How to Approach Your Honeymoon Budget

Pin it for later!

A honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation! So it should be unique to you as a couple and should create special memories that you’ll be talking about for years to come. Whether you’re dreaming of an overwater bungalow, a fairytale town, or a cabin in mountains, you’re also planning for a wedding, and you probably don’t want to break the bank along the way. So, how do you even begin to put a price on your trip of a lifetime and plan your honeymoon budget? 

Where you want to go, what you want to do, and what level of luxury you want to experience will all factor into the overall cost. And there are a few simple steps to figure out what is realistic and what you can afford. We’ve created a fun worksheet to get you started with the steps outlined below. Download our free Honeymoon Budget Worksheet here!


The foundation of every good relationship is communication. And budgeting for the perfect honeymoon requires a lot of it! You want to ensure that you’re both on the same page in terms of expectations. 

honeymoon couple sitting on a log in a rainbow in hawaii

Start with the big picture. You don’t have to decide where you’re going or what exactly you’ll do when you get there, yet. Instead, talk about what kinds of things you imagine doing and in what kinds of environments.

Are you walking hand-in-hand along a white sandy beach with ocean waves as your soundtrack? Wandering the cobblestone streets of Europe and feeling like you’ve stepped into a fairytale? Spending your days lounging in your luxury honeymoon suite with an awe-inspiring view? Did you travel far to get there or was it a quick flight to paradise?

[Photo Credit: Molly & Matt via Shared Adventures. Read about their Hawaiian Honeymoon here!]

Try starting the conversation by telling the story of your honeymoon. “I imagine we spend our honeymoon… sipping cocktails in lounge chairs on the beach…”

Once you agree on the general big picture, take some time to write down things you love to do together to give the trip a focus on who you are as a couple. Then write out your non-negotiables. Do you want to leave right after the wedding? Does the accommodation need to have a pool? Do you want to have an immersive local experience? Make sure you’re both clear on what your partner expects from this amazing vacation.



Once you have the big picture, you can get into the details and the budget. First, consider how much time you have for the honeymoon. Most people have a certain amount of PTO and you will probably take some of that for the wedding. So, consider how many days you can realistically be away. 

If your dates are flexible and the destination is more important than the timing, you can skip the following step. 

honeymoon couple in the Dolomites Italy

Now, it’s time to consider the all-important seasonality. Many couples still travel right after the wedding, meaning a fixed time frame for their honeymoon. Consider which destinations are best at different times of the year, and look at whether your specific travel dates exclude any destinations because of poor weather conditions or too-high prices.

[Photo Credit: Shannon & Lou via Shared Adventures. Read about their winter honeymoon to Northern Italy here!]


If you have a specific destination in mind then you can skip this step. However, if you’re still not sure exactly where you want to go, the next step is to figure out a general region. Ask yourself the following:

Do you want to stay close to home or travel farther abroad?
Are you looking for warm or cool weather?
Do you want somewhere on the coast with a beach? Or a big city?

Take a look at a map and talk about the different areas these questions bring to mind in connection with your dates. For example: if you’re looking to stay close to home, with warm weather, on a beach in early June, then you’ll stay in the northern hemisphere and might head to places like Mexico, the Caribbean, or the Bahamas. 



Airfare costs are generally fixed with very little wiggle room and can take up a good chunk of your budget. This makes them the best starting place. Even if you’re not set on a particular destination yet, look back at your time frame, and potential regions. Then start looking at average flight prices for those options. Finding the average flight cost will give you a good starting point for your budget. 

Remember to be realistic when you’re looking at flights. You’ll only want one connection and not the super-restrictive basic economy fares that involve all sorts of added fees for seats and bags. Looking at the average economy class fare will give you a better idea of what to build into your budget. And if you’re thinking about splurging on Business or First class for this trip of a lifetime, take a look at those prices too.

The Rest 

Once the estimated airfare is taken into account, it’s time to work out the details. The rest of your budget can fall into roughly three categories: Activities, Accommodations, and Meals. Put these in order of priority (for you) to figure out where you want to splurge and where you can save a little. Are you set on being awe-struck during a hot-air balloon ride? Does your mouth water at the thought of eating at a Michelin star restaurant? Do you want only the finest luxury resort? Whatever is most important, allocate more of your budget towards that key thing. You can make compromises on the pieces that aren’t as important to you. 

Sunset beach Costa Rica Honeymoons

Pro Tip: If accommodations are important but the full trip in a high-end hotel is stretching your budget, try splitting the accommodations. Stay in a slightly cheaper hotel first and end the last few days on a high note at the luxury property!

