Courtesy of Dreams Resorts & Spas
Are you looking into less expensive options for your honeymoon? Tammy Levent, owner of Elite Travel, gives you inside tips on how to find the best value for your dollar in some of the most romantic budget-friendly locations.
Just because your honeymoon budget is tight doesn't mean you have to settle for cheap hotels. To find good value for less money, look for older resorts that have been recently renovated or have come under new management and need to bring in business. When a resort has to change its name, like when another chain takes over, the new owners have to let people know it's a new, rebranded property—which they do by attracting guests with ridiculously inexpensive rates. For instance when the Sunscape resort, Puerto Aventuras in Mexico became a Dreams Resort & Spa, they beautifully renovated the entire property and are currently offering low introductory prices.
New hotels face the same challenge: gaining new clientele. The Riu Guanacaste, an all-inclusive 5-star property currently being built in Costa Rica...
will offer rooms at discounted rates during its opening.
Sometimes you'll find a resort that is under partial construction--and depending on where the construction is (ie. how far from your room), you may be able to find a great deal. The Crane in Barbados is a 5-star resort with some construction currently underway on one side of the property, and they're offering introductory deals.
How will you know where to look for these bargains? Ask a travel agent. A good agency will know what resorts are opening and which are being refurbished. First-hand experience is vital, so make sure the agent has been to the resort that interests you. Don't be afraid to book in advance—you won't save money by waiting until the last minute because travel agencies should adjust your cost if the price of the trip goes down, or if a special promotion comes in.
In addition to consulting a travel agent, read what former guests have said on user review sites or wedding blogs to find out whether a resort really is a deal (or just cheap). However, a few words of caution on review sites: they tend to attract extreme experiences that motivate users to post, and some properties use these sites to promote themselves. Look for a pattern of positive experiences or negative reviews, and use an image search engine to find pictures taken by real guests--and maybe even their personal blogs where they tell-all about their stays. —Tammy Levent