The number one way to ensure you both enjoy the honeymoon is to take time well in advance (approximately six months before the wedding) to discuss your options. Make a list of destinations you both want to see and research activities, accommodations and prices.
This is also the time to set a honeymoon budget you both can agree upon. Your budget may affect where you are able to go and what you will be able to do while there. Rates vary throughout the year, so it may be necessary to alter either your honeymoon dates or the wedding day so you can get the best travel rates possible. Traveling in the fall is generally the least expensive time of the year, while traveling in the spring can be a bit more expensive.
Select a Destination
Take a look at your list of destination possibilities and make a final decision on where you plan to spend your honeymoon. The destination you choose should be intimate and somewhere you both want to visit. Some of the most intimate destinations are beachfront resorts, mountain cabins and secluded bed and breakfasts.
All-inclusive resorts are popular among honeymooners, mostly because there is no need to worry about extra fees and costs. Everything from recreation, drinks and food are included with the price of the accommodations. Do some research and determine if what is being offered at the resort is really worth the all-inclusive cost of staying there.
Check online reviews and get recommendations from friends and family about some of the destinations you are considering. Personal experiences and recommendations from those you know may help you determine if a destination is truly the spot for you.
Purchase a couple of guidebooks for the area you have chosen to go for your honeymoon. You can also call area hotels and resorts to request additional information be sent to you. Online resources are a great way to find more information about your honeymoon destination.
Book the Honeymoon
You can always book your honeymoon on your own directly through the hotel, airline and car rental companies. Booking it yourself will save you from having to pay additional fees when using a travel agency to handle the planning. However, a travel agent is trained to know the ins and outs of booking vacations. Your travel agent already knows what specials and deals are available during your travel time and will be able to make suggestions to make your honeymoon that much more special.
When booking your honeymoon, a deposit will be due to reserve it. Depending upon the package and hotel, the remaining balance will be due approximately 30 days prior to your arrival.
Look into purchasing travel insurance to cover you and your new spouse should anything happen before the wedding or honeymoon. Some travel insurance policies will cover you if the wedding is canceled or if you have to postpone the honeymoon. Depending upon the policy, you will also be covered for many items, such as lost luggage, delay of trip and emergency evacuation during the honeymoon.
Your honeymoon should be booked no less than four months prior to your wedding day. Ensure everything is set by confirming your reservations approximately one month before the wedding.
Plan Your Time
Though it is not necessary to map out every minute of your honeymoon, it is a good idea to plan and schedule some activities. Knowing what you want to do will help you add any finishing touches to your honeymoon, including guided tours, special dinners and other activities that require reservations. Do not forget to set aside some time to just sit back and relax.
Gather Travel Documents
Make sure you have all of the necessary documents to travel. Depending upon your destination, you may be required to have a passport, tickets, visas and/or documentation of vaccinations. If you plan to use traveler’s checks, make sure to purchase them about a week before the wedding and do not forget to pack them. Make photo copies of traveler’s checks and any other travel documents to keep in a safe place, just in case they are lost or stolen.
It is best to book all of your travel plans in your maiden name. This is mostly because if you are leaving immediately after the wedding, your driver’s license will probably not reflect your married name yet.
Pack Your Bags
Start thinking about what you want to pack approximately one month before leaving on your honeymoon. Start early because it will allow enough time to gather and pack everything you will need to bring with you. Make a list of everything you will need and cross off the list as you pack each one.
Check to see what items are not allowed while traveling and double check your airline’s carry-on luggage and checked baggage limits.
Enjoy Your Honeymoon
Upon arrival, start sharing with everyone at the hotel that you are celebrating your honeymoon. Many resorts will treat honeymooners to complementary services and added features.
Treat your new spouse to a special surprise while on vacation. If you are able to, schedule dinner on the beach or have the concierge desk decorate your room with candles, rose petals and lots of chocolate.
Remember, the sooner you start planning, the more time you will have to ensure everything is in order. Also, keep in mind that things may go wrong or not as planned. Do not let anything get in the way of the two of you enjoying your honeymoon.
Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.