Planning a wedding can be time-consuming and stressful. That’s why some couples choose to hire a travel agent to make their honeymoon arrangements. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, most newlyweds spend an average of $4,466 on their honeymoon. Luxury honeymoons cost an average of $9,954. Sue Pierce, owner of Cruise Planners/Vacation Adventures Unlimited in San Clemente, California, says there are unlimited options for honeymooners. Couples can spend much less than average—or much more—depending on where they want to go, how long they want to say and their total budget.
The farther away the destination is from home, the more expensive the total honeymoon costs will be—simply because it will cost more to get there. Other cost factors include airfare, meals, tours, hotel or resort costs per person per night, and short-flight airfare or in-country transfers.
Here are some ballpark costs for a range of honeymoon destinations:
One week in Cancun, Punta Cana or Puerto Rico: $3,500–$8,400
One week in Hawaii: $3,500–$5,000
One week in Bali, Tahiti, Fiji or Bora Bora: $10,000 and up
10-day European tour: $10,000–$15,000
10 days in Thailand: $6,000 and up (not including airfare)
10-day African safari: $16,000–$20,000 (not including airfare)
Mexico, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico
According to Pierce at Cruise Planners/Vacation Adventures Unlimited, couples looking for a tropical beach vacation should consider destinations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to save money. These destinations have a number of all-inclusive resorts where couples can stay for $250–$600 per person per day, including airfare and meals.
Hawaiian vacations cost more than other tropical destinations because there are not many all-inclusive options and airfare can be unpredictable.
From London and Paris to Rome, southern Italy and the Greek Isles, Europe is a popular destination for honeymooners—and it’s more affordable when the U.S. dollar is strong.
Thailand offers sunny beaches and a tropical climate at prices that range from very reasonable to very pricey, depending on airfare and the choice of hotels. Pierce of Cruise Planners/Vacation Adventures Unlimited recently arranged a 10-day trip to Thailand for a couple that cost a little over $6,000, including tours, 5-star hotel stays and airfare within Thailand to various destinations. It did not include airfare from their home to Bangkok, which is the case for many trips to farther-away destinations. Pierce also recently arranged a honeymoon for a couple who spent two weeks in Australia and visited multiple locations for a total trip cost of $21,000.
As noted, the cost of one week in Bali, Tahiti, Fiji or Bora Bora for two generally starts at $10,000 and can cost much more, depending on current airfares and the luxury level of the hotel or resort selected.
Pierce of Cruise Planners/Vacation Adventures Unlimited has arranged safari trips to South Africa for clients, with wide-ranging cost differences. According to Travel + Leisure magazine, the average cost per person to go on a safari in Africa is $800–$1,000 per night, not including airfare, which can add up quickly.
Pierce of Cruise Planners/Vacation Adventures Unlimited has arranged countless cruises for clients to many different destinations. Although cruise prices sometimes include onboard meals, gratuity, alcohol and land excursions generally are not included. Pierce favors Regent Cruises and often recommends the company to clients because it is a smaller, boutique line and offers truly all-inclusive rates. A European cruise with Regent typically costs $6,000–$7,000 per person, including airfare, for a week. A cruise that docks at multiple islands in the South Pacific costs $3,500–$6,000 per person for a week, not including airfare.
Pierce of Cruise Planners/Vacation Adventures Unlimited does not charge clients for her services because she typically receives a booking fee from the resort or cruise line. It’s always a good idea to ask agents if they charge a fee, however.
Travel agent advantages
The primary benefit of going through a travel agent to book honeymoon travel is that you don’t have to make any of the reservations yourself. Pierce of Cruise Planners/Vacation Adventures Unlimited says she can help clients in other ways while they’re traveling. One client, whose trip to Europe she had booked, called her from London when her luggage didn’t make it with her to the airport and Pierce took care of calling the airline to chase down her clients’ bags.