Have you ever felt that leaving everything behind to see the world, and to indulge in a romantic honeymoon getaway for the both of you is the single greatest thing to do after your wedding?
As exhilarating as it may sound, there may be situations where the both of you might spend time arguing about where to go or the itinerary before flying off for the honeymoon trip.
I’m saying this because if you’re having the idea that it’s totally romantic to jet off straight away after saying “I do”, or take a spur-of-the-moment trip to some exotic locations for a lengthy honeymoon getaway, then you should really think again.
In the words of Julia Roberts from the movie “Pretty Woman”: “Mistake, big mistake.”
You probably won’t do any better than my friend who just returned from a poorly planned honeymoon, feeling upset and disappointed of having to confront constant anxiety during her 10-day free-and-easy trip in the land of the rising Sun.
So a word of advice to newly-weds, don’t make that same mistake! Here are 5 simple tips to steer clear of unpleasant surprises for your honeymoon plans.
Tip 1: Think About Your Honeymoon Options
You will have one and only ONE honeymoon after your wedding. It goes without saying that you wouldn’t want a honeymoon disaster haunting your marriage for the next few decades.
Honeymoons are supposed to be romantic. It’s also the trip of a lifetime with your spouse. So the first thing you should do is to think about your honeymoon options carefully, where to go, when to go, like what to do etc.
Let’s say you guys decided on going to Stockholm, Sweden then you should decide whether you want to do it during the summer or winter months, and whether you would want to cover all the popular ‘tourist spots’ or just visit the quiet and romantic places.
Case in point – Although Sweden enjoys a generally temperate climate, the country is geographically located above the Artic Circle and much of the country has about 20 hours of daylight in summer and very long nights in winter.
So with this information, you can then plan your itinerary effectively. Whilst the options are aplenty, think practical and know how much time you have and what sort of activities the both of you can do on a daily basis.
I guess the bottom line here is to make it as stress free as possible in order to achieve an ideally relaxing vacation (not to mention ahem…great sex).
Tip 2: Workout Your Finances
The second biggest thing to consider after your honeymoon options would be your finances. Given that couples today often get thrown off track with their wedding expenses, plan and workout a realistic budget for your honeymoon at least 6-8 months beforehand, so as to manage your finances.
I know many of you would be tempted to comb online hotel or flight booking websites for discounts, but please reconsider jumping on the good “deal” that you see, as there might be a reason for the deep discount!
Maybe the hotel is undergoing renovations or perhaps it is an undesirable room location, or you could be travelling during the monsoon season. Do a little homework prior to booking. Remember you get what you pay for.
Just so you know, a 10-day honeymoon could cost you around $10,000-$15,000. That’s because you will be splurging on a few extras like plush accommodations, nice meals, comfy airline (with extra legroom seats if you’re going on a long-haul flight) and also shopping.
There are a few ways to ‘squeeze’ some extras by leveraging on your honeymoon trip by letting everyone know that you are honeymooners. Hey, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
With a little luck and by putting on your sweetest smile, you could get free upgrades for your flights (if they are available) and nice touches from hotels, such as a bed suite decorated with flowers, and sometimes, even a bottle of complimentary champagne in your room.
Tip 3: Packing for the Honeymoon
Special considerations need to be given to your honeymoon suitcases. Comfortable and appropriate attire are fundamentals, therefore please pack your outfits taking into consideration the climate and the places you will be visiting before you head off to the airport.
Summer might call for light clothing or parasol against the sun, while winter may call for gloves, a woollen scarf or even a glamorous coat. For the evenings, wear something simple (but elegant) with a matching make-up and have it all planned out so that you have something different to wear every evening.
And for the guys, think you are going to get off lightly? No you aren’t. Pack a couple of long sleeved shirts, at the very least, you should dress up, looking well-groomed and presentable for your other half.
Tip 4: Travel Documents & Vaccinations
Don’t forget to have all your travel or legal documents with you. Depending on where your honeymoon destination is, you may be required to have documents such as an arrival visa to enter the country, so make sure you contact the embassy of the foreign destination and get everything done ahead of time.
Remember to pack passports and documents in a water-proofed pouch bag (for easy access) or whatever you intend to carry with you onto the plane in a small backpack. I would also recommend that you bring along your marriage certificate as you may qualify for special treatments at some hotels when you show it to them.
As soon as you have all the necessary documentation ready, learn about the vaccines you need to travel safely. If you’re travelling to exotic locations like the Bahamas and the Caribbean, you are usually required to get vaccinated. Some vaccines require you to take a course, so make sure you have time to get them done before you fly off.
Tip 5: Take a Break After the Honeymoon
I’ve heard of unpleasant cases where honeymooners go straight back to work after a blissfully nice honeymoon – which, I have to say, is not a good idea. Give yourselves the opportunity to enjoy a break after the honeymoon and to recover from all the stress of travelling.
So plan your two-week allowance for the honeymoon but extend it for another two days so the both of you can have time to settle down and adjust after your lengthy vacation.
And with these 5 simple tips you can definitely make your honeymoon truly memorable. Happy planning!