There are few places more suited for a romantic honeymoon than Hawaii. However, cost can often be a deterrent to couples on a budget. It doesn’t have to be, though. Read on for tips, tricks, places to visit as you plan your affordable honeymoon in Hawaii.
Travel at the Right Time
As soon as you set your wedding date, start looking for cheap flights and lodging deals for your honeymoon ahead of time. Typically, the best time to book a honeymoon in Hawaii on a budget is September through early December since flights tend to be cheaper then. Firstly, you’re less likely to encounter bigger crowds, allowing you to have a laid-back and relaxing honeymoon. Traveling during the shoulder season will also save you a considerable amount of money. These savings can then be used toward special experiences to turn your honeymoon into a trip of a lifetime. When booking flights, figure out how long you can take off from work for your honeymoon and be flexible about departure and return dates.
Be Savvy About Lodging
From time to time, you can find a really great deal on an all-inclusive resort, but you don’t need to be “married” to the idea of staying at one. In fact, you can have an excellent experience at a smaller hotel for a fraction of the price. Another thing to keep in mind is that hotels on the water tend to be much more expensive than those even a few blocks inland. In general, Honolulu tends to be pricier (and overrun with tourists). Opt for an eco-lodge or small hotel on one of the other islands to get more bang for your buck. This is a great choice for couples who prefer an off-the-beaten-path experience.
Experience Local Cuisine
One of the best ways to experience a culture is through its food. Eating locally is also a great way to save money. Instead of dining at the steakhouse on the beach, find a small, locally-owned eatery serving island specialties (spam musubi, anyone?). You’re sure to have a memorable experience, and you can always take a (free) romantic walk on the beach after dinner.
Take Advantage of Inexpensive or Free Cultural Activities
Another way to spend your honeymoon in Hawaii on a budget is to keep your eye out for inexpensive or free activities (a little research before you leave goes a long way). Plenty of tourists pay way too much money to go to a luau, but you can curate your own activities that are just as interesting for a fraction of the price. Museums in Honolulu offer discounts or free admissions to students or teachers (be sure to bring your school ID). There are also a variety of cultural festivals that take place in Hawaii year-round.
The islands are home to diverse cultural groups, so you could even get in on traditional Chinese or Mexican celebrations in the Aloha State. You’ll also be able to find live outdoor or café concerts that are inexpensive or free. The best way to find out about these festivals and concerts is to do a bit of advanced research online to see what will be going on while you’re in town. Once you get there, ask locals what they like to see and do during the festivities.
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Get Advice From a Local
As with any travel experience, it’s always a good idea to get advice from the locals. This is even more true when traveling to an isolated destination such as Hawaii. Locals are the definitive experts when it comes to finding the best restaurants and attractions that are off the beaten path. Lean on locals and their experience for everything from the best breakfast joint to the least crowdest place to snorkel. Good sources for advice from locals include community social media pages, internet discussion boards, and simply striking up conversations with people while you’re on the go.
Use Travel Points
There’s no getting around the fact that a honeymoon in Hawaii can be tough on the wallet. While you can’t eliminate all costs associated with a trip to paradise, leveraging travel points to help fund your romantic adventure can go a long way in helping out your budget. You can use travel points to score free or reduced air tickets, fund your hotel stays, or to cash in for a rental car. Savvy budget honeymooners will price out different travel point systems to find the best bang for their buck. Make your travel points count by maximizing their value.
Don’t Island Hop
Some travelers make the mistake of wanting to see all that Hawaii has to offer in one trip. However, the Hawaiian islands are a destination best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. You’re not going to want to be in a rush to fit in multiple island stops, especially on your honeymoon. Why rush to catch your inter-island flight when you can indulge in breakfast in bed followed by a day of relaxing on the beach? Save the jam-packed travel itineraries for when you’re not on your honeymoon. This is the ultimate trip for lounging and kicking off this new season of life.
Consider Package Deals
It can be overwhelming to piece together your perfect Hawaiian honeymoon. You can take a lot of the hassle out of this task by booking a travel package. Not only will the planning and execution of your trip be easier, but you’ll also likely save some money as a result. Most package deals will bundle together your airfare, hotel accommodations, and rental car. The most comprehensive packages may also throw in ground transportation, tours, or some meal discounts. You may even get lucky and find a honeymoon package that provides add-ons to deliver a more romantic experience. Be sure to shop around to ensure that you’re getting the best deal to meet your personal needs and preferences.
Do you have any more advice on how to spend your honeymoon in Hawaii on a budget? Let us know in the comments section.