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When organising your honeymoon, discussing budget breakdowns with your love might not exactly sound romantic, but it’s definitely recommended to ensure smooth planning and no nasty financial surprises. From initial honeymoon dreaming to destination dining, here are our top fiscal tips for planning the perfect romantic getaway.

Pre-planning

Start a savings plan: Ideally, this will be done early on, so that you have the maximum time to plan and save for your romantic getaway. Be sure to properly research your dream destinations, talk about your budget expectations and agree on your budget with your partner before you start booking.

Consider surprise costs: Don’t forget to include extras like travel insurance and day-to-day transport when drawing up your budget. Even little things like buying bottled water several times a day can really add up!

Create a honeymoon fund: If you and your partner already have a love-nest, maybe a traditional registry isn’t for you. Instead you could consider a honeymoon fund, where guests can contribute to your dream honeymoon, by gifting money or specific activities like a sunset sail or cocktails!

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Flights

Taking several long haul flights, flying on popular dates or to destinations with limited available carriers can be expensive, so if you have your heart set on a faraway locale, be sure to research the flights first.

If island-hopping or visiting several destinations is on the agenda, also consider the price of internal flights, as taking a few short flights during your adventure can quickly add up. Plus, keep an eye out for flash flight sales and travel expo offers, try opting for mid-week flights, or choose to jet off during shoulder or off-peak seasons.

Food

Depending on your honeymoon destination, your daily food expenses could be vastly different to what you might spend dining out when at home, due to economic, locational and seasonal factors.

Of course, if your honeymoon dining wish list includes Michelin-star meals, poolside cocktails, luxe resort buffets or celebrity chef restaurants, it’s even more important to factor these expenses in when considering your overall budget.

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Tipping and taxes: In many popular honeymoon destinations, including the United States and parts of Europe, extra costs are part of everyday wining and dining. So, it’s important to remember to budget for unfavourable exchange rates, tipping for each drink or meal, taxes or service charges. This is also important to remember while perusing the menu once on-location since the price quoted might be without these extra costs. So that ‘$25’ main might be a little pricier than you first thought!

Fine dining: Is a luxurious epicurean experience on your honeymoon agenda? Many upscale eateries offer set menus at lunchtime for a more easily digestible price than evening dining. So, why not save those pennies and enjoy daytime fine dining instead! Plus, don’t forget to let them know you’re on your honeymoon – hello complementary champagne!

Resort rates: If you’re dreaming of a remote hideaway, such as a secluded island resort, it’s a good idea to check out the accommodation restaurant menus before you book. In particularly isolated locations, such as a small skiing village, luxe safari park or tropical island, there may not be many, or any, restaurants or cafes nearby so you may have to dine entirely at your accommodation, which can be particularly pricey. For example, even a simple sandwich could be exorbitant once you factor in resort charges and extra costs.

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Mix it up: Eating on the go and combining simple snacks with gourmet experiences is a great spend-savvy option for honeymooners. If an indulgent buffet breakfast is already included, you can probably stock up at breakfast and forgo a super lavish lunch. Plus, simple meals and snack stops can be some of the best parts of travelling. You and your love could peruse a local market, stop by cute food trucks or take fresh ingredients to a scenic spot – a DIY honeymoon picnic perhaps?

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Accommodation

Got your eye on some Instagram worthy accommodation, with a hefty price tag? Having a budget in place doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little luxury! Simply opt to shorten your stay, or compromise during your trip. For example, splurge on a few highlight hotels to enjoy for a few days, before moving on to a cute guesthouse or unique Airbnb residence for the next part of the trip and so on.

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Sometimes a package or travel expo offer can provide a competitive price, as can contacting the hotel directly. And, if it’s part of a hotel chain, why not sign up for their rewards program? You might be upgraded, receive complementary spa vouchers or earn points towards a special anniversary trip!

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Shopping

A little sartorial spending may take your fancy, but again consider taxes and exchange rates when shopping overseas. For major brands, it’s likely you can get the same item at home, and it might not end up being cheaper once you factor the extra costs in. Consider saving your shopping for sentimental, or unusual purchases that will remind you of your honeymoon, such as a special piece of jewellery or homewares that you will treasure for a lifetime.

All images by Anika Reynolds

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such practical advice – knowing what to plan ahead for certainly helps to avoid those nasty financial surprises. 

About Anika: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!

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Travel Lounge Erin

Today we are sitting back and taking some advice from one of the most well regarded family travel blogs – Travel with Bender. Erin has been travelling with her husband and two kids for the last four years non-stop. If that’s not enough the family have travelled to more than 65 countries, run a blog and several social media accounts as well as help other families plan their own holidays.  Their Instagram account is enough to make you want to pack your bags and say “adios” to the typical nine to five and take on the world. Erin has given us some tips on the perfect romantic getaway; come along with us and see what she had to say.

What is your favourite region?

Choosing a favourite region is hard. We have loved most places we have visited from South East Asia to Europe to North America. I have been to Bali ten times though so I guess that would be a favourite.

Top resort recommendation

I just visited Grand Velas in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico which was incredible. It’s an all-inclusive hotel on the beach, but the food is not your typical all-inclusive. It’s a gastronomic dream with fine dining Italian, Mexican, French and a few more casual options.

