My husband and I aren’t exactly good with timing. It’s perhaps why our daughter was born in December, we bought our house on the upswing of the bubble and why we got married exactly one month before he finished grad school. Yup. That’s right. One month. In fact, he was working on his thesis the morning of our wedding. How’s that for romantic?
Anyway, because he was in grad school and I was a social worker at a nonprofit, we didn’t exactly have a ton of money for a honeymoon. It was important to us that we had one and, given the circumstances of not knowing where we were going to be living after he graduated, we decided (fine. I decided) that we were going on the honeymoon after the wedding rather than postponing it. The problem was affording it.
We explored dozens of options, domestic, international, and tropical island. Due to the time of year and the fact that we could only afford a 5 day trip, most places were eliminated almost immediately. Then we looked at flight prices and even more places were eliminated. We were left with a few options and ultimately, we decided on going to the Bahamas. But the cost was still a bit daunting. However, in one of our smarter moments, we agreed that we were not putting the honeymoon on a credit card. To do that we did the following (and please be advised, I don’t necessarily recommend any of this. It’s just what we did):
- Convinced my father to donate some of his airline miles to us to add to mine in order for us to get a free ticket. We still had to pay for one ticket but this greatly helped decrease the ticket cost.
- Went to an all-inclusive resort. It cost a little more upfront but reduced the overall cost. Especially when you factor in not having to pay extra for food, tips or anything else that chips away at your vacation budget.
- Used some of the cash we got for engagement presents to pay for the trip. Yes, we should have saved it for…whatever, but this just seemed like the perfect thing to spend the money on. Besides, it was gift money. And we needed it (insert loose definition of “need”).
- Had a set cash budget for extra activities, like a cab ride and money to gamble with at The Atlantis. We knew we weren’t going to be able to have a lot of cash for extras but we wanted to have some. So we put aside a specific amount for each day and if we didn’t use it, we rolled it into the next. It’s how we each had gambling money (which I turned into a profit and then, because of my husband’s bad advice, lost in its entirety. Never. Again.).