Ah, the honeymoon. This is probably the wedding event brides and grooms look forward to the most, you know, after walking down the aisle. But it’s not as simple as saying “I do” and hopping on a plane — there happens to be a lot of exhaustive planning involved. So, I enlisted two people who know way more than you about travel: Renee Meyer, founder of Unforgettable Honeymoons (basically an expert travel agency just for deal-seeking honeymooners), and Marsha-Ann Brown, Sandals Resorts’ director of romance (yes, that’s a real job title), to answer all your burning questions about the once-in-a-lifetime trip you’re about to take. Scroll on to learn about honeyfunds, over-water bungalows, what time of year to visit Fiji, and much, much more.
A honeymoon is a much-needed period of relaxation after the stressful and demanding wedding planning process, but before you can wind down on the honeymoon itself, planning and organising the honeymoon can significantly add to the stresses of the wedding planning and can become a little overwhelming.
However, as many newlyweds choose to visit us for their special honeymoon and with us being dedicated to making people’s trips as successful as possible, we’d like to offer our advice on planning a honeymoon.
Saying “I do” at Boutique events group is an elegant and luxurious affair.
There is no honeymoon planning guide, that does not have this tip right at the top. Reason being, planning together for honeymoon plays a vital role in order to begin the journey of a lifetime on a romantic and compatible note. As a couple, the process of planning a honeymoon will be the first step wherein you start making decisions and get to know each other’s likes and dislikes. For example, if you’re an adventure enthusiast and your soulmate is an architecture adorer, you can choose from best of Europe honeymoon packages that are a perfect blend of nature, architecture, adventure, and romance. Hence, make sure you tick off everything from your honeymoon planning checklist, you’re equally involved as your better half!
Follow A Set Time Frame
Set a time frame for yourself so that everything falls into place at the right time. For example, a few things like booking a flight and a hotel, need to be taken care of months ago while you can start packing and making a mental checklist a month ago. Therefore, follow the below mentioned time frame for planning well in advance:
- Research well and take suggestions from various resources and different mediums.
- Read the first-hand experiences of couples who have recently returned from their honeymoon.
- Fix a budget for your honeymoon.
- Decide on an offbeat honeymoon destination based on mutual interests, whether domestic or international.
- Look out for reliable travel agents who offer transparent services that fit under your budget.
- Apply for visa and get all the documents ready.
- Keep your travel insurance in place.
- Book the best selling packages under your budget.
- Book your flights.
- Book a hotel that is suitable and convenient as per your needs.
- Schedule airport and hotel transfers if not included in the package.
- Finalise and collate all the information regarding your flights, hotels and transfers.
- Plan tours and activities of mutual interests.
- This is the right time to make a mental checklist.
- Shop for necessities and remember to pack light, including the techie types of equipment.
- Obtain your visa, travel insurance, flight tickets, and hotel confirmation.
- Collect all your discount coupons and honeymoon vouchers from the agent, if any.
- Keep photocopies of all your documents.
- Get your emergency contact numbers in place.
- Exchange enough cash and spread it out in various bags and pockets.
- Check on the weather of the selected destination.
- Inform your neighbours and leave a spare key to your house with your family in case of an emergency.
- For those who suffer any kind of medical condition, carry your meds with a proper prescription.
- Carry a first aid kit with necessities.
- Get enough rest and sleep.
- Drink enough water and keep yourself hydrated.
- Gear up!
Read First-Hand Experiences
Reading first-hand experiences of couples will help you how to plan a honeymoon well. Usually, people love to capture all the memories of their honeymoon, and once they’re back, they are loaded with tips and hacks based on their first-hand experience. Hence, catch up on your reading and look out for travelogues of people who have just come back from a honeymoon which is similar to the package that you want to book or a destination that you have in mind. Most Romantic International Honeymoon Destinations For Every Budget. It will not only paint the real picture for you but will also help you in not repeating the mistakes that they did and be more cautious in what to do and what not to do on your honeymoon trip. Therefore, look out for travel experiences that will give you a new perspective, travel hacks and a lot of tips that will enhance your honeymoon experience.
