3/15 Real Bride Ciji: Planning for Paradise

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Affiliate Disclaimer NewParadise, a place of timeless harmony. Yes, sign me up! That’s exactly what I need after months of planning and a day of the best case of sensory overload that I anticipate I will ever feel. We just don’t want to invest a TON of money into an amplified vacation, better known as our honeymoon.

With that in mind, Travis and I sat down and mapped out how we could  get the best bang for our buck without compromising the quality of our special time away as newlyweds. We booked what we hope to be the trip of lifetime this week and we didn’t break the bank. Even better we were under budget.

This is how we did it:

Step 1: Identify one credit card to use for ALL wedding purchases. If you don’t already have a card in your wallet that racks up a bunch of points per purchase, then do some research and identify the best credit card based on the points rewards system.

Step 2: If you are OK with visiting a destination during the off-season and taking the risk of inclement weather than you will probably score a better deal on hotel prices. If you are not a risk taker, check out step 3.

Step 3: We narrowed down our destinations by the time of year that we planned to travel and then we determined our top three non-negotiables. We used that criteria to determine where we will go and the type of experience that we will have. Before booking, I checked all of the credible discount travel websites, including my favorites LivingSocial and Groupon.  Trust me, LivingSocial Escapes are legit! We traveled to Egypt a couple of years ago and had the time of our life!

Real Bride Ciji.Honeymoon

We can’t wait to visit the Riu Aruba Antillas! Photo Credit: Riu.com

Step 4: Once all of the ducks are in a row, check out your points and determine which airline works best. We used our American Express points to secure two first class seats on Delta, winning!

Step 5: Remember to keep your non-negotiables at the top of the list when you are making travel decisions. We are not super concerned about flying first class when we return from the honeymoon so we are booking on a different airline and using the points that we have, another pair of free flights!

Step 6: For our excursions, spa dates, adventures and dining experiences we added an option to our wedding registry to “gift” us with some special add-ons.

We have so many magical moments to look forward to and I have to admit that booking the time away and not blowing the budget will help to maintain the sanity as we cross the finish line!