Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Budget Crunch: Save Money with an (almost) Hometown Honeymoon

I know this may come as a surprise to you ... but weddings are expensive! I know … you are shocked, right? As you may already be noticing, everything costs more than you thought it would and unexpected expenses seem to be waiting around every corner.

Bummer … I know.

Now, on top of the thousands you have to spend on flowers, photography and food, you have to choose a place you and your sweetie can go and celebrate your union. An Italian vacation may be out of the question, but you want to do more than get hitched and head to the local Super 8 ... right? You and your new spouse have worked hard in the days and weeks (and possibly months or years) leading up to your marriage and gosh, darn it – you deserve a honeymoon.

Well, here are four tips for how you can save money with an (almost) hometown honeymoon.

1. Do you live in a naturally beautiful or fun and touristy destination? If so, you can save travel money by heading over to that upscale resort across town or by staying in one of the famous boutique hotels you have always wanted to visit. Airfare is often one of the priciest components of a honeymoon, so if you can drive to your destination, you’ll save a bundle.

2. Do you have a family member or friend who has a breathtaking beach cabin, lake house or mountain retreat? If so, ask them if you can spend your honeymoon at their place. In addition to expensive airline prices, hotels are another major chunk of honeymoon change. If you can get your hotel either free or discounted, you will have more money for other wedding or honeymoon-related expenses.

3. So, your hometown kinda stinks and you don’t have any rich friends? Don’t worry, you can still have a great honeymoon without busting the bank … just look a little outside of town. I am from a small town in southeast Texas and San Antonio, one of the country’s most charming cities, is just a four-hour drive away. En route to San Antonio, you will pass through Gruene, Austin and San Marcos … all other great honeymoon destinations that I could have easily overlooked.

If you need some help choosing a location that is (almost) in your hometown, call your chamber of commerce or visit your state’s tourism website. You will be surprised to see how many interesting things have been waiting in your backyard.

4. When all else fails and you can’t find a fun hometown resort, free hotel or easily-accessible city or town, then bring the romance to you. Ask your friends to help you transform your house or apartment into a five-star hotel. Line your bathroom with candles, buy romantic flowers and stock your refrigerator with champagne. Turn off your phones, remove your computers and unplug yourselves from the world around you … if only for a weekend.

Have you chosen a honeymoon location? Where do you plan to go? Why did you choose that destination?

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