We are so excited to have Lilian Mills, owner of Scenic Way Travel share with us all 6 incredible tips to planning the perfect honeymoon. As a travel agent, Lilian helps busy couples plan stress-free honeymoons. We find ourselves swooning over her Instagram account and travel inspirations daily so be sure to give her a follow @scenicwaytravel and if you need help planning your next vacation, we know Lilian will take great care of you.
Today, getting married is still the most socially accepted excuse in history to ditch work and go on the longest, most extravagant, dream-come-true trip ever! But, before you dive headfirst into checking all the items off of your " bucket list," take a few minutes to consider the practical stuff, because the trip of your dreams won’t just magically appear by itself. In fact, lousy hotels, rainy seasons, and crowded destinations can significantly hamper a happy honeymoon, essentially flushing your hard-earned money down the toilet.
Proper planning will undoubtedly ensure you and your future boo an enjoyable and dreamy getaway.
I wrote this list in hopes of sending you in the right direction.
When should we book our honeymoon?
I recommend booking your honeymoon eight to six months prior. However, if you are looking for specialty resorts with over-the-water-bungalows, then I would advise at least twelve months prior. It's always good to start early, as premium rooms sell out quickly.
How to choose a honeymoon destination?
The sky-is-the-limit when it comes to honeymoon destinations. No matter what you two have on your wishlist, here is my guide for helping you decide where to go for your honeymoon.
By the time most couples call me, they typically have an idea of where they want to go. When they can't make up their minds, though, I always recommend they separately write down their wishlists, then compare notes with each other. Remember, your honeymoon is for both of you, so your future spouse's suggestions count just as much as yours. If you love shopping and your sweetheart can't stand it, I would maybe not base your entire honeymoon around a shopping destination, just sayin'.
Your honeymoon destination is an important decision that will be determined by many factors. Here is a list I use to help couples decide:
- What's your budget? How many days can you take off for your honeymoon? These two are the most important factors to take into account when making your decision.
- What are you expecting of this trip? Do you want to relax or see as much as possible? Do you want a fast paced adventure or a laying-by-the-beach-with-an-umbrella-drink kinda vibe?
- If you want an adventure, are you looking for mountain hikes or city strolls? Hawaii or Rome?
- Are you okay with long flights?
- Do you mind crowds? When selecting your time to go, try to avoid school breaks and holidays.
- Don't forget to check the weather of your destination in the season you want to visit. Last year I had clients who wanted to go to Tahiti but had to change their destination to avoid the rainy season there. All these details matter when planning your honeymoon.
After you and your sweetheart have made your lists, share them with each other to see what your priorities are. We all know that you can lay by the beach, enjoy mountain hikes, and indulge in city strolls during the same trip...but should you? Trying to cross everything off your bucket list does not always make for a great honeymoon. The destination should be one that both of you would love to visit and where you're able to kick back and relax- remember, this trip will be following a very busy engagement and wedding season, after all.
Or, if you two can't make up your minds and like surprises, consider the option of a "Surprise Destination Honeymoon." If you choose this option, you allow your travel agent to consider your likes and dislikes and plan you a tailor-made trip. You will only find out where your destination is a couple of days before taking off!!! Although this might sound crazy to some of you, this is increasing in popularity among adventurous couples.
How long should a honeymoon be?
Most couples take seven-to-ten days off for their honeymoon. Again, the sky-is-the limit- after all, some couples take one week while others take as many as three. It all depends on your availability and budget. I truly believe that there's a beautiful destination out there for everyone, no matter your time-frame.
If you can only take off a few days, I would recommend staying relatively close-by in order not to waste your precious time on long flights. As a rule, if you have a week, I advise you not to take flights with hours in the double digits. To visit destinations that require these 10+ hour flights- like Africa, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, etc- I typically advise taking off two-to-three weeks to really enjoy it.
When should we leave for our honeymoon?
Don't feel that you have to rush from your wedding to your honeymoon. You've spent too much money and time planning your beautiful day just to rush out the door! Take it in.
I would recommend leaving a couple of days after the wedding. This way you have enough time to rest and spend more time with family and friends that flew far away just for your wedding.
However, most newlyweds typically leave the next day. If you are leaving the next day, PLEASE make sure it's not on the 6 AM flight! I know you can't wait to arrive at your honeymoon destination, but a 6 am flight can really ruin your first day (especially if you had a little too much to drink the night before).
Don't copy somebody else's honeymoon.
Consider this. You're already overwhelmed by planning your wedding. You think, "The last thing I need is something else to plan!" So you decide to just copy your sister's or best friend's honeymoon itinerary. "They had the best time so I probably will too! Right?"
Just because your sister had a great time at a safari camp or on a Mediterranean cruise doesn't mean you and your fiance will as well. This should be a unique memory that belongs to just the two of you. This is a very special trip for you and your fiance, and it should be "one-of-a-kind", just like you!
Consider using a travel agent.
However, if you're looking to cut down on stress, you could consider hiring and working with a travel agent. Just as you hired a planner to help organize your wedding, a travel agent takes a lot of the stress of planning the perfect honeymoon off of you.
A travel agent who specializes in honeymoons can really help you cut down your research time, narrow down destination options, figure out your priorities, get everything booked for you, and still try to include as much as possible while staying within your budget. The months preceding your wedding will be much more enjoyable and much less daunting.
Your honeymoon is the first trip you'll take with your sweetheart as a married couple, so no matter where you go, this trip will be full of love and wonderful memories. Where is your dream destination?
Feel free to reach out to Lilian at LILIAN@scenicwaytravel.com if you need help planning your dream honeymoon and for Travel inspirations checkout her Instagram @scenicwaytravel
photos courtesy of Scenic Way Travel