Unforgettable Honeymoons - Great Ideas For The Greatest Vacation Of Your Life
If you've been together long enough to be married, your honeymoon isn't likely to be your first vacation together. However, you are not dreaming things if the stakes feel bigger than on past trips.
The greatest difference is that you're organizing a wedding at the same time, which can be a very stressful period. It's also often the most costly vacation a couple organizes together, so there's a lot of pressure to do it perfect, explains travel adviser Alexandra Stockton.
The key to making sure your first vacation as a married couple is one you'll never forget is to prepare ahead of time.
Well ahead of time. The voyage will be considerably more enjoyable than stressful if you meet a few important milestones and follow Stockton's expert advise on identifying the ideal time and location to begin.
Continue reading to learn more about when and how to arrange an unforgettable honeymoon.
The honeymoon is a well-deserved reward for many couples after the marathon that is wedding preparation.
While it may seem counterintuitive to begin organizing your vacation at the same time that you begin planning your wedding, this is precisely what you should do - especially if you aren't sure where you want to travel.
Start planning your honeymoon eight to twelve months ahead of time to ensure you have enough time to choose a location, book transport and accommodations, and, if you'll be employing a travel agency (more on that later), make sure you can fit into their calendar.
If the world is your oyster, choose a somewhere neither of you has been before that provides things you both like.
Cayo Espanto in Belize, Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands, and Como Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos are some of Stockton's favorite beach places.
She often advises St. Barts for a blend of rest and nightlife. Costa Rica, Patagonia, New Zealand, or even a small-ship adventure trip to Antarctica are all good options for adrenaline addicts.
Those who don't mind being on the go could try visiting Japan or safari-hopping in Africa, with a final stop in Rwanda to view gorillas in the wild.
You'll want to make sure your dates work for your destination wherever you go. Traveling to the coast of Europe in February or March would be a waste of money since many hotels and restaurants are closed during the off-season.
Because Australia and other Southern Hemisphere locations have seasons that are diametrically opposed to those in the United States, you must visit during North America's winter to experience their summer.
In tropical locations like Costa Rica, it's also crucial to avoid rainy seasons and be mindful of other major yearly occurrences that might affect your vacation.
Air quality in the regions around Thailand's Chiang Mai, for example, is often poor during the February-April burning season.
Are you planning a multi-destination honeymoon? Stockton suggests staying at each site for at least three nights and planning your trips to optimize your experience.
I advocate a leisurely start if you're going directly after the wedding, but if you're traveling long after, it could make more sense to leap right into the activity. No matter how your journey starts, finish it someplace you can rest and rejuvenate before returning home, she says.
Finally, knowing when peak season is for your selected vacation is always useful. Peak season usually brings the finest weather, but it also means more people and more pricing.
The following are the peak seasons for a handful of the most popular honeymoon destinations:
- Western Europe is a year-round destination due to its diverse range of locations. Coastal locations are busiest from mid-May to mid-October, but there are many of towns with Christmas markets and fantastic skiing to explore in the autumn and winter.
- Hawaii is a popular vacation all year, although the peak months are mid-December to April, when the weather on the mainland is cooler. If you want to save money, book during the shoulder season.
- Southeast Asia: According to Stockton, Thailand's chilly and dry season extends from November to April, whereas Vietnam's high season occurs about the same period.
- Summer is peak season in Australia and New Zealand, which runs from December to February. As a result, many tourists choose for shoulder months such as March, April, and May (autumn) or September through November (winter) (spring).
- Southern Africa's high season is November to March (their summer), although Kruger National Park is also an excellent place to see animals from April to September.
The tourism sector is growing at the same time as the wedding industry. "I suggest booking your vacation as soon as possible," Stockton adds, citing the strong demand for travel during the last three years.
That means at least six months in advance for international summer hot destinations like Santorini or the Amalfi Coast, and eight to 12 months in advance for safaris and boat or sailing leases.
Domestic places with well-developed tourist infrastructures and a wide range of lodging alternatives (think Napa Valley, Savannah, and New England) give you a bit more freedom, but you'll still need to book at least five to six months ahead of time to ensure a fantastic room during peak season.
"The most economical accommodations and speciality suites - rooms with private plunge pools, for example - are the first to sell out," Stockton continues, "so reserving early helps minimize disappointment."
Thankfully, hotels reveal price and availability eight to twelve months in advance, and flights approximately ten months in advance, so you'll have plenty of time.
