Who pays $4,000 for a honeymoon!?

As Girl Ninja and I approach our wedding day, we have began the honeymoon planning phase. I have alluded to the honeymoon cost ($4K) in a few posts and have received my fair share of criticism. Especially after this article got picked up by the Consumerist. After reading some of the “not-so-nice” comments I can’t help but think this is what some people are saying….

Pam: Ninja must be off his rocker. Who does he think he is, spending $4,000 on a honeymoon?

Deb: I know. It’s like he thinks he’s one of those millionaires or something. Seems pretty stupid to me.

Pam: Yeah. I totally agree. I can’t believe he thinks he’s qualified to have a personal finance blog when he clearly lives a life of luxury.

Deb: I know right. He’s totally hypocritical. Plus, he probably smells weird.

Am I planning on spending $4,000 on a honeymoon? Yes. Do I care if some think that is too much money for a vacation? No. Sorry, but I don’t. Girl Ninja and I are looking to head somewhere in the Caribbean, possibly Aruba or Puerto Rico. I have made a spreadsheet with some of our favorite places, and the cost of each trip….

As you can see, the estimates run from $3,500-$4,200 for a seven day vacation. Now that you know how much we are looking at spending and where we are planning on going, it’s time to roll my sleeves up and put the boxing gloves on.

Here’s why I’m okay “blowing” 20% of my savings on a “silly” vacation…

1) Girl Ninja and I both have a relatively limited exposure to the world. Mexico, Canada, and the Marshal Islands are the only places I’ve been. GN’s experiences are pretty similar. We figure our honeymoon is the perfect excuse to gain some insight in to a different culture. Sure we could probably spend $2,500 and a cash advance on a week long vacation in Hawaii, but we aren’t just taking a honeymoon to sit on a beach all day and do nothing. We want to interact with the locals, go on some tours, and take advantage of all that a foreign country has to offer.

2) I have the money to do it. I don’t think anyone who reads my blog regularly, would say I have a problem saving money. In fact I’ve increased my net worth by over $30,000 in the last year. I save diligently, so that I can afford to do fun things when the opportunity arises. Yes, my savings account will take an 18% hit, but at my current savings rate, I will be able to recoup the loss in a couple of months. I bet if I said I had a $10,000 emergency fund and a $10,000 vacation/fun fund, instead of $20K in savings, people wouldn’t give me any grief. Sometimes people, including myself, forget it’s okay to spend money. I think I’m due for a little treat.

3) This honeymoon is going to be a big deal for our relationship. Our honeymoon will be a time of many firsts. I’ve shared reasons why GN and I do not live together, but I should also note, we have never even stayed the night in the same room. Thus, we have never vacationed together, not even a weekend get-away. The honeymoon would be the first time Girl Ninja and I sleep in the same bed together, the first time we wake up next to each other, the first time I have to remember to put the toilet seat down after going potty. It will be our first taste of the married life, and we want it to be AMAZING. If you haven’t caught on by now, let me spell it out for you…

Even though we have been together for 3.5 years, we made a choice early in our relationship to NOT participate in any “adult” activities until we got hitched. (wow that felt awkward to type)

I know some of my critics have my best interest at heart, and don’t want to watch me throw away a good chunk of change on a one week trip, but I hope you see that this is much more than “a vacation”. It’s going to be a time of many firsts and I’m totally fine splurging for a nicer vacation to ensure the week is awesome.

Okay, now that I feel totally awkward for sharing point 3, let’s open the floor for discussion.

1) Where do you think I should go on my honeymoon?

2) Where did you go (or want to go) on your honeymoon?

3) Do you think I’m spending too much on “a vacation”?

4) What’s the coolest thing about the honeymoon experience?

61 thoughts on “Who pays $4,000 for a honeymoon!?

  1. I think it is solid to spend $4k on whatever you want, you have the money. No sense in waiting to live your life until you are old and flabby. P.S. feel free to pack me in your suitcase I won't be much trouble πŸ˜‰

  2. If you're considering St Lucia, look into Ti Kaye. We went there for our honeymoon in January and had a SPECTACULAR time.

