Preparing for a honeymoon can be difficult, especially when wedding planning consumes the majority of your time and attention. A haphazardly planned honeymoon can put a damper on your wedding festivities, but with a little planning and effort, you and your new spouse can have an unforgettable, stress-free honeymoon.
Part 1 Choosing Your Destination
1. Find a location that both of you enjoy. Perhaps you both enjoy hiking or amusement parks, or perhaps one of you prefers the beach while the other prefers the mountains. Find a place that caters to both of you, especially if your tastes differ. It can be a nice gesture to choose a destination that your new spouse enjoys, but if there is nothing there that interests you, it will be far less enjoyable for both of you.
2. Consider the time of year. No matter how happy you are, it is difficult to enjoy a vacation if the weather is miserable, there aren’t enough things to do, or the tourist crowds are unbearable.
Examine the weather. If you’re getting married in a month with extreme heat or cold, you might want to find a more temperate location to celebrate. Check climate data websites to see what the average temperature is for the season you intend to visit.
Travel during the shoulder season, which is the time between peak and off-season tourism dates. You could save a lot of money by arriving just after the peak season has passed, and not only will the pace be more relaxed and enjoyable for you, but you might find the locals friendlier and more welcoming when you aren’t part of a horde of tourists.
Postpone your trip. If you’re getting married during the off season of your dream destination, consider postponing your honeymoon for a few months. This may have the unintended consequence of giving you more time to save.
3. Check the availability and hours of the attractions. If you visit during low season, or even shoulder season, some tourist attractions may have limited hours or be closed entirely. The last thing you want to do is arrive in a deserted town. Consult the websites of the attractions you want to visit for a schedule of their operating hours during your travel dates.
Part 2 Making Your Reservations
1. Make your flight reservation as soon as possible. While it is difficult to predict the price of airfare, most experts agree that purchasing your tickets around 60 days in advance will provide you with the best deals. Experts also believe that ticket prices are now lowest on weekends, so try to buy on a Saturday or Sunday.
Begin comparing airfare several months before you plan to buy so you can get a sense of price fluctuations for the flights you want to take. The more you pay attention to the average cost of your preferred flight, the more likely it is that you will recognise and take advantage of a great deal.
Experiment with different flight options. Perhaps flights into or out of your destination city are less expensive on another day, or a flight with one or more layovers is significantly less expensive than the nonstop version. Many airline websites allow you to view price calendars to determine which days are the cheapest in the month you intend to travel.
Use a flight aggregator website or app to search for flight prices and options all in one place. These sites look beyond what the larger airline travel sites offer, and they frequently do not charge a convenience fee, resulting in a more comprehensive list of less expensive options. However, be aware that some airlines do not list on flight aggregators and may offer a cheaper option to those who book directly with them.
2. Make a hotel reservation. By reserving your room ahead of time, you can avoid being turned away in a crowded city. Driving around, becoming increasingly frustrated as you are turned away from full hotels, is neither fun nor romantic.
When selecting a hotel, consider what is most important to you. A nice room is required, but it is also necessary to research location, transportation, safety, and accommodations other than guest rooms. Hotel parking, internet, airport shuttle, proximity to attractions, and breakfasts are all factors to consider when selecting a hotel.
Look for hotels that are close to where you intend to spend the majority of your time. Shorter commutes can translate into more time for fun!
Examine large crowd gatherings. Even a small convention, sporting event, or parade can fill up a city. If you want a quiet, romantic experience, make sure your hotel isn’t hosting a prom or serving as a gathering place for a swarm of rowdy convention-goers.
3. Select your mode of transportation. The most important thing is to get there, but you should also think about how you’ll get around while you’re there. You don’t want to waste time figuring out how to use a city’s subway system or waiting for taxis in an off-the-beaten-path hotel.
Make a reservation for a rental car. If your budget allows for it, renting a car is more comfortable and gives you far more freedom and flexibility than taking public transportation. You should do your research and make advance reservations for a rental car, just like you would for a hotel, to get the cheapest and most convenient option.
If you decide to take public transportation, spend some time before you leave studying subway maps and bus schedules so you know where you’re going before you arrive. Before you go, you can even calculate your expected fare costs and purchase subway and bus fare cards online. To help you budget for your trip, look up current taxi fare rates in your destination city.
4. Make plans for your entertainment. When possible, reserve tour admissions and attraction tickets in advance to avoid long ticket lines and to save a few dollars with online purchase-only discounts.
