Planning the honeymoon is the best part of the wedding planning process. Instead of focusing on minute details and impressing the guests, the couple gets to spend time deciding on the fun! Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Is there anything special you want to make sure you experience, taste, or try?
There are a lot of ideas, tips, and tricks swirling around the web, which is why – although fun – honeymoon planning can still bring bouts of stress. But have no fear, we’ve simplified the process for you.
Quick Planning Tips & Tricks
When Do You Want To Leave?
Will you take a few days between the wedding or are you leaving straight away? Check with work and other pending engagements before you start looking at long distance trips and air tickets.
Know What You Can Spend
Honeymoons are like weddings, there is one for every budget. Know what you can spend before you plan two weeks in a private resort that costs thousands a night. Know your budget ahead of time and then plan accordingly. Play with quality and length of time to get the best balance.
The Season Matters
Take into account the season when you book your trip. For example, you may not want to go to Alaska during the winter season. Likewise, hurricane season is not the best time to travel to the Carribean. The earlier you start planning, the better prices you’ll find as well.
Pack Light & Fun This is the one trip that you don’t want to forget things. At the same time you don't want to be lugging around heavy bags. Bikinis, fun dresses and versatile shoes. Keep it light and fun and you should be in great shape.
Look For Activities Don’t assume that you’ll be locked in the honeymoon suite 24/7. At some point in time you will want to get out and play! Yes, trust us. Fun activities, great places to eat and incredible entertainment are all key elements.
Plan A Memory Maybe a bouquet of flowers waiting in the suite or a massage on the last day of the trip, surprise your new bride or groom with a special something. It’ll be a nice memory to include in all of your adventures.
Go For It This is your chance to take that dream vacation. From a European adventure to the most tropical island paradise, don’t be afraid to branch out a bit in your plans.
Tell Everybody You're On Your Honeymoon All hotels, restaurants, spas and entertainment establishments will have something special they do for newlyweds. Make sure you drop the “we're on our honeymoon” line any chance you get. Resorts, in particular, are known to give happy couples freebies and special upgrades.
Utilize Your Travel Agent Even if you like holding the reins when it comes to planning, let alone your travel plans, in this circumstance, use them. My husband and I got a free photo package worth well over $200 just for booking with her! It was worth the extra trip to see her and we got a small discount on our overall trip!
WHAT TO PACK ON YOUR HONEYMOON
The honeymoon packing list; don’t let it scare you. All you have to do is follow this guide. Below you’ll find a comprehensive packing list has everything you need to make packing one less thing to overthink as you prepare for your big day
The Basic Stuff
Sports bra for fitness
Camisoles or tank tops
Bikinis (lots of them)
For The Sexy Stuff
Scented massage oil
Pair of jeans
Lounge & Sleep
Yoga pants and/or leggings
A comfy tee
2 travel umbrellas
Shampoo & conditioner
Hair products, including bobby pins & hair ties
Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
Razor & shaving cream
Small first aid kit
Facial cleanser & moisturizer
Passport, visas, booking/ticket information
Photocopies of all tickets, IDs, confirmation information
Cell phone charger
Contact information of your doctor
Various sizes of Ziplocs
Honeymoon Milestones: What To Do & When To Do It
12 Months Before Departure
Determine your budget. Decide how much money you can spend on the honeymoon. This will help you narrow down your choices.
Use a travel agent. Trust us, you have enough to do. Travel specialists can make life way easier.
Decide on your destination. No brainer, right? As soon as you get engaged, you should start thinking about where you want to honeymoon.
Book your flights. Booking early will also help you get a nonstop flight.
Book your hotel. Nail down your accommodations early, so you can focus on the more minor details
6 Months Before Departure
Make a hard-to-get dinner reservation. There’s always the “hard to get into awesome” restaurant. Book it now.
Schedule transportation. Once you know your itinerary, organize any additional transportation. Trains, buses and transfers can all be booked this far out.
Renew your passport. The turnaround for getting or renewing a passport can be as quick as a month, but it’s better to have this squared away.
Apply for any visas. Know what the country you’re visiting requires, and take care of it.
Purchase travel insurance. Travel insurance plans can cover everything from illness to acts of God. Given the cost of most honeymoons, it is important to get coverage just in case.
2 Months Before
Plan your activities. You don’t want to plan too much, and you may just want to sleep on the beach. But if you are going on a more cultural trip, go ahead and buy tickets to museums, or book a trip to a nearby architectural site. You won’t waste time waiting in lines or figuring out details once you’re there.
