How I Saved Over 3,500 On My Honeymoon

Like many bloggers that start blogging because they want to be accountable to themselves to right the financial ship, I had an issue with overspending on credit cards.  Though I didnt think it was that bad (5k is going to be like one paycheck when I get a real job – foolish, I know), it was.  So after  got a real job and realized that it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, I started to get accountable, created this site, got 2 jobs and started to pay down my credit cards.  While it wasnt all easy, I did do it, and even wrote a break up letter to my credit cards after I paid the last one off.  I went for a while just using my debit card, but the promise of frequent flyer miles enticed me too much.  I had reformed, I told myself, and as long as I paid the card off when the bill came i’d get the miles and more secure transactions.  Not only that, I had already earned a free flight this way while I was in debt by transferring a balance to a 0% credit card.

It didnt take long for me to start reading into it more and make the plunge – some of you may have gotten the 75k american airline miles card with citi bank, and I did that, put all my purchases on it until I reached the limit and closed it.  I kept up with this miles and points game, waiting for the next huge deal.  They started to come fast and furious, but eventually I got the british airways card that gave me 100k miles after spending 2,500 bucks!  There were so many things I could do, so many places I could go by earning all those miles.  Just like the other one I put all my purchases on it, but this time I didnt close it – I knew I was going to get engaged soon, and that would require a honeymoon – so I started reading up on how to use these points.

After a lot of reading and a lot of searching and talking with H, I gave her a few options for places to go and she picked one so I started to look at flights.  After a while I found out ways to make the most of the miles by getting stopovers on the way to our destination.  While I’ve been trying (and doing well so far) at my no spend november having to do this totally ruined it.  Unfortunately, it had to be done by november 16, when all of the miles and points guru’s suspect that british airways is going to hugely devalue the miles – making the trip that I ended up booking impossible with the amount of miles that I had.  I figure that I’d have to spend this money anyway, but I didnt realize how much of a deal I was getting.

H and I are going to thailand for our honeymoon (we had some pictures taken while we were there by a friend)and are also spending 4 days in tokyo.  As of right now, our flights would have cost almost $4,000 for both of us, but I paid around $1,400 in fees for both of us, saving about $3,600.  Unfortunately, the way things worked out we still need to purchase round trip tickets to Los Angeles to kick off the trip, but I dont think those will be too bad.  If I want, I also have miles for those because of all the traveling that I was doing this summer.  While this did put a huge crimp in my no spend november, I dont think there would have been any way we would have been able to go where we are going without spending the money to book now.  There were other options that could have been cheap, but I have never been to asia and wanted to go, and so did H – so we figured this would be a fun time.

All in all – this was just too good to pass up.  I’m excited to see the sights of tokyo and bangkok and spend a lot of quality time with my new wife!

Readers: Where did you go for your honeymoon?  How long were you there? Were you able to leverage some good deals, or did you just pay full price?

ps – I was not the only blogger in the pf blogosphere that took advantage of this exact deal for their honeymoon.  Check out how well heeled got hers booked!

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27 thoughts on “How I Saved Over 3,500 On My Honeymoon”

  1. We went to an all inclusive resort in Costa Rica for our honeymoon. My parents were gracious enough to pay for it, but I did the booking and saved a boatload b/c we traveled in the green season. The resort fees were about half price, and airfare was super cheap as well. I figure we saved about $2500 – $3000 overall.

    • This isnt all inclusive, but I am in the middle of booking a honeymoon package that will take us on some tours and show us around the city that includes just about everything. I’m really excited!

  2. That’s cool. Great job! We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We used a travel agent who specialized exclusively in Hawaiian vacations, so by using him we saved over $2k versus if I would have booked everything myself. He had package deals and all that which wouldn’t have been things I could have found easily. So it was well worth it!

    • That’s a great deal beagle – I love hawaii! Though I have never used a travel agent, I hear that they have some great deals sometimes.

  3. We’re going to Buenos Aires and Iguazu Falls. Like you, I am workin’ the points and miles. Just got the Chase Hyatt card and I’ve already qualified for 2 free nights at a Hyatt anywhere. I’m trying to get CB to get that card too, so we’ll have 4 nights. The flight there was taken care of, mostly, by the British Airways 100K miles offer. The hotel at Iguazu Falls will be partly covered by SPG points (thanks to Amex SPG sign-up bonus).

    Woo hoo for credit card rewards!

    • Awesome WH – working the points and miles is totally worth it in my opinion. Just a bit of reading and some time, and you’re well on your way. I booked a package deal and that came with hotels, but I’ll still need a few places to stay while we are in tokyo. I’m looking for sign up bonuses there and perhaps, but because we are thinking of purchasing a house, I dont want to go crazy applying for cards, and am actually thinking of lowering the number of cards i’ve got.

  4. We went to Greece on our honeymoon – 10 days of just amazingness! I was too much of a newbie to understand how I could have saved…we just used a travel agent and put all near five digits on a Credit Card. I had it all paid off within a year along with the other parts of my CC debt. Still would do it again today.

    As far as miles I just got into the “mileage caring” world. Used 74000 of my 75000 miles to get 2 round trip tickets with no layovers from NY to ATL over the summer. So I am starting from scratch.

    • That’s awesome that you’re getting into miles (and greece!). I really put a dent in my miles with this, but its what I have been planning to use it for and I know we will have a great time, so I’m not worried at all.

    • That sounds really exciting! the reason we (I) picked asia was because when I was looking at south america and the pending mileage devaluation, I realized I I used these and we flew coach, I’d still have enough miles to get to Europe. Hopefully I’ll be able to use those as well.

  5. Nice way to leverage the system. Thailand and Tokyo should be amazing!

    We didn’t take a honeymoon. Our wedding coincided with my husband starting grad school and we had no money after that was over. 🙂 We keep saying we’ll do something for our 10th anniversary, but we better start planning since that’s less than 2 years away.

    • That’s a shame. If this wasnt going to work out, I was going to suggest something simple, like heading back to Utah (I love that place) and spending a lot of time there.

  6. We spent one night at a nearby B&B type place after our wedding, and then about 9 months later, we went to Disney World. For Disney World, we used the free week we had with a timeshare (for buying our timeshare- not the smartest decision but one I wouldn’t take back). So it just cost us for the flights and tickets and groceries.
    Our best trip, though, was when I had to go England for grad school. The cost of my flight was included in my tuition, and we already had the timeshare. Basically, we paid about $100 for a timeshare exchange program, paid for C’s flight, and groceries (which we would have paid for at home) for the trip. There were other costs, like half price same night theater tickets and a bit more eating out than we would have done at home, but it’s still the best deal I’m likely to ever get for an overseas trip.

  7. You need to fix your math, but yes, you got a great deal.
    I’m not very good at taking advantage of these deals. I feel like it’s too much bother, but I’ll keep my eyes open now.
    Congratulation! Have fun on the honeymoon.

    • Thanks Joe – I was always unsure of these until I kept reading about all these people getting insane deals, so I decided to look into it more. I found out a lot of info, and decided to go for it.

  8. Wow — have fun in Thailand and Japan! My hubby and I went to South Carolina, but we always planned to take a nice trip elsewhere at our 10 year anniversary. St. Bart’s or Jamaica would be fantastic!

  9. Your honemoon deals sound terrific and I have always wanted to visit that part of the world. Our honeymoon was a freebie gift of my new Father-in-Law and required a long, cold drive to a beautiful section of our state. Thirty years later our memories of the trip are of how cold it was that week-end. Brrrr. Good job putting all that work into saving that money-that adds to the fun of the trip.

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