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Planning the Perfect Honeymoon: 9 Tips from a Travel Pro

by | Aug 24, 2023 | Central & South America, Europe, Featured, Mexico & The Caribbean, North America, Travel Tips | 0 comments

Planning the perfect honeymoon can be stressful. This post will help you plan, pack and prepare with tips from a travel pro.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to planning your honeymoon. Every couple is unique, and therefore every honeymoon should be a unique travel experience. Some couples want to sit back and beachside at a luxury resort. Other couples want to take a bucket list trip like island hopping in Greece or wine tasting in Tuscany. As a professional travel advisor, I have helped many couples plan this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Keep reading, this post is all about planning the perfect honeymoon.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you click and buy I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

How to Plan the Perfect Honeymoon

the perfect honeymoon in Rome

1. Decide on the Experience You Want

The first thing to ask yourselves is not “where do we want to go?” The first thing you need to talk about is what type of experience you have. It’s important that you both talk openly about your travel styles. Your honeymoon needs to be a good fit for the two of you. If one person prefers to be adventurous, while the other would like to relax, it’s important to compromise and plan a honeymoon that fits both of your travel styles. If you are struggling with how to do this, Imagine Travel can help.

2. Set a Budget

The second thing to consider is budget. How much do you want to spend on your trip? Remember to consider all travel expenses- airfare, transfers/rental cars, accommodations, activities, food, and drinks. Don’t forget about travel insurance, souvenirs, and leave a little room for unexpected extras. 

3. Pick a Date

plan your honeymoon date

Next, decided when to take your honeymoon. Many couples dream of jetting off for the honeymoon right after the wedding. That was how it used to be done! My advice here, is to give yourselves at least a full day between your wedding and departing for you honeymoon. Weddings are tiring, and having one day to rest, will make the travel day much more enjoyable. 

Another thing to think about is when are the best times to travel. 

  1. What works best for your schedules?
  2. When are the high seasons for the places you want to go?
  3. Are there any major events happening that could cause extra crowds and expense?

4. Start Planning Early

It seems crazy to even think about the honeymoon when you have so many other things to plan for the wedding. But that’s exactly what you’ll want to do. Ideally, you will want to start planning your honeymoon 8-12 months in advance. Doing so will give you plenty of time to determine a destination, hire a travel agent and book your air and accommodations. There are other things, like activities and excursions that can be finalized later. 

5. Keep an Open Mind

Your dream of honeymooning in an overwater bungalow in Fiji might be out of the budget right after the wedding. Consider other tropical destinations that would offer a similar experience- St. Lucia, Jamaica and Mexico all have beautiful overwater bungalows. And you won’t have to deal with a 16-hour flight.

6. Don’t Over Plan

Over-planning and over-scheduling can lead to an experience that is anything but the relaxing and stress-free honeymoon you envisioned. When planning what you’d like to do on your honeymoon, both you and your fiancé should have activities that you want to experience on the final itinerary. Pick the things that are most important to you and leave room to relax and enjoy the moment. 

Also, keep in mind the travel climate is kinda crazy right now, and unexpected delays, cancellations and other mishaps can happen. If your schedule is jam-packed, you aren’t leaving much room for flexibility. 

7. Leave Room for Surprises

honeymoon surprise dinner on the beach

Your honeymoon is the perfect occasion to be extra romantic. Make sure to plan little surprises for each other. Ideas could be, getting up for a sunrise hike, room service champagne breakfast in bed, or dinner on the beach. You could also upgrade an experience you have already planned- could be a room upgrade or making a small group tour a private tour. 

8. Consider Hiring a Travel Agent

You have enough on your plate planning a wedding. A certified travel agent will help ease the stress and will give you your free time back. Travel agents also have access to tours and experiences that the average person does not- meaning they can create a custom honeymoon that is unique to you and not some mass-produced package found online. These are just two reasons why hiring a travel agent is so important. There are many other reasons.