    If you do, take your shopping money (there's not much to buy in St Lucia IMHO, even in the capital) and put it towards having a romantic dinner at the Rainforest Hideaway. It's only accessible by boat, and it's wonderful.

  3. Costa Rica is excellent, but no need to limit your vacation to just one resort. It's a small country – explore a little. Also, the budget for Costa Rica seems to be a bit high unless you're flying business class – right now you can get round trip tickets for like $300 each (from the East Coast – not sure what the West Coast premium is).

    Enjoy your honeymoon – you deserve it.

  4. It's a vacation, it's okay to spend a little dough if you've saved up for it. As long as you don't think going on a $4,000 trip every year is going to fit into your budget, you're fine.

    We actually went to Disney World for our honeymoon, because we're both mentally 5. It was fantastic and we ran around the parks like a pair of kids and ate ourselves silly at the restaurants and didn't give two toots if we were spending money because we'd been saving up for it for 2 years.

    (Do I really need to tell you what the best part of the honeymoon is? Even if you have been engaging in 'adult activities' it's just different when it's your first time as a married couple.)

  5. 1. Go where you both will have a great time

    2. We went to Petite St. Vincent – http://www.psvresort.com – It's a bit pricier than the ones your are looking at, but not by much. Plus it's all inclusive, as private as you want, and the level of service we received was unmatched by any other resort we have been to or looked at.

    3. Not at all, spend how much you can afford, if you can easily afford a $100,000 vacation and want to spend that much, DO IT! It's your money.

    4. Umm….. yeah….

  6. I've been to the Caribbean only once on a cruise where we went through the Panama Canal and also saw parts of Costa Rica, Colombia, and Mexico. Haven't been married, but personally when I travel, I'm more likely to head to Europe, which I've done about a dozen times. I wouldn't worry about spending the money; $4K is within your reach.

  7. 1) I don't have much of an opinion on where you shoudl go b/c I haven't been to any of the places you are considering. Sorry!

    2) We went to a small ski town in New Mexico for a week for a few reasons. Reason one: the stay was free because hubby's grandfather owned it. We were two broke college kids who probably woudln't have even had a honeymoon if that weren't an option. Reason two: that is where he proposed. πŸ™‚ It's nice because we can go back every year on our anniversary, have a great time, and still not have to pay to stay.

    3) Nope, I don't. The whole thing about personal finance is that its personal. You've done a fine job of saving and managing your money up to this point. If it a priority in your life to see more of the world, and to interact with people from other cultures, then this makes complete sense.

    4) We made the same decision you and Mrs. Ninja made. So all I have to say is…Brown chicken brown cow.

  8. Sorry to hear you got criticism on your honeymoon budget. I'm a big believer in the value of vacation and especially such a special one!

    1) Where do you think I should go on my honeymoon? Of the places you listed I've visited them all except St. Lucia. I would recommend Costa Rica for the variety of experiences available (jungle, mountains, beach).

    2) Where did you go (or want to go) on your honeymoon? Mr. Boomer and I decided to do something retro and went to Niagra Falls. It was fun.

    3) Do you think I’m spending too much on “a vacation”? No. It's not just a vacation and I spend a large amount each year on this as well.

    4) What’s the coolest thing about the honeymoon experience? You'll be creating memories as a married couple. I can't count the number of times we talk about past vacations and shared experiences.

  9. 1) It depends if you want to just relax or go sight seeing or both. If relax, then choose a beach location. Sightseeing then to European city like Prague or Venice. If both, go for something like Nice or Cannes.

    2) Probably Europe sightseeing. Or just hole-up in a cabin somewhere in the woods to just relax.

    3) Nawh. There's two of you and I'm assuming your honeymoon will be about 1 week long. That's just $2000 per person. And if you further to Thailand or someplace, flights get more expensive not to mention hotel and food. It's your honeymoon. Live it up!

    4) Can't say. Not married yet. ;p

  10. We went to St. Lucia on our honeymoon and it was wonderful! We stayed at Ti Kaye and it was wonderful! I am really frugal and it was hard for me to part with the money, but I am so glad we went. If you want to interact with the locals I would definately check them out. Ti Kaye is all about people getting to experience as much as possible of the island.