[Photo Credit: Katey & Oliver via Shared Adventures. Read about their split-accommodation Costa Rican honeymoon here!]

After deciding which is most important, you can do a little research as to average costs. It doesn’t have to be exact, just a quick search to get a general idea. 

Honeymoon budget worksheet filled out with examples


The final step, once you have a ballpark cost is to add 20%. This is your honeymoon and there are going to be many “treat-yourself-moments”! It’s best to build those into the budget early on. 

Finally, decide how you want to start saving! Consider a honeymoon registry to help fund all the extras. After establishing the basic framework for the trip, you can set up a wish list for guests to contribute to tours, activities, spa treatments, dinner on the beach, etc. Set aside a certain amount each month and start saving! 

Remember, this method only gives you an estimate, not a hard and fast exact cost. There is always some wiggle room.


If you’re finding it hard to get everything on your wish list AND stay within your ideal budget there are a few things you can do to save money:

  1. Consider cutting a night (or two) to make it work. No one ever remembers how many nights they spent at a destination. It’s better to have exactly the experience you’re dreaming about, but for one less night. If you cut back on the overall experience just to stay longer, you’ll regret it.
  2. Keeping your dates flexible lets you take advantage of low-season travel and lower prices. Or head to a less-expensive and popular but no-less-amazing destination. 
  3. Talk with a travel agent! Travel agents have years of experience and know-how. If your final budget is just a little more than you want to spend, a travel agent can help. We might know a unique destination that has everything you’re looking for with a slightly lower price tag. We might be able to get you special rates and perks on accommodations. We have connections with tour guides, private drivers, and hoteliers all over the world, giving us the inside scoop on the best destinations for every size budget.

Even in money matters, travel planning should be fun and inspiring. After you fill out the worksheet, let us know what you discover about your dream honeymoon and we can get started!

Romantic Travel is better than chocolate

4 surprising romantic destinations pin
[Pin it for later!]

It’s Valentine’s Day, romance is in the air and the pressure is on to spoil your loved ones! While chocolates, flowers, candy, and cards are all very nice, the most romantic choice is something you can cherish forever: an experience. Romantic travel isn’t just sunsets and champagne. It’s not only for anniversaries and honeymoons. You can infuse romance into all of your travels. Sharing breath-taking landscapes, unique cultures, quiet strolls, or wild adventures will bring you closer than ever to the one you love!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve put together four surprisingly romantic places to take your lover’s breath away.


a seaside city in Croatia set into the mountains
[Photo Credit: Conor Rees via Unsplash]
a winding street in Croatia
Get lost with your love in the romantic winding streets of Croatia [Photo Credit: Dario Veronesi via Unsplash]

From beautiful Venice-like winding stone streets to wide tree-lined “lover’s lane” promenades, Croatia is the perfect place for a romantic stroll. You can enjoy the lush citrus gardens and turquoise sea or sip wine while exploring the ancient vineyards, orchards, and olive groves of Hvar Island.

To really amp up the romance, consider taking a private boat trip to a secluded island for a special dinner or going on a fairy-tale day trip to Montenegro.


infinity pool Bali

Bali is the perfect place to restore your mind, body, and soul. With a wide choice of beautiful private villas, Bali is a romantic, intimate setting to rejuvenate and refresh.

Stroll along stunning beaches, swim under waterfalls, relax by your private plunge pool or trek to the top of Mt. Bator to watch the sunrise together. In the afternoon, you can experience the meditative nature of the many temples that adorn these islands. You can even take part in a Balinese commitment ceremony to celebrate the love you share.

couple at a temple in Bali
Honeymooners Alicia & Jay visit Bali read about their honeymoon here! [Photo Credit: Alicia via Shared Adventures]

New Zealand

New Zealand mountains shrouded in clouds
New Zealand landscapes will take your breath away [Photo Credit: Peter Hammer via Unsplash]
the night sky with purple nebula in New Zealand
The wonders of the night sky in New Zealand [Photo Credit: Hamish Dowson via Unsplash]

New Zealand is a trip full of adventure, adrenaline, and bucket list experiences. The sheer natural beauty of the country makes it the perfect destination for a heart-pounding, breath-taking romantic “escape”.

From Zip-lining above the canopy to Heli-hiking along the Franz Josef Glacier, your options are boundless. You can spend your days cave-rafting under glow-worms, hot-air ballooning over the stunning countryside or wandering through the gentle hiking trails with a private picnic. End your evenings snuggled up with your loved one and wonder at the universe in one of New Zealand’s dark sky sanctuaries.


