The period immediately following a wedding is a special time that never comes again. Taking a week or so off for a honeymoon holiday is probably the best investment a couple can make for their relationship. For centuries people have understood the importance of taking time off for a honeymoon. Records dating back to the 1500’s make mention of “the first month after marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure”.
The essentials you need to settle as a couple when you plan your honeymoon can be summed up in three questions: When, where, and how much. To make sure that the wedding trip is indeed a month of honey, there are odds and ends that a couple must attend to.
1. Arrange for time off from work way ahead of time
The amount of vacation time you can take will determine where you can go. If the break your office is willing to give you already includes the days you will need for your wedding, then that will cut into your honeymoon schedule.
2. Decide where you want to go
Once you know how much time you have for your honeymoon, decide on the location. This is a once-in-a-lifetime trip so you better make sure you go someplace both of you really want to see. It should be a place where you can participate in fun activities, but at the same time you should have time for just being together.
If you are seasoned sea travelers who want to spend a week on a cruise or on a yacht, go for it. But, if neither of you have tried sailing, try going on a boat trip for half a day at least and find out if you have the stomach for living on a boat for the duration of your honeymoon. Needless to say, being seasick on your honeymoon is not a good idea.
3. Look into Packages
While you are trying to estimate how much it will take to cover all costs, try to find out how much honeymoon packages will cost. It is not at all impossible to find a package that already has everything you want. If you take a hotel honeymoon package, you will be spared from having to see to a lot of little details – such as a ride to and from the airport. Moreover, you have a better idea of exactly how much money you
4. Settle all the details in advance
The operative word here is “ahead”. A six month lead is not at all an excessive amount of time to make sure all the nuts and bolts of your honeymoon are in place. There will be reservations to inquire about and to finalize, tickets to purchase, passports, travel insurance, and all sorts of details to attend to. Even if you are not going out of the country, there is still the matter of a wardrobe to think about. Remember that leaving for your wedding trip could very well take place at the most hectic period of your life.
Keep track of all travel advisories regarding the place where you will have your honeymoon. You can find out from the State Department. If inoculations are needed, find out how soon you have to get them before the trip.
4. Finalize your honeymoon budget
It is easy to put the honeymoon budget in the back burner with all the hustle and bustle that weddings entail. Honeymoons cost a pretty penny and the sooner you know how much you need, the better things will go for you. Off hand, you need to think about:
- Tickets. You need to count airline tickets or boat fare, plus any connecting trips you may need to make.
- Car rental. If you are planning to drive around on your own, find out ahead of time which car rental companies are available in your destination. Here is where advance planning can help you get the best deals possible.
- Lodgings. Unless you know people who have actually stayed in hotels in places you plan to visit, the web is going to be your best friend when you look for lodgings on your honeymoon. Browse for hostels and inns in your destination, or explore the web sites that help you book hotels.
- Sight-seeing packages. If you want to make sure you see all the important tourist attractions, join a package tour. A package tour is generally more economical than going off on your own. It also assures you of your safety and the chance to make new friends. Be warned, though, that a lot of tours will cart you off from one place to another without much time to stop and smell the flowers.
5. Make being with each other a priority
If you can afford a jaunt to Paris, or Rome, or Athens, or some other must-see place then you are fortunate indeed. Just be sure that no matter where you find yourselves, you will have some alone time for each other. When all is said and done, the pyramids will always be there, but that first bloom that comes with newlywed bliss is something that you can never have again.