‘Tis the season for weddings and, of course, honeymoons! Although both can be daunting, planning for the perfect trip after you say “I do” doesn’t have to be. Take the stress out of honeymoon planning with this pre-planning checklist.
- Decide on the type of destination you want–mountains, beach, sightseeing, skiing–be honest about what you both want from this trip, even it is something different. Today, it’s easy to build a multi-destination itinerary.
- Make a list of places you would love to go and a list of places you prefer to avoid–Gatlinburg, Curacao, Aruba, Las Vegas…and choose these destinations for the right reasons; not because your BFF didn’t go there (or did) on her honeymoon.
- Be realistic about the time you plan to be away–in a perfect world, the honeymoon would last an entire month. Reality (work, school, kids, finances, LIFE), though, tends to creep back up fast. Typically, honeymoons last between 6-10 days.
- Think about how much time you want to travel to your destination–St Lucia, Antigua, Fiji, Hawaii, etc. on your list? Then plan for a full day or two of travel (and be sure to take into consideration the distance from your destination airport to your resort).
- Be honest about what you plan to do while you are away–need a destination that is peaceful and serene with few interruptions except a beach butler refilling your cocktail? Or do you prefer to be in the middle of it all with so much to do, you barely have time to sit and enjoy the view? A mix of both is okay, too! Just be honest about what you want, or you may end up in the wrong location.
- Set a budget, but be flexible–planning a honeymoon is similar to house hunting. Although much does depend on budget, so does being realistic about what you want and what you can get. Trust me, you can’t get an all-inclusive honeymoon with airfare for 10 nights in an oceanfront suite for $2000 (or even $2000 per person). And I can’t stress enough to be wary of deals that seem too good to be true…
- Plan to include travel insurance in case anything happens. There are some great plans out there that will allow you to cancel-for-any-reason. This is a no-brainer!
- Create a list of the “must-haves” at your hotel or resort (and don’t be shy)–swim-up pool bar, tennis courts, water sports, fitness center, at least 8 restaurants, nightclub, casino, spa, etc. This, too, will help to make sure you get the perfect resort for you.
- Apply for passports and be sure to note how you listed your name–in order to put a trip on hold, you will need your name as it appears on your passport. Name changes on airfare can be costly–and if names don’t match EXACTLY, you could be denied boarding. (FYI, if you already have a passport, make sure that it is valid long enough for your destination.)
- Consult an expert in this field (yes, a travel agent)–we really do know about most resorts and locations. If we haven’t personally been there, we have a solid community and a number of honest resources to help guide you to the perfect honeymoon destination. You wouldn’t go online and trust some random website to plan your wedding, why would you do the same for your honeymoon?
Once your pre-honeymoon checklist is complete, you can start focusing on destinations that might be a perfect fit. For all you beach lovers, here is a glimpse of where you could be spending your days of wedded bliss–Jamaica (one of my favorite beaches in Negril). Enjoy!