When people think of a “Dream Honeymoon” they often think of limousines and staying in a 5 Star hotel in a romantic destination such as Hawaii or Paris. But then the pesky reality of something called a “budget” gets in the way of those dreams. However, a less than optimal budget does not necessarily mean that you must give up a true adventure in an exotic international local. You just may need to update your dream! The keys to that dream are knowing where to go, when to go, what to do when you get there and having a spirit of adventure. Here are some helpful tips to get you on your way:
- Go somewhere with a low cost of living. Over half the population of the planet lives on less than $2 a day. Go someplace where people live cheaply and your dollar will go a very long way. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to some war zone filled with refugee camps to be able to afford it. Consider a destination somewhere like Central America or SE Asia for your honeymoon. Instead of floating on a gondola in Venice, consider climbing a Mayan pyramid, in Guatemala, or exploring Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, on your honeymoon.
- Consider visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many of these are true “bucket list” worthy destinations and will have clean, western-style accommodations and food nearby. Go on the off-season. Many destinations have a high-season for tourism.
- Plan your trip to coincide with the off-season and you may save 50% or more on hotel and activities. Shop around for deals on air transportation and hotel. Sites like Travelocity and Hotels.com can compare prices and give you deals worldwide.
- Check alternative routes. The cheapest way to your destination may not be directly from point A to point B. Compare prices for trips with various stop-overs. You may even find that landing in a neighboring country and taking a short commuter flight or ground shuttle to your final destination may save you big bucks.
- Get a guide book from Lonely Planet, during your planning phase. They have great guidebooks for every country in the world. Each book contain descriptions, prices and reviews for thousands of hotels, restaurants and attractions. Their books are especially good for finding gems off the beaten tourist path.
- Stay Safe. Before you go, check the US State Department website for warnings about any political strife or epidemics in your destination country. Find out if you need any vaccinations to travel there safely. Some vaccinations must be done over a series of months, so be sure to check well in advance of your journey.
- Travel like the locals. Make use of public transportation, like buses, trains or ferries. Look for deals at small local airlines that serve the region, as sometimes they are incredibly cheap. For example, in SE Asia, some flights between neighboring countries are as cheap as $9. If you are going to stay in a particular town for a while, hire a tuktuk driver by the day or week. It’s like having your own private chauffeur.
Plan ahead and be creative and your unique honeymoon adventure will be the envy of all. “