Though your wedding day will undoubtedly be one of the best days of your life, let’s face it, it’s stressful planning. From decision fatigue to guest lists, you’d be a trooper not to be exhausted by the time your big day rolls around.
But your honeymoon is another matter. Your honeymoon is your reward for all the hard work you’ve put into planning your perfect wedding day. Time for just you and your new spouse to get away, enjoy the serenity and start your marriage off on the right foot.
This is why it’s so important you plan a honeymoon with the same rigor and enthusiasm as you do your wedding. Don’t leave it as an afterthought!
We’ve put together our helpful guide on how to plan a honeymoon to make sure you don’t miss a single step.
Start Your Research Early
When you’ve got so much on, it can be easy to push your honeymoon planning to the back of your to-do list. But as with all vacations, the sooner you plan, the better.
Early planners benefit from better prices, more availability in accommodation, and better flights to name a few. This is especially true if you’re heading off to somewhere more exotic or further away from home.
A good general rule of thumb is you’ll want to begin planning a honeymoon around eight months before your travel dates. But if you’re heading to a popular location in peak times, even earlier than this can’t hurt.
We get it. Your dream vacation is a romantic vineyard in France, but your spouse is all about adventure in the Outback.
Don’t overrule each other and pick one preference over another. This is supposed to be a treat for both of you, so compromise here is vital.
If you’re really at odds over honeymoon planning, come up with a list of activities you wanted to do on your honeymoon. Make separate lists and then work together to find the destinations that can deliver most, if not all, of those that list for both of you.
For example, if you’re dreaming of sunny beaches and your spouse is after forest hikes, you can choose a location where day trips to both are available. Everyone’s a winner.
We’d also recommend planning your travel dates for at least a couple of days after your big day. This gives you a chance to breathe and unwind from all the excitement, as well as pack!
Choosing the Best Honeymoon Destination
There are a lot of popular honeymoon destinations. But what’s right for one person, might not be right for another.
The best honeymoon destination is the one that’s perfect for you, no one else. So don’t be swayed by your friends and family here.
Virtually all destinations can cater to couples on their honeymoon now. It’s great business for them after all. So if you’re dreaming of something a little more unusual than the stereotypical romantic getaways, go for it.
If you and your spouse really get stuck on where to go, create a pro and con list for each destination to help you pick.
Create a Budget
It’s so easy to get carried away on spending during wedding celebrations. Your honeymoon will be no exception to this rule. If you can afford it, more power to you, but for most of us, creating a realistic budget is the best idea.
Everyone’s budget is different, so how yours is spent will come down to your unique circumstances. In general, you’ll need to consider:
You should budget for at least three meals a day, with some extra money for drinks and snacks. For some resorts, you might be able to save yourself some money here by booking all-inclusive. But even if you choose this, it’s still well worth budgeting some extra so you can head out and try the local restaurants too.
You’ll also want to budget for whatever activities you want to try while you’re there, as well as the transport to get there and back. Transfers can add up in cost fast, so it’s often more cost-effective to rent a vehicle for some of your stay.
Your budget should also include some miscellaneous funds. This extra bit of cash is for those spontaneous moments that pop up on travels. Whether that’s some cute jewelry, a surprise cost, or something else entirely, you’ll thank yourself for taking it.
Your Accommodation Matters
Once you’ve picked your destination and planned your budget, you need to pick your accommodation.
Your accommodation is so important on your honeymoon. It’s where you’ll be spending a lot of your time if you catch our drift.
So do your research. Don’t just go for something that looks like a good deal on impulse. Compare and contrast different accommodations to see what facilities they offer.
For example, if you know you’d like a little pampering, only shortlist hotels that have great spa facilities to indulge in.
This isn’t to say hotels are your only option either. If you’d rather have more privacy, you can look at renting entire apartments or homes instead.
Once you have a shortlist of accommodation options, get into the reviews. Don’t just take the word of one review site either as these can be unreliable. Use third-party sites like Tripadvisor and others to get a better idea of the quality of accommodation.
Weed out the accommodation that isn’t up to scratch. It’s not worth ruining your honeymoon to save a few bucks.
You’ll want to grab your flights at the same time as your accommodation. You can actually save a little here if you book them together on many travel websites.
Research Your Destination
If you’re headed to your shared dream destination, chances are you already have a pretty good idea of what it is you want to do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still find some hidden gems.
For others, there’s a whole world out there waiting for you to explore. So get Googling!
Spend some time researching the amazing options for dining in the local area. You’re bound to find some amazing places where you can enjoy a romantic dinner in the evening.
It’s also worth planning and booking any day trips you want to take in advance. But make sure you leave yourself enough time to actually relax and unwind on your honeymoon.
If you know anyone who has been to your destination, now’s the time to ask for their tips on all the hidden gems. Pop a post up on your social media asking for any recommendations.
Plan a Honeymoon Surprise
One of our favorite honeymoon ideas is to plan a surprise for your spouse.
There are plenty of ways you can do this. If you know there’s an activity they’d absolutely love to do that they’ve left off knowing you wouldn’t, book it in. Alternatively, call ahead to a restaurant and book a surprise romantic dinner for the two of you.
If your budget is already stretched to the limit, don’t worry. There are many ideas that don’t involve spending even more money.
You’re on your honeymoon, after all, get a little creative and fit in that fantasy. You can get some spicy ideas in this guide.
With your flights, accommodation, and itinerary booked and your budget saved, there’s only packing left to do.
If your honeymoon is close to your wedding day, it’s a good idea to get any packing out of the way as early as possible. You can always reshuffle a suitcase last minute, but it’s a nightmare trying to pack when you’re exhausted from celebrating.
There are lots of helpful honeymoon packing checklists online for you to use to make this a quick and easy job.
If you do pack well in advance, we do recommend checking the weather of your location closer to the time. This gives you a more accurate picture of whether you should be packing any extra clothes for unusual weather.
Your honeymoon shouldn’t be overshadowed by your wedding. It’s your once-in-a-lifetime trip with you and the love of your life.
Make time for a little date night before your trip, all themed around your honeymoon. You could watch movies that are set in your destination, eat local cuisine, and even dress up for an added bit of silliness.
More Travel Advice
Knowing how to plan a honeymoon is easy as long as you give yourself enough time. Do your research to get the best for your budget, but most of all, enjoy your incredible time together!
We have more travel advice on our blog which you may find helpful, so make sure to take a look.