Honeymoons are a magical way to celebrate love and to spend time with your new spouse, but if your pockets are feeling a little light after the wedding, figuring out how to finance your honeymoon may seem a bit daunting. But, with some research and planning, it is certainly possible to celebrate marrying the person of your dreams with the honeymoon of your dreams without causing yourself a financial nightmare. Here are some tips on ways to save up for the big trip, and, if you're still looking for a little help, different methods for financing the honeymoon.
Ways To Save
Find the best destinations for your money
One of the most critical decisions in planning your honeymoon is of course where you will go! If you don't have one particular destination in mind, do some research as to where you might be able to have the best experience for the least amount of money. You may be able to find an off-the-beaten-path destination that is equally (if not more!) magical than the more touristy spots with a much more reasonable price tag. I'm sure you've also had friends or family members encouraging you to go the all-inclusive route as a way to get the most bang for your buck. All-inclusive trips can be a great way to get a good deal, but make sure you're reading the fine print. If you think something sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.
Consider the timing
Most destinations will be cheaper at certain times of the year. If you're set on taking your honeymoon right after the wedding, you may want to research destinations that are more cost effective at that time of year. Or, if you're set on a particular destination, consider waiting until prices are lower even if that means not going immediately after your nuptials.
A great way to save money once at your destination is to choose an accommodation with a kitchen or kitchenette. Preparing your own meals – particularly breakfast and lunch – can go a long way in cutting costs (and can also be a fun activity for you and partner!).
Put your points to work
Have a credit card with hotel or airline points? Consider looking into what airlines and hotels participate in your card's points program and where you may be able to go to use these points. Doing a little digging is key here – many hotel chains have sister properties in popular destinations that may not bare the more recognizable name.
Take a mini-moon
“Mini moons" – or going on a smaller trip right after your wedding while taking more time to save up for your bigger trip – have become increasingly popular lately. Taking a mini-moon can be something as simple as going on a weekend trip to a destination close to home or even a staycation, or it can still involve a flight or a more exotic destination, just for a shorter period of time. Whatever your pleasure, the perks of a mini-moon include getting to spend that quality time with your partner right after the wedding while also taking the time you need to save up for that pricier trip down the line.
How To Finance
Like with any foreseeable expense, the simplest and most effective way to save up for a honeymoon is to start including it in your monthly budget as soon as possible.
This can certainly be difficult, particularly if you and your partner are contributing to wedding costs, but even sticking $20 a week in a honeymoon jar can go a long way toward making your dream trip a reality.
Travel credit cards, in particular, can be a great way to finance your honeymoon. Research which cards may offer the best travel rewards or have sign-up bonuses so you can make the most of the money you're spending. But like loans or lines of credit, consider how quickly you will be able to pay off the debt. If the card offers an interest-free period, aim to pay off your balance before the interest kicks in. However, you have to be cautious not to overcharge more than you can afford. Just because you get to pay later doesn't mean you don't have to pay!
Honeymoon registries have become all the rage lately. Instead of the traditional gift registry, couples are asking for money toward their honeymoon from their guests. Some websites offer honeymoon registry platforms, which can allow your guests to contribute to specific expenses related to your trip. Some destinations and honeymoon providers also provide honeymoon registry sites.
Your honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and you and your partner deserve to make the most of it. The cost of travel, particularly after a significant expense like a wedding, can undoubtedly be disheartening, but it is indeed still possible to have a magical and memorable honeymoon without breaking the bank. The traditional path is not always the best or most cost-effective path, and that's okay! By looking into alternatives, planning ahead, and making sure you're getting the most bang for your buck, you and your partner can create memories that will last long after the trip is paid off!
With so many groundbreaking medical advances being revealed to the world every single day, you would imagine there would be some advancement on the plethora of many female-prevalent diseases (think female cancers, Alzheimer's, depression, heart conditions etc.) that women are fighting every single day.
For Anna Villarreal and her team, there frankly wasn't enough being done. In turn, she developed a method that diagnoses these diseases earlier than traditional methods, using a pretty untraditional method in itself: through your menstrual blood.
Getting from point A to point B wasn't so easy though. Villarreal was battling a disease herself and through that experience. “I wondered if there was a way to test menstrual blood for female specific diseases," she says. "Perhaps my situation could have been prevented or at least better managed. This led me to begin researching menstrual blood as a diagnostic source. For reasons the scientific and medical community do not fully understand, certain diseases impact women differently than men. The research shows that clinical trials have a disproportionate focus on male research subjects despite clear evidence that many diseases impact more women than men."
There's also no denying that gap in women's healthcare in clinical research involving female subjects - which is exactly what inspired Villarreal to launch her company, LifeStory Health. She says that, “with my personal experience everything was brought full circle."
“There is a challenge and a need in the medical community for more sex-specific research. I believe the omission of females as research subjects is putting women's health at risk and we need to fuel a conversation that will improve women's healthcare.,"
Her brand new biotech company is committed to changing the women's healthcare market through technology, innovation and vocalization and through extensive research and testing. She is working to develop the first ever, non-invasive, menstrual blood diagnostic and has partnered with a top Boston-area University on research and has won awards from The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Northeastern University's RISE.
How does it work exactly? Proteins are discovered in menstrual blood that can quickly and easily detect, manage and track diseases in women, resulting in diseases that can be earlier detected, treated and even prevented in the first place. The menstrual blood is easy to collect and since it's a relatively unexplored diagnostic it's honestly a really revolutionary concept, too.
So far, the reactions of this innovative research has been nothing but excitement. “The reactions have been incredibly positive." she shares with SWAAY. “Currently, menstrual blood is discarded as bio waste, but it could carry the potential for new breakthroughs in diagnosis. When I educate women on the lack of female subjects used in research and clinical trials, they are surprised and very excited at the prospect that LifeStory Health may provide a solution and the key to early detection."
To give a doctor's input, and a little bit more of an explanation as to why this really works, Dr. Pat Salber, MD, and Founder of The Doctor Weighs In comments: “researchers have been studying stem cells derived from menstrual blood for more than a decade. Stem cells are cells that have the capability of differentiating into different types of tissues. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. Adult stem cells have a more limited differentiation potential, but avoid the ethical issues that have surrounded research with embryonic stem cells. Stem cells from menstrual blood are adult stem cells."
These stem cells are so important when it comes to new findings. “Stem cells serve as the backbone of research in the field of regenerative medicine – the focus which is to grow tissues, such as skin, to repair burn and other types of serious skin wounds.
A certain type of stem cell, known as mesenchymal stem cells (MenSCs) derived from menstrual blood has been found to both grow well in the lab and have the capability to differentiate in various cell types, including skin. In addition to being used to grow tissues, their properties can be studied that will elucidate many different aspects of cell function," Dr. Salber explains.
To show the outpour of support for her efforts and this major girl power research, Villarreal remarks, “women are volunteering their samples happily report the arrival of their periods by giving samples to our lab announcing “de-identified sample number XXX arrived today!" It's a far cry from the stereotype of when “it's that time of the month."
How are these collections being done? “Although it might sound odd to collect menstrual blood, plastic cups have been developed to use in the collection process. This is similar to menstrual products, called menstrual cups, that have been on the market for many years," Dr. Salber says.
Equally shocking and innovative, this might be something that becomes more common practice in the future. And according to Dr. Salber, women may be able to not only use the menstrual blood for early detection, but be able to store the stem cells from it to help treat future diseases. “Companies are working to commercialize the use of menstrual blood stem cells. One company, for example, is offering a patented service to store menstrual blood stem cells for use in tissue generation if the need arises."