” says Jill Hamburg-Coplan, a freelance editor based in Montclair, N.J. “Unfortunately, I spent the whole time there incredibly sick in bed. But we splurged on house calls from the king of Nepal's personal physician! The moral of my story is, when honeymooning in the third world, splurge on medical care.” This is not the time to discover your new partner is cheap!


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