Jayne Chambers of Travel Leaders shares tips for those planning their honeymoon or destination wedding.
How to Plan the Perfect Honeymoon
or Destination Wedding
1. CHOOSE THE PERFECT LOCATION.
If you can only be away for 3 – 5 days, due to work constraits, etc., try to keep your flights to 3-5 hours or less. There are still plenty of options from staying in the USA and going to New Orleans, Miami Beach, Charleston, Savannah, San Francisco, etc. to short flights to the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Rome, Italy is very romantic, however, it takes about 9 hours to get there. Hawaii is almost always perfect weather, however, it takes about 12 hours to get there. Do the math, that's almost one full day in travel time.
Figure that out right away. You don't want to start your marriage in debt, so be reasonable. At the same time, it's your honeymoon, and you want it to live up to your dreams. Take into account that airfare is high these days, therefore it can use up almost half of your budget. Do you have frequent flyer mileage or credit card points that you could use for your airfare? If so, you cold then splurge a little more on the resort.
What kind of honeymoon do you and your fiancé envision? Try to make sure you're both doing what you've been dreaming about. Are you looking forward to zip-lining and surf lessons, or do you prefer lying in the sun on the beach or by the pool and having food and drink brought out to you? Do you love learning about history and checking out museums, or are you more into scuba lessons and horse-back riding.
2. DECIDE IF YOU WANT AN ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORT.
All-Inclusives make hassle free weddings and honeymoons, and after the stress of planning the wedding, you want to relax a bit! With and all-inclusive resort, before you leave, you've paid your bill, including the hotel room nights and tax, all of your food – and there's a lot of food, drinks, and usually at least the non-motorized watersports. Therefore it's easier to figure out your budget and it takes the stress out of worrying about what the bill will read on check out day.
However, if you want an all-inclusive, you limit yourself to fewer destinations from which to choose. The majority of all-inclusives resorts are in Jamaica, Mexico, and Dominican Republic.
3. IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE?
It's always good to be prepared for the unexpected. Most of the time honeymoons and destination weddings are a fairly large investment, and once you are close to departure date, the amount you've paid becomes non-refundable. However, if you have travel insurance, and an unforeseen circumstance, such a death or sickness in your family, natural disaster, jury duty come arises, then you can get your money back. In addition, if you become ill while traveling, travel insurance covers your medical expenses, including transport back to the USA. Other benefits include trip delay and baggage expenses in the event your luggage is lost or stolen.
4. DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT?
Go through your checklist, is a passport required for your destination. If you have one, check to make sure it's not expired. If you don't have one, allow 4 to 6 weeks to get it. There are services that will expedite them, but they are expensive. Also, when making your flight reservation, remember to make it in your maiden name, as most likely you won't yet have documents supporting your new married name.
5. TELL THE WORLD, ADVISE THE RESORT, ETC. THAT YOU'RE NEWLYWEDS!
It's possible they may surprise you with additional amenities like champagne or flowers in the room, etc.