- Exciting destinations and comfortable accommodations are possible on a budget, especially if you know where to look for deals.
- Options include tropical destinations, spa resorts, luxury campsites and national parks.
- Booking early and taking advantage of flight and lodging discounts can help save money when planning your honeymoon.
Honeymooning is an age-old tradition for newly married couples dating back hundreds of years when the phrase pertained to the first month following a marriage as a sweet and romantic period. The term ‘honey’ refers to sweetness, while ‘moon’ represents a calendar month. The tradition of honeymoons continues today, with newlyweds heading out on exciting vacations after exchanging nuptials and celebrating their love with friends and family.
Today’s honeymoon destinations range from all-inclusive tropical resorts to quaint, coastline cottages, bed and breakfasts, and even glamourous camping excursions in some of America’s national parks. While a common belief is that lavish honeymoons are only options for couples in higher tax brackets, the good news is that many hotels, resorts and airlines offer special discounted rates and packages; it just takes a little patience and research. If you’re in the planning stages of your honeymoon, here are 12 inexpensive destinations to consider.
1. Cancun, Mexico
Beautiful white sandy beaches with crystal blue water, delicious food, exciting nightlife and overall affordability make Cancun one of Mexico’s top travel destinations. Secrets Playa Mujeres is a popular resort that offers complimentary honeymoon packages to guests who book their stays within the required room categories for a specified number of nights. While specific offers are subject to change, honeymoon packages can include over $1,000 worth of complimentary amenities such as romantic breakfasts in bed, beachfront dinners and spa services.
If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Cancun is also home to a wide range of affordable bed and breakfasts with amenities that include outdoor pools and complimentary breakfasts. Many bed and breakfast inns are located between the beach and downtown Cancun, so you’ll get the best of both worlds.
2. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a charming beach village that sits along the California coast. From romantic beachfront walks and quaint dining experiences to shopping and antiquing along Ocean Avenue, this beautiful beachside town is the perfect backdrop for lovestruck newlyweds. Lobos State Reserve sits just a few miles outside of Carmel and offers hiking trails and miles of scenic beauty. Lodging include beachside hotels and cottage rentals at affordable rates.
Carmel State River Beach offers breathtaking views of Carmel Bay, and it’s situated next to a bird sanctuary if you’re up for a bit of bird watching. The peaceful, tranquil energy of Carmel makes it an ideal spot if you’re looking for some relaxing, quiet time to enjoy each other.
3. Niagara Falls, New York
Honeymooning couples have traveled to Niagara Falls on both the American and Canadian sides since the 1800s to take in the beauty of the flowing waterfalls and venture through Niagara Falls State Park. In addition to the falls themselves, Niagara Falls is home to several popular attractions that are perfect for honeymooners. After getting an up-close and personal look at the falls on the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour, visit Arrowhead Spring Vineyards to sample some delicious regional ice wine made from frozen grapes or enjoy a romantic meal while overlooking the falls at the Top of the Falls restaurant.
Niagara Falls can be very budget-friendly, and many hotels in the area offer honeymoon packages with special amenities such as room upgrades, champagne and strawberries, and souvenir champagne flutes.
4. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park is a beloved honeymoon destination for couples looking to return to nature and enjoy the outdoors and beautiful scenery. The park boasts over 300 miles of hiking trails, and accommodations include affordable yurt glamping sites nestled in the canyons, rustic cabins with mountain views and charming cottages.
Specific amenities can vary depending on your accommodations. Still, most cabins and glamping sites offer everyday comforts such as Wi-Fi, showers, heating and air conditioning. At the same time, larger cabins and cottages may also provide luxurious extras such as hot tubs, Jacuzzis and cozy fireplaces.
5. Solvang, California
Located in beautiful Santa Barbara County, California, Solvang is a charming town with Danish roots. Referred to as ‘The Danish Capital of America,’ Solvang makes you feel like walking straight into a storybook. From lovely flower-lined streets and quaint, Danish-themed shops to windmills at every turn and delicious Danish food, Solvang is a great place for honeymooners to take a trip back into a simpler time and take a break from everyday life.
Solvang’s budget hotels and inns make it easy to find affordable lodging. Many places offer fresh-baked pastries, continental breakfasts, free Wi-Fi and outdoor swimming pools.
