How Guests Attending Destination Weddings Can Cut Costs

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Wedding season is upon us and while it’s a time to create great memories, it’s also a time to spend absurd amounts of money, especially if you’re attending a destination wedding. According to a recent survey by Affirm, the average person will spend up to $3,000 for every wedding they attend this year.

It’s depressing but not surprising if you board a plane and head to a distant location to see your loved ones say “yes.”

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Take comfort in knowing that at least you’re not the only one who feels like you’ve been thrown into a money pit.

“Attending a destination wedding, especially overseas, can be a financial burden for many guests,” said Jen Avey, vice president of marketing at Destination Weddings Travel Group. “We’re seeing couples become very conscious during the process of planning their destination wedding, to ensure that their guests’ accommodations and airfare are as affordable and convenient as possible, and that the trip is worth it. the pain.”

I hope the happy couple you’re traveling to celebrate are doing everything they can to be budget-conscious – but even if they are, there are still things you can do yourself to cut costs and save more when traveling to a destination wedding.

Budget for your trip

“Budgeting will really help in the long run,” said Amber Sironen-Massey, owner of Epic Elopements. “Know how much you want to spend and stick to it. I find the use of credit cards to be the most useful. When you carry a lot of cash, it’s easier to spend and less easy to track. And, when you use your credit card, you can set limits and collect bonus points for future trips or items.

Choose your own accommodation

“Yes, part of the fun is staying at an all-inclusive resort with the group, but you can save money if you stay elsewhere,” said Jason Wright of Paradise Weddings. “Resort accommodation can range from $150-$450 per night per person. Renting an AirBnB with your partner or even recruiting other guests to stay and share the costs can easily slash that $1400 average for you by 50%. accommodation.”

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Get accommodation with a kitchen

“For food, I often recommend that couples advise their guests on a budget to ensure their accommodation has cooking facilities, even with a minimum of a microwave, fridge and sink,” said Samantha Bottomley of Best Events Co. “There are plenty of meals you can prep to save on restaurant dining.

Sign up for a new travel card

“Consider opening credit cards with signing bonuses to earn travel points,” said Dan Bagby of Honeymoon Always. “Be careful to pay them back immediately or it will end up costing you interest. It can pay for the whole trip or just one aspect of it.

If you drive, get a gas credit card

“If your weddings require more car travel, opt for a good gas credit card that will save you 3% to 5% on gas purchased either at any gas station or at a certain chain of gas stations (according to the map), “said Meredith Lepore, the Credello and a future bridesmaid spoon at a destination wedding. “The best gas cards will have $0 annual fees. These cards can literally save you hundreds of gas dollars a year, which is incredible considering the current situation.

Use miles – even if it’s just a small amount

“Use your miles and points whenever possible, even if they don’t cover an entire purchase,” said Becca Siegel, co-owner and blogger of halfhalftravel.com. “For our next trip for a wedding abroad, we will be using credit card points to book the whole hotel (an alternative we found at the wedding hotel) which is great!”

Use public transport at destination

“If possible, use and brave public transportation,” said Jeremy Hulls, editor of the Family Destinations Guide. “If you’re traveling alone, obviously you’re set for lower transportation cost with this one. I know a lot of people who might not want to do this, especially in non-English speaking countries. So do your research.

Avoid roaming charges

“If you’re traveling to a foreign country, be aware of potential roaming charges you may incur,” says Tia Mula, wedding salesperson, former bride-to-be and founder of wedding and lifestyle blog LIVE&WED. “To avoid these charges, turn off data roaming on your phone and only use Wi-Fi. You can also purchase a local SIM card when you arrive at your destination. avoid expensive roaming charges.

Avoid foreign transaction fees

“If you’re attending a wedding overseas, make sure you have a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees,” Mula added. “These fees can add up quickly, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. If you don’t have a free credit card, be sure to exchange currency before you travel and avoid using foreign ATMs.

Use sites and apps to find airfare deals

“Milk apps and travel websites for what they’re worth. Sign up to receive notifications and alerts on, for example, Hopper or pages like HolidayPirates, Google Flights and The Flight Deal,” Hulls said. “Look for pages that offer travel guides. Use these apps and pages to compare ticket prices and get alerts on possible price increases. With this, you can reduce costs with packages, ticket sales , offers and promotions that sometimes do not appear on airline sites.

Say no if you can’t afford it

“If attending a destination wedding isn’t in your budget, it’s perfectly acceptable to say no,” Mula said. “The most important thing is to be honest with the bride and groom about your financial situation. They will probably understand and would rather you not attend if it means putting you in a difficult financial situation.

Consider taking the train or bus (instead of flying)

“If you’re traveling with others and don’t mind sharing space, the train or bus may be cheaper than flying,” said Janet Coleman, founder of The Consumer Mag. “Amtrak offers discounts for seniors, children under 12, and active military personnel on select routes; Greyhound offers discounts for seniors over 60 and veterans who have served in combat zones since 2001; both companies offer special fares for groups of young people traveling together.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles via Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, The Atlantic, Vice and The New Yorker. She is a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray, received rave reviews from Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and has been published in the US, UK, France and Russia – well let no one know what happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.