5. Make a few dinner reservations. Select a few nicer local restaurants to visit, then call or check online to see if they accept reservations. If they don’t, inquire about call-ahead seating.
6. Please contact the concierge. When in doubt, contact your hotel’s concierge to see what dining and entertainment reservations they can make for you. If they are unable to assist you in advance, please visit their desk on your first day at the hotel.
Part 3 Creating a Budget
1. Don’t charge your honeymoon. While a lavish, luxury vacation may sound appealing, keep in mind that you will have to return to the real world once it is over. You don’t want to start your new lives together owing money you don’t have. With a credit card, it is easy to overspend, and you may find yourself paying interest on that vacation long after the fun is over.
Setting up a vacation savings account that deducts a few dollars from your paycheck is a convenient way to save for your honeymoon. Disable online banking for that account—when you have to physically go to the bank to withdraw money, it can be easier to resist dipping into the funds for impulse spending.
2. Set a reasonable budget. Some experts advise spending no more than one week’s salary on any given vacation. Staying on budget will be easier if you do your research, make early reservations, and plan ahead.
Include any unexpected expenses, such as cold medicine, a trip to the emergency room, or replacement items due to lost luggage.
Remember to budget for parking, metre fares, and gasoline if you rent a car. Budget for a parking fee if your hotel charges one.
Budget for cab, bus, or subway fare if you intend to use public transportation. Don’t forget to set aside money for tips!
3. Visit at least two travel agencies. They may be able to provide you with cheaper travel packages than you can find on your own. Be honest with them about your financial constraints so you don’t get talked into something you can’t afford.
4. Request a lower rate. If your dream hotel does not appear to have any available bookings online, or if the rack rates are prohibitively expensive, call the hotel and ask if they can assist you. Front-desk employees frequently have access to discounts that aren’t listed online.
5. Look into non-hotel options. There are numerous ways to stay at a lower cost. Investigate all available options in your destination’s vicinity, such as hostels, vacation rentals, B&Bs, AirB&Bs, and even house swaps. You might just come across a charming location that is ideal for a romantic getaway.
6. Outside of the airport, look for car rentals. Airports charge exorbitant fees and taxes. The same rental car company in a nearby suburb may be much less expensive.
7. Look into discounted passes. Check to see if your destination city offers a combination pass that includes discounted admission to local attractions, and look for coupons or promo codes online. Tickets can be purchased at a discount online.
Part 4 Planning the Details
1. Decide on a departure date. Some couples choose to leave immediately after their reception, while others wait a few days, weeks, or even months to accommodate employment demands, financial constraints, or seasonal considerations.
If you have a large number of out-of-town family or friends attending your wedding, you may not want to leave in the middle of the reception, just as the party is starting to heat up. This is especially true if your guests are staying with you.
Going back home after your wedding to a few days or weeks of routine life may feel like a letdown. Also, you may spend your first few days as a married couple worrying about last-minute travel arrangements.
2. Determine the length of your stay. A study conducted by scientists at a Finnish university discovered that vacation happiness peaks at 8 days. When deciding on the length of your stay, keep in mind the needs of your job, extended family, and holidays.
3. Make arrangements for a housesitter. If you’ll be leaving an empty house or apartment, find someone to look after your belongings while you’re gone. Enlist the assistance of a trusted friend or family member (perhaps your best man or maid of honour) to pick up your mail, turn on and off your lights, water your plants, and feed your pets. You don’t want to be concerned about what’s happening at home while you’re away.
4. Investigate the travel requirements. Pay close attention to TSA requirements if you’re flying, as well as customs requirements for entering and exiting foreign countries.
If you’re travelling internationally, consult the Consular Information Program, which will keep you up to date on any travel warnings or public health concerns, as well as information on passports, tourist visas, vaccinations, and other details you should know about your destination before you go.
5. Keep an eye on the news and weather forecasts. Recent natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, or wildfires, as well as predicted weather events such as hurricanes, blizzards, or sudden temperature drops, could make your destination an unappealing tourist destination. Furthermore, a recent terror event near your destination, or at an airport or tourist attraction on your itinerary, could significantly alter your travel plans.
5. Finish your travel arrangements as soon as possible. Make your plans several weeks before the big day. You don’t want to be stressed out about travel arrangements on the day of, or even the week of, your wedding.
6. Pack the essentials. Several days before the wedding, set aside some time to pack the essentials. This is especially simple if you’re planning a trip to a location that has a different season than where you live. It’s nice to be able to toss in a toothbrush and go after the stress and exhaustion of planning a wedding.
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