There's no doubt that planning your honeymoon is one of the most exciting parts of the wedding arrangements. However, honeymoons are surrounded with such mystique, and can be built up to such dazzling heights of expectation, that it can be very easy to be disappointed. It's important to do all you can to avoid the pressure, and ensure the honeymoon is as perfect an experience as it should be.
Up till a decade or so ago, honeymoons tended to be very simple - they were just about spending a couple of weeks, straight after the wedding, in the sun, in an exotic location for those who could afford it. However, with changing marriage norms, honeymoon trends are also changing. The average age for marriage is now over 30, with many marriages now being second time round, and many couples are now looking for something more exciting and different.
Different Styles of Honeymoon
This has led to the rise of different styles of honeymoon — which may not necessarily follow straight on from the wedding, but could be postponed for months, or even a year. For example, there is what could be called the "family-moon" where the kids come along too, or even friends or wider family. For the "adventure-moon" couples aim to do something more adventurous than just lying on the beach — for instance, elephant trekking. canoeing down the Amazon, or an African safari. Or there is the "maxi-moon", where couples marrying later in life choose an extended honeymoon of six weeks or more, perhaps taking a trip round the world, or travelling through the Far East.
However, the traditional two-week sunshine honeymoons are still very popular, though couples increasingly expect and demand special and amazing experiences. Among the dream destinations for these sunshine honeymoons are the Maldives and the Seychelles, where fabulous resorts rest on their own individual islands, secluded from the outside world, surrounded by shimmering lagoons and brilliant coral reefs. Many resorts here offer discounts for honeymooners, or special complimentary extras.
Thailand is another especially popular place for UK honeymooners, with its golden temples and hill cities, as well as its incredibly glamorous white-sand beaches in the south. Then there is beautiful Bali, a slightly longer journey but well worthwhile for its mystical and spectacular interiors, as well as its lovely beaches. The romance of the orient will perfectly complement the romance of your time together.
The idyllic islands of the Caribbean of course have long been a top honeymoon choice, and this has not changed. Not only do the islands boast incredibly diverse scenery, each island having its own distinct personality, but there is a profusion of romantic resorts, some grand and opulent, others intimate and exclusive, but all with plenty to offer the tranquillity-seeking honeymooner. Whether you choose laid-back and sophisticated Antigua, with its abundance of glorious beaches, the lush mountain rainforests and secluded coves of stunning St Lucia, the colonial glamour of Barbados, or the fragrant charm of the spice island Grenada, the warm people will promise an unforgettable start to your married life.
Getting it Right
So, picking your destination is exciting, but how are you going to ensure your honeymoon is as perfect as you hope? First, do book in plenty of time — a year ahead is not too early, to make sure you avoid disappointment. And be careful of timing — remember the Indian Ocean has a monsoon season, and most of the Caribbean has a hurricane season.
Before booking anything, you should of course discuss what you both want in a honeymoon. Honeymoon destinations vary widely, from those that have plenty of entertainments laid on, to those that are so secluded you hardly meet anyone else. If you have different expectations, you need to find a compromise, or perhaps consider a twin-centre honeymoon — for example, Abu Dhabi and the Maldives.
Let Us Do It
Above all, don't try to organise it all yourselves — in all the hectic excitement of the wedding, you are more than likely to forget something vital. Our specialists, who are expert in honeymoon arrangements, can arrange flights, hotels and car rentals, as well as ensuring essential details like valid passports and name changes are not forgotten, taking all the stress from you and ensuring you can simply relax and enjoy your special time. And, of course, we can make sure your hotel knows you're on honeymoon, so that you get all the perks and special treatment you deserve.
Top 10 Tips When Planning Your Honeymoon
1. Plan together! Get to know each other’s likes and dislikes. It’s for you both to enjoy and build excitement for.
List some potential destinations, make checklists and draw up a list of pros and cons.
2. Plan well in advance. You don’t want honeymoon stress combined with wedding stress, so do your best to avoid this by having everything booked and packed in advance.
It’s a once in a lifetime thing so prioritise it and book at least 6 months in advance. As it is, booking early = less stress, more variety and better deals!
3. Have a fixed budget from the start. Plan a realistic budget taking many things into consideration for example if you would prefer to book a more expensive, luxury resort and not partake in many activities out there, or if you’d prefer to have a lovely but slightly cheaper resort leaving you more money to spend on activities and excursions.
Try to plan your average daily spend. Bear in mind that if you book all-inclusive, you will be spending less on food.
4. Keep an eye on the forecast. If you don’t mind a bit of rain here and there then that’s fine, but make sure you still check the weather in advance just in case there’s anything worse than a slight shower.
Check more than one source as some forecasting may be inaccurate. Also ask us what we know about the weather of where you are looking to go.
5. From ‘Miss’ to ‘Mrs’. Yes, don’t forget you may be changing your name. The name you give us for the booking must be the same name on your passport. You will probably need a marriage certificate to change your name therefore if you are going on your honeymoon straight after your wedding then you may need to travel with your current passport name.
If you are getting your passport changed, be sure to send it off early enough to receive it before your honeymoon.
6. Why Luxury Holidays? For the holiday of a lifetime, you need to choose a travel agency that will guide you through everything, and we will do exactly that. Our advice and recommendations, may even help you in decision-making!
Ask us all the questions you want, that’s what we’re here for!
7. Travel with insurance. Although it’s unlikely that much will go wrong, it’s always better to be safe than sorry especially on such an important holiday. Even if it’s something minor like a delayed flight or something big like lost baggage, you’d probably want to be covered.
Compare insurance rates, you don’t have to spend that much if you don’t want to, you’d be surprised how cheap some travel insurance quotes can be.
8. Do your own research. This one is quite obvious and I’m sure you would have done a lot of this in the planning process. Before booking the hotel/resort, just be sure to check that it has the privacy and seclusion you want. The last thing you need is your alone time as newlyweds being disturbed.
Again, we can be of huge help with this too. You should be able to specify yours and your partner’s dream honeymoon and we will work to get it for you.
9. Limit phone time. There’s nothing that compares to your honeymoon and the closest you can get to re-living it is through memories, pictures and videos. Although these are absolutely vital, this doesn’t mean you should be snapping away every minute of your honeymoon. No, get your quality time as newlyweds. Maybe just have your camera ready sometimes.
Make sure you have film in your camera and space on your phone. Try to set a limit to phone use each day. Whoever uses their phone the most has to buy the drinks!
10. Enjoy yourselves! Make the most of this time. It’s an amazing feeling and I can assure you that time will fly once you’re married. Just make sure you treasure every moment and take the time to appreciate and take in everything that has happened.
Don’t forget you’re starting a new adventure with your best friend. Make every second count!