When you’re knee deep in wedding plans, it’s easy for the honeymoon to get lost in the shuffle, but selecting the right place to spend your first few days as husband and wife is important! Miriam Geiser of MoonRings, a fabulous Chicago based travel company that specializes in honeymoons and anniversary trips (they actually helped my husband and I plan our honeymoon back in 2008) shares her expert advice on the five most important items to consider when selecting the perfect destination.
What kind of honeymooner are you? Do you want a Robinson Crusoe-style secluded island with turquoise water and a hammock strung inbetween two palm trees? Would you like to explore a new culture together? Do you want to be active or experience heart pumping adventure activities? Would you like access to great cuisine or a hot nightlife scene? Chances are you’re probably interested in one or more of these experiences, so the first step is to identify which suits you best. MoonRings tip: Keep in mind that many destinations offer more than one of the above. Starting here and prioritizing your wants will help eliminate destinations and areas that don’t offer what you’re seeking.
Consider the time of year. Weather can be the determining factor as to whether or not a honeymoon destination is suitable. While weather can never be guaranteed, a little research on Weatherbase can help determine if your top honeymoon spot is typically nice during the month you intend to visit. Keep in mind that seasons with the best weather tend to attract more travelers and in some instances (i.e. summer on the Mediterranean, Christmas/New Year in the Caribbean) it can be very crowded and expensive. MoonRings tip: Traveling during “shoulder” season can be a great way to avoid the crowds and the peak season rates, but be sure to check if there are any special events around your dates in the destinations under consideration (i.e. Olympics, World Cup, Fashion Week, Film Festivals etc).
The length of the trip is essential. Speak with your employer to understand how much time you take for your honeymoon and decide how many “buffer” days you’d like on either side of the trip. It might be too hectic to leave the day after the wedding, or it may be too much to return on a Sunday night and be back at work on Monday. Once you’ve determined how much time you have, you’ll have a better sense for what’s feasible. MoonRings tip: As a rule of thumb, try to allow at least 3 nights in each location so you aren’t constantly packing and repacking.
Determining your honeymoon budget is not an exact science. We all want the best our money can buy, and on a honeymoon the opportunity to be treated to some luxury is appealing. MoonRings tip: To maximize your budget and luxury quotient, try to use frequent flyer miles for airline tickets, and instead, put your money into accommodations. Split your time between hotels, mixing and matching different experiences and levels of luxury. Think about destinations where the dollar is strong, or countries that are known to be affordable such as Costa Rica, Mexico, or Thailand. Or, if you have date flexibility, travel during the “off season.” In the Caribbean, for example, rates at top properties can decrease by as much as 50% during the summer. Knowing your budget will also help determine which destinations are financially feasible.
Strategies for Success.
- Prioritize: Understand that finding a destination that fits all of your parameters might not be possible. Prioritize your honeymoon goals and know which trade-offs you’re willing to make.
- Consider a Travel Professional: Travel pros can help you navigate destinations around the world and provide suggestions based on your preferences above. In addition, they can make the planning easier, worry free and often less expensive. They’ll help you find unique experiences, thereby creating a more memorable honeymoon than you could on your own.
- Enjoy the planning as well as the journey. Planning your honeymoon should be fun. It’s all about the two of you, your desires, and the special time you’ll be together as newlyweds. Take the time to dream, understand your interests, and make decisions that reflect your priorities. It’s a great reward after the stress and excitement of the wedding. Choose the right destination and you’ll be excited to travel, happy to be there, and full of great memories when you return.
Special thanks to our contributors: Miriam Geiser , Relationship Manager; MoonRings