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Honeymoon Planning for the Broke Twenty-Something

Your love is magic, but your budget is limited. I feel your pain. We had an AMAZING honeymoon for only $2k. Here's how you can do it too!

Falling in love is a magical feeling. And getting proposed to? Even better! Starting to plan a wedding when you are making basically minimum wage in your twenties can be a whole other headache. Add a honeymoon to that mix and the butterflies leave your stomach real quick as the debt pains start rolling in.

But fear not! If you have to shell out the money yourselves for a honeymoon (or just feel bad about spending too much of mom and dad’s), I’ve got some tips to help you find a honeymoon on a budget as I share my own tropical, cross country, trip that cost us less than $2000!

Let’s get into it.

The Destination

Our Experience

When my husband and I originally started talking about our honeymoon, I told him I would be totally happy to just go away in a cabin for a weekend and have a nice little budget friendly trip to celebrate our marriage.

He, however, had a different idea.

He wanted hot weather, (we live in Washington) with pure white sand beaches, (our beaches have a lot of rocks) and water that is warm when go swimming, (again, Washington water not so much). So like the nice almost-wife I was, (sarcasm assumed) I told him to figure it out himself then, I had enough to worry about with the wedding!

Aren’t all brides just gems? 😉

To my surprise he came back with two round trip tickets to Florida, Clearwater Beach specifically, and five nights in a hotel!

The total?


My Tips For You

Don’t settle.

Of course, don’t go crazy and demand five star everything no matter the cost. But don’t just assume because you don’t have a ton of money you can’t have a fancy getaway!

A tropical beach was what I dreamed of but just kind of assumed we couldn’t do that. Don’t assume, and don’t settle. If you want a tropical beach go find a tropical beach! There are tons of deals out there, you just have to be patient and look! We found our deal on Hotwire but I see them all the time on Groupon with airfare included a lot of the time.

Now, I’ll be honest and say our hotel wasn’t a resort. We had talked about going to a resort but ultimately we wanted to be at the beach most of the time, so we didn’t want to pay for an expensive hotel to not really hang out there much. Or on the flip side, hang out there more than the beach because it was a resort! So we got just a regular nice hotel where we still swam in their pool, ate our breakfast in bed together, and watched sunsets from our balcony. (I’m getting heart eyes just thinking about it all again!)

You don’t need fancy everything to make it the best honeymoon ever. Decide together what matters the most and focus on spending money on those things or finding deals for those things, then you can skimp on some of the stuff you don’t really care about.

[clickToTweet tweet=”You can afford your dream honeymoon even on a budget! Here’s how:” quote=”You can afford your dream honeymoon even on a budget! Here’s how:”]

Which leads me to my next point…

The Airfare

Our Experience

I didn’t really care how I got to where we were going, I just cared that we got there! Our airfare and hotel were priced together; one of the reasons it was so cheap is because of when our flights left. We took red eyes both there and back, which a lot of people don’t like to do, but because of this, the price for those flights tend to be cheaper.

We did however have awful seats. They were in the very back of the plane so we couldn’t recline at all. It made for a great story later… but holy neck cramps!

My Tips For You

Book a redeye if you can handle flying at night. It’s worth it to get the cheaper flight and just sleep on the plane. I would however not recommend getting seats in the back. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with our cheap tickets, but even if it did I would still not recommend it for a red eye, when all you want to do is recline and sleep.

The Food

Our Experience

The first thing we did when we arrived was go buy some groceries for the few days we’d be there. We bought a couple things for breakfast and lunch for the next couple days, and usually went out or ordered in for our dinners and desserts. (We ate a lot of ice cream..)

Overall we spent about $500 on food while we were there. Which, as I write this, I cringe at that number. Mostly because I’ve now realized how just staying somewhere that has an all-inclusive option is so much better.

We did a good job of managing our money while we were there with buying groceries and being conscious of what we were spending and not blowing it all. But that’s just it, we had to be conscious and budget while we were there. On your honeymoon, or any vacation, that’s not something you want to be worried about.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Don’t worry about your food budget on your honeymoon! Here’s why I say pick the all-inclusive option” quote=”Don’t worry about your food budget on your honeymoon! Here’s why I say pick the all-inclusive option”]

My Tips For You

So my advice to you for food on your honeymoon would be to stay somewhere that offers all-inclusive meals, meaning that basically the majority of the food on site is included with the price. The price will be higher no doubt, but not terribly so, and to me it’s worth it to budget before the trip and pay that price in full, than to bring a certain amount of money and try to budget it there.

We got a taste of what that would of been like when we were at Busch Gardens for the day and had bought a “dining pass.” It was one of the reasons that day was our favorite day of our honeymoon. The next trip we go on we are 100% doing all-inclusive in order to relax and not think about money while on vacation!

And also to not limit our food intake! 😉 (Again, a lot of ice cream!)

The Fun Stuff

Our Experience

One thing that we did on our honeymoon was drive 45 minutes away from where we were and spend the day at Busch Gardens.

I should tell you up front I was so not into this idea. I’m not that into theme parks (or so I thought) and so the idea of taking the time to drive a rental car 45 minutes away to spend the day at one was not that appealing. But alas, my sweet new husband was set on it so we went.

That day of our honeymoon was the most fun day together yet.

We got there right as the park opened and left at closing. It was a day of running around dripping sunscreen, sweat, and water, holding hands on rollercoasters and taking pictures of all the different animals. (Read: My husband asking me to take a picture of him with every animal!)

Greg had found a deal online that allowed him to buy us all day dining passes for $10 each. It allowed you access to almost all of the restaurants in the park to get a main dish, drink, side and/or dessert. So a lot of the times we would just run in for a water bottle whenever we were thirsty. It was the most fun we’ve ever had together still to this day. (And why we realized all inclusive food makes everything better!)

Each ticket was a little under a $100, then $20 total for our dining passes, we had to rent a car for about $60 because it was about 45 minutes away, and a locker for $7. We spent about $300 total on just that day but it was well worth it!

My Tips For You

Do something fun on your honeymoon. Something maybe outside of your comfort zone like me. Relaxing in the sun on a beach is a wonderful thing don’t get me wrong, but trying something new with your new partner in life is an incredible thing. That day at the park we got to play together like kids literally at a theme park!

Figure out what that fun thing is and budget for it. If that means saving a little more, do it! If that means having the not-as-fancy-hotel in order to have the awesome theme park, do it! Deciding what matters and what doesn’t is the key in planning a wonderful honeymoon without going into debt or breaking the bank!

[clickToTweet tweet=”Honeymoon tip: Trying something new with your new partner in life is an incredible thing.” quote=”Honeymoon tip: Trying something new with your new partner in life is an incredible thing.”]

Phew! If you made it through all of that pat yourselves on the back! And now you are well on your way to having the best getaway with your new husband/wife.

[clickToTweet tweet=”How To Plan a Honeymoon as a Broke Twenty-Something by @LydiaLois” quote=”How To Plan a Honeymoon as a Broke Twenty-Something by @LydiaLois”]

Many thanks to Lydia from for contributing this article to GenTwenty. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and at for more on rocking your twenties instead of just surviving them!