Make a quick mental packing list. Need new luggage? Or a camera? If you determine in advance that you need expensive items, you might ask for them as wedding gifts. Or you may just realize you need to go bikini shopping.
30 Days Prior To Departure
Finalize transportation. Reserve seats on trains if you’re going to be moving around a country. Finalize your itinerary or confirm your car rental. If you are driving in a foreign country, get an international driving permit (available at AAA offices).
Book spa appointments or other activities. If you’re heading to a mega, all-inclusive resort, you may want to prebook spa treatments and special activities, like sailing trips or other excursions, that might fill up. Call and ask the resort concierge for advice.
Fill prescriptions. Make sure you have full bottles of any medications you take regularly.
Shop. Now’s the time to shop for clothes—not the week before the wedding. Don’t forget things like voltage converters or specific garments (like a head covering for a place of worship) you’ll need for some countries.
14 Days Prior To Departure
Confirm everything. Call the hotel and any restaurants to confirm your reservations.
Make copies of your documents. Have copies of your passport, visa, credit cards, driver’s license, and any other important documents in case something is lost or stolen. Leave a set with someone at home and pack one in your suitcase.
Write down important phone numbers. If you are visiting a foreign country, know the location of the closest U.S. embassy. Also, have the phone numbers of your credit card companies so you can quickly call if there are any problems.
Get some local currency. You can easily get cash from an ATM in any country, but having a little bit of money on hand (about the equivalent of $200) is a good idea—even if it’s just to take a cab to the hotel without having to stop at an ATM in the airport.
Pack. Don’t wait until the week before the wedding, when you’ll be extremely busy. Pack what you can ahead of time. You can throw in toiletries at the last minute.
7 Days To Go!
Confirm the hotel. Again. It can’t hurt. Just to give you peace of mind.
Check the weather. If your destination is having an unseasonably cold week, you may want to throw in another sweater.
Pack a carry-on for the flight. Have essentials, like your passport, cell phone charger, and anything else you tend to forget, ready to go.
The Day Before!
Double-check the necessities. Again make sure everything from the passport to the plane tickets are accounted for.
Leave behind contact info. Make sure family members back home know where you’ll be and now to get in touch with you in case of an emergency – this is especially important if you’ll be going outside the country.
Touch-in with your helpers. Go over the essentials with your loved ones. Whoever is taking care of the dog, grabbing your mail, taking your trash out or making sure everything at the house is kept intact, go over whatever needs to be done and send them a nice thank you (and bring something back too!).
BEST HONEYMOON DESTINATIONS
After looking high and low we came up with the top destinations for your honeymoon. Yes, this is the ultimate list of honeymoon destinations. It is not surprising that beach locations feature heavily on this list, but you'll be surprised by some more traditional romantic European cities too.
It’s known for its amazing sunsets, the most spectacular views and great Greek food. Romantic hotels nestled in the cliffs of this volcanic island, Santorini is the perfect honeymoon location.
With stunning beaches settled next to beautiful jungles, Maui has everything for honeymooners. Explore volcanoes and trails, be as active as your heart desires. For some R&R, lay on the beach at the many stunning hotels that dot the gorgeous coastline.
The city of canals, gondolas and Italian cooking, Venice has earned bragging rights as a long-standing honeymoon favorite. Just note: Because of the city's popularity, stays at luxury hotels can lean toward the pricier side.
The Hawaiian island of Kauai features private villas on secluded beaches, which make for wonderfully relaxing honeymoons. But adventurous couples can also hike through the Na Pali Coast, explore Waimea Canyon or kayak down the Wailua River.
This large island has a lot to explore. Divided into four distinct regions that offer varied experiences and cultures, from jungle adventures to beach bum lazing to cafe lifestyles. The sands are sublime, as are the hotels, spas and cuisine. Not cheap.
Bora Bora's scenery is just the tip of the iceberg. Newlyweds have their pick of several over-the-water resorts. Hotel rates are high, but can you really put a price on a memorable honeymoon?
If you and your sweetheart truly want to get away from it all, head to the Maldives. This remote island chain oozes romance and is one of the most luxurious and expensive honeymoon destinations. It is worth every penny.
Couples looking for a low-key honeymoon will find it in Anguilla. You won't encounter cruise ships or high-rise hotels here (the island has an embargo on them), but you will find luxurious beachfront villas peering over ash gray sands. We love the food and the people.
Though a little more rugged than its sister Bora Bora, Tahiti is no less romantic. Couples can hole up in secluded resorts, lounge along dark sand beaches and sample world-class French cuisine in Pape'ete, the island's capital.