Budget Friendly Honeymoon Destinations
Avalon Harris-Trussell, 11.09.19
After the madness of the wedding, the chance to escape to an exotic location to soak up the sun on a romantic break for two would be a dream come true. It’s important to focus on what you want out of your honeymoon. After all, your honeymoon is a chance for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
Weddings can be expensive, but there’s no reason to skimp on your honeymoon. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives to touristy honeymoon destinations around the world, and we’ve curated a list, by continent, of the most budget friendly. These destinations offer affordable accommodation and incredible activities so that you can enjoy the perfect honeymoon, all without breaking the bank!
Top Tip: Consider a Weddingmoon
Why not consider a destination wedding and have your wedding and honeymoon at one tropical resort location? You just need to decide whether you’ll bring the whole gang, just your nearest and dearest, or whether to keep the moment intimate with just the two of you. For more inspiration, check our our blog: Unique Wedding Destinations.
Honeymoons in America
Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado, USA
You might initially picture white sandy beaches when imagining the perfect honeymoon destination. But for those who prefer high adrenaline adventure over sitting and watching gently lapping waves, the United States is home to 58 stunningly beautiful national parks.
If it’s unparalleled adventure and unique experiences that you’re after, head to the Rocky Mountains National Park, in Colorado, which is home to some of the most picturesque and dramatic scenery in the US. There’s no need to spend any cash to fill your days; hike together through the wilderness and picnic in a lush meadows by the side of a tranquil stream, with the dramatic Rocky Mountains as your backdrop. Newlyweds can also enjoy horseback riding and biking, or, for a more relaxed afternoon, head to one of the spas or Snowy Peaks Winery.
Head to Estes Park, near to the park’s eastern border, where you’ll find a wide range of secluded chalets and romantic wood cabins, as well as luxury resorts. Companies within the area offer cabins which tend to feature a fireplace, private Jacuzzi and private deck overlooking the river. If you want to really switch off, for just $20–30 USD you should consider camping for a week. Disconnect from technology and enjoy the natural wonders that the park has to offer.
Top Tip: The Estes Park Memorial Observatory (EPMO) is home to state-of-the-art telescopes and offers viewing evenings which are open to the public. What could be more romantic than an evening spent stargazing? You can discover more of America’s top National Parks for stargazing in our blog: The Best Dark Sky Destinations.
Take me to Rocky Mountains National Park
The closest international airport is Denver International Airport. It’s a two hour drive (shuttle service available) from Denver International Airport (DEN) to reach the national park. Airlines that offer domestic flights to DEN from across America include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Boutique Air, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Spirit, Southwest and United. Airlines flying internationally include Lufthansa, British Airways and Icelandair.
Oahu, Hawaii, USA
With sun-drenched beaches, soft sand and gently swaying palm trees, Hawaii is a honeymoon paradise. Unfortunately, Hawaii also has a reputation for being a pricey U.S destination and couples can easily overspend on their Hawaii honeymoon vacation. But this doesn't mean that there aren’t bargains to be had.
Hawaii is an island state composed of four main islands. Oahu Island is often referred to as the ‘heart of Hawaii’ and is a perfect spot for honeymooners, with calm waters, quiet beaches, warm weather and a vibrant nightlife. The island is home to the state's capital, Honolulu, where visitors can spend the evening listening to live music and tasting the regional cuisine. It’s often cheaper to catch a domestic flight from the mainland to Oahu than a flight to the islands of Maui or Kauai. Oahu is where you'll find the world-famous Waikiki Beach, a surfer's paradise. But the island isn't just the perfect honeymoon destination because it’s beautiful - the island also offers great variety. Go whale watching, head on a volcano adventure, or try snorkeling. Kayak to the nearby Mokulua Islands, or head out on a sunset sail.
Head to the north shore, just an hour from Waikiki, where you can rent a Ke Iki Beach Bungalow, which start from $150 USD per night. An ideal spot for honeymooners, step out of your bungalow onto the white sand beach and relax in your private hammock. Bungalows are complete with kitchens and BBQ grills, so you can also save on dining out!
Top Tip: Check out our guide to the cheapest islands in the world for more island getaway inspiration!
Image Credit: Ke Iki Beach Bungalows
Take me to Oahu
The main airport is Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, also known as Honolulu International Airport (HNL). Airlines that fly domestically to the airport include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Delta Airlines. Or, catch an international flight with Air China, China Eastern Airlines, and Air New Zealand. If you’re flying in from Europe, you’ll probably need to make a flight connection from a larger US hub.
