A fairy-tale wedding can turn into unhappily ever after if you blow all your money on a honeymoon. Newlyweds spent an average of $5,111 for their honeymoon in 2006, according to a Conde Nast Bridal Infobank survey — more if they traveled through Europe for a few weeks. Travel experts say you can have your romantic getaway with significant savings, provided you plan ahead, are flexible and have a broader view of what’s romantic. 

A fairy-tale wedding can turn into unhappily ever after if you blow all your money on a honeymoon. Newlyweds spent an average of $5,111 for their honeymoon in 2006, according to a Conde Nast Bridal Infobank survey — more if they traveled through Europe for a few weeks. Travel experts say you can have your romantic getaway with significant savings, provided you plan ahead, are flexible and have a broader view of what’s romantic. 

Be flexible

Honeymoons don’t need to start on your wedding night. You can save around 25 percent on airfare, accommodations and some attractions by going in the middle of the week, advises Gaylene Ore of Ore Communications, a marketing and public relations firm for resorts, destinations and tourism boards in Granby, Colo.

Save 20 percent to 40 percent by traveling out of season, such as staying at a ski resort in the summer, says Jerry Windley-Daoust, who with his wife, Susan, operates www.creativehoneymoonideas.info.

Go all-inclusive

Save as much as 50 percent by eating, drinking, participating in activities and staying at one resort instead of going a la carte at different locations, Ore says. These types of resorts are especially beneficial for couples who enjoy doing a variety of activities. All-inclusive resorts can be found at popular sunny destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean, with dude ranches also gaining in popularity, Ore says.

Get walking

Choose a location where you can walk to all the local attractions, or somewhere with free or low-cost transportation nearby. This could save you $150 to $400 a week on the cost of a rental car.

“There is no need for a car in Telluride, Colo., thanks to a free shuttle that runs on biodegradable fuel and a free, year-round gondola,” Ore says.

Many major cities like New York, Chicago and Las Vegas have attractions in a central walkable area, plus low-cost transportation to take you farther.

Look for discounts

A sluggish economy has resulted in an average 14 percent drop in the price of hotels, says Lily Karp of www.hotels.com. Hotel rooms in Las Vegas and Castries, St. Lucia, can be found as low as $75 a night, she says.

Stretch your savings by asking for discounts at restaurants and attractions you plan on visiting and looking online for coupons. Ore says the savings with coupons can be as much as 50 percent.

Ask for financial help

Honeymoon registries are becoming more popular, Windley-Daoust says. Set up similar to a wedding registry, they are broken down into components so wedding guests can pay for a part of your honeymoon, such as a dinner at a certain restaurant, a pedicure, a night’s stay in the hotel or a round of golf.

There often is a fee for the service. Windley-Daoust says some charge 7 percent to 9 percent; others charge a flat fee.

Think outside the box

You don’t have to spend your honeymoon in a luxury resort or hotel room. There are alternatives that can result in big savings.

Go camping “What’s more romantic than standing at the top of a mountain?” asks Jerry Windley-Daoust of www.creativehoneymoonideas.info, who spent his honeymoon at Banff National Park in Canada. For about $30 a night you can camp at any national park. 

Bed-and-breakfasts There are many bed-and-breakfasts with honeymoon packages, says Alice Suh of www.BnBFinder.com. A bed-and-breakfast can cost 10 percent to 30 percent less than a hotel, Ore says.

Hospitality clubs If you are bent on traveling to a different country, consider hooking up with a hospitality club. Windley-Daoust says you sign up with a club and could stay at the home of a couple for free. He says host couples see this as a way to meet people from other countries.