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Planning your dream honeymoon.

Today’s newlyweds spend an average of $4,466 on their honeymoons. That's three times as much as U.S. adults spend on a typical vacation. The good news is, planning a dream honeymoon doesn’t have to end up breaking the bank. Here are some money-saving tips to make this special trip everything you’ve dreamed of and more.

  • Choose an off-season time to travel. To control honeymoon travel costs, timing is everything. By traveling off-season, you’ll not only save money on flights and hotels, locals may also be more receptive to your unique requests when crowds are thinner.

    While the weather in Hawaii and the Caribbean remains fairly consistent year-round, their high seasons span from January into April when people from colder climates flock to the sun. Visitor volumes soar in the summer months at Florida theme parks because children are off from school. September and October are considered off season at most vacation spots, ideal for avoiding large crowds and high room rates. A travel agent or travel web site can help you confirm optimal times to visit your preferred destination.

  • Be patient. If you delay your honeymoon for a month, or two or six after your big day, you may not only save money for off-season travel, but you will also have more time to save for your dream trip. This is one reason why “mini-moons” have become popular. A long weekend after your wedding allows you to decompress and gives you time to plan a longer trip as a newlywed couple.

  • Watch for last-minute deals. If you’re adventurous – and willing to be flexible – you may be able to snag a trip to a global destination you might not otherwise be able to afford. Websites like Airfare Watchdog, TravelZoo and Secret Flying are designed for last-minute travelers who have some flexibility in where and when they go. These sites identify last-minute flight deals nearly every day. But you have to be ready. You could wake up to find a round-trip flight to Ireland the next week for less than $400, or an African safari for $2,000. The catch? These deals usually last only a few days, and you usually need to travel within a few days or weeks of booking. But imagine the stories you’ll have to tell about your adventure!

  • Create a honeymoon registry. If you have a small window of travel time, you might prefer more certainty about your plans. If so, you might try bridal registry sites like Honeyfund, Zola and Traveler’s Joy, which offer a tasteful way to ask wedding guests to help fund your honeymoon. The process is simple: create a registry of your honeymoon itinerary and the associated costs. Most honeymoon registry sites allow multiple guests to donate to the same gift for larger purchases like hotel stays and airfare. Just be sure to check for any fees such sites might charge for transferring gifts from the site to your bank account.

  • Cash in on credit card rewards. If you’ll be paying for your nuptials yourselves, now might be a good time to sign up for and use a credit card that offers travel-related rewards. You can even consider reserving the card for wedding expenses and using points you earn for free or discounted flights, hotel nights, meals and more.

  • Use a prepaid card to avoid overspending. Some banks now offer reloadable, prepaid cards that can be loaded with funds and used at any establishment that accepts credit or debit cards. Some engaged couples choose to transfer a set amount from each paycheck to a card like this every month of their engagement, making it a great way to budget for a honeymoon and manage spending while you’re away.

The Bottom Line: There are many ways to cut honeymoon costs and scope out the best deals. Careful planning and saving can help you score the trip of a lifetime and get your marriage off on a financially sound start!

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