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Mexico, the Caribbean, or Las Vegas From $350

The Deal Detective is SmarterTravel ‘s resident bargain hunter, Kate Hamman. She’s always on the lookout for new travel deals and invites you, dear reader, to submit your own questions.

Kathryn writes, “My husband and I have been married for four years. We are still in college, but now that our daughter is two and can stay the night at the grandparents, we decided to finally take a honeymoon. The trick is we have $1,200, maybe able to get as much as $1,400, for the ENTIRE trip. We are from Hays, Kansas, and have toyed with the idea of either Denver or Las Vegas. We are looking to go July 11 to 16. We also thought about cruises or an all-inclusive vacation. We would like to have at least three days at the location. Please help!! I have no idea how to plan a romantic vacation for two for that little. Oh yeah, we like to gamble, but not much. We like comedy, museums, and watching the action. We aren’t big on physical activities.”

Four years? I’d say it’s high time you and your hubby take your honeymoon! I understand that you’re on a tight budget, but you may be surprised how far that amount can take you. Even though Las Vegas can be a lot of fun, and is typically a cheap getaway, there are a few other places that might be a bit more fitting—beaches, drinks with umbrellas, and spa activities—for a long overdue romantic escape. I do love to compare, however, so we’ll see how Las Vegas stacks up in addition to my other ideas.{{{SmarterBuddy|align=left}}}Start your research by checking for sales from travel providers like CheapCaribbean, Expedia, and PleasantHolidays. Our itineraries will include airfare from Kansas City Airport (the closest major airport I could find to Hays). Your travel dates fall during high season for most travel destinations, and you could save quite a bit by shifting your dates to the spring or fall. If, however, your dates are set, then try to find deals that are available during your timeline.

For instance, I priced a package to Puerto Rico with Cheap Caribbean starting at $649 per person (without taxes and fees) during your travel dates. The deal includes round-trip airfare from Kansas City, four nights’ accommodations at the Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa, TripMate weather insurance, and a $100 coupon if it rains. Use promo code RIOMAR100 to get this price, and book by May 15. And remember, you don’t need a passport to visit Puerto Rico.

If you want to stick closer to the $1,200 price range, I found a package to Los Cabos with Pleasant Holidays, starting at $1,234 (with taxes and fees) for two people. The price includes round-trip airfare from Kansas City departing July 11 and returning July 14 and three nights’ accommodations at the Solmar Resort.

Last, but not least, let’s look at what’s available in Sin City. If you don’t find a deal to your liking, you can always try to price out each item individually. For instance, I priced round-trip airfare from Kansas City to Las Vegas starting at $305 per person (with taxes and fees), or $610 for two people, departing July 11 and returning July 16. This leaves you with about $600 for hotel rooms. Lucky for you, it’s easy to find affordable rooms on the Strip. I priced rooms starting at $25 per night (without taxes and fees) at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino, and you get the fourth night free on, bringing your total to $100 for a five night’ stay. This means that in theory, you could visit Las Vegas for about $710 for the two of you, leaving you about $500 to spend during your stay.

If you’d like to splurge a little and stay some place a bit nicer for your special occasion, you can find rooms at Paris Las Vegas ranging from $72 to $104 per night (without taxes and fees) from July 11 to 14. The total cost for this room during your five-night stay comes to $477 (with taxes and fees), bringing your total cost to $1,087 for the both of you.

I hope these three options give you an idea of how far you can stretch your budget to find the right destination for your well-deserved vacation. I wish you the best of luck in all of your travels in your life together.

As for my other readers: Where do you think Kathryn should go for her honeymoon? Do you have a different destination in mind that falls within her budget? Please share your ideas below.

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