As if planning a wedding isn’t enough work, if you plan to take a honeymoon (which you total should!), you need to add that to the to-do list. You need to consider when to go, where to go, what you need to get there and… like a million other things. Your honeymoon should be the trip of a lifetime so here are some helpful tips for planning the best vacation ever.
Choosing Where To Go
There are 196 countries to choose from, so how are you supposed to choose just one?! First, consider your budget and travel options. Do you need to limit yourself to drivable options? Are you deathly afraid of airplanes or boats? Is a European flight just what the doctor ordered?
Then start thinking about what kind of trip you are looking for. Do you want nonstop adventure or a lazy beach setting? Old world romance or new age excitement?
Once you’ve narrowed it down a bit, ask around. Do you have any family or friends who can make recommendations based on their personal experience? Make sure you also consider language barriers, exchange rates and time change once you’ve got your final contenders!
When to Travel
You have a few different options of when you can honeymoon. Typically, most people leave the day after their wedding, but there is no written rule that this is when you have to go. Check your work schedules, your personal schedules and cost options. Maybe it’s too busy at work, maybe you are the bridesmaid in another wedding the following weekend or maybe it’ll save you $500 to leave a month later.
This is your trip and you make the rules!
How to Book
If you are a research mogul and love to look up hotels and scour the internet for flight deals, more power to you! Tools like Expedia and Kayak are super helpful to bundle your hotel and airfare in one. Plus you can often view all the options on one site.
Travel planners are also a great tool to use and definitely help alleviate stress. Fun fact: travel planners don’t charge a fee! They typically get a kickback from the places they book for you, but that has no effect on your pricing what so ever.
Also, make sure you book under your maiden name. It may be tempting to book using your shiny new last name but resist the urge! Unless you’ve already gotten a new driver’s license or passport with the new last name, make sure you book under the name on the form of identification you plan to travel with.
When to Book
Plan early. You don’t want to wait too long and have the stress of honeymoon planning coincide with wedding month craziness! Set a travel alert early on so you can start following the pricing and find the best time to book. The sweet spot to get something booked would be six to eight months out from your travel date.
Rumor has it that airfare is cheapest on Tuesdays, but there hasn’t been much scientific research that can prove that. So, take that as you will!
So, the day has come and you are finallygetting ready to leave for your vacation of a lifetime. If you are leaving the day after your wedding, make sure you pack before the wedding weekend madness begins. Bring your packed bag with you to wherever you are staying on wedding night, that way you don’t have to try and rush back home before the airport.
If necessary, make sure you exchange money before you go. One less thing you have to do when you get to your destination (plus you will probably get a better exchange rate stateside!).
Don’t be shy to pull the honeymoon card while traveling. You never know what you’ll get out of it! If there is a comment box when making reservations online, let them know it’s your honeymoon. You are bound to get at least one free glass of champagne somewhere!
If you are staying at an all-inclusive resort, bring some extra cash for tipping on the first day. After that, your servers will most likely remember you and try to continue serving you for the next few days. It’s always good to make friends with the staff and servers. Who knows, maybe your mini bar will get restocked more frequently, extra drinks may appear or drinks will be served more quickly!
Start a honeymoon fund and include it as part of your registry! Especially if you and your fiancé have lived together prior to the wedding, your registry may be a little light. Fill it with a honeymoon excursion wish list and let your guests gift you with experiences.
Not into all the travel planning? Super indecisive? Opt for a surprise honeymoon! Work with a travel planner to plan you the trip of a lifetime and have it be a total surprise until you arrive at the airport. They will ask you about budget and likes but take it from there including all the nitty gritty details. They’ll tell you what types of things to pack and what time to arrive at the airport. Until you get to that airport, you will have no idea where you are going… how fun is that?!
Photo credit: Connection Photography