Fix A Budget
Clear your head, fix a budget, and then plan your honeymoon. Look for options that will save you a lot of money which you can further invest in getting a new experience. For example, instead of a luxury hotel, book a romantic resort and spend that money on any of the activity that interests you and your better half.
On the whole, keep an average daily spend in your mind, back it up with some extra cash for miscellaneous expenditure, and then book a package that fits under your budget. Hence, below listed are few points that one should consider in their honeymoon planner while calculating an average budget per person:
- Flights (Round trip)
- Accommodation (Taxes included and on double sharing basis)
- Meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Drinks)
- Sightseeing (Any place or experience which is not included in the package)
- Local Transfers (Using public transportation for getting around the city)
- Miscellaneous (Shopping and so on)
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Privacy Over Popularity
Before you start cracking your mind on how to plan a honeymoon, decide on a destination that will offer you experiences based on your interests as well as enough privacy. For example, adventure lovers may want to go to New Zealand, whereas watersports enthusiasts would choose Bali or Andaman. Hence, when you decide on a destination, choose a place which offers what you expect along with enough privacy to be able to spend quality time with your loved one without having to worry about the hustle and bustle of the destination. This also enables one to establish travel goals together as a couple.
For online bookings, the best way to know that you’re making the right choice is to compare your choice with the alternatives throughout. Looking for best honeymoon packages online can be a tedious task which calls for research and comparison with different portals.
Of all the things, a few things that you need to research before booking your honeymoon package are:
- Popular places to visit
- Famous things to do
- Best time to visit
- Ideal duration & weather conditions
- What to pack & where to stay
- Where to eat & how to get around
- Where to exchange cash in case of an emergency
Once you have compared your choice with the alternatives, make sure you check for offers and discounts that you may avail. Usually, honeymooners get lucky with upgrades in hotels and flights. Hence, before you go ahead with the confirmation of your honeymoon package, always check for promotional offers that you may be eligible to avail.
Planning A Perfect Itinerary
While planning a perfect honeymoon itinerary, make sure you get enough time for yourselves apart from the days allotted for the sightseeing, tours, and activities. Most of the couples try to cover too many attractions in a limited period of time, which exhausts them by the end of the day. Hence, make sure you keep track of below-mentioned points to plan a perfect itinerary:
- Check the weather before departing for the destination.
- Include all the activities as per your interests in the package itself.
- Plan out activities as per your health and fitness.
- Take out enough leisure days to spend some quality time with each other.
- Make sure you double-check your itinerary whether the activities match your interests or not.
- Before you start your journey, call the hotel directly to confirm your reservations.
- For international trips, make sure you convert your local cash into dollars as the foreign exchange rates for the dollar is high everywhere.
- If possible, exchange your currency either before departure or at the airport on arrival to avoid unnecessary hassles.
- In case you have a connecting flight from a particular destination, make sure all your visa requirements are met prior to your arrival as couples tend to miss their flight due to long queues for visa on arrival.
- Make sure you pack according to the baggage weight allowed in respective airlines.
Of all the features that together combine a whole honeymoon experience, choosing the right kind of accommodation is the most important aspect. Your entire honeymoon experience depends upon how good, comfortable and rejuvenating your stay was at the best of hotels and resorts. Ranging from luxury resorts to honeymoon suites, and beach villas, the romantic accommodation helps in lifting the whole honeymoon spirit. Make sure you consider these points while choosing the best accommodation options for your honeymoon:
- Central location, and proximity to famous attractions
- Architecture & decor
- Room categories, views & amenities
- Infinity pools, and Jacuzzi
- Breakfast with complimentary drinks
- Nearby restaurants
- Spa treatment
- In-house activities and sports
- Availability of bar and live entertainment
- Honeymoon Freebies
Do’s and don’ts of honeymoon planning
Don’t: Let the photographs fool you
Seek the help of a travel professional, or read reviews from people who have been there before. There are misleading promotional images out there, and you don’t want to fall victim to that and be disappointed when you arrive! Book through a reputable website or agent you can trust.
Do: Consider a honeymoon gift registry
The wedding can be a bit of a financial drain if you are paying for it yourself, so consider looking into options to set up a honeymoon gift registry. This means guests can buy you things like spa treatments, helicopter tours, or romantic dinners to enjoy at your destination. Alternatively, you can set up a wishing well and inform guests their contributions will go towards paying for your honeymoon.
