In less than two weeks, I’ll be married.
There’s a lot of planning that goes along with a wedding, and honestly, it’s a little stressful. Even when you’re trying to keep things simple, and frugal (which, by the way, is pretty much impossible if you have 150 people joining you and you want to feed them — more on that later).
You know what shouldn’t be stressful? The honeymoon.
Where Should We Go?
Belize was at the top of our list initially. It sounds magical, has beaches, fun things to do, and isn’t so super far away. Brent looked into it. September is hurricane season in Central America. Should we go in November? Maybe the week of Thanksgiving? We’d only have to take a few days off and we would get a whole week off in return!
My sister wasn’t having any of that. So we’ll spend Thanksgiving here, and host it for the first time. That will be sweet and wonderful. We floated the idea of going to Hawaii as a family for Thanksgiving, but that turned out to be better kept in the idea stage. Turns out, nobody really wants to travel the week of Thanksgiving.
We’re getting married on a Sunday, and we want to maximize our time on vacation, so when Brent heard that his friends went to California’s wine country for their honeymoon, that sounded about right to us.
Can We Travel Frugally?
Brent booked us flights to Oakland, and a rental car. For several weeks, the joke was that we were going on our honeymoon in Oakland (no offense to anyone who’s actually done that). The flights were cheap, the car rental was inexpensive, and we knew we wanted to stay somewhere in wine country.
I’ll save you the trouble of looking this up yourself: wine country hotels are expensive. On the one hand, yes, it’s our honeymoon, but on the other hand, I simply cannot possibly justify spending $4,000 on a hotel room! HOLY SMOKES you guys. That’s crazy expensive for six nights. Even if it came with daily massages (which it didn’t), it would be really hard to spend that kind of money on a place to sleep.
Plus, we’ll be spending all kinds of money anyway on excursions, though we don’t yet have any plans (which I think is kind of the point of said honeymoon), shouldn’t we allocate our money differently?
Solution: Honeymooning with AirBnB
Brent looked on AirBnB and found an adorable cottage two blocks off the main square in Sonoma. Two blocks! The average nightly rate was around $125, and we have the whole place to ourselves, including a cute garden for coffee drinking and book reading.
Of course, I can’t find the link right now, but go to AirBnB, search for Sonoma, CA, and see all the options! There are so many private homes available to rent.
Our total cost for the week? Including a cleaning fee and the AirBnB fees? $1300. Which is still a lot of money, but nowhere near the $500/night fancy pants hotel.
Why Honeymoon with AirBnB?
I love the idea of “living like a local” in wine country (although if we were really locals, we’d be a lot more frugal with our choices). No matter how nice a hotel room is, you still don’t want to spend much time in what’s basically a bedroom. Don’t go there — this is a family website!
You wake up, spend a little time lazing around, then you get ready, and leave the room for the day. At least that’s how I treat hotel rooms. But with a cottage, we can go grocery shopping and get breakfast food, and laze about all morning long without feeling like a real slug who spent half the day in bed.
I know I’ll be more relaxed if we don’t have to go out for every meal. I’ll happily laze about drinking coffee in the morning, planning our days as they come.
I’ll report back after our trip with the good, the bad, and whether or not there were naked pictures on the wall.
Get $25 from AirBnb
If you’re interested in using AirBnB for your travels, use this link and get $25 toward your first trip. They really want to spread the word, and they’re offering incentives for signing up — whether you want to go on a trip, or rent your own space out, you’ll be given a little boost toward that by using my link.