  11. 1. Dude Ninja, go where you want. I advocate somewhere warm though, so it looks like you have your bases covered.

    2. No freakin clue! We might do a destination wedding, which would solve itself, but we want it to be somewhere we've never been, which is a BUNCH of places :D.

    3. Heck no!! You have the money saved, you're fortunate that you don't have to pay for the wedding, and you're frugal by nature. You know you'll recoup the funds in very little time. Do what you do!

    4. Not married, but having engaged in "adult activities," I think I can tell you what the top three on my list will be (same word, and repeat), and they'll all have the suffix "cuz we're MARRIED snitches!!"

  12. 1: Honestly all of the places you are looking at will be great! It's your honeymoon..sight seeing may end up on the backburner, speaking as a newlywed myself!
    2: My hubby and I went to Playa del Carmen; we won't be going back again, but that's probably because we both got nasty food poisoning…we're talking projectile vomiting in the honeymoon suite-it was hot.
    3: I think your budget is on target. You only get a honeymoon once in your life!
    4: We also made the same decision as your point #3, so yep, good memories. (whenever we weren't vomiting of course!) hope you guys have a blast!

  13. We spent more on my honeymoon then our wedding. Our wedding was <$3K and our honeymoon was almost $9K. We went on safari in Africa and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. For a couple who usually spends under $2K on a vacation, it was crazy amounts of money. .

    My vote is go somewhere that you can't go easily once you have kids. We made a point to go to the most far away and underdeveloped places first before kids came into the picture. For example, I'm not going to bring my kids anywhere that requires 5 kinds of shots to get in the country. Okay, so it may be a little far fetched to go slumming in Thailand, but you get the picture.

    Travel has always been a priority in our budget and we will cut all kinds of things in exchange for seeing the world and experiencing new cultures.

  14. 1) Where do you think I should go on my honeymoon? – Turks and Caicos

    2) Where did you go (or want to go) on your honeymoon? – Cornwall in the UK ….and we took my sister. Please don't take a sibling with you! My better half never lets me forget, with a wry look on the face, why in the h.e.l.l. did we take my sister along???? I think I was scurred???

    3) Do you think I’m spending too much on “a vacation”? – No it's your honeymoon. Splurge now while you can because once those kiddies enter stage right you probably wont be able to do it again until they exit stage left.

    4) What’s the coolest thing about the honeymoon experience? – Everyone expects you to have sex. Yay!

  15. Have fun on your honeymoon! Honestly, you just want to choose the option which will give you the last headache, because all of those places are going to be an amazing place to be.

  16. 1) Costa Rica, because I'm going to Costa Rica. Yup, all that!

    2) I want to go to the Far East for my honeymoon, a place so far removed from anything I've ever known and have the one person in my life right beside me as we experience this together. I'm really looking at China right now…

    3) Fool! NO! Although if you do take my advice and go to CR, you might be spending a bit too much. CR is pretty cheap actually. With Jamaica and PR, there really are no locals. I've never been to either, but I heard Jamaica is NOT the safest place to go unless you stay at a resort. With PR, you are pretty much going to Miami since it is a commonwealth of the US. I doubt that you'll be hearing much Spanish. I've heard to same for certain parts of CR, which is why BF and I are staying as far away as possible from any aiports/cities when we go.

    4) I'm not married yet, but I'm guessing the "adult" activities part is going to be awesome!

  17. We rocked out Greece and spent double what you spent, for 10 days. IT WAS AMAZING and the memories we had will last a lifetime. I said it in the previous post and I am saying it in this one – Do it up and have fun!

    All that being said, I am more shocked about the other revelations in the post. Call me progressive or just a dirty guy, but I think its crazy (half in a good way half in a bad way) that you guys dated for 3.5 years without sleeping in the same bed or other adult activities!

  18. St. Lucia!!! This blog has the best artistry I have ever seen. Thank you for covering up Girl Ninja. I also was laughing at the Title of your spread sheet!

