Honeymoon

Honeymoons happen last, but they deserve first-level attention in your wedding planning. After all, this oh-so-special getaway may very well be the most romantic trip you’ll ever take. Look through travel magazines, guidebooks and the Internet to get ideas of where you’d like to go. If you’re too busy to research and plan this important trip, use a travel agent. He or she can recommend the most popular vacation spots in your price range. You’ll also be counseled on how to get the most out of your travel dollars in any season.

Make sure your destination offers the type of vacation you’re looking for – be it relaxing or fast-paced, sports-oriented or cultural. Or pick a place with a diverse mix of activities to meet all of these needs. It’s tradition for the groom to plan the honeymoon (although many couples buck this tradition and plan it together). Visit this link as a starting point.

Just like popular wedding ceremony and reception sites, sought-after vacation spots are often booked a year or more in advance. Ready to begin planning? Read on.

Deciding Where

Let’s face it: lounging on the beach is not everyone’s dream honeymoon. To help you plan a vacation that suits your style, here are some honeymoon ideas for varying budgets:

  • Stay in town to do all the fun things you never have time for.
  • Tour Australia’s Outback.
  • Drive across America and stay at bed and breakfasts.
  • Take French cooking lessons in New Orleans or Paris.
  • Rent a houseboat at Lake Tahoe.
  • Take a cruise to Alaska. Fish or simply enjoy the seafood and the scenery.
  • Go camping and white-water rafting in Idaho or one of the other Mountain states.
  • Ride camels by the Egyptian pyramids.
  • Trace your ancestry and follow your family’s footsteps.
  • Rent a cabin in Colorado for skiing in the winter or hiking and fly-fishing in the summer.
  • Travel to the South of France during the grape harvest.
  • Enjoy golf at Turnberry Isle in Florida.
  • Take a bicycle tour through the beautiful fall foliage in Vermont or New Hampshire.
  • Indulge in a “chocolate tour” in Europe.
  • Explore and taste your way through the California wine country.
  • Cross the Atlantic on a luxury ocean liner.
  • Go to Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands to see reptiles, plants and bird life that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.
  • Join an archaeological dig in Cancun, Mexico.
  • Take in Broadway plays, musicals and shopping in New York.
  • Try your luck and enjoy the nightclub acts in Las Vegas or Reno, Nevada.
  • Go scuba diving in Mexico or the Caribbean.
  • Visit Big Ben and Buckingham Palace – and ride an open-top red bus – in London.
  • Enjoy sunrise yoga sessions, horseback riding and stargazing in Arizona.

And don’t forget lounging on the beach!

Costs Involved

Just like any other trip, your honeymoon budget will likely include airfare or other transportation, lodging, food, tours/activities and shopping. You can choose between all-inclusive packages and build-your-own vacations that you design.

Here are some considerations for both types of trips:

Packages

All-inclusive packages are based around one price that includes all of the accommodation, food and events. You just need to decide what amount you are willing to pay.

  • Most all-inclusive honeymoons are on cruises or at resorts. Resorts and cruises aren’t cheap, but at least you know exactly how much you are going to spend.
  • Look for package deals when honeymooning in Hawaii, Tahiti, Aruba and other popular resorts. You can find some great deals this way.
  • Considering going to a couples-only resort? A trip package will likely be the best value.
  • Honeymoon packages often feature “extras” such as an upgraded room, romantic outings, a rental car and meals.
  • Keep in mind that low package prices may be based on less-desirable accommodations. Your travel agent can spell out the services and features that are and are not included at your hotel.
  • Walt Disney World and Disneyland offer honeymoon packages that include pampering and fun.

Build Your Own

  • Build-your-own vacations need more detailed planning and a specific budget.
  • Planning your own honeymoon allows you more flexibility and can be cheaper than an all-inclusive package, but all of the responsibility rests on your shoulders.
  • You need to consider where you want to go, what hotel and transportation reservations need to be made, how long you will stay in each place and what you are going to do while you are there. You also need to decide how much you can spend on each of these variables and how much money goes toward shopping and food expenses.
  • While honeymooning, visit tourist bureaus, which can offer pamphlets on things to do and see. If you’re abroad, remember to request detailed maps, currency exchange rates, customs guidelines and railway or bus schedules and rates.

Traveling Tips

  • Keep copies of important documents and information – for example, hotel and car-rental confirmation numbers, emergency contacts and credit card details. Photocopy the info you need and take two copies with you – one for your carry-on bag and one for your suitcase. Plus leave all these important details with a friend back home who you trust – and who you can reach while you’re away if you need to.
  • Book tickets in your maiden name – or travel with your marriage certificate.
  • Ensure your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance covers all of your belongings while you’re away, including new gifts.
  • If you’re going abroad, organize travel insurance before you go.
  • Make specific room requests – such as an ocean view – well in advance to avoid disappointment.

For a countdown guide to the honeymoon, visit Honeymoon Planning Advice