One of the many great things about a wedding is that once the cake is cut, the last drop of champagne sipped, and the DJ is packed up, the celebration doesn’t really end.
Sure, the party’s over for your guests, but, you still have a honeymoon to look forward to! That’s several more days of celebrating your togetherness! To make sure those days are as perfect as possible, follow Celebrations.com Travel Expert Lena Katz’s 10 Tips for Planning the Perfect Honeymoon.
1. Give yourself an awesome budget.
Set aside a nice big chunk of cash for your honeymoon. I’m not saying you need to sell your car to spend 10 nights on a private island. Just don’t set a budget so low that it’s affecting how much fun you’re having together. Since everyone’s income is different, I recommend taking your average vacation budget and multiplying it by three. That will provide your version of extravagance, but within a frame that’s affordable.
2. Budget your time wisely as well.
Time is almost scarce as money these days. And you don’t want to under-budget your time to the point where it ruins your honeymoon. So, if you can’t take a good chunk of time off right after your wedding, book your honeymoon sometime after the wedding, when both honeymooners can escape for several days without feeling guilty about it. And when you do find the time to take the trip, account for travel time in your planning. That includes drive time, flight time, layovers, and jetlag.
3. Research, research, research
Check out every resource you have for trip planning--travel magazines, websites, brochures, a travel agent, friends, family, airline packages, and your mom’s best friend Rita. Shoot, email me and ask for recommendations! Before you break into that extravagant 3x-more-than-usual vacation piggybank, you should be 100% sure you’re getting the most for your money.
4. Ask for help!
People love to do nice things for people who are in love, especially honeymooners. If you are trying to put together the trip of a lifetime for the love of your life, and you let people know that, you’d be amazed what you can get. A free upgrade at a resort. Backstage passes to a show. A friends-and-family rate at a 5-star hotel where your cousin works. You never know unless you ask!
5. Choose a place and a theme you both enjoy.
When you are deeply in love, and in the throes of planning a zillion things, there is the impulse for one person to say, “Book whatever you want, honey. Whatever makes you happy.” Avoid that impulse! Both parties should be involved in the planning and the itinerary needs to accounts for both your other half’s preferences and your own.
6. Get your stuff in order!
Organize your travel gear before you head off. Here’s a quickie guideline for the weeks and days leading up to the big trip.
Three weeks to go: Have current passports ready.
Two weeks to go: Print out your hotel confirmation, directions to hotel, rental car info, and flight information.
One week to go: Give relevant travel info to all of your emergency contacts.
Final week: Pack up your camera batteries and a backup camera. Check if you’ll need some sort of international SIM card to make calls from wherever you are. Call your credit card companies and let them know you’re traveling. Buy travel-sized toiletries.
Three days to go: Pack everything you think you’ll need, then go through your bags one day before departure and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
Day before the trip: Clear everything off of your work to do list and put up an out of office that specifically mentions that you won’t be checking your email because you’re on honeymoon, so you can vacation guilt free!
7. Insure yourself.
Just to give that reassuring sense that someone’s got your back if anything major goes wrong, get travel insurance. Phil Sylvester of World Nomads sums it up neatly: “You’ve spent a lot of money on your dream honeymoon—now you have to protect your investment. A couple hundred extra bucks for peace of mind? That’s priceless.”
8. Have fun—no matter what.
Even though this article is about the perfect honeymoon, the truth is there’s no such thing as perfect. Things happen along the way that are not expected or ideal. A cab driver might try to overcharge you or there may be a room full of screaming drunken college students right next door. If it’s fixable, take care of it. If it’s not, don’t get angry over it. It’s plain not worth it. Not on your honeymoon.
9. Take tons of pictures.
Your friends and family want to see your trip. And you’ll want to remember this trip. It commemorates a momentous occasion in your life. So even if you’re not much of a picture-taker or you have an unflattering sunburn, just smile for the camera and snap away. 10 years later, you’ll be glad you did it.
10. You’re a team now! Celebrate it.
You made it official. Now, explore the new level of togetherness you’ve attained, and enjoy! In childlike and grownup and excited and slumberous and goofy and sexy and cheesy ways. In any way that appeals to you. During the not-so great moments, remember: you take on the world together now.
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