When you envision the perfect honeymoon, you may have any number of things in mind.
Your ideal honeymoon might include taking a scenic dinner cruise with live music, visiting a Caribbean island, or exploring a foreign country together. Whatever your actual preferences for the type of trip you go on after your wedding, the following are some tips that can help you make it what you envision.
Start Planning Early
It’s easy to push honeymoon planning aside when you have the wedding to contend with, but don’t wait too long. You should start planning your honeymoon anywhere from six to eight months out from your actual travel dates.
You might need to plan even further ahead if you’re going to be traveling during peak time. Peak travel times vary depending on your destination.
For example, in the Caribbean, the peak travel time is usually in winter. In Europe, it’s summer. In specific U.S. destinations, it’s fall.
You want to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in a time crunch because then you may have to settle for doing things a certain way rather than getting exactly what you want.
If you want to do an exotic trip, you might need to start planning a year out.
Consider Using a Travel Agent
With the rise in the availability of online travel booking sites, people stopped using travel agents. Now, they’re seeing reasons to think about using them once again. A travel agent can help you in a lot of ways.
First, they may have first-hand experience of your destination, which is something you’re not going to be able to get with all the online research in the world. Someone who has been where you’re going will be able to offer unique insight that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Travel agents may also have relationships with hotels and service providers in your destination so they can get you special access and better deals.
Plus, you’re already planning a wedding which can be enormously stressful. A travel agent can take the work out of planning your honeymoon so your attention can be focused elsewhere.
Travel agents may also be able to access honeymoon packages you wouldn’t ordinarily see if you were just searching online. For example, your travel agent might be able to get you a free room upgrade or complimentary couple’s massage.
If you run into an issue during planning or even while you’re on your trip, you can let your travel agent know, and they can deal with it for you.
Have a Budget
Don’t start actually booking anything until you have a budget set in stone that you’ve gone over carefully with your future spouse. What a lot of people also end up doing is taking out of their honeymoon budget to put that money toward their wedding.
You should probably avoid doing this. Your wedding is important, but so is your honeymoon. You’ll make major memories and share alone time with your new husband or wife on your honeymoon.
Get Creative with How You Pay for Your Trip
One of the significant trends in weddings and honeymoons right now is using registries to cover the costs. You can add trip funds to your traditional registry, or maybe you forego the registry altogether and ask your guests to contribute to your post-wedding trip.
You can make your guests feel like they’re contributing something special by itemizing the contributions you’re asking for, just like you would with a gift registry. On the registry site, you should also try to share the details of your trip and the special things you’ll be doing with your new spouse.
Plan the Trip with Your Partner
When you’re planning the wedding, you and your partner may take on different roles. When you split how you handle tasks you can stay organized and get more done. You don’t necessarily want to do this with your honeymoon, though.
Plan it together. It should be memorable for both of you. If just one person is planning it, it might not be well-suited to the other person’s interests.
Plus, part of the fun of any trip is the planning and anticipation, so share in it together.
Don’t Over Plan
While you want to have a general itinerary for your trip, you also want to make sure you aren’t overplanning. Both of you will be physically and mentally tired after your wedding. Plus, if you’re going to an international destination, you’ll also need to account for jet lag.
Give yourself plenty of free and leisure time to just relax.
You don’t have to do everything or be constantly on the go.
Talk to your partner about how much time you’d both like to spend on planned activities versus just relaxing.
As you’re creating an itinerary, don’t feel like you have to copy anyone else’s. For example, online, you’ll often find sample itineraries that other people followed for their honeymoon, but that’s not necessarily going to be right for you and your new spouse. A honeymoon is very personal to your preferences.
Be Mindful of Hidden Costs
There are a lot of hidden costs that come with travel in general, but they can put you way beyond your initial budget if you don’t plan for them. You don’t want to add stress to what should be a happy time by being dinged with something you weren’t expecting.
With that in mind, make sure you read everything carefully to understand what’s included in a booking and what’s not. Look at things like resort fees and airport transfers as you’re budgeting and planning.
Finally, you don’t have to leave for your honeymoon right away. You can wait a few days or even weeks if you prefer. Give yourself a couple of days to rest and prepare for your trip following the whirlwind of your wedding, if you prefer.
Your honeymoon isn’t about doing things to anyone else’s expectations. You should do what feels right for you and your partner.