Monday, January 11, 2016

Ways To Save When You're On Your Honeymoon

You don't have to go on a honeymoon the morning after your wedding. There's no rule that says 24 hours after you say, "I Do," you need to jump on a plane headed towards a tropical island. But the truth is, most people do. After spending quite a bit of money the day before, couples leave for a romantic vacation ... with lighter wallets.

So you need to save a little bit while you're on your honeymoon. That's definitely possible. If you've been a bride on a budget, you can be a honeymooner on a budget.

Pete and I followed all these tips last summer when we went to Japan and it really helped. Plus, during our three week trip, I never once worried that we were overspending. So to help you, I put together a list of ways to save when you're on your honeymoon.

Ways To Save When You're On Your Honeymoon. This is great for vacations too. These simple tips will help you save so you don't overspend (and so you spend your money in the right places instead of on bottled water.)

Ways To Save When You're On Your Honeymoon

Pack your own snacks
Before you leave for your trip, head to the store and pick up your own snacks. We used our extra free money from Walgreens for walking (if you don't know what I'm talking about, read this post) to pick up granola bars, peanut butter crackers, a large container of peanuts, and sandwich bags. When I got home, I packed about two ounces of nuts in each sandwich bag. I made sure to pack one snack each for every day of vacation. I would pack them in my purse when we went out and if we started getting hungry, I would grab one. That way, we didn't run down to the local convenience store and spend money on an overpriced snack (although I did grab a potato croquette or two because, well, when in Japan).

If you're making wedding welcome bags and have a couple snacks left over, this is a great way to use them too.

Bring a water bottle
Buying water every time you're thirsty can get expensive. And if you go somewhere warm for vacation, you'll definitely want to stay hydrated. Instead of buying water at every turn, bring your own. I'm not suggestion you stuff your suitcase with water. Rather, pack an empty water bottle (preferably a nice hard one, like these or this type with a built in filter in case you're filling up at public water fountains, instead of a used plastic one you're trying to reuse). Fill it up at all times and you'll save quite a bit.

Don't forget essentials
One of the biggest tourists traps is sunscreen. Forgot yours and now you're on a small island? A small bottle will cost you a small fortune. Personally, I'd rather spend my money on a nice lunch than a travel-sized bottle of aloe.

So, when you're packing, be sure to check and double check your list to make sure you're not forgetting any essentials. To help you out, we actually put together a really comprehensive Honeymoon Packing Checklist. Just click that link, scroll to the bottom, print it out, and then cross off items as you're packing.

Set a budget
Before you go on your honeymoon, set a daily budget. I knew exactly what I was comfortable with us spending per day in Japan. I knew Pete would want to try Japanese beer and I have a weak spot for Japanese cold coffee. So it was easier for me to give us each an allowance. I actually did call it an allowance.

I separated our money into fifteen different "days." Each was separated by sticky notes with the date and our names on them. Every morning, I would open the main envelope that held all our money and I gave Pete and myself our allowance. Anything that was left over from the day before could be carried over and kept, but we could never dip into the main envelope until the next morning. It worked perfectly. Knowing exactly what we "could" spend each day limited so we never overspent. We actually ended up spending only half of what I allotted, so this was perfect.

Use gift cards to pay for meals
At our shower, a lot of guests gave us gift cards. It was very sweet of them and I was so grateful that people showed up, let alone brought generous gifts to help us celebrate our upcoming nuptials. Did any of your guests give you Visa gift cards? That's money that you basically have to spend. You can't deposit a gift card in your bank account. So make a game out of them.

Pack those gift cards for your honeymoon and use them to pay for meals. If you have a $50 gift card, know that you have $50 to spend on a nice dinner out -- including drinks and and dessert. If you set your budget before you walk into a restaurant, you'll pick a restaurant that fits into your budget and you won't overspend.

Weigh your luggage
On your way home from your trip, be sure to weigh your luggage. Most hotels will have a scale you can borrow. Check with your airline to see what the weight limit is for your checked bags. If your bag weighs a little more than your husband's, take out a bit of yours and stick it in his. If you're both overweight, take out your heavy items and pack it them your carry on.

Bring home memories, not mementos
Skip the cruise photos. Yes, they're nice. And sure, one is okay to bring home, but you definitely don't need to buy them every night. That will get really pricey. Instead, make friends with another couple on the cruise and ask them to take a photo for you. Or ask a complete stranger. Or pick up a small Bluetooth remote control to take selfies (seriously, this thing is great and much better than a selfie stick since it's so compact).

Skip the souvenirs
You don't need tchotchkes. One of the last things you want to bring home from your honeymoon is clutter, so don't feel the need to bring home every cute trinket you see. I had a few things that I had to have when we went to Japan (before we went, I knew I needed Japanese door curtains. After shopping around, I ended up needing two pink cherry blossomed domburi bowls -- which we use every week actually. And after using the black cotton swabs the hotel provided us with every day, I ended up needing those too). Maybe you'll see a dress that you just can't live without and that's okay. But maybe all you really need to bring back is some sand from the beach.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What are your ways to save when you're on your honeymoon?

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