Easy guide to planning your honeymoon
Dear brides to be, bridesmaids, maids of honor, mothers of the bride, future husbands maybe or simply dear friends,
After receiving so many questions about how I planned my honeymoon and how I picked up my dream destination, I have decided to give all the answers by writing this complete guide about planning the perfect honeymoon. It may seem a bit difficult at first sight, but it’s pretty easy once you follow some basic steps or at least this was my method and the result and incredibly beautiful and without any unwanted surprises. I know what it’s like to plan a wedding, the stress and all the hard work and dedication that you put into making this the most wonderful event of your life. So after the wedding, you really need a sweet escape, alone with your husband, relaxing after such an important year (it usually takes a year to plan a wedding). I know I should be supportive and everything but although it may seem like you have time, you don’t…and you wouldn’t want to get all crazy after the event instead of enjoying your dream honeymoon.
So here are the 10 steps you should follow if you wish to have great honeymoon:
- What kind of place do you want to go? Do you have in mind spending time in a big city like Paris, London or maybe New York, visiting museums, art collections and going to fancy restaurants? Or would you enjoy going in a beautiful countryside estate from Tuscany or Provence, walk alongside vineyards and lavender fields, drink a glass of red wine and read a good book? Are you that tired and stressed that all you need is a vacation far away from everything, sunbathing all day long and sipping from a cocktail while on a beach in the Maldives or maybe in Bora Bora? Are you a wanderlust-er eager to discover new places together with your loved one such as Machu Picchu, Australia or maybe India? Or would you love to find a place that is a perfect mix between heavenly beaches and adventure options, just like Seychelles, Bali or Thailand? Depending on your answer you should be able to write a list with some destinations that fit your personality.
- How long do you plan to stay? Some places being so far away from your home country require a longer period of time (transport included) in order to see all the attractions and also to relax after the wedding. The time frame is very important because if you plan to stay only a week, then a trip on the same continent it would be the right choice. But if you can stay for at least two weeks then you can easily think of a destination far away, maybe something exotic and special to make your honeymoon a trip to remember.
- What’s your budget? It’s all fun and games until you actually have to pay for the trip so it’s very important to be true to yourself and analyze how much you are willing to spend for your dream vacation. A personal tip is to look for some good offers especially for the flights because with the accommodation is easier, you will find many choices on booking.com – hotels, villas, B&Bs. Also, don’t jump into the most expensive and luxurious resorts there are…I honestly think you should not spend your entire travel fund on a single journey.
- Check the seasons and other important infos about the destination you have in mind such as mandatory vaccines or visa formalities. Before you decide where to go you have to decide whether you want to go on honeymoon right after the wedding – meaning that you have to check if it’s a good time to visit a certain location or, if you have in mind only one place – the one for the honeymoon you have dreamed since highschool, then you should simply see when is the best time to visit and then plan everything. Also, most countries require having a visa (which you can obtain before from the embassy or from the airport when you arrive in the other country) and sometimes even a medical record to see if you are vaccinated against tropical diseases. It’s very important to check these details before your trip and make all the paperwork and formalities, this way you will have no worries and you’ll know what to do.
- Book the flight tickets. You should buy your tickets with at least 2 months prior the trip because after that you have lots of planning to do. I strongly recommend checking out the deals from top airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Air France or KLM – depending on your destination. Although I am a big fan of low cost airlines when it comes to having a long flight, I always put comfort first because I want to be in a good mood on the entire vacation.
- Plan your trip. This is one of the most challenging parts in planning your honeymoon. You know where you are going and when but you also have to decide on what you should visit there – do you have in mind island hopping, or maybe a tour? So take a map and see what are the main attractions and the hidden ones, make a list and try to choose your favorites (or all of them, why not?). Then, see if it requires to have several places to stay. For example, on our honeymoon in the Seychelles we really wanted to explore the islands and we stayed for 6 nights on Mahe, then we changed the island and moved to Praslin for another 6 nights. Having an itinerary helped us in getting the right accommodation on each island (always think about proximity, cleanliness and price, of course). Don’t forget about some extra activities: maybe you want to try a water sport, yoga, bungee jumping, horse riding, swimming with dolphins, scuba diving or any other fun thing to do while on vacation. You should see the approximate price and which are the proper places for that sort of things.
- Getting around. Besides the main attractions or the restaurants you want to go, you should check first the transport network of a country or city. If you think you can explore everything by bus or train, it’s fine, then you just have to see the prices (maybe getting a pass is more convenient), the timetables and where are the stops. But if you love being independent, having your own schedule and wander even on the most remote corners then the right choice for you is renting a car. It’s very simple – you just book it online or even from the airport (if you pay in cash and you rent the car for several days you get a consistent discount). Just make sure you have the right kind of driving license and a credit card (for the deposit).
- Inside tips. Before every trip I read a lot about the places I’m heading to in order to learn about their culture, history, cuisine and to find out about and also avoid the tourist traps along my journey. Try to search for information about paying in cash or by card, about the currency they use, if you are allowed to carry medicines, if there are any dangerous insects or animals you should be careful about, when the sun rises and sets, about high tides, storms, dress code etc.
- Food&drink. If you really want to experience a new place, then you should try and eat local. Usually, the best food is served in the traditional restaurants where all the locals eat. There you can find authentic cuisine and fresh dishes, full of flavor. I love trying something new: fruit, spices, fish, cocktails and I always do my homework before the trip and write a short list of all the dishes I want to taste.
- Pack your bag…according to the weather forecast and the culture and tradition of the place you are going. If you are an Instagram&fashion addict (I find myself guilty as charged) then you should choose your outfits carefully, having a nice ensemble that will match the marvelous places you are planning to visit. The accessories always catch the eyes so don’t forget to pack at least two handbags, cute earrings, a hat, scarves and sunglasses. Before closing your bags, put on at least a sweater, sport shoes and bikinis.
That being told, I hope this guide will help you find and decide upon your honeymoon destination. If you need any other detail or just an advice, please don’t hesitate to write me and I will share with you my thoughts based on the experiences I had so far.
Can’t wait to hear some stories from you and see stunning photos from the most important vacation – your first trip as a married couple.
Good luck, lovely girls!