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5 ways... to save money on your honeymoon

Is there any newlywed couple that doesn't relish the thought of a luxurious, relaxing, long honeymoon? Of course luxury, relaxation, and time all cost money - and no one wants to choose between the honeymoon of her dreams and a healthy bank account! You really can have both, though. With a little ingenuity and planning, you can save a boatload on the trip of a lifetime.

Start saving now

This might not technically be a way to save money on your honeymoon. But if you begin saving now, you'll avoid a panic as your wedding draws near. Even better, you can typically get a discount if you buy early, and saving up now means you'll have cash on hand if you find a great deal. Spend some time looking online for deals every week and be ready to spring into action when you find one.

Pick an unpopular destination

No one wants to go somewhere that everyone else hates, so don't panic - picking an unpopular destination doesn't mean giving up on a great honeymoon. Instead, the key is to pick destinations that aren't yet discovered by the masses. Love the idea of a Costa Rican honeymoon? Try one in Puerto Rico instead, and be sure to stop in at Vieques Island. Itching to go to Maui? The Florida Keys are just as romantic. Find a good substitute destination for the expensive one you have in mind, and you can have the honeymoon of your dreams on the cheap.

Go during the off season

If you're willing to schedule your wedding around your honeymoon, or even take a honeymoon that's doesn't immediately follow your wedding, you can save tons of dough. Every destination has an off season. At the beach, the dead of winter is fairly unpopular, but usually still plenty warm. Research the off season at your destination of choice and you can score a sweet deal.

Get a package deal

Package deals are surefire bets to save money, particularly if you book through a travel agent who has a relationship with the resort or hotel at which you wish to stay. If you're traveling abroad, try calling several different companies to find the best deal; you may be surprised to see that choosing the right package deal company can save you hundreds or even thousands.

Stay in a house

Resorts are luxurious, to be sure, but they're also expensive. If you want some space to stretch out and plenty of privacy, try staying in a vacation rental home instead. Sites such as Vacation Rentals by Owner offer hundreds of luxurious homes (like this Caribbean villa, above) at a fraction of the price you'd pay for a resort. Expert tip: if you rent a house, you'll have to scrounge up your own food, so throw some snacks into your suitcase for the first few hours you're there.

Most importantly, remember to take some time to plan. Honeymoons that are thrown together on the fly are more expensive, and frequently less romantic. Sit down with your honey and do the work together. Then sit back, relax, and be in love after your wedding.

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