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A couple eating pancakes in their kitchen

How to plan the perfect staycation or mini-moon

Isuru, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Isuru from Hitchd
Apr 2, 20218 min read

With so much changing in the world, today's couples are forging the big honeymoon and opting for something more simple — the staycation and the mini-honeymoon, or mini-moon.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, couples have been putting off taking a big honeymoon and instead choosing to stay somewhat local immediately after getting married. For those couples paying for their weddings themselves, they sometimes don't have the budget to really go all out for a honeymoon. Others face time constraints with work and can't take a long honeymoon right now. Some couples would also rather save for a house or even for a future baby.

Staycations allow couples to remain at home and spend quality time together. Couples usually cut off contact with others for a few days and focus on each other. mini-moons usually involve a long-weekend trip to a nearby city. It's basically a honeymoon, but the destination is usually close by and the sights may be more familiar to the couple.

But just because you're sticking close to home after your wedding doesn't mean that you can't register for a staycation or mini-moon. Guests and well-wishers will want to celebrate your union, and they'd be happy to help contribute to your staycation or mini-moon.

If you're familiar with the honeymoon fund concept, then all you need to do is tweak it a little to design the right fund to fit your needs. Here's how to think about your staycation or mini-moon registry and how to build it.

Planning the ultimate staycation or mini-moon

Just because you're sticking close to home doesn't mean you should neglect planning the staycation or mini-moon after your wedding. No matter what, this is a special time for you and your partner to relax together and connect. All the hard work of planning the wedding is over. Now it's time to kick back and enjoy some wedded bliss.

To make sure you get to that wedded bliss, you will need to plan your staycation or mini-moon ahead of time. Doing so will make the experience more memorable and special, setting it apart from any other long weekends you've spent together at home or on a short trip.

Even if you're staying home or driving your own car to your mini-moon destination, you can still spruce up the experience and make it a little more special. Here's how.

Create the best staycation or mini-moon. Start your registry now

Enhance your accommodations

There's nothing like falling asleep in your own bed, but what if your bed had a few choice upgrades? And sure, if you're driving to a nearby town, you could check into an affordable hotel — after all, you'll be out and about most of the time, right? — but what if you splurged a little?

One of the best ways to make a staycation or a mini-moon feel a little more luxurious is to upgrade your accommodations in small ways that make a big impact.

With a staycation, you're saving quite a bit of money by not paying for a hotel room, so instead, you can take some of that budget and pour it into buying new sheets, pillows, blankets, and even mattress toppers for your bed. Splurge a little and find sheets with high thread counts or go all in for organic cotton sheets. New blankets and a comforter will give your room a whole new look. If your feet regularly get a chill when you step out of bed in the morning, invest in an area rug to keep your feet warm.

mini-moons tend to be shorter, and since travel usually costs less, it's easier to move some of that budget over to your accommodations. While it's true that you probably won't spend too much time in your hotel room, you can choose a hotel with better amenities that enhance the experience. Look for hotels with:

  • Spas on the premise:
    There's nothing better than going up to your room and napping after a facial and massage.
  • Pool and hot tub or oceanside:
    A bigger pool means less of a fight for lawn chairs. If there's an on-site bar or cabana, even better.
  • Rooms with a view:
    Many hotels will charge a little extra for rooms that offer a breathtaking view — think ocean view or a view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Treat yourself to a relaxing upgrade and enjoy the view.
  • Room service:
    There's nothing like breakfast in bed made by someone else. Skip the continental breakfast and look for a hotel with room service.

Set up a sumptuous menu

Part of the fun of a staycation is planning a fun menu that incorporates all your favorite restaurants together with a few relaxing meals to be made together at home. Staycations also give you the chance to try out new restaurants or even ones that might otherwise feel too expensive.

Plan out your meals together and decide which days you plan to order out and which ones you want to spend cooking at home. Do all of your shopping ahead of time so you don't have to leave the house again, and be sure to grab your favorite snacks to munch on between meals. If you need to, invest in some nice cookware to make the experience more special.

For mini-moons, you can research restaurants ahead of time to see what's available. Try to choose restaurants that serve foods that you wouldn't usually find at home or cuisines you've yet to try. Doing something new together can bring you and your partner even closer together.

Be a tourist in your own city or state

You may think you've seen every corner of your hometown, county or state, but there's likely so much that's changed over the years. When you were a child, you probably went to all the local museums and other historic sites, but when was the last time you were back? Museum exhibits change and downtowns, parks and other tourist sites often get upgrades.

Since you're on a staycation or mini-moon, now is the perfect time to be a local tourist and enjoy all your city or region has to offer. You can:

Create the best staycation or mini-moon. Start your registry now
  • Visit local museums:
    You probably know of the big museums in your area, but you probably find a lot of local ones too, ones that specialize in local history. You might just learn something new.
  • Take a tour:
    Lots of cities offer fun walking tours that point out the sights and even focus on historical events. But even if history isn't your thing, you can often find tours focused on food and even music.
  • Get outside:
    When's the last time you visited a local state park or forest preserve? Sometimes, it's hard to appreciate the beauty of nature when it's so close by. Spend an afternoon hiking or biking and just enjoy being outside.

