As both a wedding professional and a previous bride, I have been through it all and I would love to help all of you on your wedding journey. And like most journeys, it can be a little bumpy which is why I would love to shed some light on all the little details leading up to the big day and beyond!
Today’s guide is about how to plan a fabulous honeymoon! This was a huge stressor for me when I was a bride. Not only was there the wedding planning to contend with, then there was the honeymoon that needed its own budget and planning as well! Here are a few things that helped me along the way! I’m not affiliated with any of the sites or companies I list, I have just found them to be super helpful when I was in your shoes!
WHERE IN THE WORLD
First things first, picking a honeymoon location. For me, that was the hardest part. There are so many places in the world to go! But one thing I found was that relaxing after the stress of the wedding and planning was really important. For each couple it might be different- some people might want a high-intensity adventurous honeymoon while others want to sightsee in a city with a rich history or maybe you’re more the type to relax on a beach like me. The important thing is to pick a place that is right for you and your new spouse and will make you feel relaxed or enriched after the high stress of your wedding.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the northern and southern hemispheres are on opposite seasons. So if you have a winter wedding, you can still have that relaxing summer vacation- all you have to do is head south of the equator and you’ll be in the height of summer! Just be sure to check what the weather usually is during the time you want to go. The last thing you want is to be trapped inside during a monsoon or a snow storm!
Popular International honeymoon destinations: Bora Bora, Bali, Paris (France), St. Lucia (Carribean), Almafi Coast (Italy), Santorini (Greece), Cape Town (South Africa), Fiji, Maldives, Costa Rica, Kyoto (Japan), New Zealand, Iceland, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Tulum (Mexico), Palawan (Philippines)
Popular Honeymoon destination in the US: Hawaiian Islands, Sonoma County (CA), Florida Keys, NYC, Greenough (Montana), Lake Tahoe (CA), Big Sur (CA), Savannah (Georgia), Yosemite (CA), Aspen (Colorado), Martha’s Vineyard (Massachusetts), Cannon Beach (Oregon Coast), Monterey County (CA), US Virgin Islands
*If you are going international don’t forget to check that your passport is up to date! It can take 2-3 months or longer to renew your passport or get the correct visa for certain countries.
PICK YOUR DATES:
A big myth of planning your honeymoon is that you have to leave right after your wedding or the day after your wedding. There is no rule that says you can’t leave a few days later or even a few months later! It is more stressful to leave soon after your wedding. Instead, I recommend taking a day or two to relax and unwind before leaving on your honeymoon.
So you’ve got a location in mind, the next step is to make it official! Book your flight and hotel a few months ahead of time to get the best deals. It is usually cheaper to fly during the middle of the week since most people travel on the weekends and business people travel on Mondays and Fridays. A good place to start looking for flights is Kayak or even a quick Google search.
Once you’ve got your flights arranged, set up your hotel and rental car! A good travel tip: if you have frequent flyer miles with a certain airline, you can also book your hotel through them and get even more points to save for your next vacation. If you have a membership such as Costco or AAA, they also have hotel or car rental discounts and in some cases- discounts on things to do at your honeymoon destination.
After having to plan a wedding budget, I completely understand that sitting down to do a honeymoon budget can feel daunting. But one thing I found that was a huge help was adding a Honeymoon fund to my registry. Instead of cutlery or cutting boards, add that to your registry or add specific things you would like to do on your honeymoon on the registry and friends and family can help you! Instead of adding more things- add experiences!
THINGS TO DO
Now to the fun part of picking out all the fun things to do! Some great places to research fun activities are guidebooks or travel sites (like Lonely Planet, Afar, Frommers, Fodors), Pinterest and Google. I have always found that having a few days where you don’t have anything planned can be really nice and relaxing. Also picking experiences or adventures you might not have back home is a great way to really experience the destination. Be on the lookout for activities that locals do or classes that can immerse you in a different culture.
Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture once in a lifetime memories and moments!