The second most exciting part about getting engaged is planning your honeymoon! Ahhhh, who wouldn’t be excited about having a few days, even weeks, off with their new spouse, on a new adventure? The best part about honeymoons? They can be entirely what YOU want it to be!
The options are endless – mountains, beach, rain forests, and big cities; planes, trains, cruises, and freeways; international or domestic. The world is yours – go explore it!
If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a major adventure-junkie! I love exploring new places and going on adventures with people I love. One of my life goals is to zip-line in every single country I visit and so far, I’m 2 for 2! Coincidentally, I haven’t zip-lined in the USA yet, not even in Ohio! But, to get back on track with the post, I’m going to lay out a few basic tips to help you get started on planning your honeymoon!
1. Domestic Travels or International Adventure?
There is no wrong choice here, however, where you travel on your honeymoon will greatly depend on two things: how much time you have allotted to travel and how much you can afford to spend on a honeymoon.
If you only can take a few days off from work for your honeymoon, consider going away for a long weekend to Hocking Hills. It’s beautiful with lots of hiking paths and other adventure activities. Hocking Hills is the perfect location to go to refresh, relax, and get away from the outside world.
If you’re able to take more time off to travel (think 1-3 weeks), you should definitely consider going on a cruise or traveling internationally. Think European adventure. If international travel isn’t your thing, there are many things to do and places to explore in the USA. Hop on a train to travel out West or plan a road trip to one of your favorite cities! Cities like Chicago, Nashville, and NYC are just a few hours away by car or bus – but if I were you, drive yourself and skip the unpredictability of bus routes!
2. When Should We Go on a Honeymoon?
Typically, most couples go on their honeymoons right after their wedding day. However, one of the things you should definitely take into consideration is the time of year you’ll be traveling. Depending on the time of year, the cost of travel can be outrageous. And depending on the season, it can also be dangerous. It’s highly suggested to do some research into the area you’ll be traveling to: When is their peak travel/tourist season? What weather do they typically experience during the time of year you’ll be traveling? Are there any major events (festivals, major holidays, etc) occurring during the time you will be there?
No one says you have to go on your honeymoon right away. If you’d prefer to plan your honeymoon to avoid extra fees, weather, and top tourist season, plan to go during a different season. It’ll give you more time to save and prepare for the trip vs. rushing to pack and choosing a less expensive trip to go on immediately after your wedding. Just remember to think about what works best for what you want to experience.
3. Should I Work With a Travel Agent?
In my opinion, the answer should be “yes,” especially if you want to travel outside the USA. Travel agents typically specialize in specific areas – cruises or resorts and specific destinations. Most commonly, travel agents have spent time in the resorts, cruises, or countries you want to travel to for your honeymoon. They will be able to determine the best fit for you based on your budget and travel needs. Either ask around for a referral or do some research online to find an agent that suits your needs.
If you are planning a domestic adventure for your honeymoon, a travel agent may not be necessary, but it wouldn’t hurt to check with them for opinions and referrals for hotels, resorts, and flights.
4. What Should I Pack?
My best suggestion is to pack lightly but purposefully. Depending on where you are traveling, they may be experiencing different weather than where you live. If you’re flying, make sure to take into consideration how many pieces of luggage you can check and how much it’ll cost you if your bags exceed the standard weight. My best pieces of advice is to pack more tops than bottoms and to avoid bringing unnecessary items. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve traveled where I packed way too many pairs of shoes 🙂
To wrap this post up, here are a few general tips:
- Follow TSA guidelines when it comes to packing liquids. They aren’t kidding when they say they’ll pitch anything that doesn’t comply with their rules.
- Leave the bulky camera bag at home. Honestly, with the direction that smart phone companies are taking their camera abilities, taking photos with an iPhone will more than suit your needs while traveling and you’ll most likely never take the camera anywhere due to the potential for damaging it.
- Share one giant suitcase for checked baggage and put everything else in smaller luggage for your carry on. While this will vary per airline, typically each flyer is allowed a small personal item AND a carry on bag that meets their overhead bin guidelines.
- Plan to spend extra $$$ on excursions and gifts. Even if you’re going to an all-inclusive resort, chances are there are extra day trips you’ll want to take. Guess what? Most of those are not included in your resort package.
- Take cash and reloadable prepaid cash cards. It’s common courtesy to tip anyone who handles your luggage, but the tip amount recommended varies with your location. Also, it’s not recommend to use debit or credit cards, especially if you’re abroad. Most banks offer some kind of reloadable “debit” card that are ideal for traveling.
- While you’re at it, make sure your bank(s) know when and where you’ll be traveling so they won’t be shocked at a random charge and put your accounts on hold.
- Be cautious but don’t be afraid to go off the trail a little bit. Explore the region you’re traveling. Experience it like the locals do. Skip a majority of the touristy stuff and experience the culture for what it really is.
Man, after writing this post, I’m just itching to travel again. Where are you planning on traveling for your honeymoon? If you have any places you just loved exploring, make sure to leave it in a comment below!