Argentina is so in love with romance they take an entire week to celebrate Valentine’s Day! “Sweetness” week started out as a gimmick from the candy companies, but it’s a tradition this romantic country has really embraced. For a way to extend the romance of Valentine’s Day, consider traveling during sweetness week from July 13th-20th.

Teatro Colon in Argentina
Teatro Colón [Photo Credit: Annie via Shared Adventures]
wine tasting in Mendoza
Wine tasting in Mendoza [Photo Credit: Annie via Shared Adventures]

The core of Argentinean romance is in its culture. See an opera in the stunning architecture of the Teatro Colón, sip wines in Mendoza, or dance the sensual tango till you drop.

Iguassu falls with a rainbown

With an extra touch of unexpected, you can go on a ‘Glaciers Gourmet’ cruise, where you can enjoy a view of the huge glaciers of the southern hemisphere and a gourmet luxury lunch. Or visit Iguazu Falls and pause for a smooch under a rainbow

You don’t even need to be a romance expert to come up with the perfect getaway — you have us! The possibilities are boundless and with some careful planning, we can make infusing romance into your travels a breeze. So this Valentine’s Day, over dinner, start chatting with your love about where you want to go next!

Bali Bliss

Alicia and Jay have worked with me on several trips now, and they are always so much fun to collaborate with. They are adventurous and enthusiastic travelers who dive into a new destination with complete joy. But, I’ll admit, I was feeling a little bit of pressure with this most recent “escape”. A honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get everything right, and I didn’t want to disappoint them! As you can see from Alicia’s feedback below, we hit this one out of the park 🙂

I will start off by saying that Bali is MAGICAL! I keep feeling like the adjectives I use can’t possibly do it justice, and also that the photos I took don’t do it justice. Balinese culture, art, people, scenery, landscape, food and general vibe are all just simply BEAUTIFUL. In Ubud, we saw some of the most impressive, beautiful, incredible art that I have EVER seen in my life (and I’ve been to the Uffizi and Louvre!) I was truly fascinated by everything we saw. In Seminyak, the beach and the sunsets were the most beautiful I have ever seen, and the shopping was also fabulous! The food in Bali was absolutely to die for – we didn’t have a bad meal, and we almost always ordered from their authentic/eastern offerings! Even their versions of some western dishes were better than what we have here haha! The people are the most kind we have ever encountered, and the level of service everywhere we went is unparalleled! Everyone we encountered was so pleasant and so happy to have us, and often so congratulatory and excited when we told them it was our honeymoon. They made us feel like there was never enough they could do for us! We left knowing that we will 100% return to both places some day, which isn’t something we often say because we tend to like to try new places. But Ubud and Seminyak are places we know we could go back to hundreds of times (I believe this is also what I said about Lake Como lol!)

couple in the nature of a temple in Ubud bali

Flights: So worth the long journey! Emirates is a great airline! The movies, TV shows and games they offered provided endless hours of entertainment. They had lots of new movies, which was perfect because there were many Oscar nominees I wanted to see! Our outbound flights truly did not feel as long as they were. We slept for a few hours on both, and spent our 6 hour layover in Dubai walking around Concourse A, then settled in at a bar where we had a few drinks, some food, and made some layover friends. On our way home, our first leg from Bali to Dubai wasn’t bad. During our layover in Dubai, we rented a room at the Dubai International Hotel, which is inside the secure area of Concourse B. This was the best thing we could have done, because based on the time at home and our attempt to readjust, we needed to sleep during the layover. The room was spacious and comfortable. We slept for a few hours and then showered, grabbed Starbucks (classic LOL) and hopped on our next flight. Because we slept and showered, it really broke up our flights nicely. Our 13 1/2 hour journey from Dubai to Boston was a long one, but of course totally worth it! We now know that having survived these very long flights we really won’t have a problem going anywhere in the world! We did say we would love some day to save up and get Business Class seats! When we landed at the airport in Denpasar, we got through customs and found our tour guide easily thanks to that great map you provided! It took us a while to get from the airport to the hotel because of traffic, but the ride was nice and there was a lot to look at long the way. We were also mesmerized by all of the scooters on the road throughout Bali. This is the most popular way the locals get around, and they weave in and out of traffic like maniacs lol!