I also fell for Villa San Michele in Florence, Italy – it’s a honeymooner’s dream hotel. Can’t go wrong when the sun beds by the pool capture complete views of Florence.

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If you are looking closer to home you can’t go past Samabe in Bali. It sits on a cliff and offers picturesque views of the water for photos and your enjoyment. Plus your butler drives you around on a golf cart!

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Suggestions for great honeymoon activities

KODAK Action Cam

Seawalking on the bottom of the ocean is a great adventure option for something in Bali. Apres in Banff, Canada is a romantic way to finish a day of skiing, plus you can then have a soak in a hot tub out in the middle of the snow at a place like Hidden Ridge Resort

Hidden Ridge Resort

hot air balloon over Cappadocia at sunrise is delightfully romantic and concludes with a champagne toast on landing.

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But if you are like me you may prefer to spend most of the time at your hotel. So spend your money on that. Get a resort which includes some great free activities, like kayaking, walks on the beach and  perhaps even a special dinner right on the beach with gentle waves lapping your feet.

The ideal location for a proposal

For me nothing can take away from the beach. My husband had the opportunity to propose in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. A simple walk on a white sand beach with transparent blue water and I am in heaven.

You can do that close at home in Langkawi, Malaysia or Bali or go further a field and head to the warm waters of the Caribbean. Consider taking a Caribbean cruise and planning the proposal on any number of incredible beaches in the middle of the ocean.

Best kept secret honeymoon location

Many people flock to the Greek islands for a honeymoon. I would consider this a great option, but skip Santorini and head to a smaller, more romantic island. Smaller islands like Sifnos and Kythnos have less tourists, but have the same gorgeous white and blue buildings, same great food and same sparkling waters. Grab a sweet B&B for an authentic Greek experience.

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Alternatively ever thought of Belize? They have the world’s second largest barrier reef right after our own and the main mode of transport around the island is golf cart. Try a stay at Xanadu Island Resort and take a bicycle ride down the beach or go snorkelling with sharks.

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All images via Erin from Travel With Bender

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: A stunning villa in Florence and hot air ballooning in Turkey sound amazing – I’m booking my air tickets now!

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Image via Hotel Academie

Ah Paris! The city of love! When thinking about dream places for a honeymoon, it’s likely this beautiful city will be in your Top 10. And if you’re planning a grand European adventure, France can provide the romance (and the cheese!) for the perfect holiday.

To make this process much easier for you, I have the perfect place for you to stay!

With its address placing it firmly in the quintessential Parisian neighbourhood of Saint Germain-des-Pres, Hotel Academie allows easy access to everything you’ll want to see, as well as being on the door stop to winding paths and cobblestone alleys in which to get lost and discover the magic of Paris.

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Images via Hotel Academie

The hotel lobby is beautifully finished with natural stone walls and beams, and the plum highlights and heavy drapery add an elegant feel. The rooms are styled  in the same way with stunning French provincial chairs, heavy framed portraits and luxurious bedding.Even though the elements are ornate and traditional in style, there is a gorgeous lightness to the interior which feels instantly cosy and calming.

The bathrooms are spacious and luxurious in white marble, and are stocked well with lovely little toiletries. There is no other way to say it then to suggest the rooms are perfectly French, and absolutely beautiful because of it!

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Image via Hotel Academie

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 Rue des Saints-Peres

The hotel itself supplies a lovely buffet breakfast and other items during the day, but being so close to many bakeries, cafes and restaurants makes it very difficult to stay in. One needs only to step out of the hotel to see chocolate shops and florists, and then wander a little further to uncover treasure troves of delicious delights. Les Deux Magots is a very famous restaurant in the area, being frequented by Ernest Hemmingway, Oscar Wilde and others, as well as Cafe De Flore which had Picasso and Sartre as regular patrons. However it won’t take long to wander off the beaten path and make discoveries of your own; discoveries that may delight you more than a well-known tourist spot.

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Rue des Saints-Peres

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Image via Hotel Academie

Saint Germain is known for its book stores, antique shops and small art galleries, and it won’t take long once you leave this hotel to discover a world so Parisian you’ll want to tie a scarf jauntily around your neck and read an old novel on the banks of the Seine.

All of the major galleries and museums are within one kilometre of the hotel, and for the attractions of Paris that are further afield there is an easily accessible Metro station just two streets away. There are numerous outdoor attractions that could hold your attention for days if not weeks, including some of the most beautifully designed gardens you will ever stroll through, hopefully with a baguette in hand!

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All image by Nicola Goring unless otherwise credited

There is nothing better than having a home away from home when travelling, and the Hotel Academie provides a beautiful base camp whilst you discover the tree-lined avenues of this stunning French city. Be sure to listen to some jazz, buy some macarons (if you make it to Champs-Elysees you could even pop into Laduree!) and walk until your legs feel they’re about to fall off. Don’t worry though – you’ve got a beautiful room waiting for you!

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: A beautiful hotel in one of the most beautiful parts of Paris; a fabulous base from which to explore the romance of the City of Love!

About Nicola Goring – I’m Nicola, the florist and crafter behind rubyandjoy. I’m a gardening, fabric loving, mint tea drinking, brownie baking, book obsessed maker! I love a good adventure having just moved back from five years in Scotland (with my lovely Scottish husband).