The wedding is over, the stress has been lifted, and you’re officially someone’s spouse. What better way to celebrate than a relaxing vacation? In all the hype and anxiety of planning a wedding, it’s easy to forget that your hard work will be rewarded with a honeymoon! Consider it the light at the end of the sometimes arduous wedding planning tunnel. Here are a couple of helpful tips to plan a successful and fun honeymoon getaway:
Set a budget: By now, you should be used to figuring out a budget. Your honeymoon is a vital part of the wedding festivities so don’t forget to factor in the cost ahead of time.
Choose a Destination: Once you’ve established a budget, you can determine where you’re heading. Three-week tour of Europe or long weekend at a nearby resort? Brainstorm with your spouse-to-be about vacation spots you’d love to visit together. Consider returning to a place that has special value to you as a couple or choose a new place to explore together.
Make Arrangements: As the wedding day draws near, you don’t want the hassle of making last-minute vacation plans. Purchase plane tickets, get passports, and book your hotel well ahead of time so there’s no added stress shortly before the wedding. Plus, as an added bonus, you can often save serious cash by booking months ahead of time or watching for Internet specials.
Add Extras: If you and your spouse want to embark on excursions or tours during your honeymoon, book them ahead of time. You can often find deals online if you book in advance. Set aside an afternoon or evening to research the adventurous, romantic, or fun options available near your honeymoon hotel. Sign up for snorkeling, register for a wine tour, make reservations for a couples massage, or purchase tickets to a concert or play months in advance.
Research: Take time to research the best restaurants, shopping, landmarks, and attractions in the area where you’ll be staying. If your hotel has a concierge, they can typically recommend local favorites, but it pays to do a little research on your own to find noteworthy spots you might otherwise miss altogether.
Shop: Make a packing list of anything you might need for your vacation (new swimsuits, camera, shoes, apparel, luggage, etc) and plan a shopping trip. This is, after all, the only honeymoon you’ll ever take (hopefully) so splurge on a new dress/suit, swimsuit, or hiking gear. Whatever you need to make your trip a success, purchase ahead of time.
Pack: This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you do it well in advance of the wedding. There’s nothing more stressful than trying to pack for a week or longer the day before your wedding when you’re dealing with parties, brunches, the rehearsal, and welcoming out of town guests. Try to pack the majority of your suitcase the week before the wedding, leaving room for last-minute additions like toiletries. You’ll be grateful that the task is completed in those precious, busy days leading up to the wedding.
Other helpful tips:
- Don’t book your outgoing flight too early in the morning the day after the wedding. It’s going to be a late night and you’ll thank yourself later for allowing a few extra hours to sleep in, visit with friends/family, and/or enjoy brunch.
- Pack the camera! Don’t forget the camera to document your first vacation as a married couple.
- If you book the tickets with the bride’s new last name, make sure you bring a copy of the marriage license to the airport. Typically, it’s easier to use maiden names on all reservations and avoid the hassle altogether.