Alila Ubud: Oh how we LOVED this hotel! It is the most peaceful and serene place, secluded, calm, private, and everyone speaks in low voices. It was full of relaxing honeymooners like us (most from the UK). We loved how small it was and loved seeing the familiar faces of the staff each day, who always remembered my drink order at dinner! (Jepun – a rose sparking wine made locally from Australian grapes!) As soon as we arrived, we were sat down in reception and given cool towels and a beverage. During check-in, we were offered a complimentary 3-course meal in the restaurant and 60 minute couple’s massage, which we promptly scheduled for the next day. It was like they read my mind – we planned to schedule massages because we felt like we needed them after the long journey! And free ones – even better! We stayed in room #201, which was the very first room right next to the restaurant. We loved that we didn’t have to walk far (after all the wedding excitement, this was our lazy time!), and we had the most beautiful view of the infinity pool and jungle from our balcony! The room itself was amazing! It had one of those canopy nets on the bed which the staff set up for us every night during turn down service. We didn’t however take the chance and sleep with the sliders open – between the bugs and the monkeys, we decided to play it safe! On our first night, we showered and had dinner at the hotel restaurant early (where we almost fell asleep at the table LOL) and then promptly went to bed. We got an amazing first night’s sleep and truly felt adjusted to the time change after that. I actually woke up our first morning and cried (which is rare for me!) because of how beautiful this place is. All of the wedding stress had finally melted away and all I could hear were birds chirping – just magical! We took leisure very seriously on this trip! With the exception of our excursion, we pretty much walked from our room to breakfast to the pool to our room to dinner at the hotel restaurant every day. We spent most of our days lounging by the incredible infinity pool overlooking the jungle, where afternoon tea at 3 was renamed “monkey happy hour” because the monkeys would come out and try to take any unattended food, and generally entertain us! Breakfast here was by far our favorite of the trip – it always started with a basket of fresh breads and pastries with 3 jams, and then we could order off the menu which changed each day (think amazing fruit, cereals, yogurts, juices, eggs, rice, noodles). And of course the coffee – AMAZING! By the pool we were served cocktails, buckets of Bintang (delicious local beer!) and amazing food! We ate dinner at Plantation, the hotel restaurant each night. We ordered from the a-la-carte menu, had our complimentary 3-course meal one night (and honeymoon sparking wine), then one night was a glorious buffet-style meal with Indonesian favorites and a dance performance, and our final night was sushi night! We both felt like this relaxation and lack of need to do anything but lounge around was exactly what we needed for our first 5 days! And by the way, our massages were phenomenal and the spa was beautiful! We love this hotel so much that it’s totally possible we will want stay here again when we return to Ubud some day!

infinity pool overlooking nature in Ubud Bali

Ubud Village Tour: We loved this tour! Our tour guide picked us up at the hotel, and it was just the two of us (for all of our tours) which was a nice surprise! We went to a Barong performance, the Goa Gahaj (Elephant Cave), an incredible Bedulu Temple in the middle of the jungle, toured museums, art galleries, saw beautiful wood carvings and a silver factory. We picked up some souvenirs and had lunch overlooking a rice field. I went on this trip assuming we wouldn’t be able to get that many great photos of the two of us because there wouldn’t be anyone to take them, but boy was I wrong! Our tour guide took so many amazing photos of us during our tours – this made us so happy!

We were sad to leave the Alila Ubud, but excited to see the beach! Once we checked out, our tour guide took us to the King’s Palace and then an incredible spot for lunch where we had our own private hut overlooking the rice fields. That killed enough time to check in to our hotel in Seminyak – the drive here was long because of traffic, but again lots to see along the way!

