As you may have seen on Instagram, my fiancé and I just went on an amazing vacation to New York City – probably my favourite place in the world. And while we aren’t getting married for another six months (oh man, UNDER six months), this was our honeymoon. Say what?

IMG_7267The timing worked out better for us – it’s not a busy time for him at work, and I’m still a student and had a week off school. Plus, I’m about to move to be closer to him, and I didn’t want to start a new job and then immediately go on vacation. The employer probably wouldn’t want that either. And it seems like more and more couples aren’t taking a honeymoon immediately after getting married anymore – some are going before, like we did, and some are waiting until way after and they have sufficient funds to do so.

Our pre-honeymoon was wonderful – it gave us time to relax and confirmed to me how great together we are (when you get up at 4:00 in the morning to catch a flight, and then your connecting flight gets delayed in one of the biggest airports in the world AND you still want to spend time with them, they’re the one).

I’ve been lucky enough to travel a little bit in my two decades, and here are some tips on how to save money (but still enjoy your experiences and surroundings!) while you’re on your honeymoon.

Eat where the locals eat
Food trucks are my kingdom. On a recommendation, we checked out this place called Halal Guys in Midtown. Try to avoid the lunch hour, but even if the lines are long, the food is incredible, bountiful, and cheap. Get a wrap for $5 or a bowl for $7. Drinks are $2. Enjoy. We went twice in a week.

We only took a cab to and from the airport. We walked everywhere else. It’s a way to enjoy wherever you are, get some exercise, and save money.

Join rewards programs
Lots of travel websites, hotel chains, and airlines have their own free rewards programs, and perks can add up quick. Before you go, check out which options have these programs, what it takes to get something for free, and if they have options for first-time members.

Wait for it
Sometimes, all it takes is a sale. Or a package flight and hotel deal, like mine was. Subscribe to travel websites’ newsletters (as annoying as they can be), and keep your eyes peeled for good deals. Eventually, one will come along that suits your timeframe and needs.

Break tradition
It’s okay to not go to Mexico on your honeymoon. It’s okay to not go right after your wedding. It’s okay to go somewhere local. It’s okay not to go on a honeymoon at all. It’s okay to do what works better for you than what others expect of you. If your idea of a vacation is just unplugging the phone and watching Netflix for a week straight with your honey, then that’s what you should do. This is your time!