Have you planned your Honeymoon with as much attention to detail as you've planned your Wedding?
"25 Honeymoon Mistakes To Avoid"
At Honeymoons By Sunset, we’ve been planning honeymoon vacations for over 28 years, and believe me, we’ve seen it all! All of us have honeymooned, some of us more than once. The following tips have been compiled from personal experience, advice from friends and family members, and customer feedback.
Some we’ve laughed over, some we’ve cried over, but we’ve learned from all of them, and we hope that they’ll help you.
First, a few testimonials:
“Wow – thanks for the tips! Really great advice!” - Gina L.
“I didn’t find your guide until after my honeymoon, and I actually made some of those mistakes! Wish I'd found you sooner!” - Julia R.
“Thanks for the terrific guide and planning assistance – it made my 8th honeymoon the very best of all!” - Elizabeth. T.H.W.T.F.B.B.W.F.
Second - a quick Bonus - I found this super list of "25 Tips To Enjoy Your Wedding Day" - check it out!
And now, on to the Free Guide - "25 Honeymoon Mistakes To Avoid"....
#1. Not starting your honeymoon planning early
The number one mistake is leaving your honeymoon planning until the last minute. Not only can you save significantly if you book early, but also many popular destinations book up quickly for peak season, so you may not get your first choice, or even your second or third choice, if you procrastinate. It’s never too early to start planning.
#2. Not taking a honeymoon
Okay, life is pretty busy, isn’t it? But will your job/company/family really fall apart if you take some time for yourselves? Just like your wedding, your honeymoon is a special time that you and your beloved will remember forever. Even if all you can take is a day off, take that time and let us make it special for the two of you. The last thing you want is to look back on this time years from now and regret that you didn’t.
#3. Not setting an adequate budget for your honeymoon
Weren’t born (or marrying) into the Rockefeller family? No matter – whether it’s for a night or a week or longer - even if you don’t think you can afford a honeymoon - we can help you save money, get perks and upgrades not available to others, and make it a special time you’ll remember forever.
#4. Not considering a Honeymoon Registry
An increasingly popular trend nowadays is the “honeymoon registry”,
which works just like a bridal registry. We can set up your registry, and provide
you with complimentary cards to go inside your invitations (or Save The Date
cards) to let folks know where and how they can contribute to making your dream honeymoon
come true. This is especially popular with couples that already have all the household
items they need. We’ll keep an automated list for the bride of how much has been
contributed and by whom, and send a receipt and complimentary gift card to each contributor.
Many of our couples have had their honeymoon vacation completely paid for by their registry, and often with a little left-over cash to spend on their honeymoon as well!
#5. Forgetting to book a hotel room for your wedding night
Believe it or not, this one is very common! Many brides are so focused on the big day, and on arriving at their honeymoon destination, that they forget about the wedding night if they aren’t leaving right after the wedding. You’ll want your first night together to be special, so put some thought into where you’ll stay and how you’ll get there after the reception (or let us do that for you).
#6. Allowing out-of-town guests to book their own accommodations
We can negotiate discounted room rates, and arrange air travel and transportation for everyone who may be flying in for your wedding – saving them money and you the headache of trying to coordinate getting everyone where they need to go, especially if they’ll be attending other events, like your rehearsal dinner, bachelor or bachelorette party, etc..
#7. Booking too early a flight for the day after your wedding
If you’re having a late afternoon or evening reception, it’s a good bet that you won’t be feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the next morning when it’s time to go to the airport! Okay, I’ll be honest – I don’t really know what “bushy-tailed” means either, but hey, I know I don’t feel that way in the morning, period. Keep in mind what time you’ll need to be at the airport, and be realistic about what time you’ll be able to get up in the morning.
#8. Over the top partying (this goes for both of you!)
Sure it’s fun to kick off your shoes and let your hair down once you’ve got the “I do’s” out of the way, but keep in mind that there are few things in life less romantic than spending your wedding night embracing the toilet. OR being hung over on your honeymoon. OR even worse, seeing the pictures Aunt Edna took of you dancing on the table. Do you really want to risk that being posted on the internet? Be sure to eat something so that if you have a drink (or a few) they won’t hit you as hard.