  19. Ninja – you are awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!! My boyfriend and I are getting more involved with our church and coming from a non-religious childhood, I am learning quite a bit about faith. We are grappling with new concepts about "adult" activities and living together and all that jazz and I think how you live your life is really great. I'm curious to know more about your religious background, but I don't want to be nosy. πŸ™‚

    Yeah, my BF and I have talked about how much we're going to spend on our honeymoon. We wanna go all out because it's once in a lifetime and it's super special!!!!!!!! You spend that $4K and you have fun!! πŸ™‚

    • I have no problem sharing. I was raised in a secular house, but my Junior year of high school went to a Christian summer camp and realized I was missing something from my life that I needed…. God. Girl Ninja was raised in a Christian household. We are by no means perfect, but we believe it is important to live a lifestyle that matches our spiritual beliefs. No sense in being a Christian if you don't actively participate in your faith.

  20. We got married in the Bahamas (only 3 people attending) and had our honeymoon there as well. It was a blast. I loved it. I say that spend as much as you want ( read: can afford) because I assume that you are in marriage for life and you'll only have a honeymoon once. It's so awesome. The all-inclusive thing is pretty sweet too because then you don't have to worry ( so much) about food. We stayed at Sandals and Atlantis. Our total wedding cost ( plus flights) was around 10,000.00. It was the trip of a lifetime. The Bahamas has kind of become our place now.

    Blessings,

  21. Have no idea in telling you where to visit. Just know that you have saved for this and are obviously a financially responsible person. Go for it! It's okay to spend money when you have it…that's what you're saving it for eventually, right?! And a honeymoon is a great way to spend it.

    Seriously…take the time to enjoy one another and the trip. It MIGHT be a once-in-a-lifetime thing and you should make every moment of it awesome.

    The best part of the honeymoon? Well, it is just YOURS together. You can choose what to do and where to go…and when, where (within legal boundaries), and how often to engage in said "adult" activities. Unfortunately, when you return to "real life" there are many, many, many outside influences that will limit your ability to just enjoy one another however you choose to do so. Enjoy the time that it yours (together) alone. It might be a while before you get that chance again.

    Trust me…I have two children under 5. Very little of our life is spontaneous or just about us anymore. It will be a while before it is again.

  22. Dude, it's totally cool. In fact 4k is down right reasonable.

    My wife and I planned and paid for our whole wedding on our own (w/o going into debt), so our official honeymoon was small, a couple of days in wine country to relax, which only cost a few hundred. 1 year later, after saving diligently (and purchasing a house), we were able to take our belated honeymoon to France for 7 days (~5K). New Years in Paris was absolutely fantastic and worth every penny.

    I wouldn't sweat the cost either, you only have so much time to travel when you're young, and life experience isn't something you can really put a price on. So if you have the cash in hand, do it.

  23. Pfff… it is your honeymoon. Go knock her socks off – and enjoy the *ahem* adult activities. =)

    also… FTW: "the first time I have to remember to put the toilet seat down after going potty"

    Don't forget to put the toilet paper on the rack the correct way, that bugs the heck out of me. πŸ˜‰

  24. 1. Wherever you darn well please! πŸ™‚
    2. We both like the idea of Italy. Then again, we also like the sounds of seeing the odd attractions of the world like Chernobyl and WW2 bunkers in Europe.
    3. Sounds about right. There's certainly more expensive destinations out there.
    4. See #2. We don't know from experience but when you meet someone that shares your passion for the exploration of some pretty awful places, then yeah, it's going to be a good time. We live together and have already traveled within the US and enjoyed ourselves, I suppose a joint international trip will be an awesome first as a couple!

  25. I just got back from Costa Rica myself and have to say that it was an awesome experience. I actually was at Paradisius at Playa Conchal to do some shopping (the beach there is AMAZING and there is a girl Deanna that makes the most beautiful glass blown jewelry by hand).

    It's nice, but if you want to be in an area with more stuff to walk to, I'd suggest staying in Tamarindo. However, taxis are really cheap (like $10 to get into "town" which is Tamarindo). So my vote is Costa Rica! I've yet to have a honeymoon experience, but I'm guessing the best part will also be accompanied by "bow chicka, bow bowwww"!

