Traditionally, planning the honeymoon has been the groom’s responsibility. The bride takes care of all the wedding details and then after a beautiful and successful wedding she is ready to be swept off her feet (again) and taken to the most amazing, memorable vacation of her life. After all, she deserves it after pulling off such an impressive wedding, right? No pressure for the groom… at all...
Grooms, this list will help ensure that your honeymoon is everything that your bride and you hope it will be. It just takes a little time, a little care and planning. Regardless of your budget, follow these steps and you will be on your way to the honeymoon of your dreams.
To get you started, here are my top tips for planning the ultimate honeymoon:
1. Complete our honeymoon questionnaire. Your honeymoon trip is not a vacation to make any assumptions. Unless your bride tells you (and means it) “surprise me” talk with her about what she wants and what it is you want for your honeymoon. You may think an adventure honeymoon in New Zealand sounds great when all she really wants is pampering, relaxing and romance at a luxury hotel on the beach.
2. Consult an expert before you settle on a destination. A good travel agent will help you discover the hidden gems others don’t know about, the ones that make the difference between a lovely OR simply jaw-dropping honeymoon. In addition, they can steer you clear of places not appropriate for honeymooners and also help you get the honeymoon perks and amenities hotels offer. Travel agents don’t usually charge to plan a honeymoon and are worth it. They can often save you money.
3. Be prepared to help your travel agent. Sit down, close your eyes and picture your perfect setting. A few key words like ‘relaxation’, ‘active’, ‘tribal’, ‘heritage’, ‘authentic’, ‘glamorous’ and ‘wilderness’ will help get a feel for the style of the trip. Also, complete the honeymoon questionnaire before you meet with or talk to a travel agent and be sure to share it with him/her.
4. Do consult, but don’t get hung up on, review websites like Tripadvisor. Do look at sites like Honeymoons.com for great ideas and do read some reviews if you are considering a place. “Been there” feedback can be beneficial. Remember though to take all these reviews with a grain of salt. You don’t know these people and their expectations may not be yours. Again, a good travel agent who has actually visited and stayed in these places they will be more objective and provide expertise from a professional point of view.
5. DO be open-minded about considering different and unique places. While Hawaii, Las Vegas and Jamaica can all be amazing, going somewhere off the beaten path or going to two different places can be awesome. Traveling somewhere exotic like the Maldives or Thailand can add real spice to a honeymoon and make you feel like you are really experiencing something that is special to just your honeymoon.
6. Don’t go it alone! If you are tempted to do it yourself don’t – unless you are doing something incredibly straightforward and close to home. For your honeymoon you want a fail-safe trip. A good travel company / agent will offer a 24 hour back-up service so that you are never left on your own to deal with any problems like flight delays or honeymoon cancellations due to “acts of God” like hurricanes. And believe me it does. May – November is hurricane season in the Caribbean. Chance of a hurricane hitting while you’re on your honeymoon are slim, but do you want to have to worry about that by yourself if it does?
7. Wherever you go, take the time to relax for several days at the start of the trip, especially if you are having a big wedding. People often underestimate how exhausted they are after the emotional rollercoaster of their big day. If you can, I suggest waiting a few days after your wedding to leave for your honeymoon. That way you can relax with friends, enjoy your out of town guests and give yourself time to pack after the wedding rather than trying to get it all done before.
8. Be realistic about a budget. This is the trip of a lifetime. While you don’t want to be shortchanged and find yourself in a country or hotel that is a let down, neither do you want to rack up credit card debt or take a 2nd out on your mortgage. Start saving early and often for your honeymoon and keep your honeymoon dollars from your wedding dollars. You may be tempted to spend them on the wedding but don’t. Your honeymoon lasts a lot longer time-wise than your wedding day. Give yourself the means to enjoy it!
9. Book well in advance. It’s your honeymoon. Don’t put it off because you think you can save money by waiting. Take advantage of early bird offers and cheaper seats. Sometimes, if there IS a price reduction on airfare, your agent can re-book your seats at the lower price so that you’re not penalized for booking early. Plus, once your honeymoon is booked you can take it off the list knowing you need pay it no further attention!
10. Consider a honeymoon bridal registry! Honeymoon registries are an accepted bridal registry choice according to the Emily Post Institute of Etiquette. Today’s couples don’t need toasters and towels. Friends and family love that they can give you an experiential gift such as a helicopter tour, private dinner for two on the beach, a fabulous SCUBA diving adventure or a couple’s massage. You will enjoy that memory for a lifetime (probably a lot longer than the turkey baster or gravy boat!) Plus, most couples receive on average $2,500 USD in gifts toward their honeymoon. How nice to help have your honeymoon and all those special experiences paid for!
Honeymoon Wishes.com www.honeymoonwishes.com is the leader provider of honeymoon bridal registries. Or, create a honeymoon registry direct with resorts and cruise lines such Sandals, Starwood Hawaii, Starwood Caribbean, Secrets, Dreams, Karisma, Barcelo, Paradisus, Carnival Cruise Lines, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Disney and many more offer a honeymoon bridal registry option.
Lastly, relax and enjoy your honeymoon! This is your first (and possibly your biggest) trip as husband and wife. Take the time to savor the sunrises, the sunsets, the romance and the special-ness that IS your honeymoon!