#9. Not getting to the airport early
If you’re flying to your honeymoon destination, be sure that you’ve pre-booked your transportation to the airport, and leave yourselves plenty of time to get to there, get checked in, and get through security. Although the airlines still recommend 60 to 90 minutes early, we’ve seen lines at security checkpoints that you wouldn’t believe! Don’t risk missing your honeymoon – better to sit and read at the gate than to miss your flight. Another tip: slip a zip-loc style plastic baggie in your purse and then put all your jewelry, and anything from your pockets, into it to get through security faster. And lastly, if you’re planning a longer honeymoon and checking several bags, we can arrange to send them a few days early, so there’s less for you to schlep through the airport.
#10. Not realizing that most tours and cruises depart on Saturdays
At least the 7-day cruises that is, and with Saturday being the most popular day to marry… hmmm…..you can see the conflict, can’t you? Most of the 3-day sailings depart on Fridays, most 4-day sailings depart on Mondays, and there are even 10- and 11-day sailings and longer! So if you’ve always dreamed of taking a cruise honeymoon, be sure to book your cruise first, and take the departure date into account when choosing the wedding date and location. And unless you live within driving distance of the port of departure, you’ll have a flight too (normally booked at the time you book your cruise), so keep in mind that you’ll need extra time to get to the port city, allowing for a leisurely (not rushed!) embarkation.
#11. Not telling the hotel (and everyone else) that you’re honeymooning
Don’t be shy – it’s your time to shine, and the whole world loves lovers! We’ll make sure that you’ll get special treatment and an upgrade on rooms and meals.
#12. Not taking your future spouse’s opinions into consideration
Admit it – you’ve been thinking about your wedding day - and likely your honeymoon as well - since you were in kindergarten. However, very few men think of such things, so often brides assume that their fiancé doesn’t really care about the details. Planning your dream honeymoon without consulting him will result in a trip you’ll love, but he won’t. If you want your honeymoon to be as memorable for your beloved as it will be for you, it’s crucial to ask him questions, such as where he’d like to go and what he’d like to do. Of course, he still may say, “Whatever you want, dear”.
#13. Not considering “off season” travel
Go where you’ve always wanted, but go when everyone else goes and you’ll not only pay “premium” rates, but you’ll deal with crowds, booked up spas and tours, longer waits at the restaurants, etc. Try going when it’s less crowded for a truly relaxing and romantic experience. Plus, when there are fewer tourists, you’ll get more attentive service!Just be sure to consult us so that you don't wind up at your honeymoon destination during a hurricane!
#14. Not getting advice from someone who has been to your destination
Planned a tropical island honeymoon in October, then arrived to find that it was monsoon season there? Or went to that Dude Ranch in Arizona after being inspired by the movie “City Slickers” only to discover that July is way too hot and most of the horses were sent north to Colorado weeks ago? That won’t happen to you if you take the time to research your trip with someone who knows the place well. If you don’t know someone personally, chances are good that we will, or may have even been there ourselves - we take pride in knowing our honeymoon destinations intimately!
#15. Being unaware of local customs at your destination
Since you’ll likely spend some of your time outside of your hotel room, and will be interacting with the locals, it’s important to know what dress and behavior is considered appropriate, so that you don’t risk offending anyone, or worse, spending the rest of your life in a seedy foreign prison and possibly causing an international incident in the process.
#16. Forgetting to get (or renew) your passport
Traveling out of the country? Be sure you have a current Passport. It can take 6 to 8 weeks (including mailing time) to get a new or renewed Passport, or 2 to 3 weeks if you pay hefty additional fees for expedited service. For information on fees, passport office locations, and to download application forms and instructions, visit the U.S. Department of States website at http://www.travel.state.gov/passport_services.html.