  26. You're doing the right thing. I'm a single mother bringing up 4 teenage boys and paying off our home, but I've taken the boys overseas 3 times. We're in Australia, so South East Asia is the closest affordable place for us. (Bali, Thailand and Singapore).
    Money spent on travel is NEVER wasted, (especially for teenagers.) It opens you up to new sights, sounds and smells and you see things you'd never see in your normal day to day life.
    Enjoy the holiday! After all, why bother saving if you're not going to enjoy yourself?

  27. 1. Your options sound great—tropical, culture, romantic. I vote for Jamaica, since I've always wanted to go there…
    2. My husband and I (9 yrs!) went on a 10 day road trip + 32 mile mountian pass hike for our honeymoon. Not alot of 'adult activies' were to be had whilst bunking down in a tent after a day of boulder scrambling. But hey—it was memorable and very, very affordable! We probably spent less than $500.00.
    3. Important, life changing, valuable experiences are what we save $$$ for. Go ahead and spend $10K on your honeymoon if you've got it and want to.
    4. The best thing about a honeymoon experience is realizing that you've made an amazing commitment to an amazing person and now you are both different, and your futures are different, for it.

    and….
    My husband and I didn't go away right after our wedding—choosing to do our Honeymoon Hike three weeks after the wedding. BAD DECISION. I remember going back to work just a few days after the wedding and feeling…angry! Getting married is a big, life changing deal—-go on your honeymoon immediately after the ceremony etc. and get down to the business of being husband and wife!!!

  28. You might look into vrbo.com or vacation rentals.com for accommodations instead of a hotel. It is really nice to have a house as a home base for things like this and it is usually cheaper than a hotel. You also get the perk of having a kitchen and would be able to cook a meal or two at the house which would save on money too.

  29. 1) Where do you think I should go on my honeymoon? – Wherever the heck you want!

    2) Where did you go (or want to go) on your honeymoon? – Hmm. Sooo many places! Europe – Greece, Venice, Italy, France… Or maybe to Vegas! Lol. (I do want to see Vegas, although perhaps not on my honeymoon).

    3) Do you think I’m spending too much on “a vacation”? I think 4k is pretty reasonable, actually. People I think expect unrealistic things of PF bloggers…. A honeymoon isn't 'just' a vacation IMO.

    4) What’s the coolest thing about the honeymoon experience? Don't know. I'll let you know when I find out

  30. I think that you should go wherever you and Girl Ninja want to and decide together. I would looove Hawaii or Costa Rica. But all of your options sound like fun. I think all-inclusive is also the way to go.

    I want go to go Hawaii I think, or even South Africa! Really anywhere warm!

    I don't think you are spending too much. You have saved for it. If you had not saved for it I would tell you it was a lot to spend. But you have planned and deserve this vacation. You're going to be married, it's a one time thing!

    Coolest thing…not sure, I'm not married. Calling the other your wife, or husband sounds pretty cool though and spending all your time having fun not worrying about life just yet.

  31. People who are giving you crap about your honeymoon budget really need to take into account that you're not paying for your wedding! I wish we spent more on our honeymoon and less on our wedding – our portion of our wedding was 15k!

    You only (hopefully) get married once – enjoy your 4k honeymoon πŸ™‚ And don't be afraid to tell EVERYONE you're on your honeymoon – you might end up with some perks!

  32. You should check out the Caravan Costa Rica Tour… it's 10 days and $995 per person. The flights to SJO, where the tour picks up and ends, are around $300 or less.

  33. Hey, if you have the money, GO FOR IT! My husband and I saved a bunch but that's because money was going to be tight. So we scrimped where possible. Though we still went overboard on souvenirs, so budget for that.

    But, really, even if you don't go somewhere exotic, you're looking at a good chunk of money. Any halfway decent hotel will cost you $75-150 (depending what you consider acceptable for a honeymoon and what deals travel sites offer). So a week will run you a minimum of $600, say. Then there are plane tickets to get you there. If you get a great deal on airfare, you might both be able to travel for $300ish each. Then you need to rent a car. If you're lucky, you can get away with about $200 for a week.

