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Honey! I shrunk the moon

NEETI SARKAR
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people Cost-effective honeymooning is in, as this year's wedding season takes off. But even on a shoestring, honeymooners have many shores to loll on

I t's that time of the year when everybody seems to be either getting married, attending weddings or planning the gala ceremony, which also means it's when couples are getting their honeymoon plans in order. From sun-kissed beaches and breathtakingly beautiful backwaters to snow-capped mountains, couples are spoilt for choice when it comes to zeroing in on where to honeymoon. But given that the recession is back, people are thinking twice about splurging on a lavish holiday, post the big fat wedding.

According to travel adviser Anant Sahu: “Most couples who come to us almost always have a budget in mind and then we suggest where they can go and what they can do with that much money. On the other hand, some people already decide where they want to go, after which they approach us about how to make it a cost-effective trip. But given that the latest trend is to holiday at some exotic place on anniversaries or at least once in two years, many couples prefer not to go berserk spending on their honeymoon.”

Gifted honeymoon?

He adds: “The best way to plan a honeymoon is by setting aside an approximate amount for it while planning the wedding itself. While some have the privilege of being gifted a honeymoon package by family or close friends, others don't. So it's just wise to make a budget and work around it. If cutting back is all you can think of, stop dreaming about the Alps or the Niagara Falls and think local. Staying within the country helps cut down on all primary, secondary and tertiary costs.”

Wedding planner Samantha D'Cunha says: “I've even known of couples who've hit the road themselves and have driven down to wherever they planned to honeymoon at. And the drive might be tiresome but when in the company of one's beloved, it could just add to the romance.”

Given that India is replete with innumerable scenic spots, for those on a budget honeymoon in India, Goa, Kovalam, Alleppey, Kodaikanal, Puducherry, Munnar, Ooty, Kulu Manali, and Mussoorie are the top choices. “Almost all these places are on-season already so those who plan weddings in either the summer or the winter end up spending more than those who get married and honeymoon sometime in June or July,” observes Tanisha Roberts, a public relations officer for a travel and tourism company.

For those who love the sea, the Andaman and Nicobar islands would be the perfect escape. And nearby countries such as SriLanka, Singapore and Thailand are also on the budget honeymoon hit-list.

“Of late, Egypt has caught the fancy of many couples on a budget honeymoon abroad and there is more to the country than just the Pyramids of Giza and the Nile. South Africa's Port Elisabeth, Cape Town and Johannesburg are not as expensive if one visits off-season.”

Everyone has dreams – of the dream wedding, the dream honeymoon and the dream house that keeps their minds occupied. But like they say, it's not the place that matters most but the person so even if you're forced to cut back on an extravagantly fancy honeymoon, the least you can be thankful for is that one honeymoon is better than no honeymoon at all!

NEETI SARKAR

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