When I got married we had no wedding for multiple reasons (green card issues to start with) so we were able to splurge on a honeymoon in Kenya and Tanzania. I’m not going to lie – it wasn’t a cheap trip.
But, if you’ve forked out a whole stack of savings on the wedding, you’re probably on the hunt for cheap honeymoon destinations. I can hardly blame you. No one wants to start married life by dipping into the red but everyone wants to go somewhere romantic and beautiful.
Thankfully, there are all sorts of top-notch honeymoons on a budget out there. From island honeymoon destinations washed by the glistening seas of Southeast Asia to tropical honeymoon destinations that offer palm-fringed beaches to domestic US honeymoons that you don’t even need an airport to enjoy – the list is endless!
Check out just a few of our favorite suggestions for budget honeymoon destinations below…
The so-called Isle of the Gods is the jewel in the crown of Indonesia. Of all the country’s 17,500 specks, it’s surely this diamond-shaped speck in the archipelago of the Nusa Tenggara that tops the charts when it comes to island honeymoon destinations.
The south coast is a heaven for surfers. Sadly, that cranks up prices a little, so I’d say dodge Bukit, Kuta and Legian. Better options are up in the mountains inland.
There, verdant pockets of coconut palms give way to misty rice paddies and enthralling art towns. Ubud is the standout. It’s also surrounded by gorgeous eco-hotels that have pools with rainforest views.
The far northern coast of Bali also fits the bill for cheap honeymoon destinations. Make for Lovina Beach and you could spend that special trip gazing at dolphin pods splashing through the Indian Ocean. It’s also great for channelling a little of the island’s famed spiritualism.
Just head down to the vast complex of pagodas and golden Buddha statues that is the Brahma Vihara Arama to mediate and contemplate together.
Thanks to an abundance of low-cost airlines linking oodles of American cities to resorts down in the land of agave and tequila, you’re looking at just a couple of hundred dollars to kick-start your post-wedding jaunt.
But, that’s not the only reason Mexico makes it onto this list of cheap honeymoon destinations. Food is always a bargain in these parts. A whole salsa-topped taco is typically eight to 15 pesos – around $0.60!
What’s more, there are so many five-star hotels on the menu in the most famous honeymooner parts of Mexico that haggling for a great all-inclusive deal is usually a possibility
But where are those honeymoon parts? Let’s start on the coast. Cancun and Cozumel and the stunning temple-topped cliffs of Tulum come up trumps on that count. They’ll let you fuse seriously high-class accommodations with white-sand beaches, visits to wonders like Chichen Itza or simply very affordable, yet stunning cenotes.
On the other shoreline, you’ll find the cool Pacific resorts of the Bahia de Banderas and Baja. Inland Mexico, meanwhile, is tailor-made for adventurous couples.
Hit the peaks of Oaxaca for earthy meals of homemade cheese and spicy chili. Or, head off-the-beaten-track to the plazas and cafes of Morelia and other colonial-era cities.
US-India flight connections might not be the best bargains going, but then it is one hefty trip of over 7,800 miles from one nation to the other.
That said, there are few South Asian destinations that can match the value for money you’ll get on the ground, not to mention the wonderful spiritual awakening that is unique to this vast subcontinent.
Now, you could take the easy path and book a connection into the beach-fringed state of Goa. It’s a lovely land of golden sand strips and palm-topped promontories, replete with bungalow resorts and sunset bars.
Alternatively, there’s the real India. For that, consider venturing to the trio of Udaipur (arguably one of the most romantic cities in the world with that tiara of lakes), Jodhpur, and the pink bazaars of Jaipur. They have loads to keep more intrepid honeymooners busy and entertained.
Oh, the Land of Smiles – a country with something for everyone. No matter if you’re on the hunt for a rollicking night out or lux tropical honeymoon destinations, Thailand has you covered.
Romantic couples looking to spend some quality time post-wedding have an abundance of gorgeous beach resorts and islands to get stuck into. If you like big hotels with all the mod cons, Phuket and Krabi could be for you.
The beaches of Railay and Kata Noi are particularly good for that, and you can score attractive all-inclusive deals during shoulder-season months like October and November.
Then there’s the remote north coast of Koh Phangan (the south side is reserved for backpackers seeking the Full Moon Party) in the Thai Gulf, or super-chilled Koh Jum (one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets) over in the Andaman.
Don’t go thinking that it’s all about island honeymoon destinations in this corner of Southeast Asia, though. You can also head up north to discover jungle-covered hills and bucket-list national parks that are filled with elephants.
Check out the Golden Triangle region of Chiang Rai for longboat rides on the Mekong and glimpses of gorgeous temples. Or, head to the rustic village of Pai up in the hills, where you and your other half can hike to waterfalls and soak in natural hot springs.
Sri Lanka has oodles of cheap honeymoon ideas up its sleeve. First off, there’s fantastic weather between November and March on the south-west coast.
You can score stays in come-laze-on-me coves like Hiriketiya Beach (a yogi’s and surfer’s favorite) and Mirissa (for whale watching and night-time parties). Those can even give the paradise of the Maldives a run for its money, only with a fraction of the price tag.
* Although the Maldives can also be done on the budget, so you might as well combine both destinations as they’re next to each other.
