For couples, the honeymoon should be the relaxing part after the frantic planning and exhausting wedding day activities. Yet, it seems as if some of that wedding stress manages to creep into the honeymoon travels, which will put a damper on your post-nuptial travel no matter where you're going. Planning a honeymoon doesn't have to be stressful--and it even can be fun--with these 9 easy honeymoon planning tips.
- Research your proposed dates. Before you commit to a location, make sure that you've thoroughly vetted it for anything that will make your stay less than enjoyable. Are there any major festivals during your proposed visit that will cause the hotel prices to skyrocket? Is the city hosting a huge business convention that time of year? Consider nearby cities or an area that's similar in climate and offerings.
- Thoroughly vet your accommodations. If you're planning on staying somewhere that you haven't frequented before, it's best to approach it from every possible angle. No one wants to stay in a hotel room that was clearly updated forty years ago or in an AirBnB right next to a construction site. Go to major travel aggregate sites and read the most recent reviews: there will always be some complainers who post about not having enough towels (ignore them), but if you're seeing dozens of posts about how dirty and noisy the place is, skip it.
- Take a language course if you're headed out of the country. You don't have to re-enroll in college, but a little knowledge of a foreign language goes a long way. Learn basic directional cues, common foods, emergency requests, and greetings. Not only will locals be appreciative of you trying to learn their language, you're also more likely to get what you need when you need it.
- Print out confirmation emails of everything. Don't rely on your cell phone and email to be working when on your honeymoon--bring hard copies of your hotel, car, airline, cruise, train, and tour reservations. With a confirmation number, you'll be able to show proof that you've made the reservation and payment even if the hotel system is saying otherwise.
- Get foreign currency before you leave home. Your bank should be able to order you money (for a fee) if given enough notice. You'll pay less of a premium on exchange fees than you will at the kiosks in the airports, and you'll be prepared for whatever comes your way as soon as you get off the plane. It's not unusual to need smaller bills for taxis, wait staff tips, and drinks almost immediately after your disembark.
- Let your bank know you're traveling if you plan on using your credit cards. Because of fraud, most banks will place a hold on a credit card if unusual activity occurs. Spending money at your hotel bar (even if it's in the U.S.!) or making purchases in a foreign country are both ways that you can get your account flagged. Don't waste time on your honeymoon sorting out charges with your credit card company, and make that quick phone call with your travel dates and destinations before you leave home.
- Research common local scams. While most of these are more annoying than dangerous, you don't want to get scammed into anything while you're on your honeymoon. Read bloggers' accounts on major cities to see what to expect or check out a guide book for their take on areas or situations to avoid. Always trust your gut, and, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Ask for recommendations. If you've had a friend or relative go to a destination, reach out and ask about his or her experience. If your mom had a great time in Jamaica, see which resort she enjoyed; if your best friend hated visiting the Dominican Republic, ask her for specifics. There are often very personal reasons why one traveler dislikes an area, so even though your friend had a bad time, you might have a fantastic trip.
- Make copies of your driver's license and passport. In case you lose either of these, you'll have a much easier time getting copies from the embassy than if you show up empty handed. Put them in a separate area in your luggage than the hard copies of your documents for extra safety.
For even more honeymoon planning tips, check out these articles. Happy travels!