9. Take a Mini-Moon First

If your schedules or budget do not allow you to take your honeymoon right after your wedding, consider taking a mini-moon. A mini-moon is a shorter and less expensive version of the honeymoon. Usually, couples will stay closer to home or where the wedding was, they might opt for a few nights at a nearby hotel or resort. The travel time is significantly shorter because the goal is to maximize the amount of time you have for the mini-moon. 

More and more couples are taking a mini-moon right after the wedding, and saving the honeymoon for a few months to a year after the wedding. There are several reasons for this, it could be schedule conflicts, needing to save extra money for the dream honeymoon, or waiting for the right season in a particular destination. 

Whether it’s a mini-moon or a honeymoon, one thing is for sure- you and your fiancé should both be on the same page as to WHERE you will take your honeymoon. Answer the questions below to start brainstorming about the perfect honeymoon destination.

Questions to Help You Decide Where to Honeymoon

the perfect over the water bungalow for the dream honeymoon

With so many destinations to choose from, choosing the right place for this once-in-a-lifetime trip can be totally overwhelming. To help you and your fiancé narrow it all down, I have created a questionnaire to help you determine the perfect destination for your dream honeymoon. There are no right or wrong answers. This is meant to help you get the conversation going and come up with a honeymoon plan you both are excited about. Find an evening where you both can be totally present, pour a glass of wine or make a fun tropical cocktail, and get the conversation started.

  1. How long do you have for your ideal honeymoon? 
  2. How would you describe your travel style? 
    • Do you prefer to relax and go with the flow, or do you like to be on the go with a detailed plan? 
    • Is this how you want to travel for your honeymoon?
  3. Are you a mountain, beach or city person?
  4. How far are you wanting to travel?
  5. Where do you want to spend the bulk of your money? Where can you save?
    • An example would be: “We want to fly first class and have world-class experiences, so we’d like to put more of our budget there and save money on accommodations.”
  6. What is our budget? Don’t forget to include airfare, transportation, accommodations, excursions, food and drinks and a little room for unexpected items.
  7. What are some activities/excursions you would like to do? Or sites you want to see?
  8. What type of accommodations do you want? Boutique hotel, luxury tropical resort, vacation rental home, luxury high-rise hotel, overwater bungalow, etc.

Taking time to answer these questions will help each of you express your hopes for the honeymoon and help you plan an experience you both will enjoy. For additional inspiration on honeymoon destinations, The Knot released a list of the 58 best honeymoon destinations.

Continue to reading to learn some of the things you should avoid doing to ensure you have a perfect honeymoon.

Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Perfect Honeymoon

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning your wedding and honeymoon. These are, probably, two of the most anticipated events in your life. To help make sure you have the honeymoon of your dreams, we have put together some mistakes to avoid. 

1. Procrastinating Planning

There is so much on your to-do list for the wedding, that it’s understandable that planning the honeymoon gets pushed to the backburner. The earlier you begin the planning process the better, especially since more and more people are back to traveling. The best hotels and resorts fill up fast, and your honeymoon is not the time to settle for your second-choice option. Start planning as soon as possible, ideally no later than 6 months (8-12 is even better).

2. Leaving too Soon After the Wedding

Most couples say their wedding day feels like a whirlwind- it’s a long day with all eyes on you. And while it sounds exciting to get up early with your new spouse and head to the airport to jet off for your honeymoon, the reality is, is that it’s not. It’s exhausting. Take at least a few days to rest and recover from the wedding day fun. This allows you to fully enjoy and experience your honeymoon. 

3. Not Splurging for Upgrades

Just as weddings are expensive, honeymoons are also expensive. Your honeymoon is also a once-in-a-lifetime trip, consider treating yourself and splurging on the things that matter most. This varies from couple to couple, but some upgrades could be flying first class, booking the honeymoon suite, or indulging in a special dining experience. 