    In other words, for any honeymoon, bare minimum (and not including activities or eating) you'll be looking at almost $1400. And that's being REALLY careful about money, which a lot of couples don't want to fuss over on their honeymoon. So I think $4,000 is a lot of money, but it's YOUR money and the honeymoon is a great way to adjust to being married and to get away from the stress of the wedding. So spend whatever you want (that you have available to spend) on that special trip.

    As for where you go, I say just make sure it's some place that you'll both really enjoy. That speaks to both of your personalities. Tim and I considered some place really romantic but most of them included oceans. And Tim has severe eczema, which means lots of open skin. And open skin + salt water = screaming.

    So we decided to do something more our speed. We went down to Orlando and hit a bunch of amusement parks. We had a blast! Roller coasters, scenery, just a ton of fun. The best one was Universal Orlando/Islands of Adventure. Tim loved Busch Gardens because it had some great roller coasters. (Also because they give you a free beer.) We wanted to hit up some water parks, too, but some health problems meant we couldn't.

    Point is, we went somewhere completely non-traditional and had a great time. Whenever anyone found out our plans, they looked a little surprised but then would really warm to the idea and talk about how cool it was.

    Of course, I searched for ticket deals for a couple of months before choosing. (Got a buy-one-day, get 6 more free pass to Universal/Islands of Adventure.) And we had a long engagement so my mom and I got airline credit cards and built up enough miles to get our plane tickets free. Then a friend who worked at a Holiday Inn called in her friends & family credits to get us a cheap room. So our honeymoon was pretty affordable. Even so, with food, a rental car, and souvenirs (for ourselves and others) the bill was something like $1,500-2,000. So $4,000 is luxurious but by no means ridiculously expensive.

    I had one friend, though, who booked a Sands resort. Cost $8,000 for an all-inclusive package. Apparently it was a great time, but they were still paying it off when they separated two or three years later.

  34. We paid over $5k for ours, so to me, you're a cheapskate.
    We hadn't traveled together before either and it was definitely awesome. You're going to love it no matter where you go and no matter what you do.

  35. I know I am late in the game here but this was my honeymoon experience. I was surprising my wife with a trip to Portugal and souther spain. awesome. all planned, ready to go. Two weeks of nothing but great times.

    2 days before my wedding I broke my foot. We had to cancel our honeymoon and head back to the suburbs of chicago for a diagnosis (they thought I needed surgery). 4 days after our wedding, we find out we can go on a trip, because I did not need surgery. We book next day to Cancun from expedia.com (almost bought a week at a nudy resort in Jamaica- but caught it at the last minute and went to cancun instead- phew). While there, I am on crutches, can't swim at all. Got sand and water in my cast. My wife gets a crazy sinus infection where she is puking like crazy and holed up in the room for three days.

    That was our last vacation because our debt woes began a year later.

    So go take your f'in 4,000 vacation and live it up. Who knows when you get another chance. Shut up haters! Even though our cancun trip was not what we planned, we still ventured forth and went to chichen itza, got lost on the way back and took an 8 hour tour of random villages in mexico, and loved every minute. GO! Guilt free. Heck, If I had cash I'd pay for it for you. Have fun- good luck- you're responsible enough to pay the debt down.

  36. congratulations.

    DON'T GO TO PUERTO RICO. we stayed in a very secluded part in the rain forest, other than that it was a complete waste of time – very american entitlement without the ambition, the place just doesn't feel authentic about anything. I think the worst experience in any of your other places would be better than your best experience in PR. Just my very opinionated opinion :).

    I hope you enjoy where ever you go!

  37. 1. Wherever you two want to go. I have only been to one place on your list-Jamaica- and loved it! But I would love to go to all the other places too.
    2. Cancun πŸ™‚ We went to Club Med and I have to say it was really awesome to have everything paid for and literally not a care in the world.
    3. Nope. My only tip would be to sign up for frequent flier miles. Over the years, my husband and I have racked up a ton of miles and gone on some pretty awesome trips without the expense of a flight. This summer we are off to Turks and Caicos, all on miles baby:)
    4. We waited too, so obviously that was fun. I think just starting your life together. The thrill of the wedding and seeing all of your friends and family the day before. Finally being a Mr and Mrs. There are so many amazing things ahead of you…just enjoying the week and being away from reality and responsibility (and blogging-no pditf updates while you are there!!). I love my children and I love my house (and the mortgage that comes with it)…but the feeling of freedom that I connect with our honeymoon is something that we will always cherish.
    Trina

  38. Ninja,

    If you honestly are putting down a till death committment without the knowledge of physical compatability (adult and otherwise), I would say don't worry about the small stuff πŸ™‚ Go where you would like, spend what you would like. Pray that your only worry upon returning is rebuilding some savings.