Don’t: Plan your honeymoon by yourself
This is a holiday where the opinions of both parties are equal and should be heard. You may share a lot of things in life and values, but holiday destinations may not be one of them. While you might want to go cruising and spend each day at a different destination, your partner might prefer to find a secluded place in a tropical rainforest where you can disconnect entirely from the world and not be surrounded by other people all day. Talk it over with one another before launching into planning.
Do: Book special activities in advance
If you have your heart set on a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the desert, or a couples massage at an exclusive day spa, don’t wait until you get to your destination and potentially miss out on the experience. Book ahead and rest assured you will get to cross those things off your bucket list.
Don’t: Head off too soon after the wedding
Traditionally, the honeymoon starts the moment your final guests leave the reception, but experts recommend waiting for at least 24 to 48 hours before heading off to your honeymoon destination. This is so you can have time to wind down from the huge wedding day, and so you won’t have the added stress of meeting travel deadlines, like getting to the airport or cruise terminal so soon after the wedding.
Do: Ask for honeymoon specials
As the saying goes: if you do not ask, you do not get. When booking elements of your honeymoon, ask if they offer any special or additional touches for honeymooners. You might be surprised at the special upgrades or freebies you can get.
Don’t: Plan an intense itinerary
Adventure can be fun and exciting, but make sure you find the delicate balance with relaxation as well. You will need some time to combat wedding exhaustion.
Do: Check the weather
A quick online search will give you an indication if your destination is set to experience anything out of the ordinary, like unseasonably hot weather, a cold snap, or (gasp) bucketloads of rain during your honeymoon. This will ensure you are prepared when you get there and not left with light summer clothes when it’s blowing a gale and raining.
Don’t: Forget the medical side
If you are travelling to more exotic locations, ensure you research which immunisations are needed. Make sure you get them well before both your wedding day and your honeymoon to ensure they give you adequate protection.
Do: Consider the ratio of travel time versus holiday time
Everyone wants their holidays to last forever, but it can be a real downer to spend 36 hours travelling there and back when you are only spending a week at your chosen destination. If you are flying halfway around the world, consider extending your honeymoon to ensure you are well relaxed before you have to head back to reality.
Use The Right Name
For security reasons, the names used on your reservations need to match your identification documents exactly to prevent hassles and name change fees. For spouses planning to change your legal names, you will need a copy of your marriage license in order to change your name on your driver’s license and passport. Often it will take some time after the official ceremony to obtain your marriage license and get these tasks completed.
If you plan to travel directly after the wedding, then brides need to use their maiden name on all of their travel documents. If you plan to honeymoon well after your ceremony and prefer to use your married name, then allow at least six weeks to update your passport. You can go ahead and confirm reservations using your new name but to travel overseas, you MUST have your new passport in hand on the day of travel.
Protect Your Honeymoon Investment
Travel insurance is an important way to protect your honeymoon investment. While it can save you a great deal of money making travel plans far in advance, none of us has a crystal ball when it comes to the future. If you need to cancel your travel plans, you’ll want the peace of mind knowing you won’t be out of pocket for the cost of your honeymoon. Travel insurance generally runs around 7% of the total cost of your trip. Even more important is medical coverage if you are travelling internationally. Most medical insurance does not cover you when travelling outside of the United States. If you or your spouse needs emergency medical care while on your honeymoon, this could end up costing you far more out of pocket then the cost of your trip.
Check out our post to have more ideas on Honeymoon Destination Ideas.
Work With an Experienced Travel Agent
Did you know the cost of using the services of an experienced travel agent is already included in the price of your hotel, cruise or tour? Using a travel agent does not cost more, it can save you time, stress and hassles.
Partnering with the right travel agent will make the travel planning process easy and less stressful. Travel agents know how to ask the right questions to create the perfect itinerary even if the two of you couldn’t get on the same page after your date night. Often a couple will “think” they have the perfect honeymoon spot in mind. Still, after hearing their wishes, likes, dislikes, budget and schedules – an experienced travel agent can often suggest an option that they might have never considered that becomes their perfect match.
Ultimately it’s up to the couple to decide, but it’s nice to know all of your options.