6. Primm, Nevada
Primm, Nevada is a fun, budget-friendly honeymoon destination that’s not as wild as the Las Vegas strip but exciting in its own way. Located at the Nevada/California state line, Primm is known for its multiple resorts and casinos, most notably Buffalo Bill’s, a classic hotel and casino with an Old-West theme.
Buffalo Bill’s guarantees the lowest rates for hotel accommodations when you book directly and offers a full-service restaurant, seasonal pool, and an expansive casino on the ground level. Best of all, Buffalo Bill’s offers a fun tram-style ride that takes guests to and from its neighboring casinos – Whiskey Pete’s and Primm Valley Resort.
7. Branson, Missouri
Known for its Ozark hospitality and plethora of entertainment venues and tourist attractions, Branson, Missouri, is an excellent destination for honeymooners who want to see it all. Branson’s accommodations include lakeside cabins in the rolling hills of the Ozarks, hotels and motels for every budget, and bed and breakfasts. Many hotels offer low-cost packages, and discounted rates are often available for rentals during the winter seasons.
If you’re staying in the city, take in one of the many live entertainment shows along the Branson Strip, visit the Titanic Museum, or take a spin on the famous Branson Ferris Wheel. For couples who prefer a little peace and quiet, opt for a rustic cabin or cottage and sit back and enjoy the surrounding beauty of the Ozarks.
8. Palm Springs, California
For some fun in the sun in a desert atmosphere, Palm Springs makes an ideal honeymoon destination. Downtown Palm Springs is filled with shops and restaurants, and accommodations include vacation rentals, budget-friendly motels and spa resorts.
Take in the mountain views on the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway, or enjoy a romantic Sunday brunch at Le Vallauris, referred to as one of Palm Springs’ classiest establishments. Palm Springs boasts warm weather year-round, and many hotels offer specials such as free nights and winter discounts.
9. Taos, New Mexico
Taos, New Mexico, is an artsy town known for its laid-back residents and spiritual energy. Home to five ski resorts, miles of mountains and high desert mesas, Taos is an ideal honeymoon destination for open-minded couples looking to relax and de-stress.
Affordable accommodations range from rustic mountain cottages, motels and inns, and the versatile climate and landscape provide something for everyone. Book in the winter to ski or snowboard at Taos Ski Valley, plan a summer honeymoon to hike the trails of Carson National Forest or enjoy a romantic hot air balloon ride.
10. St. Petersburg, Florida
Balmy weather, miles of sandy beaches, mouth-watering seafood and friendly locals make up St. Petersburg, one of Florida’s most popular travel destinations. Referred to as ‘The Sunshine City,’ St. Pete’s is sunny approximately 361 days of the year. A lively downtown area offers shopping and nightlife, and the beaches are home to some of the best seafood restaurants in the world.
Dine on crab cakes and fried shrimp at Shell’s on St. Pete Beach, then head to Bongo’s Beach Bar and Grille for drinks and live entertainment. Affordable lodging options include hotels, motels and vacation rentals right on the beach. Some hotels offer discounts for booking in advance, while others offer lower rates for bookings on specified dates.
11. Memphis, Tennessee
Home to Elvis Presley and all things music, Memphis, Tennessee, is an ideal honeymoon spot for music-loving couples. Take a tour of Elvis Presley’s Graceland to learn about the King of Rock and Roll, then head over to Sun Studios to stand in the same room where Elvis cut his first record.
There’s a ton of incredible restaurants all across the city to feast at. Affordable motels can be found all along Elvis Presley Boulevard, and The Guest House at Graceland offers a wide range of discounted packages.
12. York Harbor, Maine
York Harbor, Maine, is an East Coast paradise for honeymooners, offering gorgeous oceanside scenery, crisp weather and relaxing outdoor activities that are perfect for couples.
The York Harbor Inn is the area’s most popular lodging option, and it offers romance package upgrades at affordable rates and discounts for booking in the winter. Romance package amenities include goodies such as handmade chocolates, champagne flutes and complimentary champagne, and the inn’s on-site 1637 Restaurant provides an intimate dining experience with ocean views.