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Honeymoons are notoriously expensive. My dream honeymoon was a trip to New Zealand for a Lord of the Rings tour, which would have run us around $7,000. With a total yearly income of $26,000 between us, that wasn’t happening. So, we improvised.
One day, on a trip to Walmart – because if you live in a small town and you’re bored and broke, you wander Walmart – I ended up in the outdoors section looking at tents. I ended up buying a tent, a blow-up mattress, and mosquito repellent.
With that, our plan was set. We decided to go on a road trip up the East Coast. The morning after our wedding, we got the oil changed in our car, loaded it up with our new camping supplies and a cooler full of food and drinks, and hit the road.
The first night, we stopped in Savannah, Georgia, in a beautiful campground on Tybee Island. It took us way too long to figure out how to set up the tent, so we just went to bed and then explored historic downtown Savannah the next day. When we got tired from walking around, we hopped in the car for our next destination. That day, we were smart enough to make a reservation for our next campground, which was a KOA in the middle of nowhere in North Carolina. Overall that day, we spent about $100, including fueling up the car.
The third day, we drove up to a friend’s house in Maryland for a wedding photoshoot, and then we camped out in her yard before spending day four in Washington D.C., wandering the National Mall. Neither of us had ever been, so it was a great – but HOT – day of sightseeing. We even recreated a scene from Parks and Recreation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
When we went back to our friend’s house to take down our campsite, I was looking at Pinterest, and proposed a trip to New York City. We hadn’t planned on going, but within the course of a few hours, we had our AirBnB booked for two nights and we were up I-95 in the middle of New Jersey. We arrived in the city at around ten PM, and we met our hosts at their townhouse in Hamilton Heights in uptown Manhatten.
New York was better than I ever imagined. We probably walked about ten miles that day. We started with a Rainbow Bagel in Brooklyn, had lunch at Joe’s pizza (where Peter Parker worked in the first Spider-Man movie), and we tried Ben & Jerry’s on Time’s Square ($14 for two people – probably not worth it). We spent as little time as possible in Time’s Square, though, because it was the most crowded place I’ve ever been in my entire life. At any given time, there were at least three random people touching me. Overall, New York City was the most expensive part of our honeymoon, adding up to close to $700. That included a really nice AirBnB in a fun part of town, tickets to Wicked on Broadway, way too much food, and a lot of time booked on the subway.
After we were done in New York City, we headed home. It took us about a day and a half to get home, which included another night at a campground in Virginia.
Here’s a total breakdown of our costs:
Gas – $100
Lodging – $75 for all camping, $200 for two nights in New York City
Parking – $48 – $40 for keeping our car in a parking garage in NYC, the rest for parking in Savannah and D.C.
Food – $200
Broadway – $242
Entertainment – $40 for the zoo in Richmond
Transportation – $100(ish). We rode the subway A LOT, plus there were toll booths all through Virginia and the toll to get into New York. Once we went all the way back to Hamilton Heights just so we could take a nap in the air conditioned townhouse.
Assorted Costs – $150 – This includes camping supplies, such as our tent, and assorted expenses not accounted for in the remainder of the budget.
I learned pretty quickly that we didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars to have an amazing honeymoon. In fact, if we hadn’t gone to New York City, the whole thing would’ve been less than $500. Either way, we had an amazing time, and the most important part was that we were together.
What did you do for your honeymoon? What are some ways you’ve saved money on a vacation? Let me know in the comments!