However, if you want to use credit card points to buy flights, you should do it as soon as the option becomes available - sometimes a year in advance - because airlines sometimes restrict the amount of award tickets available each trip.
"If you don't have much flexibility with your vacation dates and/or money," Stockton says, "booking early is very critical."
"As airlines, hotels, and tour firms attempt to recuperate money lost in 2020 and 2021, prices are continue to climb, so the days of last-minute travel discounts are virtually gone."
Your honeymoon's location is unquestionably one of the most crucial components of the whole vacation.
Because the right location can make or break your trip, it's critical to choose a spot that fits both of your personalities and interests.
Are you a beach bum or a city slicker? Do you like going shopping or resting at a spa? Do you want to spend your nights by the pool sipping drinks or do you want an action-packed vacation?
After you've answered these questions, make a second list of your ideal places and compare them to determine which ones are the most similar.
Couples used to go for their honeymoon the day following their wedding, which meant that when they married was clearly linked to when they honeymooned.
Many couples these days, however, are juggling work and other friends' weddings, and their alternatives for where to honeymoon have dramatically broadened.
So, if visiting your chosen place during a different season makes more sense, don't wait until many months after your wedding to go.
"You're on such a high after the wedding," Stockton adds. "Delaying the honeymoon offers you something more to look forward to when you're back on Earth."
If you do want to travel straight after the wedding, Stockton suggests waiting at least one to two days.
"It might be difficult to catch a 9 a.m. flight after dancing all night," she explains. "I was a wedding planner before I began my travel firm, and I've seen a lot of couples miss flights the morning after their wedding."
"There's a lot of mythology around getting the greatest airline and hotel rates," Stockton adds, "but the best approach to save money is to be flexible with your vacation dates and location."
Traveling during the shoulder seasons - the months before and after a destination's peak season - opens up additional lodging options, and picking a more up-and-coming spot (such as Mallorca or Bodrum instead of the Amalfi Coast) frequently offers you more bang for your buck.
A travel agent's immediate advantage is obvious: they'll help you choose the ideal honeymoon location for your budget and plan an itinerary of fantastic lodgings and activities that would take weeks to research and book on your own. They're also useful for less apparent reasons.
While old movies may lead you to believe differently, informing a gate agent or front desk worker that you're on your honeymoon is unlikely to result in a last-minute upgrade.
Passengers with status on that airline are more likely to be upgraded to business class, and hotels often employ an internal hierarchy to select who receives amenities first.
Clients of travel agencies, on the other hand, are at the top of the pyramid. "We have ties with hotel personnel, and we nurture those relationships to ensure that our customers are treated like VIPs and are first in line for upgrades," Stockton adds.
In an emergency, the built-in, frequently on-call help may be a real lifesaver. "You'll be grateful you have a travel adviser managing the logistics if you miss a flight or test positive for COVID in another nation," she says.
Hawaii is not inexpensive. The typical honeymoon costs $4,466 per couple, with luxury honeymooners spending $9,954 on average.
Every couple enjoys spending their honeymoon doing romantic things like going on a dinner date, touring picturesque towns, club hopping, and participating in daring activities.
To make your honeymoon more memorable, incorporate all of your favorite activities on your agenda.
The usual honeymoon is 7 to 10 days long. While some couples choose to prolong their vacation to two weeks or more, others choose to forego their honeymoon entirely. It all depends on the vacation time, money, and location for the pair.
For your Bora Bora honeymoon, there are a few wonderful resorts to pick from. Luxury hotels like the Four Seasons and the St. Regis are setting the standard for service and accommodations.
They also come at a high cost, with a 5-night Bora Bora honeymoon package costing more than $10,000 per couple.
Here are some estimates for a variety of honeymoon locations: $3,500–$8,400 for a week in Cancun, Punta Cana, or Puerto Rico.
A week in Hawaii costs between $3,500 and $5,000. $10,000 and more for a week in Bali, Tahiti, Fiji, or Bora Bora.
Planning an extra special surprise for your other half that you know they will like will make them happy and will not be forgotten quickly.
This may be as easy as organizing a spa day with all of your partner's favorite treatments included, or as complex as booking a surprise trip to see their favorite play at the theater.
Alternatively, you may plan an exciting activity for the two of you, such as a helicopter flight or a boat excursion. It's been said that it's the thought that counts, and this is certainly true in this case.