No matter where you are in the stages of honeymoon planning, the opportunity to switch gears for a moment and start thinking about how to plan your honeymoon is always a welcome break. There are so many topics to discuss! Where in the world might the two of you want to go? How long should your honeymoon be, and when would the best time be to take your honeymoon, officially? (You’d be surprised at how many couples delay taking their honeymoon for better timing, whether that’s coinciding with work calendars and vacation days, or just the best time of year to visit your dream honeymoon destination).
And, if you’re going to delay your honeymoon, would you want to plan a post-wedding mini-moon getaway, too?
The bottom line: After months of wedding prep, your honeymoon should offer some much-needed relaxation and quality time together and may be one of the biggest trips you’ve taken together so far. While it sounds heavenly, sometimes the task of honeymoon planning (on top of wedding planning) can take a stressful turn. We talked to a few travel experts to get some inside knowledge on how to plan a honeymoon that’s low on stress and big on savings.
1. Start early…
Wondering when to start thinking about booking your honeymoon? The ideal timeframe is six to eight months prior to your travel dates, especially if you’re thinking about European honeymoon destinations that coincide with the summer travel season. “January and February are great times to start planning a July or August honeymoon in Europe,” says NYC-based honeymoon travel pro Laura Freeman, founder of The Trip Trotter. “These are not mega hotels that have thousands of rooms available.”
2. Plan your honeymoon together
While dividing and conquering can work for wedding planning, it’s not always the best approach when it comes to planning your honeymoon, says Jim Augerinos, president of Perfect Honeymoons. If one person handles all of the planning of your honeymoon, you might end up with a trip that’s more tailored to their desires. Unless your spouse-to-be is uncommonly perceptive about your travel wishes and peeves, honeymoon planning should be a joint effort.
3. Be specific about what you want
When you think about exotic destinations, does that mean a luxury resort on an island renowned for its natural beauty? Or are you thinking about some faraway foreign country where you don’t speak the language? Daydream with your partner to figure out what you both really want.
4. Don’t rely (entirely) on online research
Starting your honeymoon planning with a Google search is perfectly fine, but don’t rely only on search engines, says Augerinos. Online reviews can paint a picture that doesn’t match reality and it’s best to thoroughly vet your ideal destination by talking to friends and family who have been there—and/or a travel professional, too.
5. Think about using a travel agent
If you want extra guidance planning your honeymoon, travel agents can come in handy. They have insider knowledge on deals and discounts and cultivate personal relationships with hoteliers, which can sometimes mean a room’s available in an otherwise fully-booked hotel. They can also save you endless research time and offer first-hand destination knowledge. “I like to say our service is threefold,” says Augerinos. “We help you choose the perfect destination with the right fit; we do all the planning and researching; and we provide clients service while they’re on their honeymoons. My job is not finished until my clients return home.”
6. Set a budget for your honeymoon
Your wedding expenses can tally up quickly and it’s tempting to delve into the honeymoon budget to cover any excess costs. But let’s pause for a moment and really think about this: On average, wedding ceremonies and receptions lasts six to eight hours, while honeymoons last anywhere from seven to 10 to even 14 days. While you’ll never forget the memories of your wedding day, there’s something to be said for the special memories you’ll create on your honeymoon, too.
If you’re going to a really remote island, does your hotel rate include transportation to and from the airport?”.
7. Schedule surprises
While it is great to work side-by-side with your significant other to plan your honeymoon, try to sneak a few surprises in there, too! Pricey or full-day activities are best to discuss as a duo, but adding a couple’s massage into the mix or scheduling a special dinner they might not know about in advance is the perfect way to add a bit of excitement to your romantic—and hopefully memorable—honeymoon vacation together. Cheers to you both!
Start planning with us today to make your big day memorable!