It’s meant to be the holiday of a lifetime, the trip that starts your marriage off with a bang. However, it’s these sorts of expectations that can wreak havoc on your honeymoon planning.
People often place far too much pressure on their honeymoon planning, which often means the trip will fail before it even begins. Yes, your honeymoon is important, but in reality it’s just another long holiday.
With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips for making your honeymoon a success before you fly off into the sunset, with advice for detaching yourself from huge expectations that may ruin the trip.
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5 Tips for Planning the Perfect Honeymoon
It Doesn’t Have to Be Paris
It would be fair to say that there are several honeymoon destinations that have become stereotypical with honeymoons. Paris, the Bahamas, the Maldives and a whole host of other glorious destinations tend to fall into said category.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this.
In truth, you can scale things back and take things easy by visiting luxurious spas and participating in other relaxing activities. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a honeymoon at an exotic destination – the main thing is that you’re both happy.
So, if Paris is proving to be too expensive, save yourself the unnecessary stress by planning something just as incredible in a more affordable destination.
A honeymoon should not mean that you kick start your married life in debt.
Be Aware of Hidden Costs
In truth, this is something that you should be aware of for any holiday, but the very nature of honeymoons tends to increase the chances of hidden costs cropping up.
Again, a lot of the classic destinations tend to be remote islands, and this immediately opens up costly transfers and other things that aren’t included in the package. And packages that are specifically marketed to honeymooners tend to be automatically more expensive.
Money is the single biggest thing that couples fight about on overseas trips, so it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page about finances, and have done the necessary research to avoid surprising costs.
For this reason you might consider booking an all inclusive resort for your honeymoon – (ie like a Punta Cana all inclusive) with this type of vacation you know your total costs before you even board the plane, and don’t have to worry about going over budget.
It’s still important to read the fine print; sometimes “all inclusive” doesn’t always mean “all inclusive”. Many resorts will have tiered packages which will determine what is actually included (for instance top shelf alcohol, fine dining restaurants vs buffet).
Don’t Believe the Movies About Timing
Tune into any chick flick and the message is the same; honeymoons are meant to happen minutes after the happy couple have tied the knot. But in reality, that’s not always practical for modern couples.
With work and family commitments these days, the notion that you leave your wedding ceremony with a change of clothes for the plane is terribly outdated. And in actual fact, an increasing number honeymoons today don’t happen until long after the wedding.
Some couples turn their honeymoon into family holiday’s if they’re blending their family with children from pre-existing marriages, and some couples choose to forgo their honeymoon budget for a house deposit instead.
The point is, there are no rules anymore for the timing of your honeymoon. The average honeymoon these days happens around 4 months after the wedding.
This can really make a difference from a cost perspective too. After all, the wedding season also seems to be the peak time to travel, meaning that trying to time the two simultaneously can result in a huge honeymoon cost difference.
The Power of Planning
It would be fair to say that holidays aren’t as structured as they used to be. Once upon a time, package deals were the norm, and this meant that hotels were booked for every night of your trip. Then, came the more spontaneous approach.
This has led to many travellers effectively “winging it” – and just taking their trip as it comes. It can sometimes mean booking hotels just hours, or even minutes before you arrive.
For the purposes of your honeymoon though, we strongly advise against this. It may be a romantic notion, rocking up in a new city with no script, and winging it after you arrive, but the last thing you want is stress on your honeymoon.
Planning is a powerful thing; it means you’ll enjoy a stress free vacation and can enjoy quality time with your partner as opposed to worrying about where you’ll stay for the night if the hotels you’ve rocked up at have no vacancies.
A honeymoon isn’t the type of vacation you want to leave to chance. So make sure you plan it well in advance, and plan it properly.
Splurge on Experiences, NOT Stuff
When you’re planning your honeymoon, remember that the experience is worth far more than what was bought. So spend your money on special experiences during your honeymoon instead of focusing on buying each other material things.
Small tokens are special, but don’t go all out on those things. Go all out on making this getaway something you’ll both remember for the rest of your lives.
Find activities that will be meaningful to you both. One of the reasons you’re together is that you share similar interests on some level. Find those similarities and look for a meaningful experience that will match those.
And on that subject, also remember that it’s about the experience, and not the cost. How much you spent isn’t what makes the getaway romantic, it’s what you did and how you felt that’s important.
A low cost experience is just as memorable if you loved it.