by Maurie Backman | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on Dec. 3, 2019
Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Beware these expenses when traveling for a wedding.
Attending a wedding is hardly an inexpensive endeavor. Between gifts, new attire, and other incidental costs, if you don't save for it, a single wedding could wreak havoc on your finances. But while local weddings are costly to attend in their own right, destination weddings can bust your budget even more. Here are a few ways you might get in over your head when agreeing to go to one.
Tips and tricks from the experts delivered straight to your inbox that could help you save thousands of dollars. Sign up now for free access to our Personal Finance Boot Camp.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
If you have friends or family members getting married someplace far away during a peak travel period, like Christmas week, summertime, or any weekend that coincides with a national holiday, then you can pretty much bank on spending a small fortune on airfare. One potential solution? Save your credit card miles, and then cash them in to cover that flight. And if that's not possible, redeem cash-back rewards and use that money to pay for your airfare.
Of course, if your work schedule is flexible you can also try playing around with travel dates. For example, if you're invited to a Sunday wedding on a holiday weekend, fly back Tuesday instead of Monday -- doing so should lower your costs. That's only an option for some people, though.
When you're traveling for a wedding, it's tough to cram regular clothing and formal attire into a single carry-on bag. As such, you're likely to incur baggage fees that add to your costs. To avoid them, use a travel rewards credit card to book your flights, as many offer free checked baggage as an included perk. Another option? If you're traveling in a group, combine your formal attire into one larger bag and split the cost.
Depending on the destination at hand, attending a wedding elsewhere could mean having to pay hundreds of dollars a night for a single hotel room. If that doesn't appeal to you, get creative. Explore your options for renting a private home through sites like HomeAway or Airbnb, and if that doesn't work, be willing to get super-close to your travel mates by sharing a hotel room.
Once you arrive at your destination, you'll need a means of getting around town, such as to your hotel, the wedding hall, and any other essential spots along the way. If you're able to split the cost of a rental car with other attendees, you'll save some money in the process. Otherwise, get to know the local public transportation system. If you're traveling in a group, you may be perfectly safe relying on it, even late at night. And if no such system exists, see if you can arrange affordable transportation through your hotel or resort, if you're staying at one.
Though you'll no doubt be treated to at least a couple of meals by the bride and groom when you travel to their wedding, you'll likely need to cover some meals on your own. Hitting the supermarket instead of restaurants could save you a nice chunk of money, especially if you're staying in a major city or at a resort where the cost of prepared food is likely to be inflated. And if you're renting a private home instead of staying at a hotel, cooking becomes all the more feasible, since you'll have access to a kitchen.
When you're heading to a destination wedding, it's all too easy to wind up spending more than you're comfortable with. Planning smartly and making certain concessions will help you keep your costs to a minimum. You should also ensure that you've saved for that wedding well in advance. That way, you're not stuck coming up with hundreds of dollars or more all at once.
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card secures you a 0% intro APR into 2023! Plus, you’ll pay no annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.