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Tips for saving on honeymooners

You have no excuse now that the holidays are over: it’s time to book travel for the wedding (s) you have agreed to attend in 2020.

Whether you are going to an exotic destination wedding or you are just returning to Cincinnati for your cousin’s embarrassing wedding, honeymooners can get expensive quickly. A weekend trip can easily cost over $ 1,000 in airfare and accommodation – or a lot more if you’re traveling with your family.

These costs become so exorbitant because many marriages are:

– In summer.

– On the weekends.

– Close to smaller airports.

Each of these factors increases the cost of flights and hotels, but all three together can create a perfect spending storm. Unless you ask the betrothed to move their ceremony to a cheaper time and place, there are a few options to compensate for these honeymoon costs.

TO PAY OR NOT TO PAY …

The shock of the weekend summer plane ticket can be so big, it’s natural to wonder if your credit card points and airline miles can save you. The short answer is unsatisfactory “It depends”.

ALWAYS COMPARE

Many airlines (including American, Delta and United) now offer “dynamic prices” for their award flights, which is an elegant way of saying that they can change how many miles a particular flight costs anyway and whenever they want. This means that it is extremely important to compare the cost of a cash ticket with the equivalent cost of a reward ticket that you are purchasing with miles.

To do this, use a calculator like this or do the calculation yourself:

– Get the cost of the flight or hotel room in cash. For example, let’s say a return flight costs $ 450.

– Find the equivalent cost using points or miles. For example, suppose an equivalent round-trip ticket costs 40,000 Delta miles plus $ 50 in taxes and fees.

– Subtract commissions from the cash ticket. In this case, $ 450 minus $ 50 equals $ 400.

– Find the value of the points or miles (e.g. 1.1 cents each for Delta miles). Multiply it by the number of miles needed, then divide by 100. In our example, 40,000 Delta miles 1.1 times divided by 100 equals $ 440.

If the number in step 4 is less than the number in step 3, using points and miles is a good way to save money. If it is much higher than the number in step 3, you may want to save your points or miles for better redemption.

GET CREATIVE

If you decide to use points and miles to book your honeymoon, then things start to have fun (if your definition of “fun” is limited to mine).

One of the biggest advantages of booking award flights is the flexibility and options they offer. For example, some airlines like Alaska and United (sort) offer free “stopovers” on award flights. Technically, this means you can extend your stop, but it’s also an opportunity to become creative and nerdy.

For example, let’s say you’re flying from LAX to a wedding in Seattle. We got a ticket for 7,500 miles to Alaska plus $ 5.60 one way.

It is actually a great deal for summer travel. But you can make it even better. Using Alaska’s “multi-city search tool”, you can add an extra stop in Portland (or elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest) for free.

In reality, it is a flight from Los Angeles to Portland with a “stopover” (for the wedding) in Seattle, but in reality it acts as two separate tickets for the price of one.

Of course, your travel needs will vary, but consider extending or tinkering your itinerary to get more bang from your wedding. Instead of considering honeymooners as an expensive use of money, miles and vacation days, you can treat them as the beginning of your real summer trip.

SAY “I DON’T DO WITH THE BAGGAGE RATES

What’s the worst part about attending weddings? Not the half-drunk bridesmaid speech – those are pretty funny. These are the fees for checked baggage that you didn’t expect to pay until you realized that your elegant shoes would not be placed in a carry-on bag.

The easiest way to avoid baggage fees is to use a branded air credit card. Many of these offer cardholders free check-in bags, and some even extend this benefit to other passengers loaded with shoes on the same itinerary.

Another sneaky way to avoid the hassle and cost of making formal wear? Do not do it. Rent a suit or dress from a service such as The Black Tux or Rent the Runway and have it delivered to your hotel. Believe me, there is no better feeling than flying to a wedding with nothing but a backpack.

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