    Good Luck!

  39. My husband and I spent about $6-7K on our honeymoon, and I wouldn't have changed it for a thing! We planned and saved to do it that way, and I got to see 2 Canadian provinces I had never been to, and I had a fantastic time with once in a life time experiences (we made moon shine, went lobster fishing, dug our own clams out of the ocean and cooked them up, just to name a few).

  40. Good morning, Debt Ninja!

    1) Where do you think I should go on my honeymoon?
    Not my call. But be sure to consider Saint Kitts, *Nevis*, and Dominca. All are lesser known, but have BEAUTIFUL spots. I cant recommend more details if you message me.

    2)
    I love the idea of going to the Caribbean, but it's definitely up for consultation with fiancée if there ever is one.

    3)
    Not my call.

    4)
    I'm guess that your firsts will be the coolest thing. You needn't feel awkward about sharing what you did. If you confidently share your wise, albeit unconventional, financial decisions, you can likewise confidently share your wise, albeit unconventional, sexual decisions. In a world excessively accustomed to the ubiquity of sex, it's refreshing to see your spattered allusions to living a chaste life.

  41. Ummm…your honeymoon is a once in a lifetime thing! And $4000 sounds about right to me. 12 years ago, my ex husband and I went to Disneyworld. After flight, hotel, car and spending money, I think we spent about $2250, give or take. I think it's great. Have a fantastic time wherever you two decide to go!

  42. I went back and read the comments on your prior Dave Ramsey post, and I have to say I can't find a single one where someone was harshly criticizing you. You are slightly guilty of a Straw Man argument in this entry.

    My comment may have been one of the ones you were referring to. But really, what I was trying to say was this: whatever you do, do it because you want to, not because you think it's expected of you. Diamond engagement rings, large fancy weddings, and Carribean/tropical vacations are all relatively recent inventions which can cost a pretty penny. My wife and I did spring for an expensive diamond ring — because that's what people do when they get engaged — which we both now regret (a simple gold band would have been just as meaningful as a symbol). But we also skipped the honeymoon week on a beach and don't feel like we missed a thing.

    Your life is yours. As long as you aren't hurting others, do whatever you want. But do it because it's truly what you want. It sounds like (based on this entry) you've convinced yourself that you want a Caribbean vacation, and you've budgeted for it responsibly. Enjoy.

    • Perhaps I should have clarified. The commenters on my blog were not harsh. It was the comments on the consumerist article that only shared a snippit of my post that really brought on the drama. There are 134 comments on the article right now, so you are more tan welcome to read through them but here's a few of my favorites…

      "I don't mean to sound like a jackass (no, really, I don't – it's like a natural talent, it just happens), but if Debt Ninja doesn't have a solid grasp on this basic economic theory, maybe "personal finance blogger" isn't a good career choice for him, or for his readers."

      and

      "He's got a wedding and honeymoon to save up for – so what's most likely to happen is that he'll pay it off and then rack it right back up again when the fiancee sees that he's suddenly got plenty of available credit. Or he'll pay very little of it off, and will blow $18,000 on the wedding & honeymoon. Then he has no money and $15,000 in debt."

      Now do you see where I'm coming from?

  43. Just my humble opinion, but I think you should go somewhere you can't with kids. That said, we've traveled and lived in a lot of countries, so we went to Vegas, for simplicity because the wedding was so stressful. (And we sure didn't have 7 days off!)

    You should consider somewhere that most of the cost of the trip will the plane ticket, like Southeast Asia or South America. When you get to a place you have a lot of purchasing power, you can live like a king!

    All-inclusive resorts will always be there.

