Your honeymoon should be an opportunity to decompress after months of wedding planning — but, in reality, doling out a small fortune for your first vacation as a married couple after spending a pretty penny on the wedding itself can be just as stressful.
Industry data collected from couples who honeymooned in 2021 showed that newlyweds dropped an average of $4,800 on the trip. (That’s after spending tens of thousands on the wedding, in most cases.) So, it would be understandable for couples to feel hesitant about booking the dreamy multi-country European tour or the lavish overwater villa they’ve always dreamed of. But fret not, frugal lovebirds — there are plenty of luxurious honeymoon destinations, even for couples on a budget.
Booking a honeymoon on Oahu rather than Maui or Kauai, for example, can deliver a classic Hawaiian honeymoon experience for less. If you love Spain but don’t want to pay Spain prices, the neighboring country of Portugal is a little less discovered and a little more affordable, as another example. Plus, traveling during a destination’s off-season means cheaper lodging (and fewer people), while tracking flights on Hopper will ensure you buy tickets when prices are at their lowest.
Now, ready to celebrate a lifetime together somewhere spectacular? Here are 12 cheap honeymoon destinations on our radar.
Honeymooners love Belize, a gorgeous slice of Central America that serves up an idyllic beach with a side of tropical forest. Belize City, the nation’s largest urban area, is perfect for active couples. You can go kayaking or snorkeling and visit the nearby Mayan sites Xunantunich and Cahal Pech or the jaguar preserve at Cockscomb Basin.
Belize is also home to many resorts that offer all-inclusive packages — such as Chaa Creek and Belizean Dreams — which help couples save money on food and drinks. Though not all-inclusive, Xanadu Island Resort on Ambergris Caye, overlooking the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea, offers an array of complimentary activities, such as kayaking, bird watching, paddleboarding, and bicycle rentals.
Key Largo, Florida
If you’re looking for somewhere warm to spend your honeymoon that doesn’t require an international flight (or any flight at all; you can reach this Florida destination by road), head to Key Largo. This long, skinny piece of land in the upper Florida Keys has plenty of beaches and water sports — from snorkeling to paddleboarding — but you’ll also want to make the short 45-minute drive to Everglades National Park, where you can try your hand at spotting the park’s resident manatees and crocodiles.
Book your honeymoon adventure at the Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, Curio Collection by Hilton, which stretches along the scenic Florida Bay, or check out the highly rated Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, which has a spa, outdoor pool, and a private beach area.
If you want to get out of the US, but don’t want to travel far, Bermuda is the perfect destination. Flights from NYC are just over two hours long, and upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the island’s famous pink-sand beaches and endless turquoise waters.
Stay at The Reefs Resort and Club, which has three restaurants and bars, two tennis courts, and complimentary kayaks and snorkel gear. Up the ante with the resort’s romance package, which includes an ocean view room for four nights, a welcome rum swizzle, four gourmet dinners (one on the beach), a 60-minute couple’s massage, and champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries upon arrival .
On the other side of the island, you’ll find Rosewood Bermuda, a property with multiple restaurants and lounges and an unbeatable location on the coastline of Castle Harbour. With plenty of free or affordable activities to do in Bermuda, like walking the Royal Naval Dockyard or visiting the Unfinished Church, couples don’t have to feel guilty about splurging a little bit on their accommodations.
Jamaica is the land of good vibes, mountains, rainforest, and beautiful beaches — but budget-conscious honeymooners will also appreciate the typically flights to the island and the low cost of living. Save money by exploring the island on your own and hanging on the beach (which, let’s be honest, never gets old), so you can splurge on a property like the GoldenEye resort, where author Ian Fleming wrote all 14 James Bond novels. Today, the property is a honeymooning couple’s dream, with a lagoon, secluded beaches, and stand-alone villas, cottages, and beach huts.
The island is also home to plenty of all-inclusive resorts, where you can pay upfront, then enjoy your honeymoon without stressing about that second round of drinks or late-night room service orders. For the ultimate all-inclusive experience, check out the Azul Beach Resort Negril or one of the island’s seven adults-only Sandals.
Napa and Sonoma, California
There is no lack of luxury in California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys, but you can keep the costs down by experiencing it on your own terms. Kick the celebration off with a flight of sparkling wine at Domaine Carneros winery, a French chateau-inspired spot with beautiful formal gardens perfect for photo opportunities.
Stay at the Carneros Resort and Spa, where you can book a luxury suite or hide from the world in a spacious cottage. With delicious food options onsite and an extensive spa, you will never have to leave the compound. Another attraction not to miss? The Napa Valley Wine Train, where you can take in all the sights with lunch and wine included. Compare different tour options before you go for the best price.
Head to the Sonoma Plaza for a quaint shopping experience at local boutiques, and check out a Spanish-style mission. Save a few bucks by bringing your own wine, cheese, and blanket for a romantic moment in the park on the square, or have a fresh French meal on the rustic outdoor patio at The Girl And The Fig.
