For many couples, the honeymoon is the most romantic and exciting part of their wedding planning experience. After all, your newlywed status deserves to be celebrated in grand style! And while it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all there is to plan (where will you go? how long should you stay? what will you do there?), don’t let it stress you out completely. Check out these honeymoon planning tips from destinations across the globe, and take guests’ advice on how to have a memorable trip while keeping costs low!
Pick one location as your ‘bucket list dream destination,’ but consider other options for alternate locations if circumstances arise (like an outbreak of Zika or emergency travel warning). Research alternate destinations that you might want to visit and be open to family and friends’ suggestions about honeymoon ideas. You’ll likely discover new places that meet your budget, too!
While many couples think they need to go somewhere tropical to enjoy a sunny honeymoon, don’t limit yourself! A winter wonderland vacation can be just as romantic for the right couple. And if you don’t like the cold, you can always bundle up!
Many honeymoon destinations are very touristy, which brings with it lots of crowds and high costs. Try to pick a place where you’ll feel more adventurous by heading to an unknown locale. You might discover something new and have a more authentic experience than if you picked somewhere popular among tourists.
Traveling abroad can be stressful enough; make sure to book direct flights whenever possible (instead of transfers or layovers). This will save time, money, and energy spent braving large airports when feeling groggy after your wedding festivities.
Do some research before booking your honeymoon to be aware of hidden costs such as fees, taxes, and surcharges. For example, Italy has a very high V.A.T. (tax on the purchase price) – up to 20% in some cases – so make sure you know what that will cost you before booking flights or accommodations. Of course, direct flights are always better, but sometimes there is no way around transfers or layovers… do your research first!
Sometimes it’s cheaper to book a flight and hotel separately rather than through an agency or package deal. Check out prices for both options directly from the travel site of the airline or hotel chain before making any decisions; this should give you more flexibility in case something goes wrong.
If the honeymoon is a destination wedding, find out if your guests will need significant visas. They may not have the time or money to do so, and it could ruin your big day if they decide not to come at that late notice because they cannot get proper travel documents in time.
You can invite up to fifty people on a month-long trip by using excursion permits (EPs). These allow you to go anywhere outside the country for up six months; five extra travelers can join you under this special permit at no cost. Ensure you know how long this lasts, where you can go, and what documentation you will need before buying the EPs.
It’s best to use a honeymoon planner, especially if this is your first time going abroad. They know the places you can visit and will be able to suggest things that are just right for you two.
Wherever you go, make sure it has plenty of privacy for you both so that you don’t run into prying eyes or busybody friends who won’t let you have even a little bit of alone time (extra tip: be extra careful when choosing hotels).
If you plan on visiting several countries in one trip, look at getting an Inter-Country Travel Card. This card allows your partner to stay with you for thirty days without applying for visas beforehand. It also lets host countries charge your spouse less.
Try booking through a honeymoon-specific site as it will usually offer discounts that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. You might also receive special perks; for example, if the travel agency is affiliated with one of your hotels, they may send over free champagne or give you a discount on some locations they offer for dinner reservations.
If you want an epic honeymoon experience but are worried about how much it’s going to drain your bank account, consider planning an adventure vacation instead of a luxury one. Adventure vacations are more budget-friendly and still provide great memories for years to come!
Ask friends and relatives who have recently gone on their honeymoons where they went and what they did. You might get some great new honeymoon ideas this way!
Don’t forget to include your partner’s family in the planning process. Even if they can’t travel with you, you should invite them on an excursion or at least ask their advice for other things to do and places to visit during your time away. It’ll make them feel involved in your honeymoon experience and will also help build your relationship with each other stronger bonds both personally and professionally.
If you want a truly unique honeymoon that will be remembered fondly forever, go on a vacation everyone else would never think of doing! This could mean anything from camping in a foreign country to climbing Mt Everest – whatever sounds interesting to the two of you as a couple goes!
If you’re planning on seeing the sights while on your honeymoon, get yourself some carrying bag to put your camera in for easier transport around town. Whether it’s a purse/backpack or a cross-body pouch, find something that can help you move from sight to sight without slowing down every time you need to take out your camera. (I do this all the time when I travel, and it makes life so much easier!)
Pack a small first aid kit with bandaids, alcohol wipes, a pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, and aloe (for burns). These things don’t take up much room in your suitcase/carry-on bag, are very useful if you or your spouse get a little burned from walking around barefoot on hot sand or have a blister develop during the trip, and will make your honeymoon experience that much more pleasant.
If you want to wear something special for your souvenir pictures with the resort staff or residents of an area you’re visiting, bring some token that represents this place back home with you. For example, I have an adorable mini-coconut tree necklace from Puerto Rico because we visited their main zoo while on our honeymoon. Memories like these can be cherished forever!
Roll your clothes instead of folding them. You’ll save room in your suitcase/bag, and even if you do get that crease from the fold, it’s still way better than having to wad a bunch of stuff into corners!
Invest in some comfortable walking shoes for your honeymoon (and any other time you visit an area with a lot of sightseeing). It’s best to travel in something that isn’t brand new if possible to avoid blisters or other shoe-related nuisances on vacation. For our trip together, I bought new sneakers specifically for this honeymoon and didn’t have a single problem with rubbing or anything uncomfortable at all! And we walked around a ton too.
1. Comfortable walking shoes
2. A camera to capture all of the perfect moments
3. Cash for roaming and tipping while on your honeymoon
4. Currency from where ever you will be traveling to if it’s not the same as your home country
5. A first aid kit and other medical supplies for any possible emergencies like injuries or headaches
6. Pack some snacks with you so that you can always have a snack nearby when needed (especially if in an airport)
8. A portable battery for your phone or other devices in case of emergencies where you need to stay connected
9. Portable chargers
10. Accommodations from wherever you’ll be traveling to on your honeymoon
11. Budgeted cash for excursions, dinners, etc…when away on your honeymoon (not needed but just as an extra tip)
12. Travel-sized toiletries that contain everything you’ll need for your travels
13. Travel-sized nail clipper (if applicable)
14. A “to go” phone charger so that you can charge your phone on the go if needed
15. A copy of your itinerary and passport from wherever you’re traveling to
16. Book a hotel that has free breakfast included! If not- here are some tips on saving money with breakfast if budgeting is essential during your honeymoon
17. Some cash for any possible emergencies that may arise while away (ex. missing something or needing an unplanned taxi)
18. A laundry bag to put dirty clothes in so that they stay separate from everything else when packing up (that’s what I use this one for)
19. Comfortable shoes for walking around town or exploring the city/area where you’re vacationing together
20. Hand sanitizer wipes because sometimes soap isn’t available, and most of the time, you don’t want to take a shower with your shoes on anyway