For many couples, a honeymoon will be the most significant vacation of their lives. Not only does it mark the beginning of their life together, but it gives them the chance to enjoy some quality time together after the chaos of planning a wedding. But with studies placing wedding planning amongst some of the most stressful life experiences anyone can encounter, it's not hard to see how organizing a honeymoon can often take a back seat. A lack of planning when travelling anywhere can throw up all sorts of problems but when your honeymoon is on the line, the last thing you want to experience is stress and disappointment. So here are some things to consider in the planning stages of your honeymoon to ensure that it is a romantic getaway you remember for all of the right reasons.
Marriage is all about compromise and what better time to start practising this than in the run up to your honeymoon? Be open about your preferences and work together to try and ensure you both get a little bit of what you want whether that's adventurous activities, rest and relaxation or tourist trekking. At this stage it's also important to research your desired location to avoid any nasty, last minute surprises. Nobody wants to arrive on their honeymoon to find that it's hurricane season or that their hotel is currently under construction.
Consider using a travel agent
In an age of budget airlines and online booking, you might think that arranging your own honeymoon is the cheapest and easiest option. However when you already have a wedding to arrange, leaving the honeymoon to someone else could be a worthwhile investment. A travel agent will work with you in order to find the best possible deal to match your requirements. Their job is to ensure that every aspect of your trip runs smoothly so that means everything from your in flight meal to your hotel transfers should be arranged on your behalf. It also means that should any problems arise, they can use their knowledge and influence in the industry to resolve them for you as quickly as possible. Although travel agents are generally decreasing worldwide, many people do still recommend using them for honeymoons particularly if you are planning lots of excursions that require lots of logistical preparation.
Timing is everything
When planning a wedding and honeymoon the finer details such as departure times may seem insignificant. But consider jetting off on an early morning flight the day after your wedding – exhausted, hungover and probably not in the best mood for a long journey. Things like this need to be considered in the planning stages. Similarly, people often have idyllic visions of far flung, exotic destinations for their honeymoon. But what they don't think about is how much travel time will eat into their vacation; and then there's the time difference and potential jet-lag to contend with too. If you're only going away for a week then miscalculating your timings in this way could lead to the break feeling rushed and unfulfilling.
When it comes to the wedding, couples are usually very cautious to protect themselves in the event of cancellation, damage waivers...even loss of the rings! The same should apply to your honeymoon. Don't assume that nothing can go wrong and ensure that you take out a good travel insurance policy to protect against illness, delays, baggage loss or anything else that might threaten to ruin your special break. And at the same time don't forget the other important paperwork such as visas or vaccination documents. These are things that really should be arranged long before the honeymoon so that any delays or complications can be dealt with in plenty of time.
Studies indicate that the number one cause of marital problems for newlyweds is debt brought into marriage. Although you might be dreaming of a luxurious and lavish honeymoon, it is also important to stick within a sensible budget. Planning in advance means that you have time to squirrel some money away before the big day and using a travel agent or booking a package deal may also mean you are more likely to get discounts on certain things. It is also becoming increasingly common for couples to request cash donations towards their honeymoon from their guests instead of traditional gifts, so setting up a 'honeymoon fund' could be another way to raise some money towards your trip.
Finally, remember that this is a once in a lifetime trip and should be treated accordingly. A few small touches can have a big impact so call in advance to arrange champagne on arrival or roses in your room. Mentioning that you are newlyweds when making your reservations may even mean that you get complimentary upgrades or freebies.
by Anne Gardener