Our Frugal Honeymoon
As I am writing this, Mr. E. (perhaps we can now finally change to Mr. and Mrs. Frugasaurus? For less confusion all around?) and I are relaxing in Mr. E’s parents’ vacation home in Sweden. It is set in an idyllic, rural setting and the only audible noise outside right now are the various different birds chittering to and at each other.
Not much has changed since the wedding last Friday, perhaps except a general exhaustion after the party (post to come!), and trying to get used to wearing a ring.
I am not a ring person. They are distracting and in the way when I work. But as far as rings go, we chose the simplest, most unobtrusive gold band we could find. As far as rings go, I might be able to get used to this one.
But that is not what this post is about. Here I talk about how we managed to enjoy a frugal get-away honeymoon through the help of our family. We also share some tips to how you could hack your own honeymoon if you are considering tying the knot and want to have some time just for the two of you.
All right, first things first, we were lucky. We hadn’t really planned on a honeymoon directly following the wedding. Instead we are planning on a larger trip to Japan once my current contract ends.
But it felt kind of shallow to just go back to work the next day, and I had another week of vacation just lying there, and, and, and.
So we leveraged our privilege of more established relatives. Mr. E. asked his parents if they were using their holiday home the week commencing our wedding (they weren’t), and my dad generously offered up his car.
So here we are, smack in the middle of quiet, rural Sweden for nothing but the cost of gas, toll fees/ferry and food beyond the pile of wedding leftovers we brought with us after doling out boxes to friends and family the day after.
The peace and quiet here is surreal. There is mostly forest and farmlands around us, but from the living room window and our bedroom we have a view of the most picturesque little lake with an apple tree in front. And at night, we hear the herons.
But we are also aware that not everyone have access to resources like this through family or friends. So here we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to keep your honeymoon low-key and frugal, but still romantic and enjoyable.
1. Think Locally
Do you have to take a plane half-way across the globe to the most expensive and coveted honeymoon locations? Does it have to be France, Italy or Tuscany?
We are just about two hours from most of our family, but still enjoying our time to the fullest.
Of course, we are also boring frugal monsters who would rather enjoy some quiet time in than being out and about in expensive restaurants or crowded beaches, but I will still look back to this honeymoon with fond memories.
If you are similarly inclined, you might be able to find an affordable cabin or AirBnB in your local area for far less compared to expensive hotels. Maybe you’re even able to help a friend out by house-sitting while they are away? It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be different, memorable and nice.
For us, not losing hours on end of precious vacation time on travelling was also an important consideration. Bonus: Less emissions used too!
2. Cook Where You Are
Instead of being waited on hand and foot, why not spend time creating nice dishes where you are staying? Look up recipes online together, create shopping lists, find a local grocery store and spend afternoons in the kitchen together.
Aren’t honeymoons all about being together? Don’t outsource precious opportunities for bonding through activities you both enjoy together. Be it gardening, walks, cooking, climbing, swimming, maintaining the house. Even tedious chores like painting, upgrading a tired room or repairing stuff becomes a lot more enjoyable when there is another person toiling along next to you and with you.
Although I’ll be honest, I find this holds true with friends and family as well, not just my newfound husband.
At least that is what we’ve found.
3. Ditch Social Media
If you are usually ruled by your phone and acutely aware of how much prettier, nicer and happier other people’s lives look online, try your best to unplug. You don’t have to share how deeply in love you are or how romantic you are being. It won’t change the actual relationship between the two (or more) of you.
Yes, it is tough if you are addicted. But excessive social media use can actually harm your relationship. So why not get off on the right foot and have yourself a social media sabbatical, or at least a significant reduction? Consider reintroducing the alarm clock and leave your smartphone in a different room when you go to bed.
It won’t cost you anything, but you might find it pays you dividends in the long run.
4. Memorable Does Not Have To Mean Expensive
You can create fond memories just as easily in a simple cabin in the woods as you could at a fancy (and expensive!) retreat. After all, the honeymoon is all about you, not your surroundings.
In fact, I might argue that a simple honeymoon where you have to take care of each other might just bring you closer together, compared to a pricier location where all your needs are catered too.
5. Have Fun!
Board games, cards, movie night, food dates, exploring the local area, going for walks, picking berries, sharing a bath, sharing a meal, learning something new, skiing or just about anything else you can think about. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and it doesn’t have to be big and fancy to be fun or special.
It’s all about having fun, something that is available for free!
What tips do you have for enjoying a frugal, yet romantic and fun honeymoon?