Can there be a better start to your married life than going on a trip together? Enjoying a few days (or weeks) together in a foreign country, walking hand-in-hand on paradisaical beaches and snuggling under duvets of cosy forest cottages, all under the banner of honeymoon… if that ain’t a fun way to begin a new life, I don’t know what is.
But we know many couples who end up all spent – literally and figuratively! – after their honeymoon trip. Now that wouldn't be a good start to your married life. You don’t want to make financial mistakes from day one and spend the rest of your lives blaming each other, do you? (See also: Financing your wedding: Everything Singapore couples should note) So how can you have the perfect honeymoon without derailing your financial train? Here are some tips from BankBazaar:
#1 Choose a place you know
It’s easy to get enchanted by exotic destinations on Expedia. But think of these – Is it an expensive place? Will the local cuisine upset your tummy? Will you be able to communicate with the locals?
Select a place that you haven’t gone to before, but which you’re fairly familiar with. Get recommendations from other couples who have completed their honeymoon.
Don’t choose a place so far away that your flight fare alone would overshoot the credit card limit. Select hotels that are affordable and neat. Oh, and don’t buy too many souvenirs – they’re not as memorable as you think.
#2 Take advantage of credit card perks
I’m sure both of you have credit cards – more than one each, perhaps. So why not use the perks on your cards to help reduce honeymoon expenses? Here are some of the benefits you can reap from credit cards:
Redeem the miles earned on your travel credit cards to fund your flight ticket and hotel bookings.
Check if your card offers free travel insurance, so that you don’t have to waste extra money on buying one.
Get a credit card with the best overseas shopping offers. This could be in the form of foreign transaction fee waivers or additional reward points or cashback on shopping outside Singapore.
If you have a credit card that gives plenty of reward points or cashback, use those to buy your tickets, book your hotels, and practically everything related to the trip. Be sure to watch out for reward caps and spending limits too!
#3 Watch your wallet
This is one point we can’t stress on enough – spend what you have, not what you could have. Credit cards are great to take with you so that you can buy experiences and products without having to worry about cash. However, this does not mean that you go around charging all expenses to your credit card and forget the fact that you have to pay the bill at the end of the day.
Make a budget before you plan the honeymoon, broadly covering the amount you are going to spend on hotel accommodation and flight, the amount you might need for food and conveyance at the location, some shopping you might want to do, some amount for local experiences, etc. Stick to this budget and don’t make surprise expenses that might shock you at the end of the month. (See also: 8 honeymoon destinations for every kind of budget)
#4 Plan in advance vs spur of the moment
One thing life has taught me is that eleventh-hour work is always shabby. So, don’t keep your honeymoon planning for the last minute. Give yourself enough time to do your research and select the right place.
Booking rooms and tickets a few months in advance also tend to give you better rates, enabling you to save again. Check if hotels in your desired destination have honeymoon packages, and specifically ask for offers and deals that may be applicable to newly-weds.
Watch out for credit card deals when booking your flights and accommodation. If it’s a good discount, it might be worth applying for a credit card to save some money.
Needless to say, make sure your passports, visa papers, and a copy of your marriage certificate are ready in time for the honeymoon.
#5 Save for the holiday
If your wedding and honeymoon are a few months away, both of you have enough time to save money for the event.
In fact, even if you haven’t started thinking of marriage, you can start a honeymoon or wedding fund. When you meet your perfect spouse, you will have enough savings to go anywhere with him/her and have the pleasure of travelling and discovering new places together.
You can either save in a simple fixed deposits account, or go for mutual funds or unit trust funds, or even buy gold for its appreciating value.Apart from this, ensure that you’re covered for delays, cancellations and missed flights, as well as unexpected hospitalisation. Preparedness is the key! All it takes to have a stress-free and fun honeymoon are simple precautionary measures. Most importantly, take care and enjoy the honeymoon!
This article was originally published on BankBazaar.SG.