Honeymoons in Europe
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague has a reputation for its cheap flights and cheap booze. But the ‘land of 100 spires’ is also an enchanting and romantic European city and there are many reasons why Prague is the ideal honeymoon destination.
Navigate through the quaint cobbled streets of Mala Strana, to lock in your love forever on the love-lock bridge. Cruise Prague’s canals and sail under Charles Bridge as you discover the hidden secrets of the city. If you’re after classy, head to one of Prague’s three grand opera houses, where world-class operas are performed throughout the year, followed by a romantic dinner for two. The city’s historic castle complex also boasts beautiful gardens, perfect for a summer picnic and romantic stroll.
Best of all, Prague really is affordable. A romantic hotel can be found to fit all price brackets. From $175 USD a night, check-in at the Golden Well Hotel. Set on a hillside, just below the walls of Prague Castle, the luxury five star hotel is housed in a polished building dating back to the 16th century and features a magical tiered garden. Enjoy sunset views over the city from the hotel’s restaurant terrace.
Take me to Prague
Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) is an international airport just a thirty minute drive to Prague’s Old Town. Airlines include Ryanair, easyJet, Vueling, Czech Airlines, Ryanair, Norwegian Air Shuttle, KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways, Austrian Airlines. If you’re heading to Prague from outside Europe, airlines include Smartwings, United Airlines, Korean Air, Air Arabia.
East Coast, Ireland
For those looking to honeymoon in Western Europe, Ireland offers great value for money and there are plenty of ways to cut costs. If you choose to honeymoon in Ireland, don’t miss out on Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. There you’ll find historic buildings, including the imposing St Patrick’s Cathedral, founded in 1191, and a host of Michelin starred restaurants.
Then, take a road trip (or walking/cycling trip) along the Emerald Isle’s spectacular west coast. Discover the Isle’s scenic countryside as you stay in quaint, quiet towns - from the harbour town of Carlingford, to the charming town of Cahersiveen, where you’ll discover lighthouses, stunning gardens and rugged cliffs. Roam hand-in-hand across rolling green hills and along striking coastlines. Be sure to go down the Ring of Kerry, a road that winds past beaches and through Killarney National Park, and take a trip to the Cliffs of Moher.
Affordable accommodation can be found across Ireland and you will have a wide range of choice, no matter your budget. Why not mix up your accommodation and combine camping with cosy Bed and Breakfasts and self-catered thatched-roof cottages. For the ultimate in romance, let your fairy tale dreams come true and stay in a traditional Irish castle!
Top Tip: If you’re travelling from America, it’ is only a five to six-hour flight from the US to Ireland’s East Coast. It’s possible to find a business-class ticket to Ireland for the same price as a budget ticket to a tropical getaway alternative in the South Pacific. Use the Alternative Airlines search bar to find flights to Ireland!
Take me to Ireland’s East Coast
Dublin Airport (DUB) is an international airport, just 7 km (4.3 miles) north of the city. From the airport, you’ll just need to travel east, along the coast, to reach the locations we’ve mentioned. Head to Ireland from across Europe with Aer Lingus, Air France, Flybe, Ryanair, Vueling, Norwegian Air Shuttle, TUI Airways and many other airlines. Airlines offering flights further afield include United Airlines, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Ethiopian Airlines.
When considering honeymoon destinations, it’s easy to write-off Florence for more touristy options. However, European cities do not get more romantic than Italy’s Florence. A small city tucked amongst Tuscan hills, Florence is an art lover’s dream, with grand Renaissance architecture and winding cobbled streets.
One of the most iconic sights in Florence is the Duomo, a cathedral with a large terracotta-tiled dome that was engineered by Brunelleschi and began construction in 1296. Tour the city’s historical and cultural sights, including the Accademia Gallery, where you can marvel at Michelangelo’s David, the Da Vinci Museum, and the Botanical Garden of Florence. For a romantic afternoon, take an Italian cooking class.
To save on costs, book a hotel on the outskirts of the city, still just a short train journey from the city centre, where you can wake up and enjoy the full glory of the green Tuscan hills.
Alternatively, shorten your stay and stay a night or two at a grand or boutique hotel, just metres from the city’s top attractions. This way, you can spend your evenings exploring the city’s Old Town and bath in Florence’s golden hour. St Regis Florence (deluxe suites start from $500 USD per night) is the pinnacle of luxury. Complete with restaurant and spa, the rooms are home to exquisite Florentine furnishings and magical views of the Arno.
