Honeymoon planning made simple
SPONSORED CONTENT: A few tips on how to plan your honeymoon properly
Just like the wedding, a couple wants their honeymoon to be perfect. And, just like the wedding, that means proper planning. Here are a few tips to ensure that first week as newlyweds is fun and stress-free:
Interview travel consultants: It is important to establish a relationship with a travel industry professional who understands your needs, and whom you both like—that could take more than one try. If you’ve already chosen a destination, verify that the travel consultant has been there recently. If you haven’t decided yet, it’s even more important that you connect with the travel advisor, so that you’ll trust their recommendations.
Establish a budget: Don’t make the honeymoon an expense you’ll regret, or, worse, go into debt over. Start a honeymoon fund early, and plan within that budget. While many travel companies will create a honeymoon registry that allows wedding guests to contribute honeymoon expenses, that’s not something to rely on, and you also don’t want to be broke as you start your life together.
Planning process: It’s never too early to start dreaming. Start honeymoon talk as soon as you get engaged; you don’t have to wait until a date is set. Once you have a date, decide if you want to honeymoon immediately after; many couples today are taking a mini post-wedding honeymoon, and planning a major trip once they’ve recovered from the excitement. If possible, avoid mid-April, when higher spring break pricing will prevail and airline availability is limited. Also avoid Thanksgiving week and government holidays.
Determine your interests: This isn’t the vacation to try something just to “see if you like it,” so don’t, for example, book a ski trip if you’ve never skied; your honeymoon is no time to create new anxiety. Examine your own interests—beach, culinary, sports, camping, glamping—and choose accordingly.
Get on the same page: Do you want to visit a new place or return to a favorite? How do you anticipate spending this time—relaxing on the beach or sightseeing? Read travel magazines, and ask friends where they’ve gone. Make individual wish lists of what your ideal honeymoon will include, then see where you have matches, and start investigating.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Hawaii: If you have a minimium of ten days and an ample budget, the islands of Hawaii are filled with romance and adventure. Hotel and restaurant options are available in all price ranges, and the many “insider access activities” will make a memorable trip.
Cruises: Many honeymooners select cruising because of ease and cost control. All meals and accommodations are included, and some cruise lines include wine at dinner or alcoholic beverage packages. Higher end cruises also include shore excursions. Some top recommendations are Holland America, Crystal Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Oceania Cruises.
River Cruises: European river cruises offer great deals with interesting itineraries. AMA River Cruises, Viking River Cruises, and Uniworld River Cruises are favorites.
All-Inclusive: For a luxury honeymoon with no hidden costs, Sandals Resorts or AMResorts/Secrets are your go-to. If you go elsewhere, and aren’t interested in a property that caters to families, be sure to select one that is adults-only.
Caribbean Islands or Mexico Bermuda: A perfect island to visit if you’re honeymooning during summer or fall. Bermuda exudes British charm and sophisticated formality. The Princess Hotels, The Reefs, and Elbow Beach are favorites.
St Lucia: This island is famous for lush, green mountains and serene beaches. Try the new Royalton Resort or St. James Club Morgan Bay, both highly rated.
Cancun Riviera Maya: Cancun has it all. Excellence Resorts or Secrets Maroma are top choices.
Big Cities: New York, Charleston, Savannah, Las Vegas, Toronto, Paris, France, and Reykjavik, Iceland, etc. all can provide excitement. Icelandiair now offers a fare that allows you to visit Reykjavik, then continue to European locales serviced by the airline.
Tahiti & Fiji: For an exotic honeymoon, Tahiti and Fiji offer over-the-water bungalows and the ability to visit more than one island.
Bora Bora: One of the more luxurious and expensive honeymoon destinations, Bora Bora epitomizes romance. Most activities are water-related with breathtaking sunset cruises along the lagoon.
This is a special trip, so savor every moment of the anticipation!
Ronald Luczak is vice president of The Travel Team, Inc.