Honestly, is there an experience with more at stake than your honeymoon? Ask any nervous, excited newlywed and they’ll probably say no. But why? What dark magic summons the clouds of anxiety over a trip that is supposed to embody love, connection and celebration? It’s not like you’re a couple of diplomats travelling abroad to broker a peace deal.
The truth is, as with most things, your fear is unfounded, a nagging voice that can be silenced with the right approach. But what is the right approach? Let’s say you’ve read review after review about the best place to stay in your chosen destination and you feel none the wiser. Well, to help lift those clouds, here’s a quick but helpful guide to other things to consider and methods you can use to take the stress out of planning your honeymoon.
Do it together
By now you probably know which of you likes to make the plans and which of you likes to follow the plans. And no doubt this arrangement works. But when it comes to your honeymoon, whether it’s your first trip together or your fiftieth, it’s important that you plan things together. After all, it’s a trip to celebrate the two of you, and for that reason alone, the planning demands equal investment.
By planning your honeymoon together, you’ll also be able to align your expectations, which is essential if you want the trip to go as smoothly as possible. For example, if one of you expects a week on a remote island with little more than a steady supply of cocktails, while the other wants to explore every cathedral in Europe, you need to find a middle ground. In this case, it would be a far-flung island that still has plenty of stunning European architecture to take in.
Set your budget
Let’s face it: nobody gets excited about setting a holiday budget. But if you don’t set it, and set it early, you run the risk of blowing it without even realising it. And the last thing you want is to come home with debts you didn’t expect – especially after footing the bill for a wedding!
The most important thing to remember when setting a budget is not to overdo it. Keep things simple. Break down your honeymoon into its main categories – flights, accommodation, food, entertainment, etc – and give yourself a rough figure for each. That way you know your limits and can build your honeymoon itinerary around them.
The trick is to allow yourself a little more for each category (except perhaps flights). This will give you the flexibility to be spontaneous if the occasion arises. And spontaneity is often the gold dust you need to make your honeymoon unforgettable.
Use your experience
For most of us, a honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But it’s important to remember that planning a honeymoon is no more unique than any other trip you plan. This means that if you and your partner have travelled together in the past, you should be able to draw on all the knowledge you gained the last time you travelled as a couple.
From the planning timeframe, to putting the finishing touches on your itinerary, to knowing the best time of year to visit the place you have in mind, all that past management will undoubtedly help you plan your honeymoon. That’s the beauty of travel; the more you do it, the more it enriches your next adventure.
Get your hustle on
Don’t ask, don’t get. How many times in your life have you heard these words? No doubt the number is uncountable. But that is not the point. The point is that it’s a universal truth that should be embraced, not ignored. Especially when it comes to planning your honeymoon. You never know what honeymoon specials you might find if you don’t ask.
What you get out of asking for honeymoon deals and getting your hooks in will probably depend on where you want to go and what you want to do while you are away. But if you both have your heart set on a place that’s already popular with newlyweds, you might be pleasantly surprised by the deals available to you as a newlywed or soon-to-be-married couple.
Surprise each other
Speaking of surprises, another lovely touch you can add to your honeymoon is to plan a surprise for each other. How grand or elaborate you make this little surprise is up to you, as long as your other half knows nothing of your plan.
What’s the rush?
Yes, we know that traditionally your honeymoon should take place in the weeks following your wedding, but who says you have to bow to tradition? You’ve already made sacred vows to each other, and the future is yours to shape as you wish. Philosophical debates aside, the reason it’s good to give yourself some space between your wedding and your honeymoon is that your wedding will take a lot of emotional energy. And the last thing you want to feel on your honeymoon is emotionally drained.
As you may have gathered from most of the advice given here, there are really no rules to honeymoon planning. All in all, you should just do what feels right to you at any given time. Ask married friends for advice, ask single friends for advice. It doesn’t matter. Just be patient and thorough and let your instincts guide you. If you do this, you’ll find yourself in a good place, with a watertight plan in hand. Good luck to you!