Flights from the US to Mexico are generally short and inexpensive even though the sunny destination feels worlds away. The country continues to lure American honeymooners with its endless beaches, Mayan ruins, high quality of life and low prices.
Head to Tulum, on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, for a honeymoon that offers both relaxation (hello, Caribbean waters!) and adventure. Make sure you spend at least a couple days exploring the area’s Mayan ruins: the Playa Ruinas in Tulum and Chichén Itzá two hours northwest. Stay at the boutique Jashita Hotel, a white-sand oasis that begs you to relax on the beachfront lounge chairs with a cocktail in hand. You can book one of its oceanfront honeymoon suites and pass the time at the rooftop bar and adults-only infinity pool.
A generally cheaper alternative to Thailand’s famous tourist destinations, Vietnam has a little something for every kind of honeymooner. Like to hike? Visit the Valley of Love in Dalat or enjoy the scenic views of the Muong Hoa Valley or Fansipan mountain in Sapa. Looking for a honeymoon filled with food and culture? Book a stay at the luxurious Sofitel Legend Metropole in Hanoi, an oasis in the center of a buzzing city.
Honeymooners interested in beaches, spa treatments, and relaxation will want to head to Côn Đảo, an archipelago off the coast that makes an affordable honeymoon filled with white-sand beaches and possible scenic trails. Check out Côn Đảo’s Six Senses resort, which is also a protected national and marine park with plenty of beachfront.
If Hawaii tops your honeymoon list but doesn’t seem feasible when it comes to cost, consider bustling Honolulu on the island of Oahu. It’s a city that sits practically on the sand, providing access to the stunning (and wonderfully surfable) coast of Waikiki Beach. You can pick up a board from Moku, just a block off the beach, for as little as $10 or hop on one of the city’s easy-to-use Biki bicycles to cruise the canals and coastline.
As you’d imagine, the city has hotels that fit various budgets. Honeymooners looking for direct beach access will love the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort, while those looking for a refined, modern hotel (that’s barely off the beach) should check out the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach. An upscale stay can be found at the five-star Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach. You might be able to justify the cost of accommodation by cooking in the in-room kitchenettes instead of dining out.
Costa Rica is known for its wildlife and rugged, rainforested terrain, but the country also offers a true honeymoon-perfect beach vacation. Book your own house, condo, or studio in the coastal towns of Playa Pelada or Playa Guiones (near Nosara) through Rent Nosara. Or check out the adults-only Hotel Makanda by The Sea, which has suites and villas with ocean views and an on-site restaurant.
When you’re ready to explore beyond the beach, take a yoga class in Nosara, book a zip-lining adventure, or visit Manuel Antonio National Park near Hotel Makanda.
Portugal is often overshadowed by the popular honeymoon destination on its border (Spain, of course), but it has the warm weather, beaches, and culture that many couples are looking for at a fraction of the price.
For an easy, accessible trip, head to Lisbon, where you can spend your days exploring the city on foot (or by tram) in search of the city’s best pastel de nata, a Portuguese egg custard tart. Stay at The One Palácio da Anunciada and book a romantic dinner at Belcanto, the first restaurant in Lisbon to earn two Michelin stars.
If you’ve got it in your budget for a second flight, head to the Azores islands off the coast to try your luck at spotting whales and dolphins.
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Just across the US-Canada border and a mere 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle of the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is a small, quaint town called Niagara-on-the-Lake. Nicknamed “The Loveliest Town in Canada,” it truly lives up to the hype.
With a plethora of outdoor cafes and local, independent shops situated in colonial-style buildings, it is the perfect venue for a romantic stroll or a delicious cocktail. The town is also nestled in the heart of Canadian wine country, where you can sip on iced wine and wines made from local produce, like peaches.
Stay at the city’s landmark hotel, Prince of Wales, a Victorian-style hotel that boasts an award-winning restaurant, a world-class spa, and a tea room, where you can (and should) take your tea daily. When you’re ready to leave the historic property, spend the afternoon tasting at Peller Estates and have a romantic dinner for two among the grapes.
Flights to Guatemala tend to be affordable, and once you’re there, the cost of living will ensure your wallet remains happily padded. You can eat, enjoy activities, and stay in luxe hotels for a fraction of what you’d pay in the US All that aside, the country of Guatemala is home to volcanoes, ancient Mayan sites, and lush rainforests, which offer plenty to see and do.
For a remote and romantic trip, book a stay at La Casa del Mundo on Lake Atitlan, a hotel built into the cliffs that is only accessible by foot or boat and has stunning volcano views — all for an affordable price. From La Casa del Mundo, you can hike around the lake to neighboring villages, book a boat tour, or take a day trip to the bustling Chichicastenango Market to pick up a couple of treasures to bring home.