TIPS FOR PLANNING THE PERFECT HONEYMOON
Your honeymoon is a well-deserved rest after the stress of planning a wedding, and a chance to enjoy an uninterrupted week or two of married life with no daily interruptions such as work or household chores to distract you. It's the opportunity to focus on each other as a couple and enjoy your new level of relationship – marriage! So yes – it’s fair to say planning your honeymoon may come with a bit more pressure than planning any old holiday and for this reason it pays to be prepared.
It’s best to start planning your honeymoon earlier rather than later. Yes it may be tempting to hold out for any last minute deals, however you may have to put in a special request for extra holiday leave from work, may be visiting a country where you need vaccinations or a special visa, and flights and hotels can become more expensive the closer it gets to you going. You may also miss out on the experience you've dreamt of if its fully booked!
It’s also not just about the holiday, but also the activities you’ll want to get up to on your honeymoon. If you’ve ever fancied a boat cruise, wine tasting, heading into the desert on dune buggies, specialist outings are becoming more and more popular too. Booking your honeymoon early will give you chance to research what your chosen area has to offer and book onto all of the things you want to do. Trust me, plan early… and it’ll give you a lot more time to get excited about all the great things you’ll be getting up to.
Think about the type of honeymoon you want - together
Discuss with each other what you want to get out of your honeymoon – relaxation may well be part of it (and could be all of it if that’s right for both of you) but you might be more interested in sightseeing, or in fabulous nightlife, or in doing sporting or other activities. You may not want to stay in one place but do a cruise or road trip that allows you to see lots of places. Or you might want to incorporate lots of the above!
Decide on your must-have’s and nice-to-have’s and this will guide you in the direction of the type and location of holiday that will work for both of you.
Already have kids? Consider whether to take them or not!
This can be a really contentious issue so best sorted out right at the start of planning. There is no right or wrong answer so it needs to be what’s best for you.
If the budget allows then you could do both – maybe have a mini-moon soon after the wedding for just the two of you, and a family-moon later on in the year.
Consider when to take your Honeymoon
It’s no longer mandatory to whisk off on your honeymoon the night or day after your wedding. If you are planning on going away a few weeks or months after you say your ‘I dos’ you could always plan a night away in a posh hotel just after your big day.
You’ll want to consider the seasons at your chosen destination. For example:
Try Thailand, Florida or the Caribbean in the months of November to May as typically summer brings monsoon or hurricane season, which is best to avoid unless you have a thing for wind and rain!
The Seychelles, Dubai and the Maldives are great year-round destinations, and the Canaries are a good choice for large parts of the year.
In Summer I’d recommend European destinations such as Spain, Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries.
If you want to spend your honeymoon in a winter wonderland marvelling at the Northern Lights, make sure you check when is the best time for snow and the spectacle in the sky!
Plan your Budget
If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll know by now how important I think it is to budget carefully, especially as your expectations for your honeymoon are going to be largely determined by your budget. The sky is quite literally the limit on what you can spend on travel but you are able to get some great holidays and experiences on a budget too. It’s of course going to depend on the season in which you want to go away, how far you want to travel and how long you want to go away for – amongst other factors.
Ask yourself the question: How much is our honeymoon worth to us? Is it part of our must-have-big-parts of your wedding? Is it going to be a once-in-a-lifetime-trip you’ll never forget? Is it your last opportunity to have a blow-out-no-expense-spared trip away before you start a family? Or is it simply a relaxing end to your wedding? Consider this when determining your honeymoon destination.
If you want to have fixed-costs for your honeymoon, book an all-inclusive deal so your flights, hotel, transfers, meals and drinks are all taken care of before you arrive meaning you’re less likely to feel tempted to make a splurge on upgrades when you arrive.
Think about using a travel agent
If you want extra guidance planning your honeymoon, travel agents can come in handy. They have inside knowledge of all the best areas to visit, discounts and extras you can book at your chosen destination. They’ll also save you time on research hunting out the best deals and flight times and have first hand knowledge of what to do and where to stay that will tick all of your boxes.
And if you are looking for something a bit more different or exotic than your typical trip abroad, there are lots of specialist travel agents who can put something truly bespoke and special together for you.
Look at at reviews and ask for recommendations
You want to make your holiday right for you, so you don’t necessarily want to directly copy what others have done – but once you have an idea of what you want to do and where you want to go, do a bit of research to make sure it’s going to meet your expectations. Don’t be put off by the occasional negative review as there’s always someone who just wants to moan, but lots of poor reviews should definitely raise a red flag! And if you are in lots of wedding groups, ask if others have any personal experiences you can draw on.
While it’s great to work with your other half when planning the honeymoon, try and sneak in a few little surprises that they aren’t aware of. More expensive or full day activities are best to plan together but planning a bottle of champagne for the flight, a special dinner or couples massage in advance is the perfect way to add a bit of excitement and romance to your trip.
Let your hotel know you are newlyweds – they may give you an upgrade or leave a gift in your room if you are polite about asking!
Travel just out of season and you’re likely to take advantage of some great savings without having to compromise on the weather.
Need a bigger budget? Consider asking for some cash in place of gifts for your wedding. You are also able to purchases honeymoon experiences nowadays so friends and family who find cash a bit impersonal can still contribute to the honeymoon.
If you are asking about your plans on social media to get reviews and opinions don’t give too much info away – you don’t want everyone to know when your house is likely to be empty, and possibly full of lovely new wedding presents!