Someone once said that “the best things in life are free,” and while it’s definitely true, it’s not much use when you are planning your honeymoon. Unless you have a friend with a beautiful villa/beach house/ski lodge they’re willing to lend you, you will have to spend some money on this trip. Fortunately it doesn’t have to bankrupt you: a cheap honeymoon destination is well within your reach.
There are plenty of deals out there from businesses who want to be part of your romantic adventure, from airlines offering cheap flights, to resorts with all-inclusive packages. Even if you have your heart set on a big ticket city like Paris, Tokyo or New York, there are bargains to be had.
Right now, though, we’re going to concentrate on the more affordable destinations–places where you’ll get more for your money while still having an amazing time.
The U.S. offers plenty of romantic destinations that won’t murder your wallet, such as Colonial Williamsburgh, VA. We know what you’re thinking: isn’t that where my parents took me as a kid, and forced me to pose for a photograph next to an old-fashioned butter churn? Yup, it’s the place with the old houses and the horse-drawn carriages and the guys in tricorn hats walking the streets. But did you know you can actually stay in some of those old houses for about $150 a night? The possibilities for role-playing alone are endless, as you exercise your right to the pursuit of happiness with that lusty wench you’ve just wed, then leap out of bed to grab your musket and go fight the British.
For a fraction of the cost of actually flying to Europe, Quebec City gives you the European experience: winding streets; quaint taverns with wonderful food; the chance to be spoken to in a language you don’t understand. For $100-150 a night, you can wander around Old Quebec, visit Montmorency Falls, or get religious at the Basilique Cathedrale of Notre-Dame-de-Quebec. Or you can stay in your hotel suite, sipping hot chocolate and watching the St. Lawrence river flow past your windows.
Sure, you might have to climb a huuuge wall to get home afterwards, but you can save quite a bit with a Mexican honeymoon if you play it right. South of Cancun, on the Riviera Maya, Playa Del Carmen is a big tourist destination, yet still somehow manages to provide quiet and romance to the newly married couple. Hotels like Aventura Mexicana and The Palm at Playa offer rooms for under $200 a night, and easy access to the town’s many beaches and restaurants. If you feel like escaping the sun, there’s even an underground river you can explore: Rio Secreto, a partially submerged cavern complex that has remained untouched for thousands of years.
If you’re under the age of 35, you probably don’t know how terrifying the name Cambodia used to be. We won’t go into the grisly details (rent The Killing Fields if you want to know)–suffice to say that back in the early ‘70s, planning a honeymoon in Cambodia made about as much sense as vacationing in Somalia does today.
Fortunately, you don’t live in the early ‘70s. You live in 2017, and Cambodia is now a wonderful honeymoon destination for decadent Western running dogs like yourself.
With a little work, you can find affordable airfare, and once there your dollars will go far. Stay on one of the islands off the mainland–Koh Rong Samloem, for instance, and you can have a bungalow on a “paradise” beach for between $75-$100 a night. One of the most popular spots is called “Lazy Beach,” which should give you an idea of its effect. If you are able to rouse yourself from this sandy paradise, you can go hang out with some endangered elephants, ride Battambang’s famous Bamboo Train or take a tour of the country’s many temple complexes (including world famous Angkor Wat, which will probably be crowded but is worth it anyway.)
If your heart is set on Europe, you and your new wife can save some cash by heading to Hvar, an island in the Adriatic known for its medieval fortifications, its nightlife, and its lavender, which evidently grows in profusion. Hotels are $100 a night and under, and you can bet they offer their share of Old World ambience. Once you’ve explored all of Hvar’s nooks and crannies, you can head to the main harbor, which serves as the launching point for daily shuttle boats to explore the surrounding islands.