You can do all of these activities on a mini-moon as well. Pick out tours that interest you and do some research to find hidden gems and secrets in your destination.

How to build the staycation or mini-moon honeymoon fund

Just because you're staying local or semi-local doesn't mean that you can't set up a honeymoon fund. Your family members and friends want to help you celebrate, and they'll be happy to contribute to your special time. Whether you're eloping or having a small ceremony, people will want to send you off in style.

Like any other wedding registry, a staycation or mini-moon fund lets loved ones and guests contribute to your special occasion by buying gifts from a list you design yourself. Many couples mix the types of gifts they ask for, including experiences (accommodations or tours) with physical gifts (new sheet sets or pots). Some even add a cash fund gift, which allows anyone to contribute any single amount they'd like. This is a great option for coworkers who want to wish you well or friends and family members working through college or paying for their own weddings.

Building a staycation or mini-moon fund takes a bit of work and some creativity, but once you know how to do it, you can customize the look of your honeymoon fund and make it all your own. Here's how to do it with Htchd.

Step 1: Sign up and add your details

All you need for Hitchd is an email address and a password to get started.

Hitchd offers two types of honeymoon funds: micro and unlimited. Both charge a one-time fee, with micro allowing for up to 30 contributions and unlimited giving you any amount of contributions. Not sure what's best? You can upgrade to unlimited at any time, so if you change your mind later, you have options.

Once you've chosen your plan, it's time to start designing your fund.

Create your introduction

The introduction portion of your honeymoon fund is vital. It's the first thing everyone will read at the top of the page, and it should outline your staycation or mini-moon as well as thank everyone for their support.

To make this section a success, you will need:

  • Photos related to your staycation or mini-moon:
    Many couples choose photos of themselves around town or at popular local locations. Contributors want to see the happy couple, so choose photos related to your staycation or mini-moon.
  • Thank them and thank them again:
    Whether you're having a small wedding or eloping, you can never thank guests and well-wishers enough. Thank everyone for visiting your honeymoon fund page and thank them for whatever they decide to contribute.
  • Emphasize that gifts are not necessary:
    For small weddings, remind guests that their presence at your wedding is a gift in and of itself. If you're eloping, you can explain that you've created this honeymoon fund because several people have asked about giving a gift. That doesn't have to be true, but again, thank people for contributing.
Create the best staycation or mini-moon. Start your registry now

At a loss for words? Hitchd provides templates for introductions, so if you're having a bad case of writer's block, choose a pre-written introduction.

Choose gifts for your honeymoon fund

Now comes the fun part: adding all of the gifts. You can add as many gifts to your registry as you'd like, but our research has shown that the average contribution size comes to USD $130 for registries with six or more gifts compared to USD $93 with less than six gifts.

How do gifts work?

The great thing about honeymoon fund gifts is that you can ask for just about anything under the sun, whether it's an experience or a physical good.

At Hitchd, we have three options for gifts:

  • Experience:
    Anything that enhances your staycation or mini-moon — accommodations, dinners, drinks, tours, spa days — counts as experience gifts. You can break down any experience into smaller gifts so more people can contribute (dinners, for example, might cost about $200 for the length of the staycation, but you can break that down into $50 contributions).
  • Cash fund:
    Many couples use this as a catch-all to help fund gifts that would be way too big for any one person. Some turn these into down payment funds, furniture funds, and even baby funds. Well-wishers can contribute however much they'd like, whether that's $10 or $1,000.
  • Goods:
    These are physical gifts that you might otherwise see on a traditional wedding registry. Staycation couples might ask for a new comforter or a few new kitchen appliances for preparing meals at home. The guest isn't ordering the gift and shipping it to you; he or she is sending you the money so you can buy it.

Gifts through Hitchd ensure that the money goes directly to you and into your bank account. This keeps shipping costs low, and it allows you to spend your gift where you want.

Popular gifts

Not sure what to add to your honeymoon fund? Here are some popular gifts for staycations and mini-moons.

Staycations:

  • New sheets, pillows, and/or comforter ($100-$300)
  • Small kitchen appliances ($40-$75)
  • Helpful kitchen tools ($25-$50)
  • Takeout dinners ($200 or $50 each)
  • Alcohol, tea, or coffee ($100)
  • Public transportation ($20)
  • Tours ($75)

mini-moons

  • Accommodations ($500 or $100/$50 each)
  • Gas money or public transportation ($100)
  • Spa experience ($200)
  • Dinners ($200 or $50 each)
  • Drinks ($20-$40 each)
  • Tours ($75)
  • Glamping adventure ($450)

Remember, any of these more expensive gifts can be broken down into smaller contributions. That means more people can contribute, and you can get down to lower price points to make your honeymoon fund more accommodating to all.

Whether you choose a staycation or mini-moon, the most important thing is that you and your partner take the time to relax and celebrate the start of your life together. The time you spend together will mean far more than where you go or how much you spent.

Ready to build your ultimate staycation or mini-moon honeymoon fund?

Create the best staycation or mini-moon. Start your registry now

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