Take me to Florence:
Florence has a small airport (FLR), which offers flights to destinations across Europe, on airlines including Air France, Vueling, British Airways, Alitalia, and Swiss International Air Lines. Most low cost airlines fly into nearby Pisa (PSA) and Bologna (BLQ), which are both less than an hour away by train to Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station. Airlines that fly to these airports include Ryanair, easyJet, and Norwegian Air Shuttle. If heading to Florence from outside Europe, you’ll likely connect through a larger European hub, such as London Heathrow.
Honeymoon in Asia
Koh Kong, Cambodia
Cambodia features in our blog, the cheapest countries in South East Asia, as the perfect destination for luxury travel at budget prices. Flights to Cambodia might not be cheap, but once you’re there you’ll find that your dollar goes much much further than most other honeymoon destinations.
Image credit: 4 Rivers Floating Lodge
Koh Kong, a province in southwest Cambodia, hides a secret honeymoon paradise. If you want to get off-the-beaten-track and escape the crowds, the region of Koh Kong is the perfect destination for you. Spend your time in seclusion, surrounded by unspoilt forests and tropical flora and fauna—including rare orchids and fragrant frangipani.
If you’re looking to combine privacy with luxury, then staying at the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is a must. The Lodge can be found along the jungle-fringed Tatai river, near the Thai border and roughly halfway between Bangkok and Phnom Penh. The resort offers a trail of delicately floating tents, which overlook the Cardamom Mountains and are complete with high-end amenities. Each luxury tent can be hired for $220 USD (low season)/ $259 USD (high season) per night. A luscious jungle escape, wake to the call of exotic birds and morning mist before exploring the river by kayak. Enjoy authentic Asian cuisine at the Lodge’s gourmet restaurant and unwind with a massage at the resort’s spa.
Take me to Koh Kong
You can reach Koh Kong easily via public transport from Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH). If you’re flying in from outside Asia, you may need to make a connection, probably at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, also known as Bangkok Airport (BKK), in Thailand. Fly from BKK to PNH with domestic airlines including Cambodia Airways, Bangkok Airways, Emirates, Lanmei Airlines, Thai Airways, Thai Smile, and Thai AirAsia.
Honeymoon in Africa
A honeymoon in Kenya will be a holiday to treasure. The joy of choosing to honeymoon in Kenya is that you can discover extraordinary inland wildlife as well as the country’s beautiful coastline. Enjoy a romantic safari camping in the bush followed by a week reclining on a deserted beach. Because you don’t have to fly out of Kenya to combine your safari with a beach honeymoon, you can keep the costs down.
The north of Kenya has some of the most magnificent and untouched wildlife in Africa, with popular safari destinations including Lake Turkana, the Mathews Range, Laikipia, Lewa and areas of Samburu. During the Great Migration, over 1.5 million wildebeest make their way to Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Visit Kenya during this remarkable natural spectacle, which takes place from July until November. Witnessing one of the most dramatic natural events on Earth together is what will set this honeymoon apart from any other and is the perfect way to make your honeymoon extra special. Luxury lodges and safari packages start from around $400 USD per person per night. After your safari, move to the coast, where you can spend time kite-surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, paddle-boarding, diving and snorkelling on some of the most beautiful beaches you have ever seen.
What’s more, there’s not much time difference between Kenya and the UK, as well as much of Europe, meaning that honeymooners from these locations can fly overnight and be on safari or on the sandy beach by the morning. No time will be wasted being jet lagged! For this reason, many tourists heading to Kenya from the US choose to start their trip in Europe - why not start your honeymoon by spending your first few nights in London, before flying on to Kenya?
Take me to Kenya
Fly to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), an international airport in Nairobi, the capital and largest city in Kenya. Kenya Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Air France fly from a few destinations across Europe - British Airways also offers a popular route to London where connections can be made to destinations around the world.
From Nairobi it’s about a six hour drive to reach popular Safari locations in the Maasai Mara. Alternatively, you can book a flight from Wilson Airport (WIL), 6km (4 miles) south of Nairobi, which offers flights to one of the small airstrips across the Maasai Mara park. Regional airlines that offer scheduled flights from WIL to the park (and are available to book through Alternative Airlines!) include Airkenya Express, Safarilink and Silverstone Air.