After spending all that money on your wedding, a budget-friendly honeymoon can feel like a breath of fresh air. Fortunately, there are a lot of destinations that boast cheap accommodations and free activities.
But let’s be honest, every couple has different interests and hobbies.
While some just want to relax and enjoy the company of their new spouse, others want a fast-paced adventure that they’ll never forget.
And that’s exactly why we decided to create this guide.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet honeymoon on the beach or a honeymoon filled with adventure, here are 10 of our favorite, budget-friendly honeymoon destinations for you and your spouse.
1. Charleston, South Carolina – (Budget-Friendly East Coast Beach)
Charleston is a great destination if you are looking for the perfect balance of southern charm, history, and beach activities. In fact, the city boasts over 60 miles of beaches.
And, since Charleston was once the 4th largest city in colonial America, this is a fantastic honeymoon destination for those with an interest in American history.
There are quite a few affordable boutique hotels and B&Bs in Charleston, many of which are within walking distance of all the activities the town has to offer.
This will help minimize the cost of transportation during your visit, and thus, help you sat within your budget.
Charleston is also a great place to use a vacation rental from Airbnb or VRBO.
If you are looking for cheap or free activities, check out the historic Charleston City Market or join a free walking tour of downtown. You can also visit the starting point of the Civil War, Fort Sumter, for around $10. And of course, there’s always the beach.
Charleston International Airport is easily accessible from most major airports in the US and is located just 20 minutes from downtown Charleston.
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2. Monterey, California – (Affordable West Coast Beach)
If you are looking for a beach destination on the West Coast, we have you covered.
Located on the southern shores of Monterey Bay, Monterey, CA is a slower-paced (based on California standards) city that hosts some of the oldest historic sites dating back to the Spanish colonial times and amazing coastline.
Parts of Monterey Bay are a large ecological protected area and are home to a massive kelp forest and diverse marine life including sea otters and harbor seals.
Hotels in Monterey can be a little pricey, especially near the downtown or wharf areas.
Therefore, we recommend that you look for an open vacation rental to reduce the cost of accommodations.
Spending time on the state beach is free. And one of the most popular attractions is the Old Fisherman’s Wharf which hosts dozens of little shops and restaurants.
Depending on the time of year, you can even go whale watching or visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
For visitors coming from out of state, you’ll need to fly into San Jose International Airport. From there, you can drive to Monterey in about an hour and a half.
3. San Antonio, Texas – (Inexpensive Urban Honeymoon)
If you are looking for more of an urban or city feel for your honeymoon, the City of San Antonio might be what you are looking for.
The sprawling metropolis is home to 1.5 million people and is packed with parks, museums, historic sites, and zoos.
One of the most popular places to visit is the River Walk. This 15-mile stretch is an urban park that is lined with shops and cafes.
It is absolutely free to visit the River Walk but you may want to enjoy a boat ride along the way for a fee. The cost is about $10 and is a great way to see the area.
Of course, no trip to San Antonio would be complete without a visit to the infamous Alamo, which is also free.
Compared to other major cities, hotels in San Antonio are relatively inexpensive–even in the vicinity of the River Walk area.
Because Texas is in the middle of the country, San Antonio is really accessible.
In fact, visitors can fly directly into San Antonio Airport.
However, depending on where you live, you might be able to save a little money by flying into Austin instead. The drive between the two cities is just under two hours.
4. San Juan Islands, Washington – (Quiet And Easy On Your Wallet)
The San Juan Islands is a chain of islands located in the middle of Puget Sound.
The two largest islands are San Juan Island and Orcas Island.
This is a great destination for honeymooners looking to get some peace and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
There are many options when it comes to accommodations in the San Juan Islands including hotels, B&Bs, cabins, and even glamping, thus, making the destination affordable for nearly any budget.
The islands are full of outdoor activities such as biking, kayaking, and hiking. And one of the top attractions during the spring is a visit to the lavender fields.
You can also check out the tide pools or spot other large marine animals such as seals and whales.
Getting to the San Juan Islands takes about 2 hours if you fly into Seattle. You also have to take the ferry across Puget Sound to get there.
But let’s be honest, this is a fun activity in itself as you sit back and enjoy the view from the ferry.
Though it might not be a little out of the norm, the San Juan Islands are a fantastic, budget-friendly honeymoon destination.
5. Glacier National Park, Montana – (Affordable Adventure)
Glacier National Park is located in Montana right along the US and Canada border.
It’s also one of the most remote and untouched areas in the United States.
The park features over 16,000 square miles of protected wilderness full of mountains, lakes, and about a thousand species of plants and animals.
Besides the park entrance fee, there are many free activities like fishing, hiking, and scenic drives like Going-to-the-Sun Road.
If you are into photography, the park landscape offers incredible views and is the perfect opportunity to break out your camera.
There are a number of hotels, cabins, and lodges in and around the park. Just make sure to consider which parts of the park you want to visit to minimize drive time and fuel costs.
Or, if the weather is nice, you can save money by camping.
You probably won’t be making a road trip to this part of the country, so you will likely arrive at Glacier Park International Airport. Luckily, the airport is a short 30-minute drive from the entrance of the park.
6. Utah National Parks – (Desert For A Deal)
If you are an adventurous couple, the entire state of Utah has many options when it comes to parks including Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Arches National Park.
Each has something unique and special to offer, so you might want to check a few off your list during your visit.
In addition to hiking and camping in the parks, you can go horseback riding, white water rafting, fishing, rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding.
Getting to the parks will require a drive, but you also have several options when it comes to arriving at airports. Depending on your itinerary, you can fly into Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, or Grand Junction.