#17. Being unaware that many European hotel rooms have only single beds
As do some cabins on cruise ships. It just isn’t comfortable trying to squeeze both of you in a bed designed for one, but it certainly isn’t intimate being in separate beds. So unless twin beds are your preference, be sure to request a queen or king bed when you book!
#18. Waiting until the last minute (or day) to pack for your trip
That’s a sure-fire way to forget something important, or wind up packing something in your checked luggage that you’ll need (or want) in-flight. Of course, if you’ve printed our Packing Checklist, then you’ll have nothing to worry about. Unless, of course, you forget to use the checklist. And don't forget to check out our Packing Tips, too.
#19. Packing too much (or too little)
There’s just no excuse for not printing our Packing Checklist from our website. Or, if you’re lucky enough to be one of the organizationally blessed, create one and share it with us! Just be sure to take into account 1) where you’re going, 2) when you’re going there, 3) how long you’ll be there, and 4) the monetary exchange rate multiplied by the inside dimensions of your suitcase (so you’ll know how many souvenirs you can bring back, of course!) Oh yeah….unless you’re planning to start a family right away, don’t forget to pack your birth control.
#20. Underestimating the impact of a sunburn
No matter how tempting the beach or pool is, resist spending hours there the first day, and when you do venture out, be sure to use loads of sunscreen. There’s no quicker way to ruin a honeymoon vacation than screaming “ouch!” every time he touches you. Or vice versa. ‘Nuff said.
#21. Scheduling all of your time around activities
With all the excitement you’ve been through (or will be going through) in the weeks and days leading up to your Big Day, you may not realize just how truly exhausting it can all be, but it will certainly hit you a day or so after the wedding. Be sure to leave yourselves enough “relaxation” time, for at least the first couple of days of your honeymoon vacation, to keep the potential for crankiness at bay. After all, you’ll have many more trips with your new spouse, but only one honeymoon, so relax and enjoy it!
#22. Not planning some time apart
Everyone needs a little private time to truly relax, and we don’t mean just when you’re in the bathroom. Schedule his-and-hers massages at different times, or if you’re not into parasailing and he wants to give it a try, head to the pool with a book, do some souvenir shopping, or take some pamper time for yourself at the hotel’s spa. It will give you more to talk about over dinner too!
#23. Forgetting to bring your sense of humor
No matter how carefully you plan your trip, sometimes things can go wrong. Yes, even at a world-class honeymoon destination. Don’t let anything ruin the overall purpose of your trip – which is to have a fun and romantic time alone with your beloved. Laugh it off and you’ll only remember the good stuff. If nothing else you’ll have some funny stories to tell your grandkids someday!
#24. Not bringing enough Traveler’s Checks or cash (in small denominations)
It’s not just a commercial, it’s true – not everywhere takes American Express, or VISA or MasterCard for that matter (although many places do). But it’s best to have some small-denomination traveler’s checks stashed in your security-style money belt for that little souvenir you just can’t live without. Small-denomination because in many foreign countries they won't want to give you change in US Dollars. And you’ll want to have some cash (again in small bills) on hand to tip those hard working folks who carry your bags, bring you drinks, etc.
#25. Not packing enough film (or extra memory for a digital camera)
Film generally has a pretty long shelf life, so even if you don’t use it all on your trip and wind up bringing some home unused, you’ll eventually use it. It’s better than paying prices at the destination, which are often substantially higher. And if you’re toting one of those nifty digital cameras, take extra memory cards so you won’t have to agonize over which of those terrific shots you’ll have to delete to make room for more! The same goes for extra camera batteries, whichever kind you need.
#26. Not using us to plan your honeymoon
We know how, when, and where to find you the best deals and discounts, and we have the clout to get additional discounts that destinations don’t offer to others. Additionally, we can plan every detail of your honeymoon, including the activities, sightseeing, and pampering that you’ll want to partake of, so you’ll get the most out of your time away from the real world.
(That last one is a Bonus Tip!)
Want more advice? Call us – it’s free! Whatever your budget, wherever your destination, at no cost to you. Our expert counselors have been helping couples plan the perfect honeymoon for over 26 years.