New-age couples who are paying for their own weddings often find themselves cash-strapped after the whole hullabaloo. Yet, the pressure of having a memorable honeymoon is on, and most conventional destinations are too expensive. This is a list of seven cheap experiences that are offbeat, light on the pocket and still make for incredible times together.
1. Start your life together with a cocktail of adventure
If you've bonded over the love for adventure before, chances are that setting off on a long trek across a gorgeous destination and camping under the stars for the night will bring you even closer. Zero in on a beautiful place and get lost together. If you are both sufficiently experienced, you can both do a trek together, just the two of you. Remember though, that this will mean cooking in the outdoors, pitching your own tent and renting/ buying camping equipment. If this is more than you can handle, book with a guide along, who can help you with setting up, while also providing informational insights.
Average cost: Rs 7,000 to 12,000 for a 7-day trek
2. Check-in to a luxury resort near home and save on travel expenses
A honeymoon doesn't necessarily mean you have to travel to far off locations, while facing the stresses and exhaustion of the journey. In fact, you can find the joys of a holiday in your own city with a staycation. This increasingly popular vacation option is all about staying in your comfort zone, cutting out the commute and checking in to a luxury resort near home. Hunt for deals and packages to save money. Look for amenities that tick your combined interests. Wash it all off with a couple's spa because why not!
Average cost: Rs 10,000 to 12,000 for two nights.
Further reading: Go For A Staycation At These Uber Cool Holiday Homes In India
3. Wait till after your wedding, and book a last-minute getaway
This might sound counter-intuitive at a time when you are pre-booking everything in advance to make sure things go as per plan, but it is a huge money saver. Booking at the last minute means many late-breaking deals on airfares, hotel prices and even cruise deals. But this means keeping an open mind and not being too attached to your plans. You might have to change destinations based on the lowest airfare or take the room without a great view. Be flexible, don't lose heart and enjoy the unpredictability of it all.
Tip: If you tell the receptionist at your hotel that you are on your honeymoon, chances are they will offer you an upgrade on your room.
4. Fuel up and set off on a road journey under the open sky
It's no secret that long drives are a catalyst for romance. Then why not make the drive even longer and go on a road trip for your honeymoon. The journey will be your destination and cosy banter, scenic views, munchies and the seclusion will lead to cuddling and overwhelming memories. It's much better than being holed up in a plane for several hours with no views, with the option of stopping wherever you want. To save money, pack your own food and book hotels as and when you reach your final destination.
Average cost: Rs 5,000 to 10,000 for fuel, food and accommodation
5. Connect with each other at an affordable wellness getaway
A honeymoon at a wellness retreat sounds expensive, but it doesn't have to be. The cosy stays, wholesome food, soul-enriching therapies, massages and general slow pace of life at a retreat can come at an affordable rate as well. Rejuvenate your mind, body and soul together after the wedding chaos with yoga, detoxes, Swedish massages and plenty of long naps.
Budget wellness retreats: Bhakti Kutir in Palolem, Goa. Doubles start from ₹1,800; Karuna Farm, near Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. Doubles start from ₹1,300; Soul and Surf in Varkala, Kerala. Doubles start from ₹3,150.
6. Make your honeymoon about helping others
They say that no joy can match that of serving others. And if you believe in this, then a volunteering honeymoon will make you two very happy. There are several opportunities across the country, ranging from teaching children, farming with sustaining practices, developmental work in rural areas, helping in the rehabilitation of refugees, and a lot more. Usually, the organisation you volunteer with will sponsor accommodation and food, and some will even pay you a small stipend. A volunteering holiday can be very fulfilling and it is a great way to start your new life together.
Further reading: Want to Travel to Change the World and Make a Difference? Here's How
7. Stay at home and get to know each other, inside and out
You know that feeling we have every day as the alarm rings to wake us up for work? The urge to stay in bed all day and not have to go to work for a month. Well, why not use your honeymoon to make that dream come true. If you can stay away from peer pressure and do something different, use your honeymoon time to stay at home and discover each other. Turn off your phones, download a bunch of movies, stock up the fridge and surrender to each other. Taking a month off work will never be this fun.
Have any other ideas for a cheap honeymoon to add to this list? Write them down here, or add them to the comments below.