couple sitting under a hut in an Ubud temple

Alila Seminyak: A totally different (more modern and crowded) vibe than the Alila Ubud, but we loved it just as much! The beach was absolutely beautiful, and we spent most of our days lounging at the incredible adults-only infinity pool that overlooks the ocean. I would describe the color of the ocean in Bali as a cerulean – so beautiful and different than anything we’ve seen! Once again, upon arrival, we were sat down in reception and given cool towels and a beverage. Our room was booked in the Alila Seminyak Studios – a portion of the hotel that is separate from the main hotel area (where the restaurant, reception and pools are), and they golf cart you between reception and the studios. They offered us a honeymoon discount on a nightly rate to upgrade to an Ocean View Suite, which was located in the main hotel. Initially, we declined (the rate was reasonable, but why spend the extra money?) Then, we were whisked away on a golf cart to our room. Our room in the studios was nice, modern, and spacious, but it didn’t have any balcony, and the view from our room was the street and telephone wires. This simply didn’t sit right with me that this is what we would be looking at on our honeymoon for 6 nights (especially since this was our beach time!) Before Jay could finish protesting, we promptly hopped back on the golf cart, back to reception, and took them up on the honeymoon upgrade offer. (To which I said, happy birthday, Jay! Then we realized he had given his credit card at check-in LOL.) Before they confirmed the new room, they actually took us to show it to us which I thought was nice. It wasn’t ready just yet, so they quickly shuffled us outside so we wouldn’t miss the sunset, and said “have a drink, we will find you when the room is ready and your bags are in it!” They weren’t kidding about the sunset. Each night’s sunset was more beautiful than the previous, and we made it a point to watch it each night with a bottle of wine or champagne from our OCEAN VIEW BALCONY (thank you, Alicia). Jay now agrees that this was a great decision! The room was truly spectacular – huge, amazing balcony with a daybed, huge bathtub and shower room, (the size of our entire half bath at home), vanity, double sinks and big closet! We loved being right on the beach and waking up each morning and seeing the ocean. The breakfast here was also good – buffet style with endless options, and we could also order from the menu.

woman looking at sunset over a resort

In Seminyak, we ate at the hotel restaurant, Seasalt, the first night. It was good (not our favorite), and they gave us a “happy honeymoon” dessert! We ate all of our other dinners around the town of Seminyak. Generally, we would hop on Google Maps during the day and find someplace within walking distance, read the reviews, then make a reservation. Taxis were plentiful, but we preferred to walk so we could see more! We went to La Lucciola (fabulous Italian cuisine with Asian influence right on the beach), Motel Mexicola (cool Mexican place that was loud, busy, and had amazing margaritas and food!), Mano Beach House, and Breeze at Samaya Seminyak. But our favorite by far was Batik. Located near Seminyak Square, Batik is Southeast Asian cuisine. We had an amazing meal here, and were enjoying the remainder of the bottle of champagne we ordered when all of a sudden “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran started playing really loudly and the staff were all running around. We had no idea what was going on, until they came to our table with a “happy honeymoon” dessert, dancing and clapping. Then, when we tried to blow out the candles, they turned out to be trick candles. So funny – they have such a great sense of humor! Then the owner came to our table and offered to take us on a tour of the restaurant, which was completely decorated with the Indonesian Batik pattern. He gave us a history of the Batik pattern and the process, and the different types seen in different parts of Indonesia. I loved every second of this, and the patterns are so beautiful! We of course came home with a Batik pillow for our bed!

coule in front of a Balinese Temple

The Wonderland of Bali Tour: We loved this tour as well! We saw the Tanah Lot Temple on the water, where there were many surfers! The monkey forest was so much fun – Jay made a new friend lol! We also saw Lake Bratan which was so beautiful. We traveled through the mountains and had lunch overlooking rice fields. After our tour guide dropped us back off at the hotel, we went out and did some shopping in Seminyak. We loved all of the small boutiques and as well as the open tents with beautiful handmade goods. We also stopped for gelato – there were so many gelato stands in Seminyak! We came back to a “Happy Birthday Jason” chocolate cake surrounded by rose petals set up in our room – so cute! I’ll bet you tipped them off about that – thank you! 🙂

Our only trip hiccup was that we thought our tour guide had said he would pick us up at 12:00 for our return flight on Sunday. (Our flight wasn’t until 7:50, so I did think this was a little early and kept trying to clarify with him, but in the end Jay and I both thought he said 12:00). We checked out, and when he didn’t arrive by 12:30, we had the front desk call the tour company at the local number you gave us. They were easy to reach, and it turns out our pickup was at 4:00. I think we just misunderstood due to the language barrier! The hotel let us access our luggage and we were directed to a changing area where we put our bathing suits on and laid by the pool for a few more hours – no complaints there!

romantic walk on the beach

Ann, you’ve done it again! This was a FABULOUS escape! It was the perfect honeymoon, and you chose the perfect tours and hotels for us! We love Bali so much. It is unlike any place we’ve ever been, and it will always hold a special place in our hearts as the beginning of our journey as Mr. and Mrs. Brodeur! We honestly cannot wait to return someday. We can’t thank you enough for putting this all together for us, and preparing us so well for the trip as always! You are the best! I love sharing these trip reports with you, and I hope this encourages more people to travel to Bali because it is truly a wonder that must be experienced in person!

Thank you again for everything! Until our next escape…


You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)