But the mystical Teardrop of India isn’t your usual pick among tropical honeymoon destinations. It’s not just beaches and palm groves in these parts. The mountain town of Ella beckons couples with sweeping emerald tea fields, and gorgeous villa resorts perched above the clouds.
A sighting of the ancient UNESCO site of the Sigiriya Fortress further north promises to be something you’ll never forget. Oh, and you’ll discover yoga camps and meditation retreats that teach the age-old traditions of Ayurveda in the Central Highlands. You know, just in case you were looking for something a little different to do together.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Lobster shacks, lighthouses, and long sandy beaches all combine along the stunning edges of Cape Cod. Yep, there are loads of reasons why this gorgeous corner of MA is considered a doozy of a honeymoon destination.
However, it’s not often mentioned in the same breath as cheap honeymoon destinations a la Thailand and Mexico. But perhaps it’s time to think again?
Married couples from the US will only need to catch an internal flight at most to whiz over here, while those who live in the Midwest or along the Eastern Seaboard could even go for a romantic road trip. In addition, lazing on the sands, hiking the dunes, and seeing the wonderful lights on the cliffs all come totally free.
The best way to get yourself a bargain is to time your trip for the shoulder seasons of early spring and late fall. Granted, you won’t have the scorching heat then, but the coastal forests look wonderful and there are far smaller crowds on the Massachusetts shores.
You can also throw in a few free things to save even more dollars, like a jaunt down the cycling paths of the bucolic Cape Cod Rail Trail or a visit to the six acres of woodland and wildflowers at Spohr Gardens (perfect in April with the daffs!).
A taste of the fabled Pura Vida of Costa Rica might just be the perfect way to kick-start married life. Thankfully, a trip to this much-loved and – crucially – politically stable part of Central America needn’t break the bank.
There’s a new breed of boutique ecotourist hotel that could come with hefty nightly rates, but you can still enjoy a trip to see the cloud forests of Monteverde, the smoking volcanos of Arenal, or the sloth-filled woods of the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio without spending too much.
However, there’s something else that makes Costa Rica a doozy among tropical honeymoon destinations: Two coastlines. You’ll find gorgeous beaches on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean here.
The first probably hits a zenith with the gorgeous Guanacaste region you can explore on a road trip. Cinnamon-tinged beaches run for miles on end there, and you can score a jungle cabin that lets you wake to the sound of howler monkeys in the morning.
In the east, it’s Puerto Viejo de Talamanca that often tops the bill, with its coral reefs and dashes of wild mangroves.
Forget the spring break crowd and the beach hunters, Aruba is also for loved-up duos on their post-marriage celebrations.
Perhaps the best thing about this island is that it sits nice and far from the Atlantic Hurricane Belt. That means balmy days, clear skies, and hardly a flash of rain, no matter the season.
On top of that, of all the cheap honeymoon destinations in the Caribbean, this one boasts some of the most affordable and regular flight connections from the US. There are direct links from Miami, New York, Atlanta, and a whole bunch of others to boot.
Aruba naturally comes with all the deluxe hotel resorts you’d expect of a stunning tropical island. There are even adults-only hotels with infinity pools by the turquoise Caribbean waters and thatched cabanas where you can laze and soak up the sun together.
The island is big enough for romantic escapes, too. Check out the gnarled divi-divi trees of gorgeous Eagle Beach or the reefs of quiet Arashi Beach for some seclusion.
Azure seas, the most white-sand of all the white-sand beaches in Southeast Asia, hammocks swinging between palm trees – what more could you want from your island honeymoon destinations?
Well…when it comes to islands, the Philippines has more than most. In fact, there are a mind-boggling 7,641 dots of land spread between the Pacific and the Sulu Sea here. There’s bound to be one that tickles your wanderlust…
I’d recommend steering away from the beaten path of Boracay and Bantayan, even if they’re stunners. Better for honeymoons on a budget are the places with something of a rustic edge.
Try Siargao. It’s now an Insta-famous isle that’s home to glimmering coastal lagoons, tidal pools, and some lovely long stretches of palm-filled beaches.
Then there’s Cebu, where you could wake in beachside cabanas and be swimming with sea turtles before breakfast. Finally, Palawan is always worth a nod. Lesser-known beach towns like Port Barton there have gorgeous resorts fronted by cotton-tinged sands and coral reefs.
Unlike the next-door Napa Valley and the prestigious vineyards of the Santa Ynez ranges nearer to LA, the winelands of Sonoma don’t come with such a jaw-dropping price tag.
There are an estimated 350-400 cellar doors and tasting rooms in the area, so there’s hefty competition for that travel dollar. You’ll also catch stacks of uber-charming B&Bs, either hiding between the adobe Mexicana homes of old Sonoma town or dotting the wave-smashed coastline to the west.
Come to think of it, the coastal reaches of the Sonoma region add a whole other dimension to a post-wedding trip here. They let you bring gasp-inducing drives along the Coast Highway (one of America’s most acclaimed road trips) into the mix, along with picnic stops amid the craggy rock stacks of the Sonoma Coast State Park.
Just be sure to keep the eyes peeled for gray whales and harbor seals whenever you hop out of the car there!