Booking any holiday can be stressful, but booking a honeymoon comes with added pressure because you and your new husband or wife will want it to be achingly romantic and beautiful – it’s the start of your new life together and it needs to be absolutely perfect. Obviously it’s not an ideal situation when you have to book the best trip away of your life at the same time that you’re organising the biggest day of your life, so this article should help you through the planning process.
The main thing that you should be looking for is sun, sea, sand, and above all, relaxation. The weeks and months leading up to the wedding will have been hectic, and the day itself isn’t a walk in the park either. While you might want to go on a walking tour of Vietnam and Cambodia, save it for the future – this is a time for doing as little as possible apart from sleeping, reading, eating, drinking and…you know. With that in mind (and assuming you want to splash out, which you should), you should consider destinations like Hawaii, Bora Bora, the Seychelles, Bali and so on: island paradises that allow you to slip from sun-drenched day to sun-drenched day (nothing puts a dampener on things like rain) as if you’re living inside a wonderful dream. Keep in mind when the monsoon or hurricane seasons are and steer clear of them if they fall during your allotted dates – ensuring that you are able to enjoy good weather every day should be your primary concern. Here are a few other aspects to bear in mind when you’re planning your honeymoon.
Don’t use your married name
While the bride (or the groom – hey, these are progressive times!) might want to use their changed name as soon as possible, it’s best not to do so here. Your passport won’t have been updated yet and things can become problematic (in the form of extra charges or refusal to let you on board) when the name on a passport doesn’t match the name on a boarding pass or a hotel room booking. Don’t be impatient – you’ve got the rest of your life to use your new name!
Set up a honeymoon registry
If money’s a bit too tight with the wedding and the honeymoon to organise, why not set up a honeymoon registry as well as (or instead of) a gift registry? That way, friends and family can make contributions in the form of upgrades or extras designed to give your honeymoon that extra veneer of luxury. Let’s face it, you’ve probably already got a frying pan or a set of towels, so what’s the point in asking for new ones?
Get a private airport transfer
Nothing kills the mood quicker than an extortionate taxi picked up from outside the airport or being herded onto a bus with forty other recent arrivals. It shouldn’t cost much extra to hire a private car with a chauffeur to collect you when you arrive and drop you off at your hotel. If you’re not bothered about looking too ostentatious, you could even make it a limousine. Just make sure it’s a black or white one rather than a pink one – you don’t want people thinking you’re a weird hen party!
Use a travel agent
A honeymoon isn’t the same as a holiday – you want to ramp up the romance and luxury levels as much as you can, and you’ll need some help in doing so. Many travel agents specialise in the planning of honeymoons, securing you those extras that make it stand out from a normal holiday and finding the perfect hotel room for you to camp out in for the duration of your stay. If any upgrades or deals are available for honeymooners (there are often special rates and discounts available), you can be sure that the travel agent will make you aware of them as well. When you’re away, make sure you tell hotels and airlines that you’re on your honeymoon – you might get a better room, a free bottle of champagne or a complimentary dinner. If you’re concerned about potential costs, this is the (hopefully first and only) time to flaunt your newly-wed status and see what it gets you. Don’t be shy about it! If you’d rather book everything yourself, start by using the holiday comparison site available here.
Don’t fly on the day of the wedding
Not only will you constantly be worrying about the time so you can get to the airport in time but you’ll also have to leave your own party early! Also bearing in mind that your flight might be delayed if you’re really unlucky (sitting in an airport lounge for seven hours really takes the edge off that holiday feeling), you should aim to fly a day or two after the wedding. That way, you’ll be able to open your gifts and look through the early pictures that your guests will inevitably have uploaded to Facebook throughout the day.