Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Tips to Planning the Perfect Honeymoon

Recently I attended the Queensland Brides, Wedding & Honeymoon Expo at the Brisbane Convention Centre for the first time, not as a bride to be but as an Exhibitor. It was great fun talking about Weddings and Honeymoons over the weekend and made me realise - you really do need to plan for your Honeymoon as much as your Wedding.

For me, the proposal and the wedding were only a few months apart and it was amazing how quickly I could pull together a wonderful wedding. However, there was really no planning for the honeymoon. There was no trip to an exotic destination or fabulous overseas destination. For me, especially being in the travel industry, I have always felt that I missed out on something. I always imagined the honeymoon to be something special, a dreamy romantic getaway, the excitement of packing, going to the airport with your special person, sipping champagne on the flight, arriving at your dream destination! (Disney has a lot to answer for!)

So when plan your wedding, remember not to forget the honeymoon. I feel it is nearly as important as the wedding!

Here are some tips for planning that dream honeymoon:

1. When should I start planning my honeymoon? 
The sooner the better. Planning ahead allows you time to budget accordingly and get necessary documents needed should you not have. Planning ahead also enables you to confirm that “one of a kind room” many resorts offer making your honeymoon even more special.

2. Have an idea of your Geography. 
Yes, Europe, Maldives and Caribbean are amazing honeymoon destinations, but not if you have less than one week for your honeymoon. An exotic location is ideal if you have enough travel time and don’t mind long flights. Some locations require over a day travelling time and you also need adjust to time difference.

3. Know your budget. 
Airline fares play a significant role when planning your budget. If you are a frequent traveler, save your mileage and try to use your accumulated mileage points. Many credit cards offer airline mileage awards that may assist you as well.

4. When do you want to leave? 
The month you get married may affect your destination choice due to Mother Nature.  Also remember when school holidays are, this in itself increases the pricing of airfares and land components.

5. What type of honeymoon are you looking for? 

Discuss with your fiancé what is most important for you to experience while on your honeymoon: adventure, relaxation, touring, a little of everything? Communication is key! I suggest writing your wish list separate and then comparing notes with each other.

6. What kind of resort are you looking for? Unique and boutique? All inclusive? 
Many resorts offer all-inclusive options, allowing you to know ahead of time exactly how much you will be spending.

7. Does the hotel offer anything special because it is our honeymoon? 
Many resorts offer amazing honeymoon packages that can be purchased for a certain amount or are complimentary when booking a certain room category with minimum nights. These packages can include anywhere from a romantic dinner on a beach, complimentary massages, and breakfast in bed, to free anniversary stays and many more.

8. What kind of deposit do I need? When is final payment due? When do I need to pay? 
Depends on the honeymoon you have chosen. Most airlines will want payment and ticketing done either immediately or with in a few days.  The land components usually require a deposit at least.  Ask your travel agent about a bridal registry.

9. Do I need a Visa, do I need vaccinations? 
Some destinations do require Visas.  It is important as to what type of passport you are travelling under, the name shown on the Passport and many countries are now requiring a minimum 12 months validity.  You may not be able to travel under your married name, if your passport is not showing that name, unless you take your marriage certificate with you. Always best to confirm with your doctor if they suggest vaccinations.

10. I don’t need insurance, this is my honeymoon and I will never cancel. 
There are hundreds of circumstances that could cause you to cancel your trip, return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment while travelling. Travel Insurance provides protection for your travel investment.

So remember when planning your wedding, plan your honeymoon as well. If you are lost for ideas or need help, always ask your travel agent - they can have have hundreds of ideas to suggest to create your dream honeymoon and can pull it together with ease.

You can also listen to my Radio interview with Kat Davidson from 612 abc Radio Brisbane. https://soundcloud.com/abc_radio/romantic-getaways