Many couples dream of a fantastic honeymoon to start their lives together, but finding a honeymoon destination and planning a trip that fits your budget can be even more stressful than planning the main event. Don’t start your new life out stressed or in debt. Whether you're looking for economy flights or want to travel cheaply in business class or premium economy, here are six tips for finding cheap honeymoon flights and planning a honeymoon on a budget.
1. Book at least 3-8 months out.
For international flights, we generally see the best deals three to eight months in advance. However, if you have dates that are totally inflexible or you’re traveling during a peak time (like summer of the holidays), it’s wise to plan even farther ahead.
Don’t wait until the last minute. While prices can sometimes drop 1-2 months before a trip, last-minute deals are rare and prices rise significantly in the last few weeks before departure.
>> Read more about when to book a flight.
2. Search flexible dates to find the best date for your trip.
If you have any flexibility, even by a day or two, use the flexible dates search on your preferred search site or OTA (online travel agent). Sites like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Google Flights make it easy to see the cheapest days to travel within a two-month window. Sometimes moving your trip dates by even a day can result in significant savings.
>> Read more about how to find cheap flights.
3. Use the Google Flights Explore map to find the cheapest place to fly.
Simply input your dates and departure airports but leave the destination blank (or put in a region like Asia or Europe) and Google Flights will show you the cheapest places to fly from your departure airports.
You can search specific dates, or widen your search to a one-week or two-week trip in a specific month. And, you can input up to seven departure airports.
>> Read our tutorial on the Google Flights Explore map.
4. Focus on getting across the ocean as cheaply as possible.
We call this the Greek Islands Trick. Here’s how it works: Rather than trying to book one itinerary to your dream destination (say, NYC to Santorini), instead book the cheapest flight you can find to get to the European continent, and then book a separate roundtrip flight to your final destination (in this case that might mean booking NYC to London, and then London to Santorini).
It can be hundreds of dollars cheaper to book two roundtrips than booking it all on one itinerary.
>> Read our guide to booking flights using this travel hack.
5. Go somewhere your dollar goes further.
Think of the word “honeymoon” and you might conjure up images of an overwater bungalow in Tahiti, an oceanfront villa in Mexico or the Caribbean, or a fabulously chic apartment in Paris. And while the tried-and-true honeymoon destinations have undeniable appeal, many come with a high price tag.
Look at less-trodden spots where you get more bang for your buck. Destinations in Southeast Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe are a great value.
Scott’s Cheap Flights member Natalie H. spent her honeymoon in Vietnam and Cambodia. “I signed up for Premium specifically for booking our honeymoon. We didn't know where we wanted to go, but it had to be in December and we wanted to go someplace warm and inexpensive. A deal to Ho Chi Minh City popped up and we booked it! We were able to take an 18-day vacation, pop over to Cambodia for a few days, and had the adventure of a lifetime. All told we spent less than $3,000 on our 18-day honeymoon (including flights), and we don't feel as though we sacrificed one bit.”
>> Check out our guide to the world’s cheapest destinations.
6. Join Scott’s Cheap Flights and let the deals dictate your destination.
Scott’s Cheap Flights member Nicole W. did just that, letting the deal help her decide where to go: “We originally wanted to fly into Rome, spend some time there and then head down to Sardinia. The prices kept climbing upwards, reaching $1,000 RT per person, which was much more than we wanted to pay. Then we received a Scott’s Cheap Flights email for nonstop roundtrip tickets to Madrid in the $400s and decided to jump on it! We had an incredible honeymoon! We stayed in Madrid for a week and then headed down to Mallorca for 11 days to hit the beaches.”