Oh, and you might be able to save a little money on flights and rental cars by flying into one city and out of another.
7. Estes Park, Colorado – (Rocky Mountain Honeymoon)
Estes Park, Colorado is a great place to visit for your honeymoon if you are looking to explore the Rocky Mountains in the summer or early fall. (We don’t recommend Estes Park in the winter, as it is not a ski town, and there isn’t a whole lot to do.)
Located near the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and other lesser-known parks, visitors can hike, fish, and spot wildlife including elk and bears.
You can also get amazing views of the valley by riding the Estes Park Tramway.
Hotels and resorts around Estes Park are affordable, but you can also opt to stay in a cabin or camp to save money.
Oh, and if you really want to take it easy on your budget, be sure to utilize the free shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center to make your way around the park.
Since most of the activities are outdoors, they are relatively inexpensive–besides gear rental.
To get to Estes Park, you will need to fly into Denver International Airport and drive 90 minutes.
8. Bali, Indonesia – (Romantic And Reasonably Priced)
If you and your spouse are looking for an exotic location to spend your honeymoon, look no further than Bali.
The island of Bali is a part of Indonesia and is known for its tropical climate, iconic rice fields, beaches, and coral reefs.
The most expensive thing about going to Bali is the flight. However, once you arrive, you’ll find that everything else is pretty cheap, including accommodations, food, and transportation.
In fact, it’s not uncommon to find a nice resort that costs under $100 a night.
These savings should help offset your flight costs.
There are plenty of free activities including visiting the local markets and going to the beach. Luxuries such as massages and yoga classes are also very affordable.
You can also sign up for group tours for $50 to $75 and see many of the top sites in a single day.
9. Chiang Mai, Thailand – (Exotic And Economical)
Chiang Mai is the largest city in northern Thailand and is a popular destination for tourists and honeymooners alike.
If you are looking for a place with amazing food, culture, and people this might be the perfect place to visit on your honeymoon.
There are plenty of free and cheap things to do in and around Chiang Mai. For instance, you can splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime excursion to one of the Elephant Sanctuaries outside of the city. It can be a little pricey, but if you can work it into your budget, it can be the experience of a lifetime.
Both hotel and Airbnb accommodation are very cheap, and the city is extremely safe and fairly walkable. To get to Chiang Mai, you will need to fly into Bangkok, from where it’s only an hour and fifteen minute flight to this budget-friendly honeymoon destination.
10. Dominican Republic – (Low-Cost Island Getaway)
The Dominican Republic is an island nation located just to the west of Puerto Rico.
Known for its white sandy beaches it is becoming a tourist hotspot and top destination for honeymooners visiting the Caribbean.
Most travel experts recommend that you stick to staying at the resorts, but don’t worry, there are many affordable options.
Also, driving in the Dominican Republic can be a little sketchy, so you should opt to use the hotel shuttle. The upside to this is the savings on renting a car.
Most tourists stay in Punta Cana. There, you can visit the beaches, enjoy watersports, or join an animal excursion to see tropical birds, animals, and endangered turtles.
There are also many non-stop flights from other major US cities, so you are likely to find a great deal. The closest major city is Miami located a short two-and-a-half-hour flight away.
11. Cancun, Mexico – (Tropical And Frugal)
Mexico has been a popular tourist destination for Americans for decades—and rightfully so. It’s not only gorgeous, but it is a seriously budget-friendly honeymoon destination.
One of the best areas to visit is the Riviera Maya on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Cancun is the major hub and airport serving the area which hosts ancient Mayan ruins, beautiful beaches, and access to traditional Mexican food and culture.
There are lots of resorts, hotels, and vacation rentals in and around Cancun. To save a little money, look to the south of the city around Playa del Carmen.
Also, most resorts and hotels offer a shuttle service from the airport, so you won’t need a rental car.
There are lots of free and inexpensive activities, including hanging out at the beach, chilling at the pool, or exploring the shops around town.
Oh, and don’t forget to take a visit to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza which can be affordably accessed through a group tour.
12. Budapest, Hungary – (Europe On A Budget)
Budapest, located in Eastern Europe, is one of the largest cities in the European Union.
It has many amazing sites, museums, monuments, and parks, and the city is split down the middle by the Danube River.
The Buda side of the city is quieter and more residential, while the Pest side of the city has more energy and tourist attractions.
So, in many ways, you are getting two cities for the price of one.
While Budapest is becoming increasingly more popular, it is still relatively undiscovered and cheaper than more expensive European destinations like Paris and Amsterdam.
The city of Budapest is also very walkable, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to see the many landmarks and famous buildings, including the Buda Castle and Hungarian Parliament Building.
You can either explore the city yourself or join a free walking tour.
The Szechenyi Thermal Baths are also one of the hottest attractions. Though, be sure to add this one into your budget, because a day pass to the baths costs about $20 per person.
Beyond that, however, you will find that hotels and vacation rentals are cheap even in the popular city center.
Keep in mind, while the City of Budapest has a major airport, there are very few direct flights from the United States.
Fortunately, you can connect through quite a few major hubs across the European continent.
The benefit of this is that you can shop around to find the cheapest route.
Enjoy Your Honeymoon
Having an amazing honeymoon with your new spouse is worth every penny, but you don’t have to derail your financial future to have a great time.
Hopefully, these recommendations help point you in the right direction to a budget-friendly honeymoon.
Just remember to stick to your budget.
In some cases, you may have to get creative, but remember that the most important thing is that you are going to be traveling with your new partner for life.
So, don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy your time together.
Oh, and best wishes for a long and happy marriage!