We all want to save money in our honeymoon and wedding where we can, that is why I decided to do my DIY honeymoon. There is a whole industry around organizing honeymoons and when I started looking at what I needed: 22 days in Indonesia for two people, what they were asking me in Travel Agencies was insane.
Nothing was lower than 8000 euros for 2 pax and I was not up for that budget, our budget was half of that, 4000 euros for both of us all included (flights, meals, transportation, shopping etc...). You might be thinking right know that we will sleep on creepy places but this far from reality, check our booked accommodation in Indonesia, and look at the wonderful places we found.
It all depends on what you need and what are your priorities, let me explain to you how I did it to fit a 2000 euros honeymoon per person for 18 days in Indonesia:
What kind of honeymoon do you want and what are your priorities
We love nice places, who doesn't? But we are not the 5-star resort type of person, we like to discover the places we visit so we are more out of the hotel than inside. For us it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend most of our budget in accommodation, and we normally move into an average daily rate between 25 to 40 euros a night.
Depending on the destination you choose you will be able to stretch more your pennies or not, if you go to Asia or South America for example and the currency exchange is beneficial on your side you will have more chances to have a low budget.
If your priorities are different your budget allocation will change, for example if the accommodation is the thing you value the most but you are less picky about food, you will be able to save your pennies eating street food for example.
My recommendation is that before you start you have a clear idea of your priorities and what kind of things you are willing to let go and which ones are a must for you.
My tips to save money on your accommodation: Book in advance
My tip is research in advance online, there are amazing discounts if you book months before your arrival, I even got more than 50% discount in some accommodations. The cheap and good ones get booked really fast so it is vital to start with plenty of time. In Asia in most of the accommodations, they require payment in advance, if you are sure about what you want and you have no plans of change the route you can get pretty good deals.
If you are sure about your reservation you can get good deals with non-refundable rates, of course if you cancel you won't be refunded :-(
If you are unsure, better book an accommodation with a free cancellation policy, read careful the conditions of the accommodation prior to booking it.
When looking for accommodation, once you have decided where to stay do a research on different otas (Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda etc...) but also in the hotel website. My favorite ota is booking.com as it is easy to book, you have an app with all your booking information online and most of the times there is no need for a deposit or advance payment and you can cancel with no charges, respecting of course the cancellation policySometimes we forget the own hotel website and we can get deals if we book with them, free breakfast, pick up to the airport and chances for a lower rate.
I recommend you that after you book your hotels, you spotcheck prices in different otas and the same hotel as sometimes prices might drop and if you have a cancellation policy that allows you to cancel with no fees, you can book the cheapest price and save money. This has happened to me more than once, recently on my accommodation in Yogyia, I booked it for 213 euros for 5 nights and the price dropped at some point because there was one room left and the price was 153 euros. So I booked the room for 153 euros and cancelled my previous booking, both were the same room type and the same conditions on cancellaation policy and I saved 60 euros that I can spend in something else during my trip.
Go for local chains of hotels, international chains have international prices but if you go local you can stay in mid range properties that is where the middle class of the country goes. Bed and Breakfast and small individual hotels are my target when travelling, they normally have great personalized service and very quiet as there are less guests.
My tips to save money on activities and tourist attractions: Do your research
First of all you need to investigate what is out there, and have an idea on what would you like to. Once you know, you just need to find suppliers and companies that offer that. For example, for Indonesia I looked for transportation and found out that the best way to move is taxi, but you can book cars with driver as well and you will avoid any distress that can come with driving in a foreign country and you can have it for 12 hours for example for all your comings and goings of the day.
Then if when you can decide if you book it in advance online or do your research but book onsite. As well as the accommodation, booking in advance might give you discount. Local suppliers normally have prices that follow the standard of the place.
The more people you are the cheaper it gets on transportation and activities, my recommendation is to negotiate with the supplier. You might get a private tour for the price of a public one, or if you are a bunch of people a discount on the price per person. The transportation prices normally is a total fee per car for example, the more you are the cheaper it gets.
Look for discounts, in well-known tourist attractions there are entrance deductions if you have the International student card for example, or other id's that can get you a good deal. Look for those in advance so you can take from home the ones you need.
It is said that if you want something you need to put effort into it, saving money comes with a price. You need to trade money saving by time spent, you invest time to save some pennies. Otherwise the other option is having it organized for you, but you will miss all the fun!!
Do you have any other tips to save money on the road? I am sure you do, let me know so we can exchange tips.