  44. Okay, a few things:
    Go somewhere the two of you have always wanted to go to, not just a place that's "honeymoon-y". And I agree with dogatemyfinances: go somewhere that you couldn't go once you have kids.

    Also…it's called PERSONAL finances, not hivemind finances. People on consumerist tend to get a little snarky/flame warish. So yeah, don't worry about them. Besides, I feel the same way as you: I'd rather have more cash on-hand for emergencies or looming big purchases (ahem, HOUSE!) than to pay off the debt faster. Yes the percentage rates work against you, but I'd rather have peace of mind.

    And the whole "waiting" thing? I'm a-okay with that πŸ™‚

  45. 1. Carribean sounds wonderful. I have limited travel experience too (Canada, lots of random places in US, and Mexico), and am planning an all inclusive trip to Jamaica myself.

    2. I went on a Carribean cruise, and would never do it again. Way too restrictive, and the food was not nearly as good (or plentiful) as I thought. The best time I had was when we went on shore for a day in Cozumel. We drank and ate all day, with full service on the beach (even in the water), for no more than $150, including a very generous tip.

  46. 3. I don't think you're spending too much, but I'd caution against spending money just because it's the honeymoon. Yes, please do live it up (especially if it's important to the relationship). Just remember that spending more money doesn't equal more enjoyment, even with relationships. I think a lot of people refuse to admit that when it comes to love.

    4. It will be the stupid, dumb, little things that you don't expect. The wife and I's two favorite memories from our honeymoon are 1) me ruining a formal dinner at the cruise (a truly hilarious story) and 2) spending all day on the beach doing nothing but eating and drinking.

    Again, this goes back to "you don't have to spend money to be happy". If you take the time to enjoy every moment with a furious passion, you'll make memories no matter what.

  47. Ninja, I have to say this post (esp. the linked post in point 3) has given me a totally different perspective of you. I think it is awesome that you and Girl Ninja have made the decision to "wait" until you are married. Considering that you have the money saved (plus more!) I think this is going to be a very memorable and wonderful time for you and Girl Ninja. What lovely memories you will make together. I can't advise you on where to go, because I've never been outside the United States, but I am sure you will have a wonderful time wherever you go. Regarding the toilet seat situation… I do think it is important for you guys to put the seat down. There's nothing worse than falling into the toilet because the seat is missing. If you find it unfair that you are the only one having to worry about it, then suggest that you *both* put down the lid. That way you both have to do "something" so it evens out. Also with toothpaste, get your own tubes if one of you likes to squish the middle, or get some of those little handle things to help squish it the right way. OH wait, you didn't ask for marriage advice. I'll stop then. πŸ™‚

  48. I say good for you sir! You had me at "I have the money"! Forget about those that want to tell you how to spend your money. If you were going into debt, then it could be said you are hypocritical, but it's not the case at all. Have fun dude, and while you're at it, throw in an extra thousand dollars on there just because you can.

    (Did the complainers increase their net worth by $30k?) Exactly!

  49. I spent about 4k on our honeymoon. it's a once in a lifetime thing in my view so my wife and I planned it out way in advance. We also saved for it so when we got back we didn't owe anything on the trip.
    Nice post!

  50. St Lucia or Costa Rica. The Caribbean is so beautiful and you will have some wonderful "first" there… first time you look at the ocean and see how blue-green it is and see really what people mean when they describe it… first time you can explore the islands together and see how the locals live… you're not paying for the wedding, have the money for the honeymoon so enjoy!!!

  51. I've been to Costa Rica and Puerto Rico and would *definitely* recommend CR over PR. PR is like being in the US but a bit more tropical and more spanish. We drove past a Walmart on our way to the condo we rented – not quite what I was looking for in a vacation destination.

    My number one spot right now would be somewhere along the coast of Croatia.

    I'm a low-paid grad student but consider travel to be something worth spending money on, so no! I personally save in an emergency fund and also a vacation fund, because I find that I feel guilty spending too much of my e-fund on fun stuff. Having a dedicated vacation fund lets me spend that money on whatever travel I want and it is budgeted out every month. Plus this is a special occasion!

    Haven't done it yet, so I can't tell you. Enjoy, though!

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