4. Packing at the Last Minute

Make sure to start looking at your wardrobe and travel pieces a few months before your honeymoon. You might want to purchase some new items to wear, or you might find your suitcase is broken and you need a new one. Don’t wait to do this until the week before- that’s when panic sets in. Utilize a packing list to help you stay organized and ensure that you don’t forget to pack any of your honeymoon essentials. 

To help get the list started, I have put together some of our recommended ‘must-have’ travel essentials in the next section.

Must Have Travel Essentials for Your Honeymoon

Each destination will have its own packing list, especially depending on the time of year you are traveling. Also, keep in mind, that some of your honeymoon budget might go for upgrading your travel necessities or building a honeymoon wardrobe. To get a head start on this, here are a few items that you might consider upgrading or purchasing.

1. Luggage

Consider getting a nice matching set if you don’t have one already. Look for a set that has a carry-on, mid-size and full-size suitcase. Also, the spinner styles make moving through crowded airports so much easier.

Recommended: This set is not only beautiful but extremely high quality and comes in multiple different colors

2. Packing Cubes

These are a game changer. Packing cubes will keep you organized during travel. The compression packing cubes will give you much more space and help reduce the wrinkles in your clothes. 

Recommended: These compression packing cubes will not only change the way you travel, they will change your life

3. Apple AirTag

There have been tons of issues lately with airlines losing luggage. These are essential if you are going to be checking your bags. Put one in each bag and virtually track the location of your luggage with the Find My network. 

Recommended: The 4-pack will give each of you one for your checked bag and carryon

4. Leak Proof Travel Bottles

Don’t try to take full size bottles of your toiletries, that will add extra weight to your suitcase. These leak proof bottles are great for your toiletries and look good too. They are also food safe, and are great if you need to bring any liquid foods. 

Recommend: They come in many different colors and are perfect for shampoo, conditioner and lotion

5. Hanging Toiletry Bag

I love how this bag has enough space for all my toiletries (I used to have multiple small bags, which was a mess). It hangs on the back of the bathroom door, allowing easy access to all the important items. 

Recommended: Over 40,000 people have given this a 5 star review. You know it’s gotta be good

6. Reusable Water Bottle

Between the plane ride, the rich food and the alcohol traveling can be very dehydrating. Make sure you get enough water on your honeymoon by taking a lightweight reusable water bottle.

Recommended: I love this one. It keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours, is leakproof, and is dishwasher safe

7. International Adapters/Converters

If you are traveling overseas, don’t forget that you will need an outlet adapter and converter to use/charge your electronics. The outlets are not the same as they are back home, so make sure you have one packed.

Recommended: This is an adapter and converter all in one. Best part is that it’s universal (can be used in 160 countries)

8. Portable Carbon Monoxide Detector

There have been far too many stories in the news lately, of untimely deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if you aren’t traveling in the winter, please make sure to take a portable carbon monoxide detector with you. They don’t take up much space in your suitcase and will keep you safe.

Recommended: I take this one with me on every trip

9. Pill Organizer

These are super compact and are great for keeping your pills organized. Bonus: They can also be used to keep your earrings organized. 

Recommended: The magnetic closure on this works so great to keep it closed and prevent your pills to scatter everywhere

10. Travel Case for Jewelry

If you’re a lover of jewelry, make sure you have a well made (and well designed) travel case for your baubles. Look for one that is lightweight and won’t take up too much space in your suitcase.

Recommended: This one comes in a few different sizes, and the best part is that it actually will keep your necklaces from tangling.

Final Thoughts on Honeymoon Planning

Your honeymoon is the chance to celebrate your love story in a picture-perfect setting, and it deserves careful planning. I hope this post helps you plan the perfect honeymoon- one that you and your fiancé will talk about for years to come. 

I’d love to know what other tips you have to share! Leave a comment below with your best honeymoon planning advice. 

Cheers!

Katie

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Welcome to Imagine Travel! I’m a Kansas City girl with an obsession for travel, fashion, food and wine. Explore the latest in vacation inspiration, trip planning tips and travel experiences. Let’s create something beyond your wildest dreams!

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