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Esther Shaw

How to cut the cost of your honeymoon

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Many of the thousands of couples who get hitched this summer will be planning to round off their wedding with the trip of a lifetime.

Getting hitched on the beach

However, figures from insurer PJ Hayman suggest many couples are vastly underestimating the cost of booking and organising a honeymoon.

A third of people thinking they will spend between £500 and £1,000, yet the average cost has been valued at £3,220, or £1,610 per person.

Nonetheless, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your honeymoon doesn't add too much to the financial burden of your wedding.

Haggle your way to a bargain

Few of us enjoy haggling, but by asking for a discount you might be able to dramatically cut the cost of your foreign holidays.

Take the time to scour the internet for a selection of deals that fit your requirements and then visit your local travel agent to see if they can beat those prices.

Get the guests to help out

If you're finding costs spiralling out of control, ask friends to contribute to the cost of the honeymoon, rather than buying you conventional wedding presents.

On websites such as Trailfinders and Travelcounsellors you can set up an account and ask guests to buy you vouchers towards your big trip.

Steer clear of dedicated 'honeymoon packages'

Many couples find that as soon as they utter the words "honeymoon", the cost of accommodation and excursions can be bumped up significantly.

Consider steering clear of dedicated honeymoon deals, and opt to stay in a standard room, rather than the honeymoon suite.

It may be the case that if you let certain hotels, airlines and tour operators know that you are newlyweds that you will be given extras or an upgrade.

This might be a bottle of champagne or better table in the restaurant – so bear this in mind too.

Book early and be savvy

While you may be preoccupied with sorting the flowers, the photographer, the dress and the DJ, try not to leave your honeymoon planning until the last minute.

There are some big savings to be made by booking early to take advantage of greater availability and low fares.

Also make use of Airmiles (now known as Avios) you've collected through your Tesco Clubcard, Lloyds TSB credit card, or by shopping online at stores such as eBay and Play.com.

Be flexible with dates

One of the simplest ways to make significant savings is by being as flexible as you possibly can with dates.

You can cut costs by travelling mid-week and by avoiding Christmas, Easter and school holidays at all costs.

Another option is to look into taking a short break to Europe, or even closer to home, directly after the wedding.

You can then delay your big trip until low season, or until you have had enough time to build up your savings once again.

Be disciplined

Whatever you do, try not to get into debt paying for your honeymoon.

The key is to set a strict budget and to get into the regular savings habit as early into the engagement as you can to ensure you can afford your dream trip.

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