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How to plan a fun, affordable honeymoon

Date posted:  9/7/17 11:30:00 AM No matter what you plan to do on your honeymoon, early planning pays off.

It's no secret that weddings are usually an expensive, carefully planned event. In 2016, the average wedding in the U.S. totaled more than $35,000, according to a survey from The Knot. But what about the events that come immediately after the big event? Couples have always been attracted to the idea of a honeymoon, however, it can be difficult for them to plan yet another adventure, not to mention pay for it in the wake of post-nuptial bills.

For the best honeymoon experience, newlyweds should follow some basic planning advice:

An adventurous registry

Traditionally, engaged couples compile a registry of household items that wedding guests can purchase as gifts. If the bride and groom are more travel enthusiasts than homemakers, some services provide a honeymoon registry instead. According to The New York Times, these allow guests to simply contribute funds toward the honeymoon, or even purchase specific activities for their destination of choice.

Consider a travel agent

Couples may find it helpful to enlist a travel agent or consultant to handle the bulk of the planning. While there might be an extra cost involved, the time and stress saved with an agent may be well worth it. Some credit card companies even include travel concierge services for their members at no additional cost.

Stay focused

Many newlyweds consider their honeymoon the perfect opportunity to take a trip to their dream destination. But, having this elaborate trip occur immediately after the wedding could make the experience less enjoyable. Couples might want to hold off on a major trip and instead take a smaller scale, more relaxing honeymoon immediately following the wedding. Then, with a few weeks to decompress--and write dozens of thank-you cards--they can get back to planning their ultimate adventure.

Be budget conscious

You can, and should, splurge a little on a honeymoon. But don't feel like you need to empty your savings account, either. Look at choosing a less expensive destination near your home, but shell out a little more for better accommodations and fancy dinners. Couples might also enjoy taking a road trip to a far-flung destination in the U.S. or even Canada. The nation's many national parks offer plenty of activities, particularly for those who love the outdoors.

No matter what you plan to do on your honeymoon, early planning pays off. The Knot suggested starting to plan the trip at least six months ahead of time to get flights, hotels and other important reservations booked in time. This also makes it more likely to take advantage of cheaper prices and early savings.