It’s the part of the celebration that most couples come to look forward to most–the second honeymoon! After all the planning is done, the vendors contracted, and officiant scheduled, the idea of getting away as a couple is simply irresistible. But what is it really going to cost you?
Typically, the second honeymoon will be one of the largest budget areas of your vow renewal – ranking right up there with the reception and ceremony. There’s much more to budgeting for a second honeymoon that just the expenses for airfare and a hotel room. As you prepare your budget, be sure to consider the following factors:
Passports – Will you be traveling outside of the country? If so, you need to allow for passport fees if you don’t already have them. It takes a while to get a passport, so get your passport applications in at least three months prior to the date you plan on leaving for your second honeymoon. They do offer an option to expedite the process, but it will add on substantial additional fees.
Travel Arrangements – While booking your own travel arrangements can save you money, if you’re planning on heading out of the country, you might want to use a travel agent to book your honeymoon. Make sure to allow for their fees. Another great tip is to take advantage of AAA’s travel services if you’re a member already.
- Transportation – Getting to and around your honeymoon destination is going be a significant budget line item. If you’ll be flying, calculate the amount that two round-trip airline tickets will cost. Or if you’re driving, you’ll need to calculate the cost of gas. Once you get there, will you need a rental car or will you be using taxis to get around? You can usually save money by booking your rental car online (Hotwire, Expedia, Travelocity). Take the option to purchase extra insurance for your rental car to make sure you don’t run into any unexpected expenses from a mishap. If you’ll be traveling internationally, be sure to research your destination’s policy on international driver’s licenses – you may need to pay for one. Add in a little padding for other transportation costs like subway and train tickets, gas, and road tolls.
- Accommodations – Many websites offer a great discount if you book your hotel and flight together. Be sure to compare the package deals with booking each separately to get the best deal. You can often save by booking early (3+ months) or making reservations last minute. Make sure you budget for service personnel tips for valets, bellhops, and other staff.
Meals – Food can be one of the greatest expenses when traveling! Be sure to check out sample menus online to get an estimate of what to expect to pay for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a variety of types of eating establishments since sometimes you’ll just want to catch a quick bite and other times you’ll want to enjoy the best the location has to offer. Don’t forget to make allowances for nights out (alcoholic beverages), snacks, and add in 18% to cover tips.
Activities and Entertainment – A second honeymoon should be full of relaxation, romance, and fun. Planning a variety of activities and entertainment experiences can make your experience sensational. Set aside money in your budget for:
- Admission fees to local attractions
- Shows (like Cirque du Soleil, Broadway Productions, and Concerts)
- Activity charges (like golfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving)
- Equipment rental (like surfboard, skis, and mopeds)
- Gambling, when applicable
- Nightlife (drinks, comedy clubs, and cover charges)
- For cruise passengers, don’t forget to add in the cost of port charges.
Pets – If you own a pet, you’ll need to either arrange for a pet sitter or allow for kennel fees.
Kids – Not planning on taking them along? You’ll need a sitter! There’s a cost, even if a family member has offered to watch them.
Attire – You’ll want to look fabulous and may need “off season” items, so budget for new clothes for your trip.